Saturday, August 13, 2011


Whenever Lucas McCain had to ride out of town to conduct business of some sort in Willow Springs, he probably had no idea that about a decade earlier two Secret Service agents rode into that same town and became embroiled in a mysterious case.....

"The Night Of The Sudden Plague"
Jim and Artie arrive in Willow Springs and finds a band of thieves have struck, somehow managing to paralyze everyone in the town.
From A "Wild Wild West Episode Guide"

Just thought you'd like to know. Unfortunately for me, Dr. Loveless was not involved in that case.......



"The Horse-Traders"
Lucas and Mark travel to North Fork after they hear a horse trader is in town, and Mark learns a few things about horse trading.

"The Spoiler"
A good friend of Mark’s is murdered by an escaped murderer. Mark discovers the man at the home of an elderly couple and is forced to keep the secret from his father.
From "The Rifleman Episode Guide List"

These two episodes were broadcast one after the other in succeeding weeks, and unsung character actor Chubby Johnson appeared in both. However in the first episode he was known as Kansas Sawyer, but by next week he was Mr. Avery.

I think this should be a simple splainin - he and his wife had moved around the West several times to escape their past as the parents of a murderous scum named Brud Evans. Once he and his wife moved into the North Fork area as Mr. and Mrs. Avery, he must have let it slip one night in Sweeney's saloon that his name was Kansas Sawyer (a name he probably used in the last town where they lived.) He laughed it off then and claimed that was his gunfighter's name; perhaps he even told them that his full name was Avery Sawyer and that Kansas was his nickname. (If I remember correctly we never do learn what the Averys' first names were.)

That should work fine when it comes to the names. Where the trick lies in in the fact that Chubby Johnson's wife in the first episode was played by Fern Berry, but she was played by Ellen Corby in the second one.

I can only assume that some form of frontier plastic surgery was performed on her to improve her looks. Or she was just tired and run down with iron poor blood when first we met her.

Or maybe a neighboring witch cast a spell to change her appearance (as was done to Gladys Kravitz and Darrin Stephens in 'Bewitched!)



And keeping on the Ponderosa.....



To lift us out of the rather somber mood posed by the Mark Twain episode of 'The Rifleman', here's a quick bit of fun from 'Bonanza'.....



"The Mild Mild West", an episode of 'The Murdoch Mysteries', took place in Canada.

And speaking of Annie Oakley and Canada.....

I make no apologies.




'The Murdoch Mysteries'

Sarah Strange

From Wikipedia:
Annie Oakley (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926), born Phoebe Ann Mosey, was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar.
Oakley's most famous trick is perhaps being able to repeatedly split a playing card, edge-on, and put several more holes in it before it could touch the ground, while using a .22 caliber rifle, at 90 feet.

Today would have been her 151st birthday......

Friday, August 12, 2011



"The Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw"

Claude Akins

Earth Prime-Time


I have no problem with the notion that Teddy Roosevelt could have sneaked into San Francisco under cover of "National Security" to take a seat at a high-stakes poker game. I've looked into his personal timeline and nothing of import is listed after the marriage of his daughter Alice in February of 1906 and his signing of the National Monuments Act in June of that year.

And that "Gambler" movie has to take place in 1906, and it has to end on April 18 by 5:15 AM because in the last few moments of the two-part TV movie, the Great San Francisco Earthquake began at 5:12 AM.

I can't see the President high-tailing it back to Washington after the earthquake hit without making his presence known in the Bay area. He would have been out there touring the sections hardest hit by the tremors; pledging disaster relief; comforting survivors (even if only for a phot op, although that doesn't sound like Teddy's style. he would have even been pitching in to help clean up.

No I think the Teddy Roosevelt at the poker game was an impostor, and since he was played by Claude Akins, then why couldn't he be Lucas McCain's old friend Tom Benton, the Old West Secret Agent?

Why did the subterfuge take place? Well, I once wrote a bit o' fanfic (Shhhh! Don't tell Lee G!) in which Artemus Gordon impersonated Roosevelt after the President left the game and was then murdered by Dr. Miguelito Loveless (who had people thinking he also perished in the quake.)

