That was an easy quiz, but here's a much harder question:
How did Caine - the mystical wanderer from the Old West who surprised the ornery varmints of his time with all manner of baffling kung-fu moves - wind up 150 years later fighting evil in exactly the same way in some nameless modern metropolis?
"We've got three ways to look at that," said David Carradine, who has been busily waiting almost 18 years since Kung Fu closed up shop on ABC to reprise the role of Caine - the one whose Shaolin master called him ''Grasshopper."
"One is the way we've written it . . . that I'm my own grandson.
"One other is, you could say, 'OK, I'm 176 years old, and I just don't look it.'
"And the other one is, I arrived in Chris Lloyd's DeLorean."
That Back to the Future gizmo would have no appeal to the spiritual Caine, whose only possessions seem to be a flute, some simple clothes and a pair of well-worn sandals - which he always doffs before kicking an opponent in the guts, and then carefully picks up afterward.
And the grandson theory seems just a tad too pat.
The fellow who plays Caine's son in the new series says his dad is ''enigmatic." The son is one of those seat-of-the-pants, tough-guy cops who always winds up in trouble at the same time he's getting his man.
Mr. Tan, the Shaolin priest gone bad, arch-nemesis of Caine, who terrorizes all the downtrodden Chinese people, not to mention a lot of untrodden Anglos, in this modern anonymous city - OK, it's Toronto, where the filming is cheap and easy - is more eloquent:
"The source of all life is a profound mystery," he screams at his dumb- bunny henchmen, who can't understand why it is so important for them to round up the guy with the sandals and the funny haircut.
"It is a void of substance and form. It has lived since the dawn of existence. It has a body and a name. Bring me that body. Bring me that name."
So let's make Caine timeless. Or let's just stop worrying about it.
"It doesn't matter how you look at it," Carradine explained (sort of). ''The thing is, it's the same."
Only a fool or a wise man would ask the question that has no answer, eh, David?
Carradine, delightfully enigmatic himself, spoke to TV critics recently via satellite from Toronto, during a filming break. It would be easy to dismiss him as just another actor with a little money and a lot of time on his hands, off into the weird world of crystals and such.
But even in a brief interview, it became clear that Kung Fu was a philosophical turning point in his life, a serious something that sent a dabbling philosopher onto an entirely new path.
We forget that kung fu was very obscure in the United States before the long-ago TV show, which Carradine started when he was 36 years old and which lasted only three seasons.
"Non-Western-aligned philosophy is something that I've always been interested in," Carradine said. "But I had never heard the word kung fu before I saw that script. . . .
"I was trained as a dancer, and I'd done a lot of movie fights, in the old John Wayne-Alan Ladd style. And I was a horseman." He misses the horse work in his new urban setting.
"All I had to do was learn a new choreography at the beginning. I didn't think of it as an art that I needed to learn.
"I mean, if you want to go work out or lift weights or do aerobics, within two or three weeks, you've learned everything you're ever going to learn. . . . But if you want to practice kung fu, then you learn something new every day for the rest of your life."
The new show, syndicated by the new Prime Time Entertainment Network, is at its best when Caine, or some other mysterious figure on the path of learning, is babbling away or fighting in those slow-mo battles that have become so cliched since Kung Fu but that retain their power to impress.
Sure, the bad guys wait in line to attack the chosen one, who would be swamped if all four well-muscled thugs came at him at once. But the choreography is beautiful, and the concept of the little unarmed one as victor is so strong that the audience plays along again and again.
In the old days, Carradine said, the FCC limited the total amount of kung- fu fighting in each show, and the producers made extensive use of slow motion - "to make it look softer so the FCC would not censor it so much." Carradine may have been mistaking ABC's censors for the FCC.
The new Kung Fu, which doesn't have to pass through the slitty eyes of a major network's standards-and-practices department, may offend some people with its violence. The slow-mo's still there, but the sound effects of cracking bones seem to have been augmented.
The kung fu is all a package, though. The kicks and cracks do not come without Caine's constant reminders.
"A courageous fighter shuns violence."
"A mighty warrior does not fight for petty conquests.
"True insight cannot be gained by specialized knowledge, by victory or defeat, or doctrine or dogma. It can only be achieved by the illumination of one's own inner self."
"My job on the series," Carradine said, "is to push for more spirituality, more of the Chinese authenticity and more of that feeling of, I guess what you'd call, magic."
"And we try to make it funny. And we try to make sure it's full of heart,
because, I think, that's what the (old) series was based on. That's why everybody loved it."
A lot of times, his efforts fail. Modern producers, it seems, want more than heart and humor and old-fashioned, unarmed combat.
People hang out at stripper bars, and Caine's long-lost son has angst- filled quarrels with his girlfriend, who just happens to be a rock-and-roll singer who favors low-cut outfits.
This devil-may-care policeman also blows his bad guys away with maximum firepower. "You kick 'em. I shoot 'em," he tells his father. "We'll make a hell of a team."
As the hot music plays, buckshot perforates chests, and villains fall off balconies - shot dead already, but snapping their backs for good luck as they hit the ground.
Caine, on the other hand, fights to flute music.
"I've been studying kung fu now for 21 years," said Carradine, who is a little thicker in the waist and grayer in the hair than he was in the early '70s. But he still has the moves, abetted by stunt coordinator Mike Vendrell, who has worked with Steven Seagal and taught Arnold Schwarzenegger kung fu.
You'd be mistaken to think that Carradine has been isolated on some mountaintop, practicing philosophy and waiting for Kung Fu to be resurrected. He did write a book, The Spirit of Shaolin, and make two videotapes, one teaching kung fu, the other, tai chi.
But there's much more. "Since I left the series," he said, "I think I've done 52 feature films, plus a lot of television and a few plays. And I've written a lot of songs.
"And I've had one more child. And I've had two grandchildren. And I've had a lot of dogs, and I still have all my horses. Horses seem to last longer than dogs.
"What else can I say? I keep trying to make friends, influence people."
Grasshopper's grandfather couldn't have said it any better.
Carradine delivers mysticisms along with the kicks and
KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
Executive-produced by Michael Sloan for Warner Bros. Television. Maurice Hurley, supervising producer; Susan Murdoch, producer; David Carradine, Larry Lelonde and Phil Bedard, co-producers. Two-hour premiere airs tonight at 8 p.m. on the PTEN syndicated network (Channel 17). Hour-long episodes air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. beginning next Wednesday.
Kwai Chang Caine - David Carradine
Peter Caine - Chris Potter
Paul Blaisdell - Robert Lansing