Friday, August 28, 2020


Last Friday of the month and as is our custom (this year), I’m inducting a TV show which has its own televersion in the main Toobworld.  No consideration for the alternate Toobworlds, like Skitlandia, the Tooniverse, or even Nosferatoob.  In this case, with August being the month for Westerns, there are enough other shows which verify the existence of…..

From Wikipedia:
‘Gunsmoke’ is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television. When aired in the United Kingdom, the television series was initially titled ‘Gun Law’, later reverting to ‘Gunsmoke’.

The radio series ran from 1952 to 1961. John Dunning wrote that among radio drama enthusiasts, "’Gunsmoke’ is routinely placed among the best shows of any kind and any time." The television series ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975, and lasted for 635 episodes. At the end of its run in 1975, Los Angeles Times columnist Cecil Smith wrote: "Gunsmoke was the dramatization of the American epic legend of the west. Our own ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’, created from standard elements of the dime novel and the pulp Western as romanticized by [Ned] Buntline, [Bret] Harte, and [Mark] Twain. It was ever the stuff of legend."

And that legend was recounted over and over again by those who watched it.

The show ran twenty years, yet only spawned one spin-off.  But it did have several sequel movies.


Dirty Sally (1974)
Sally Fergus is introduced on ‘Gunsmoke’: “Pike: Part 1” (1971) & ‘Gunsmoke’: “Pike: Part 2” (1971).


  • Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987)
  • Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (1990)
  • Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (1992)
  • Gunsmoke: The Long Ride (1993)
  • Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice (1994)
So that give the historical events of ‘Gunsmoke’ a solid base in the “Reality” of Earth Prime-Time; plenty to work with in making the idea of a TV series based on that history believable.

There is no Zonk in other TV shows mentioning ‘Gunsmoke’ as a TV show.  On the Toobworld timeline, it took place during the mid-1800s and into the early 20th Century of Earth Prime-Time and would be considered History by “modern-day” Toobworlders. It would be the perfect candidate for a TV series.

Every mention of the TV series, every time a character is referenced or imitated, every imitation of the series serves as a qualification for the Toobworld version of the TV show to be inducted into the TVXOHOF.

Here are the examples of TV shows in which it could easily be treated as both History and a TV series.

The Phil Silvers Show:
Bilko's TV Pilot (1958)
While watching another show, Rizik recognizes a bad guy from "Gunsmoke".

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet:
Top Gun
While wearing cowboy hats and western-style vests, Dave introduces a limping Rick as "Chester".

Hancock's Half Hour:
The Set That Failed
Hancock acts out a scene from this show.

The Larkins:
All the Answers
Eddy likes this show

The Danny Thomas Show:
Everything Happens to Me
One of four western series from which Rusty wants autographs from everyone.

Dennis the Menace:
The School Play
Dennis's school play is a takeoff on Gunsmoke. It includes characters such as Marshal Mellon and his limping sidekick, Lester.

The Danny Thomas Show:
The P.T.A. Bash
Danny mentions the show, while performing a comedy routine for the P.T.A.

Car 54, Where Are You?:
No More Pickpockets
Wearing a cowboy hat, while working undercover, Muldoon is mistaken for Marshal Dillon.

Mister Ed:
Ed the Beachcomber
Mister Ed mentions Matt Dillon.

Stoney Burke:
Child of Luxury
Stoney is told he'll ride in "like Marshal Dillon."

The Andy Griffith Show:
 Lawman Barney
Barney is called Marshall Dillon.

Dennis the Menace:
Wilson's Second Childhood
While the neighborhood kids are playing cowboys and Indians, Mrs. Wilson calls her husband "Matt", and Mr. Wilson calls his wife "Miss Kitty".

O’Bservation – Sorry to sully your childhood memories, but could this have led to a little “afternoon delight” role-playing upstairs?

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis:
Will the Real Santa Claus Please Come Down the Chimney?
Maynard says that even though he's never actually seen him, he believes in Marshal Dillon (but he's not so sure about Chester).

The Andy Griffith Show:
Aunt Bee's Medicine Man
Aunt Bee calls Andy "Sheriff Matt Dillon" and asks "Where's Chester?"

The Dick Van Dyke Show:
Racy Tracy Rattigan
Sally limps out of the office calling for Mr. Dillon

Dennis the Menace:
A Man Among Men
Dennis mentions Sheriff Matt Dillon, and then he starts to limp.

Gilligan's Island:
The Sound of Quacking
In the "Marshal Gilligan" dream sequence, which also features limping deputy Skipper and barmaid "Miss Ginger"

The Andy Griffith Show:
Fun Girls
Gomer says Goober can walk just like Chester on "Marshall Dillon", which was the title for the half-hour episodes of "Gunsmoke" when the series was expanded to a full hour.

Lucille Ball & Gary Morton vs. Luci Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.
When the password is COWBOY, Gary's clue is GUNSMOKE, to which Desi Jr.'s reply is CHESTER. That is the first name of a central character played by Dennis Weaver on the TV show.

O’Bservation – I included this since ‘Password’ has its own televersion thanks to ‘The Odd Couple’.

My Favorite Martian:
The Time Machine Is Waking Up That Old Gang of Mine
Mistakenly believing that Tim and Martin are claiming to be Frank and Jesse James, the railroad detective sarcastically introduces himself as Marshal Dillon.

Gilligan's Island:
The Postman Cometh
The Skipper pretends to be Marshal Dillon

Green Acres:
The Deputy
When Oliver becomes deputy sheriff, Eb calls him 'Mr. Dillon'

The Monkees:
Monkees in a Ghost Town
Davy calls up Chester who tells him Marshal Dillon is absent.