I'd revise it now, so that Tom Benton impersonates Roosevelt from the get-go because of "chatter" regarding a threat against TR. Teddy would have wanted to play but the risk was too great. So Tom Benton sat in on the game disguised as the President in hopes to draw out Dr. Loveless. But the earthquake would bring about a major change in plans.

Who knows? Maybe Dr. Loveless even engineered that earthquake, using a new and improved model of Dr. Orkney Cadwallader's earthquake machine.

When the others in the security detail came in, they may have been bringing the "President" the tragic news that Secret Service Agent Artemus Gordon had been killed.

(I still would have killed off Artemus Gordon in the new story, despite the fact he's one of my favorite TV characters, because I'd want to bring closure to such a great character. (And it seemed only right that he would die with his boots on, as it were.) Since there was no representation for 'The Wild, Wild West' otherwise in "Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw", I saw the TV movie as the perfect showcase for Artemus Gordon's "Last Bow".....)

By the way - disguised as President Roosevelt, Tom Benton must have had an eerie resemblance to him, because Claude Akins actually is Teddy Roosevelt in an alternate TV dimension in which Sherlock Holmes looks like Christopher Lee.


*It's not the first time an impostor was featured in the ASOTV showcase and passed off as the real thing. The Gugliamo Marconi as seen in "Sherlock Holmes And The Incident At Victoria Falls" was an impostor... which shouldn't have been surprising since his appearance happened on the First of April.....

But fear not, Team Toobworld!  The "real" Teddy Roosevelt out West will be running in the coming weeks....


'THE RIFLEMAN'"Meeting At Midnight"
Lucas helps an old friend, now an undercover federal agents keep his secret plan to find stolen money supposedly hidden.
From "The Rifleman Episode Guide List"

'The Rifleman' had one spin-off ('Law Of The Plainsman' starring Michael Ansara) but this could have been another. As government agent Tom Benton, Claude Akins could have beaten 'The Wild, Wild West' to broadcast by about five years. (Although it probably would not be as outrageous in tone.)

The series could have traveled all over the West - and go to the Nation's Capital as well. And it would have been a nice showcase for noted guest stars as each week's bad guys.

As a government agent working undercover, Tom Benton could theoretically have shown up in other TV Westerns as other characters played by Claude Akins. They could even be "bad" guys (acting bad to establish "street cred") - so long as they don't kill anybody or get killed themselves.

I wouldn't want these alt-named Tom Benton characters to be killed off because I do have a Claude Akins character from 1906 on the Toobworld timeline who could be a likely candidate to be Tom Benton in disguise.

And that revelation will be coming up later in today's "As Seen On TV" showcase......


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Character actor Jack Elam was right at home in 'The Rifleman', at home in fact in every TV Western and cowboy movie that he ever made during his career, both dramatic and comedic.

With our showcase series this year, Elam appeared in five episodes - and all as different characters.

"Duel Of Honor"


"Knight Errant"

"Shotgun Man"

"The Shattered Idol"

Sim Groder, Gavin Martin, Gates, Gus Smith, and Russell..... It would be hard to believe that the townsfolk of North Fork, New Mexico, never noticed the intense similarities between these five men, especially with those popping lazy eyes they all sported. And yet that seems to be the case, so maybe it was because the people of North Fork, only human (for the most part), couldn't see the resemblance as the audience of the Trueniverse could.

I think they all looked alike because they were all the same "man", and a little deterrent like two of them getting shot to death doesn't detract from the theory.

No, I'm not succumbing to the temptation to use the 'Quantum Leap' time traveler theory with this guy. Not for him, anyhoo. I'm drawing my temptation from shows like 'Millenium', 'Supernatural', and 'Buffy, The Vampire Slayer'.
I mean - look at the face of Gavin Martin from the episode "Tension". How could such bestial rage emanate from a mere human?

The great thing about each of Jack Elam's appearances on 'The Rifleman', he played a character who seemed to have a vested interest in leading other characters into temptation.

