Thursday, August 12, 2010


Whenever I talk about "Famous Impostor Syndrome" (probably better known as "Famous Individual Syndrome", but I like my acronym better), I usually cite Doc Holliday as the prime example. He had such a reputation with the gun that there were plenty of gunslingers out there who usurped his name in order to get a quick reputation for themselves as well. This provides a great splainin for all the recastaways of Doc Holliday to be found in various TV shows - so long as they're not from recreations of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. For that, we're sticking with its depiction in "The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp".

The name of Earp was also "usearped" during that time. In fact, the townsfolk of Bonita, California, thought Bart Maverick was Wyatt Earp - thanks to his brother Bret. But Bret just wanted to make sure Baby Brother was able to enjoy the town's offer of a hot meal of roast Eastern turkey. (The citizens of Bonita first offered the feast to Bret because they believed he was Doc Holliday, and they wanted him to take care of a "civic matter" for them.)

And not only did Bret employ the Famous Impostor Syndrome to become Doc Holliday (but for a repast, not a reputation), but another Doc Holliday impersonator showed up in Bonita by the end of that episode of 'Maverick', "Seed Of Deception"!

Several years later, around 1877 or so, Bart Maverick found reason to impersonate Doc Holliday down in the Apache territory in Arizona. And he did so with impunity because he was carrying a beaded belt that was supposedly from Cochise himself which he used as the token to pass through the Apache lands. (It was probably a knock-off.) Whatever his reason for doing so, Bart probably didn't figure on keeping up the ruse so long that he became entangled with the Cannon family at their 'High Chaparral' ranch. But he ended up pulling the tooth for ranch hand Pedro, even though he really wasn't a dentist. (Probably wasn't hard to do - the tooth was more than likely highly decayed and so noticeable from the others.

As for the "anasthesia", Bart just clobbered Pedro with a "sap".

And he also helped rescue Blue from a couple of kidnappers - one of whom was the real Kid Curry. Bart was able to get out of the area fast after that, but not fast enough. Just as he rode some distance from the Cannons, Uncle Buck rode up and shouted out a hello to "Doc Holliday". Apparently he had met the famous gunslinger/dentist once before in the past.

If that's so, why didn't he recognize that Bart was a fraud? I think the answer lies in the eyes. Maybe Buck had his dental needs attended, but he now needed the services of a frontier optometrist.

'Maverick' - "Seed Of Deception"
'High Chaparral' - "Doctor From Dodge"



Melissa said...

Two kinds of gravy! Thickenin' and specklin'!

Toby O'B said...

Mmmmm.... gravy!