O'Bservation - It's the Monkees; I'm not going to throw my back out trying to splain that away!

Gilligan's Island:
Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho
Newly appointed Deputy Gilligan limps and calls the Skipper, "Mr. Dillon"

The Monkees:
Monkees in Texas
referenced in musical cues

Petticoat Junction:
One of Our Chickens Is Missing
Buck refers to Orrin as Marshal Dillon.

All in the Family:
Flashback - Mike and Gloria's Wedding: Part 2
Mentioned by Archie

The Bob Newhart Show:
Last TV Show
Mentioned several times, including Mrs. Bakerman claiming she hasn't missed it in seventeen years.

All in the Family:
Archie the Gambler
Archie says Edith whips out a pencil like Matt Dillon.

Here's Lucy:
The Carters Meets Frankie Avalon
In their comic banter as Sonny and Cher, Avalon (Sonny) mentions being cast in "Gunsmoke"

O'Bservation - I'd have to see the actual quote.  But I don't see evidence either Bono or Avalon were actually on 'Gunsmke'.  If the quote asserts one of them was a guest star, then Toobworld has a fictional episode of the Western.

Q & Q:
Ding dong!!!
Title mentioned by Yvonne

Sanford and Son:
The TV Addict
Fred says he's in love with Miss Kitty.

The Muppet Show:
Juliet Prowse
"Cowboy Time" sketch spoofs Gunsmoke

High Explosive
Grossman compares Jon to Matt Dillon

The Twilight Zone:
Gramma/Personal Demons/Cold Reading
Rockne S. O'Bannon wrote for the series.

The A-Team:
The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair
Mentioned by Tour Guide

Night Court:
The New Judge
Characters referenced

Night Court:
Contempt of Courting
"Let's go, Ms. Kitty."

The Golden Girls:
Long Day's Journey Into Marinara
Sophia says that Angela still tries to watch Gunsmoke on Sunday nights.

O'Bservation -
'Gunsmoke' first aired on Saturdays before moving to Mondays.  So that quote probably questioned Angela's mental state - not ony trying to watch it on Sundays, but because the show had been off the air for twelve years. 

The Golden Girls:
A Piece of Cake
Sophia mentions by name.

The Crane Mutiny
Carla calls Woody "Festus".

It's Garry Shandling's Show:
No Baby, No Show
Expectant-couple mistakes Bob Dylan for Marshal Matt Dillon.

Last Rites for Lucci
Referred to.

Miami Vice:
The Cows of October
Izzy says "Get out of Casablanca", which he was bumbling the quote "Get out of Dodge", heard in one manner or another on the old series set in Dodge City.

Quantum Leap:
How the Tess Was Won - August 5, 1956
Sam sarcastically quips, "Aw, gee shucks, Mr. Dillon."

Hey Dude:
Title is referenced

Quantum Leap:
Rebel Without a Clue - September 1, 1958
Sam jokingly refers to Dillon as "Marshal Dillon."

The Gambler Returns:
The Luck of the Draw
 (TV Movie)
action takes place in the Longbranch Saloon

The Larry Sanders Show:
Hey Now
Larry tells Hank that he looks like Kitty from Gunsmoke

A Matter of Life and Death
When Hobie mentions actor Matt Dillon from “The Flamingo Kid”, Mitch's dad thinks it's the James Arness character.

Married... with Children:
Get Outta Dodge
Reference to "Get the hell out of Dodge [City]"

The One with the Breast Milk
Chandler tells Joey to go see Miss Kitty who will fix him up with a nice hooker.

3rd Rock from the Sun:
The show is on when Dick turns on Mary's new TV.

Law & Order:
Congressman Maxwell refers to the series.

Nash Bridges:
Skin Deep
A tattoo artist looks at Evan's old-time sheriff badge he bought and says he must be Miss Kitty. Though Kitty was not an officer of the law or deputized.

3rd Rock from the Sun:
Dr. Solomon's Traveling Alien Show
Mary tells Don that she and Dick have a game based on the show.

Nash Bridges:
Shoot the Moon
Joe tells Nash, "Come on, Chester" while helping him walk after being shot in the butt and having trouble. This refers to a deputy named Chester who walked with a limp.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer:
This Year's Girl
"I tell you, if I were her, I'd get out of Dodge post hasty." This phrase originated on Gunsmoke

American Dreams:
The One
Roxanne refers to the series.

Mr. Monk and Little Monk
"Gunsmoke" lunchbox in Young Sherry's locker.

Veronica Mars:
Debasement Tapes
Marshal Dillon mentioned.

Chuck Versus the Predator
Emmett, comparing the situation to a Western, says, "It was a lawless town: Shane, Marshal Dillon, Clint Eastwood."

Mentioned in dialogue

iSam's Mom
Name of the overly macho bodyguard protecting Freddie

Sam & Cat:
Two fans mention some of Maree Cheatham's past work

Cocaine Cowboys:
The Matt Dillon character is mentioned.

Masters of Sex:
Kyrie Eleison
Dr. Greathouse says that Dr. Masters has a bigger following than "Gunsmoke".

Masters of Sex:
Story of My Life
mentioned by Lester

This Is Us:
Darryl mentions the show to Jack.

Mrs Thursday was watching this on television.

Inspector Fred Thursday:
'Gunsmoke', is it?

Win Thursday:
I don't know. Something....

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
I'm Going To Make You a Star
short clip of unidentified black-and-white episode seen on TV.

And so the televersion of another TV series has been added to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  It’s 635 episodes and five TV movies probably guarantee its place as the member series with most viewing hours.

Get outta Dodge, ‘Gunsmoke’, and into the TVXOHOF!