Sim Groder of "Duel Of Honor" - He tried to goad the Italian count into a fight, but when Count di Montova proposed using his personal dueling pistols, Sim Groder turned yeller and skedaddled.

I would have thought a demon wouldn't have feared being killed by a normal human being. So I googled "How to kill a demon" and found this:

Depending on the Demon being a pure-blood or a mixed breed says a lot about how hard or easy they are to kill. A mixed breed with low rank and genes from a weak supernatural being is easy to kill ,while a mixed breed with genes from a strong creature can be almost unstoppable.

The Demons that are most difficult to kill however are pure-blooded, with inheritance from the fallen Angels. So far no one has managed to kill a fallen Archangel, although God once sent an army of Angels to defeat Lucifer. This was a mistake and God never tried it again, since Lucifer – the Devil – obliterated the army with the help of only three other Demons – all of them former Archangels.

A higher Demon can only be killed by the blade of a blessed sword – an Archangel's sword. Either the Demon's head has to be chopped off or its heart pierced.
[Click here for similar information.]

So I'm thinking this wild-eyed demon realized that the Count's bullets were melted down from an Archangel's sword; perhaps he could sniff that out. And then he might have realized that Count di Montova wasn't some ordinary human either.......

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the Count was a vampire on the hunt through the American Southwest for demons. (How could a vampire survive in the harsh sunlight of the American Southwest? By keeping in contact with the dirt from his own grave in his shoes.)

Or even better, perhaps he was a fallen Archangel....

Gavin Martin of "Tension" (see above) - This is one of the two Jack Elam characters to die on 'The Rifleman'. I think that - unbeknownst to his father, Ezra Martin - the real Gavin Martin was already dead back where they lived. The demon probably goaded him into taking his own life. Ezra Martin would most likely find the decomposing body hanging from the rafter in the barn once he got home - if he didn't die from fright on the trail once the demon "rose" from the dead after being impaled on a pitchfork.

Gates of "Knight Errant" - As the "esquire" to Don Chimera Del Laredo, the demon tried to entice a fellow named Scoobo into fixing a chess match so that it would escalate into a duel in which someone would surely die. (With a name like that, Scoobo may have been a demon as well, and both of them were working opposite sides of the board.)
But eventually, the demon got so caught up in the epic match that he cheated as well to make sure his human would win.

Gus Smith of "Shotgun Man" - Demons aren't always successful when coaxing a human to stray into sin.  In trying to goad Mr. Beaumont, Smith ended up eating lead at the hands of the old and nearly blind shotgun man.
He needn't have bothered with the old man - Johnny Beau was already on his own road to Hell.

More than likely the demon's body was then carted off to the undertaker's, where - when it was dark, - "Gus Smith" got up and left the funeral home. That must have caused quite a stir in North Fork - but which remains unseen by the TV Audience.

Russell of "The Shattered Idol" - Deep in his melancholic madness over the death of his son, even though it happened ten years before, I think Mark Twain was able to see Russell for who he really was. I don't know if it was ever mentioned in 'Quantum Leap' that a genius would be among the few who could see through the aura guise of a leaper, but they could see through the falsehood of psychic paper on 'Doctor Who'.)
But instead of being afraid, the author faced down not only this demon in a game of billiards, but his own personal demons as well. Years later the experience may have been the inspiration for a story called "The Mysterious Stranger", a novel which Twain was never able to finish. (The demon probably saw to that.....)

Having connected all of these Jack Elam characters together as one, the temptation is to go on to several other TV Westerns and make the same claim for the characters played by Elam on those shows. However, I don't want to dilute this 'Rifleman' showcase - and besides, I just don't have the time to do the research.

But at least one of his TV Western character roles in those other shows, one that died within the span of an episode, was likely the corpse used by one of the Dr. Frankensteins to be found in the TV Universe. Dr. Frankenstein used that corpse to recreate a human life... which became the caretaker of a Maine property in the sitcom "Struck By Lightning".

