|Gabby Hayes (1885-1969)|
Gabby Hayes is my favorite cowboy sidekick, a role that disappeared from Westerns. He was crowned King of the Cowboy Comics by his biographers Bobby J. Copeland and Richard B. Smith III.
About Gabby Hayes
Here is a dagnabbit line from his 1942 movie, Sunset on the Desert, starring Roy Rogers. Play audio.
Check out this three-minute video of some of his sayings. Notice his fancy gun handling in the train clip. It’s so casual—if you blink you’ll miss it. Play video.
His cowboy slang and fake cussing included: "consarn it," "yer durn tootin," "dadgumit," “didly dadburn it,” “durn persnickety female," and "young whippersnapper.” Hayes appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows, including host of a TV series. Most of his roles were in Westerns. He was sidekick to Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, John Wayne, and Randolph Scott (remove hat and place over heart).
Gabby Hayes’ real name was George Francis Hayes. Unlike his cantankerous screen character, in real life he was well-groomed, articulate, and intelligent; he wore expensive clothes and drove expensive cars. He also was a wise investor. After a career in vaudeville, he retired at age forty-three in 1928 and then lost everything in the 1929 stock-market crash. He returned to acting, this time in movies.
Dagnabbit, Roy, the winners are . . .
Missourians responded about as quickly as movie fast-draw experts. Congratulations and thanks to the first five respondents with correct answers:
Joyce Brooks, Springfield, Missouri – Elmer Fudd
Mary Hertslet, Boyds, Maryland – Walter Brennan
Joe Levanti, Mount Vernon, Missouri – Gabby Hayes
Jackie Mountcastle, Springfield, Missouri – Deputy Dawg
John R. Zweig, Springfield, Missouri – Gabby Hayes
Photo and audio courtesy www.gabbyhayes.org.
Video courtesy YouTube.
What are your memories of Western movies? How have they influenced your writing?