It’s been a tough couple of weeks – had no power for a week due to Hurricane Isaias; and I lost a beloved family member.
And during it all, my enthusiasm for doing this, even once a week, seriously flagged.
But let’s start catching up!
We begin with the August showcase for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame which traditionally celebrates the TV Western. And the cowboy in the spotlight this year?
‘Sugarfoot’ is an American Western television series that aired for sixty-nine episodes on ABC from 1957-1961 on Tuesday nights on a "shared" slot basis – rotating with ‘Cheyenne’ (1st season); ‘Cheyenne’ and ‘Bronco’ (2nd season); and ‘Bronco’ (3rd season). The Warner Bros. production stars Will Hutchins as Tom Brewster, an Easterner who comes to the Oklahoma Territory to become a lawyer. Jack Elam is cast in occasional episodes as sidekick Toothy Thompson. Brewster was a correspondence-school student whose apparent lack of cowboy skills earned him the nickname "Sugarfoot", a designation even below that of a tenderfoot.
Its pilot episode was a remake of a 1954 Western film called “The Boy from Oklahoma” starring Will Rogers, Jr., as Tom Brewster. The pilot and premiere episode, "Brannigan's Boots," was so similar to “The Boy from Oklahoma” that Sheb Wooley and Slim Pickens “reprised their roles from the film.
Hutchins appeared as Sugarfoot in crossover episodes of Cheyenne and Maverick, and in an installment of ‘Bronco’ called "The Yankee Tornado" with Peter Breck as a young Theodore Roosevelt. Jack Kelly appeared as Bart Maverick in the Sugarfoot episode "A Price on His Head."
Trivia from various episodes:
Sugarfoot's father, George Brewster, was a highly regarded law-enforcement officer.
Tom Brewster spent his childhood in Vermont before coming to the Oklahoma Territory.
In "The Desperadoes" (January 6, 1959), Sugarfoot c. 1870 visits his friend Padre John (Anthony George) at a Roman Catholic mission in South Texas, where he learns of a mysterious plot to assassinate Mexican President Benito Juarez. Abby Dalton and Jack Kruschen guest star in this episode as Elizabeth Bingham and Sam Bolt, a military officer with a Napoleonic complex.
O’Bservation – Benito Juarez is eligible for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.
Wayde Preston, who played Christopher Colt on the ABC western Colt .45, appeared four times in that same role on Sugarfoot in the episodes dealing with "The Canary Kid," a role also played by Will Hutchins. In the semi-comical "The Return of the Canary Kid" (February 3, 1959), Hutchins and Preston are joined by Don "Red" Barry as Arkansas, Richard Reeves as Blackie Stevens, and Sandra Edwards as Prudence, the Canary Kid's girlfriend who instead falls for the kindly Tom Brewster.
Welcome to the Crossover Hall of Fame, Mr. Brewster! You'll find Bart, Bret, and Beau Maverick, Cheyenne Bodie, and a few others you might know... even if it was off-screen.