Having presented my theory that all of Jack Elam's characters in 'The Rifleman' were the same demon, can the case be then made for that same demon to be from some other TV series that naturally contained demons? I think not. I think Elam's demon has to be a TV character found only here in Inner Toob, skating just shy of fanfic.

So who would this demon be; what was his name?

There have been some interesting names for demons in other TV shows over the years. In my favorite 'Millenium" episode, the four old guys in the donut shop were all demons in disguise named Abum, Blurk, Greb, and Toby (my favorite of the bunch for some reason.....)

And then there's Clem from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. Like the Jack Elam character, Clem has since assumed human form and is living in a cul de sac in West Gulfport, Florida, by the name of Tom.

I gave it a little thought (Some might say, based on my past record for research, "very little".), and decided that the name of this demon would be the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to this wonderful character actor who is sorely missed in this day and age.

Why not name him Elam?

The Hebrew meaning of the name Elam is "Forever". The root is 'alam III, which gives us the word olam, meaning forever, ever, everlasting. According to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, twenty instances of this word's more than three hundred occurrences in the Bible denote a very long but not limitless past.

Thus it's an apt name for this particular demon......
(I think the demon Elam looks upset about the fine print in that contract for a soul....)



You may not remember - Hell! You may not even be reading this now! - but I confessed that I could only hold out for so long before I invoked 'Quantum Leap' technology as a splainin for why some particular actor kept appearing on 'The Rifleman' again and again and again.

Well, it will happen, but I'm hoping to use it for only one actor, not for all of those who were, shall we say, repeat offenders. For those others, I hope I can provide other splainins.

For example:

Jack Elam - Hooked on demonics!

Glenn Strange - Despite being addressed by different names on several occasions, all of his stagecoach drivers were the same guy.

Dabbs Greer - Dabbs was one of my all-time favorite character actors and so I decided that if anybody was going to get the 'Quantum Leap' treatment, it should be him.

Peter Whitney - Here was a great character actor who - through make-up and talent - made it unlikely any of his characters could be related, let alone the same man by another name.

Lawrence Dobkin - Here's another example in which the use of make-up makes his characters distinct from each other.

John Anderson - I've got a spiffy theory of relateeveety which will connect just about all of characters believably.

John Milford - An alien race from 'Doctor Who' is responsible for all of his characters being the same man - even those who got killed off. (And that was pretty much all of them.)

Richard Devon - This one has me stumped. I can combine a few of them into one person, but beyond that, I don't think I could make the case that they were even related to each other. Despite his very distinct features, this may be a case where the Richard Devon characters were distinct individuals with no connection to each other.

Richard Anderson - This is another problematic one. I can't claim they were all the same person, because some of them were good guys while others were not. Some got killed in their episodes. But the biggest Zonk is - Lucas McCain knew several of them in the past..... How come he never noticed the resemblance between them?

Joe E. Benson - This would be a challenge! Mr. Benson appeared in the most episodes of 'The Rifleman' - at least 21! Some of them might be the same townsperson, while others were definitely unconnected individuals, like the "angel" of "Baranca". But the others? Maybe they were all the same guardian angel, always being present for Mark McCain. (As all of the Mike Lally characters on 'Columbo' were the Lieutenant's guardian angel.)

Hopefully all of these will work out. Let's see - I'll definitely be writing up reports on the characters played by Greer, Strange, Elam, Milford, and Anderson. Stay tuned.....




"The Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw"

Dion Anderson

From Wikipedia:
James Buchanan Brady (August 12, 1856 – April 13, 1917), also known as Diamond Jim Brady, was an American businessman, financier, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age.

When I used to run a feature called Today's Tiddlywinkydink (a reworking of the "news items" reported by Connecticut's broadcasting legend Bob Steele), a blog post about Diamond Jim ran as one of the last of the daily Tiddlywinkydiinks.

If you'd like to learn more about the man, click here.

And this serves as yet another offering in our salute to 'The Rifleman' since both Lucas and Mark McCain showed up in this TV Western love-fest.......


