Sep 10, 2009

Gunsmoke Anniversary

54 years ago today, on September 10, 1955, CBS Premiered a show that would run like no other. Gunsmoke, starring James Arness. Gunsmoke took the ball and ran for 20 years. No other show has run for this long until 2009 when Law and Order tied Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke was the first western that didn't depend on fantasy characters such as the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy. Gunsmoke was a series about Marshall Matt Dillon, the law around Dodge City, Kansas during the settlement of the West. Viewers got heavily involved in the lives of Dillons friends, Miss Kitty, Chester and Doc. At some point, Chester was replaced by Festus.
I remember watching Gunsmoke every week on our old black n white tv in upstate NY, probably around their 16th-20th seasons. I don't remember Chester, but I clearly remember Festus. I'm pretty sure mom thought Matt Dillon was hot, but back then the mere thought of that grossed me out. I can recall hearing the show's theme song playing while we all ran around trying to get ready to sit and watch and not be late; tivos and vcrs were unheard of. Of course, we'd be humming along. I can remember my grandfather, father and brother playing cowboys and being the Gunsmoke characters, mannerisms, cliche's and all. I need to go find me some reruns.
Legend has it that the actors never even knew they were filming their final episode. They thought they'd be coming back for a 21st run, but it wasn't in the cards. The show was discontinued with no grand finale'. Here's my personal adieu':
Dillon: You were given 15 years in territorial prison, Logan. What are you doin' out?
Logan: Lookin' for you. Been a long look, Dillon, but I promised myself I'd pay you back. Here I am.
Matt Dillon: Mister, you aren't the first gunny come lookin' for me. There's two more buried out in back there. Now you better drop the gunbelt.
Logan: Now why should I do that?
Matt Dillon: 'Cause I got one aimed right at your belly.
Logan: You gotta be desperate runnin' a bluff like that. [Dillon shoots the cup out of Logan's hand]
Matt Dillon: Drop the gun... Now that hideout gun that's holdin' up your backbone.
Logan: You don't leave a man a lot, do you, Marshal?
Matt Dillon: Mister, you didn't bring a whole lot with ya!


Maudie said...

I'm still watchin' those reruns, loved that show. No sex, no foul language, yep good show. Check your listings it's still on.

JMaslar said...

I loved that show and thought Miss Kitty added something, but the Doc was my favorite...