Reel Cowboys
Online Store
Go to the OFFICIAL Silver Spur Awards Show website
Search the Reel Cowbys Website
Search the Reel Cowbys Website
Monthly Newsletter
Join the Reel Cowboys
Reel Cowboy Members
Premium Members
Social Media
Photo Gallery
Video Library
The Cowboy Code
Fundraising Campaigns
About Us
Friends of the Reel Cowboys
Contact the Reel Cowboys
The Reel Cowboys of Hollywood

In Memory of the Founder of the Reel Cowboys, Jack 'J.C.' Iversen
In Memory
of the Founder

Join the Reel Cowboys on Facebook
Vol. 1 - No. 5 August, 2019 Nooseletter Home SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
The Gunsmoke Cast Had No Idea
John Wayne was Going to Introduce the First Episode
John Wayne Introducing the First Episode of Gunsmoke in 1959
John Wayne Introducing the First Episode of Gunsmoke in 1959
The whole cast was at James Arness' house when the Duke walked out.

Before anybody ever laid eyes on James Arness as Matt Dillon, the first episode of Gunsmoke moseyed out with a face so familiar to Westerns, he really needed no introduction. That didn't stop him from saying in that sober, serious way of his, "I'm John Wayne. You may have seen me before, or I hope so. I've been kicking around Hollywood a long time."

The introduction went on, but this was really all it took to get any Western fans to stay firmly planted in the saddle for the premiere, and out of all the fans in the audience when that very first episode aired, you should know that perhaps most surprised of all to see Wayne's face on the front of his own show was Gunsmoke star Arness. He dispelled a myth in an interview with the Archive of American Television, confirming he not only had nothing to do with Wayne's involvement, he and the rest of the cast didn't even know it was going to happen!

"I didn’t ask him," Arness said of John Wayne's introduction. "Not at all. In fact, I was really surprised when they said that he had done that. He [filmed] that, we didn’t know about it at all. They did that intro somewhere else on some picture he was doing, and I don’t think actually, that we knew about it until it came on the air that night. I think they were kinda holding it as a surprise."

Arness then went on to paint a picture of what exactly it was like to see one of his own heroes tipping his hat before the start of Arness' new show. He said, "We were all actually over at my house, all the gang from Gunsmoke, watching this... and here’s Duke Wayne with this intro."

Just imagine Amanda Blake, Dennis Weaver and Milburn Stone, sitting shoulder to shoulder on a couch when the screen flickers to reveal John Wayne. It must've been quite the surprise, indeed. Arness used a different word to describe the experience: "It was absolutely marvelous."

In a later interview, he used the same word when discussing his favorite John Wayne movie of all time, The Quiet Man. Arness said, "I watch television all the time, mostly PBS and old movies like The Quiet Man, my favorite Wayne movie. It's marvelous. I just loved the man and still do."

by MeTV Staff
  August 3
Reel Cowboys Meeting
(at Lulu's Restaurant on Roscoe in Van Nuys)
  July 18 - August 22
Free Concerts at the Skirball
  August 16-17
Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival
  August 17
Reel Cowboys Meeting
(at Lulu's Restaurant on Roscoe in Van Nuys)
  August 17
8th Annual 'American Legion'
Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament
  September 7
Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws PREMIER
( Fund Raiser for Johnny Crawford )
Call 818-395-5020 for more information

Get Your Memorbilia From Various Silver Spur Award Shows
The Reel Cowboys of Hollywood
Montoya's Betrayal Information
The Reel Cowboys Salute Our Military
Home | About Us | Board of Directors | Members | Join | Calendar | News | Memorial | Products | Contact Us | Membership Dues
The Reel Cowboys © - All Rights Reserved.
The Reel Cowboys: Dedicated to  unique American tradition - the Western film
501 (c)3: 95-2161173