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


'THE RIFLEMAN'"Miss Bertie"
A lively old lady arrives in North Fork to capture a notorious criminal and collect the reward which she desperately needs.
From "The Rifleman Episode Guide List"

Alberta Hoakam of Philadelphia was probably not the only member of her family to travel out West.....

Miss Bertie may have been the maiden aunt of Emma Valentine, the villainess matchmaker seen in "The Night Of The Vicious Valentine", an episode of 'The Wild, Wild West'.

(As you can see from the pictures, Agnes Moorehead played both roles.)

About ten years separate the characters, with Miss Valentine appearing first on the Toobworld timeline.

The last name of "Valentine" may have been an alias (Emma Hoakam not having the required ring to it that her matchmaking enterprise needed.) Or it could be that Emma had once been married to a man named Valentine back East. If so, she could be the grand-mother of a New York criminal named Rocky Valentine, who found "A Nice Place To Visit" in 'The Twilight Zone'.....
O'Bviously neither woman could be related to Agnes Moorehead's character in her T-Zone episode, "The Invaders"......



It seems to be a day for TV Western redheads....


'The Legend Of Calamity Jane'

Barbara Skaff


Tuesday, August 9, 2011



'The Legend Of Calamity Jane'

Jeff Bennett

From Wikipedia:
Sam Bass (July 21, 1851 – July 21, 1878) was a nineteenth-century American train robber and outlaw.

After failing at a series of legitimate enterprises, Bass turned to crime. He formed a gang and robbed the Union Pacific gold train from San Francisco. Bass and his men intercepted the train on September 18, 1877 at Big Spring, Nebraska, looting $60,000 - to this day the largest single robbery of the Union Pacific.

Bass and his gang staged a string of robberies, yet never netted over $500 at any one time. In 1878, they held up two stagecoaches and four trains within twenty-five miles of Dallas and became the object of a manhunt by Pinkerton Agents and by a special company of the Texas Rangers headed by Captain Junius Peak.

Bass was able to elude the Rangers until a member of his gang, Jim Murphy, turned informant. John B. Jones was informed of Bass's movements, and set up an ambush at Round Rock, Texas, where Bass planned to rob the Williamson County Bank.

On 19 July 1878, Bass and his gang were scouting the area before the robbery. When they bought some tobacco at a store, they were noticed by Deputy Sheriff A. W. Grimes. When Grimes approached the men to request that they surrender their sidearms, he was shot and killed. As he attempted to flee, Bass was shot by Ranger George Herold and then by Texas Ranger sergeant Richard Ware. Near Ware, were Soapy Smith and his cousin Edwin who witnessed Ware's shot. Soapy exclaimed, "I think you got him."

He was found lying in a pasture by a group of railroad workers, who summoned the authorities. He was taken into custody and died the next day, his 27th birthday. Bass was buried in Round Rock, and today, his grave is marked with a replacement headstone, the original having suffered at the hands of souvenir collectors over the years. What remains of the original stone is on display at the Round Rock Public Library.



"The Sister"
Mark tries to set Lucas up with a pretty young woman he thinks would make a perfect wife for his Pa. Lucas soon finds himself contending with the two brothers of this young woman as well as some outlaws bent on killing him.
From "The Rifleman Episode Guide"

The strength of tele-genetics is not always a given; just because two characters look alike (due to the real world splainin of the same actor playing both roles), that doesn't mean that they have to be related.

I stated in a post a few days ago that Little Joe Cartwright and Will Fulton/Billy Mathis were father and son (although they never knew it), but that doesn't mean Hoss had to be the father of Peter Snipe from this episode of 'The Rifleman', even though Dan Blocker played both roles.

But Peter Snipe and Hoss Cartwright still could have been related. It's always pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the mother of Joshua, Rebecca, and Rhoda Snipe might have cheated on her husband with Gunnar Borgstrom, the brother of Ben Cartwright's second wife (as seen in the 'Bonanza' episode "The Last Viking".)
Gunnar Borgstrom
To me, it makes sense that the physical characteristics which made Hoss and Peter so... notable... would be passed down from all members of the Borgstrom family.

