COOL NAMES OF
TV WESTERN CHARACTERS
I've always been a fan of names. I think it began with a fascination with my own name and how it was adapted to a nickname even before I was born. And that fascination came in handy with all of the fantasy novels I've read over the years.
Westerns have always been a great source for interesting and unique names; so much so that I couldn't limit myself to a Super Six List.
1) DR. MIGUELITO QUIXOTE LOVELESS
'THE WILD, WILD WEST'
My all-time favorite TV character.
2) HANNIBAL HEYES
'ALIAS SMITH AND JONES'
A name worthy of a dime novel protagonist. A bit of a letdown he had to spend most of the series as "Joshua Smith".
3) FENIMORE BLEEK
'DEATH VALLEY DAYS'
Bleek was a rain-maker out West and as played by Denver Pyle, he looked like a Fenimore Bleek.
4) RUFUS I. PITKIN
Pitkin was an undertaker and he had the perfect name for the occupation - "R.I.P.".
5) FABIAN LAVENDOR
'THE WILD, WILD WEST'
Here we have another Old West undertaker, but one who was on the wrong side of the law. Still, it was a velvety-sounding name that would be comforting to the mourners if he really put his mind to the job as it should have been carried out.
6) NOBBY NED WINGATE
There were a lot of great names among the Mavericks' fellow con artists - Gentleman Jack Darby, Dandy Jim Buckley, Big Mike McComb. But I like this one best; a shame the character didn't catch on.
7) CRAZY CAT
This Western sitcom always had fun with the names of their Indian characters - Bald Eagle (played by Don Rickles) and Wise Owl, a Sherlock Holmesian Indian version of a consulting detective. Here, the show's creators paid homage to a comic strip character who was already archaic by the time of the series. And he was a bit of a hat tip caricature of the spaced-out counter-culture types coming into their own at the time.
8) BURGUNDY SMITH
Played by MISTER John Dehner, you can just tell by the name that he was a rascal who should not be entirely trusted. (And we have a theory of relateeveety that he was the grandfather of Dr. Zachary Smith from the original 'Lost In Space'. And probably the identical cousin of Jared Garrity.)
9) FRANK AND JOHN SKIMMERHORN
Michener came up with a lot of great names for his rich panorama of the people who tamed the West. With "Skimmerhorn" (at least in the book), Michener even gave us the etymology of the name - from the Dutch "Schermerhorn". (Clay Basket, Levi Zendt, and Hans "Potato" Brumbaugh were also favorites.)
10) MAJOR GLENN VANSCOY
Nothing I hate more than common, generic last names for characters. Distinctive names help make characters even more memorable. Major Vanscoy is a great example.
11) NIMROD BLIGH
I said earlier that "Hannibal Heyes" would have been a great name for a dime novel character. Well, here we have the name of an "actual" dime novelist. It may have been a pen name, but so what? I think it stirs the imagination of those buying such publications.
12) TOBY NOE
'LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE'
Several factors make this a favorite - it flows nicely; it's distinctive; Ray Bolger played the role; and yes, it is my first name. (Unfortunately, the combination I heard often enough at the end of a date.....)
Do you have any favorite names for TV Western characters? Let me know!