Do you remember Dennis Weaver's weird horse show?
''It's what I call a serious comedy,'' said Weaver.
Sometimes when we bet on ourselves, we come out on top. Other times, we end up doing something like starring in Kentucky Jones, an interesting (if little-remembered) piece of television obscurity. Dennis Weaver, who played Chester on Gunsmoke, left that show to try his luck as a leading man. He'd limped around on the popular Western for almost a decade and figured he'd switch things up after, in his view, exhausting the possibilities on Gunsmoke.
That's when the convoluted mess that is Kentucky Jones entered Weaver's life. Luckily, he was able to summarize the admittedly garbled premise to the Hartford Courant in 1964.
"In Kentucky Jones, I play a horse trainer who becomes a veterinarian, a one-time playboy who marries and settles down with a lovely bride. Subsequently, we adopt a Chinese boy named Dwight Eisenhower Wong. Then my wife dies, and I become mother and father to the boy. Essentially, the series deals with a father-son relationship."
It's a tale as old as time.
"It's what I call a serious comedy," said Weaver. Of course, it is.
"I don't limp in it and I don't drawl, but my character has broader horizons, wider boundaries than Chester had in Gunsmoke."
The limp afflicted his former character Chester Goode on Gunsmoke. In press surrounding the new show, Weaver frequently cited the performative mobility issue as a problem he had with continuing on with the Western. Apparently, limpin' ain't easy, even when you're just acting.