Also, Joshua Snipe may have gone on to become a Jesse James impersonator - not for any Wild West show, but to pursue a criminal career. (Why? Because that Jesse James who encountered the Martian Exigius 12½ in an episode of 'My Favorite Martian' in no way could have been the real deal! Especially since he was older than his "brother" Frank, also an imposter, when it should have been the other way around.)

Monday, August 8, 2011


'THE RIFLEMAN'"New Orleans Menace"
A gambling czar, fleeing from New Orleans, stops at the McCain ranch with his following of bodyguards, henchmen and gamblers and decides to take the ranch off of Lucas’s hands.
From "The Rifleman Episode Guide List"

When Tiffauges was driven out of the Big Easy, it may have been Yancy Derringer who was the driving force.....

From Wikipedia:
Yancy Derringer is an American Western series that ran on CBS from 1958 to 1959, with Jock Mahoney (1919–1989) in the title role. It was produced by Derringer Productions and filmed in Hollywood by Desilu Productions. Derringer Productions consisted of half interest for Warren Lewis and Don Sharpe as executive producers, and a quarter interest to Jock Mahoney for starring in the series, and a quarter interest to Richard Sale and Mary Loos, husband and wife, as creators.

Yancy Derringer & Pahoo Ka-Ta-Wah
The Sales based the series on a 1938 short story that Richard Sale had written. In the 1930s, Sale was one of the highest paid pulp writers. Which story was never mentioned, but it was about a destitute aristocrat and troublemaker who returns to New Orleans three years after the Civil War. In the story, Derringer has no first name; "Yancy" was added for the TV series.

So Yancy Derringer's involvement in the background to this episode would have occurred twenty years after the events of his own series, even though the two shows aired at the same time......

Not that it means anything in the grand scheme of things, but "Tiffauges" is one of my favorite names to come out of the series. Perhaps out of TV Westerns as a whole. "Major Glenn Vanscoy" is another, from 'Gunsmoke'. (I'm a big fan of the aptness of names.)




"Gunsmoke: The Last Apache"

Joaquin Martinez

From Wikipedia:
Geronimo ("one who yawns"; June 16, 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. Allegedly, "Geronimo" was the name given to him during a Mexican incident. His Chiricahua name is often rendered as Goyathlay or Goyahkla in English.

In 1886 Geronimo surrendered to U.S. authorities after a lengthy pursuit. As a prisoner of war in old age he became a celebrity and appeared in fairs but was never allowed to return to the land of his birth. He later regretted his surrender and claimed the conditions he made had been ignored. Geronimo died in 1909 after being thrown from his horse.


Sunday, August 7, 2011


Unfortunate news this year dictated the choice for the TV Western induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. A true giant among TV legends, both literally and figuratively, passed away a few months ago - James Arness, who starred for twenty seasons as Marshal Matt Dillon in 635 episodes of 'Gunsmoke', a record that will probably never be broken.

(Dr. Frasier Crane was seen on TV for 20 seasons, but in two consecutive TV series - 'Cheers' and 'Frasier', with additional appearances in episodes of 'Wings', 'Caroline In The City', and a Dr. Pepper blipvert. But nothing coming close to the number of episodes Arness garnered.)

Surprisingly, 'Gunsmoke' launched only one spin-off, 'Dirty Sally', although a lot of characters passed through Dodge who could have headlined their own series. And CBS never picked up on the idea to cross Matt Dillon over to their other TV Westerns which might have benefited from the publicity boost.

At least, not until long after the series ended, and even then Arness' participation was outside his control. AS part of their celebration of fifty years on the air, (TV-wise), CBS had the producers for some of their then-current hit shows digitally insert classic TV characters into scenes with the new stars. Some were seen as dreams or fantasies; others had to be regarded as ghosts, time travelers or electro-magnetic vibratory feed-back. But Marshal Matt Dillon has to be considered as actually being present in the saloon as he passed through Colorado Springs, Colorado, on his way back to Dodge City.

