Monday, August 10, 2015



While Danny Williams was packing for a trip to Hollywood, his son Rusty brought him his autograph book, with instructions to get the autographs from everyone connected to the following TV Westerns:
  • 'Wagon Train'
  • 'Gunsmoke'
  • 'Have Gun - Will Travel'
  • 'Wyatt Earp'
(The full title for 'Wyatt Earp' would be 'The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp', unless Toobworld had another TV series about the lawman.  Most people just abbreviated it to Earp's name.)

I don't see this as a Zonk, even though Rusty mentions four TV shows from the Real World which should be part of the same dimension in which he lives.  That's because these are all about the historical past (or at the very least, the legends about the wild, wild West.)

Let's take a look at them individually.....

'WAGON TRAIN' - Rusty wanted everyone's autograph, but there was no mention of John McIntyre, Robert Horton, Frank McGrath, or Terry Wilson.  (This episode took place in March of 1961, which is why he wouldn't be getting the autograph of Ward Bond.  The actor, who played the lead character of Major Seth Adams, had died the previous October at the age of 57.)

'Wagon Train' is a pretty generic title as Westerns go, so while the show we could see from the Trueniverse viewpoint serves as the historical record of one such wagon train, the televersion of the program could have had "fictional" stories not based on "fact".  It did look quite similar to the show from the Trueniverse however, as seen in the 'Mad Men' episode "Indian Summer".  And it used the same actors although that was because they looked the "real" people involved.

These are some other shows that mentioned 'Wagon Train' as a series:
  • 'The Patty Duke Show'
  • 'Leave It To Beaver'
  • 'Designing Women'
  • 'Hancock's Half Hour'
'GUNSMOKE' - This is the colossus of the four, the longest lasting drama on American prime-time television.  (Have to put in those qualifiers because of certain soap operas and Britain's 'Doctor Who'.)  In similarity to 'Wagon Train' in that it's a generic title, its characters were mentioned as a combination of "historical" legends and TV characters in other shows ('Stony Burke', 'Mr. Ed', 'Dennis The Menace', and 'Car 54, Where Are You?' among many others.)  Because it ran for so long, there are a LOT of references to it, so I won't bother naming any more.

'HAVE GUN - WILL TRAVEL' - That quote on the business card for Paladin was reality for Lady Cora Grantham of 'Downton Abbey', whose father may have had dealings with Paladin decades before.  And his memory was invoked in a high stakes poker game in San Francisco the night before the great earthquake of 1906 (as mentioned in "The Gambler: Luck Of The Draw".)  But like the others, Paladin's life was dramatized in Toobworld and mentioned by characters in:
  • 'Homicide: Life On The Street'
  • 'Leave It To Beaver'
  • 'Law & Order'
  • 'Justified'
and several others.

'WYATT EARP' - Definitely there's no problem in having this TV series in Toobworld, nor in casting Hugh O'Brian as the legendary lawman - O'Brian resembled Earp's televersion, simple as that.  (In fact, getting back to the show that started all of this, Hugh O'Brian visited the Williams' household in another episode.)

Among the TV shows that have mentioned 'Wyatt Earp' as a TV show:
  • 'Leave It To Beaver'
  • 'Father Knows Best'
  • 'A Date With The Angels'
So, Rusty gets a pass on all four near-Zonks.....


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