The brave marshal, the evil
saloon-keeper who "owns" the town, the drunken old sawbones -
Of The West was a rollicking spoof of the clichés of TV Westerns.
"Best" was Sam Best, a Civil War veteran from Philadelphia who
journeyed West in 1865.
With him were his 10-year-old son Daniel and his new wife Elvira, a Southern
belle whom he had met while burning her father's plantation to the ground. Elvira
and smart-mouthed Daniel were not exactly at home on the rough-and-tumble frontier. Elvira
did her best to tidy up their new cabin, though. Dabbing
daintily at the floor with a broom, she sighed "I just can't seem to
get the dirt off this floor" - to which Sam dead-panned, "it's a dirt floor." And
from city kid Daniel came: "I
want you to understand, Dad, I'm never going outside."
problems weren't confined to home. First, there was the Calico
Kid, an incompetent gunfighter who terrorized the town until Sam accidentally
drove him off, thereby earning himself the job of town Marshal. A more
continuing source of aggravation was Parker Tillman, the villainous proprietor of the
Square Deal Saloon (and most of the rest of Copper Creek). Though his
fastidious, prissy demeanor seemed totally out of place
in the West, Tillman had his manicured fingers in every racket imaginable. When
his construction company put up the new jail, the building promptly collapsed;
when the townspeople had to fight a flood, he rented them shovels.
Also in the
cast was Tillman's dim-witted henchman, Frog, bawdy mountain woman Laney
Gibbs, and - of course - drunk old Doc Kullens.