Sadly, because of the rights involved, these inserts had to be excised before the first repeats, and they don't show up in syndication or on the DVD collections. Even so, Matt Dillon did show up in an episode of 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman', and that stands as a qualification for entry into the Hall.

James Arness also played Matt Dillon in a series of TV movies in the 1990's; each of which stands apart from the main series of 'Gunsmoke' as a qualification.

"Gunsmoke: Return To Dodge"

"Gunsmoke: The Last Apache"
"Gunsmoke: To The Last Man"
"Gunsmoke: The Long Ride"
"Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice"

So Matt Dillon more than meets the requirements for TVXOHOF entry.

Matt Dillon is also a multi-versal, beginning life as a radio character voiced by William Conrad. There are comic books as well based on the characters from the TV show, and perhaps even novelization tie-ins to boot.

And then there's his presence on the big screen in "Alias Jesse James" starring Bob Hope. Marshal Dillon, along with other TV cowpokes, surreptitiously came to the rescue near the end of the movie.

As I said, James Arness is a TV giant and Matt Dillon is a towering legend in the tele-folks pantheon. This induction into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame is just a small testament to the legacy he left us.

A tip of the Stetson to you, Sir.



Since we've provided you the chance to see the pilot episode of 'Sugarfoot', it seems only fittin' that we do the same for the pilot program of 'The Rifleman', considerin' that's the focus of this month's salute to the TV Western.....



Here's the original opening theme song for 'The Rifleman':

And here's how it was changed up for the fifth season:

Finally, here's a little trivia question about those opening credits.....



One of the first posts I put up for this month-long salute to 'The Rifleman' was about guest star Dennis Hopper's character Virgil Tippert in the pilot episode and his resemblance to a Billy The Kid impersonator in the pilot episode of 'Sugarfoot'.

So here's "Brannigan's Boots", that first 'Sugarfoot' episode which also has Arthur Hunnicutt, that great old character actor, as Pop Purty. This was also my introduction to an actor named Ainslie Prior, whom I think could have played a TV relative to Ed McMahon's televersion......




Since we usually fill up the weekends with videos lately, here are a couple about 'Gunsmoke', from the first year the show was on. (Let's just say I'm older than the show by a few months.....)

I realize the focus should be on 'The Rifleman', but since John Wayne was invoked yesterday for our tribute to Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, proper respect should be given to a TV Western in which he was involved.  (Plus there's another good reason coming up later today.....)

First up, the televersion of John Wayne proved to be a tele-cognizant serlinguist, meaning that not only could he talk directly to the people in the Trueniverse (like Rod Serling, George Burns, and Garry Shandling), but he actually knew he was living in a TV-based universe........

And here are the opening credits from the premiere season of 'Gunsmoke':



Here's a musical tribute to Larry Wilcox and his portrayal of Emmett Dalton in "The Last Ride Of The Dalton Gang"......


Toobworld note: Post #6700!



"The Last Ride Of The Dalton Gang"

Larry Wilcox

From Wikipedia:
Emmett Dalton (May 3, 1871 – July 13, 1937) was an American outlaw, train robber and member of the Dalton Gang in the American Old West. Part of the ill-fated Dalton raid on two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas, he survived despite receiving 23 gunshot wounds. After serving 14 years in prison for the crime, Dalton capitalized on his notoriety to author books and become an actor in Hollywood.

The Dalton Gang's criminal enterprise was ended on October 5, 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kansas. Four of the gang were killed in the ensuing gun fight. Emmett Dalton survived the raid but received 23 gunshot wounds . He was given a life sentence in the penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas and pardoned after fourteen years. He moved to California and became a real estate agent, author and actor, dying at the age of sixty-six. He was married to Julia Johnson Dalton, who survived him. They had no children.

In 1918, he portrayed himself in the movie version of his book "Beyond the Law".

In 1931, he published "When the Daltons Rode", which was later made into a 1940 movie starring Randolph Scott. Emmett Dalton was portrayed by Frank Albertson.

There's a tribute video to Wilcox' portrayal.....