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. 

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11 Comments

GOOSEYGOOSE9 7 months ago
Jack Webb fired from Warner bros he was replaced by William Conrad
tootsieg 7 months ago
KJ ran for one season (1964-65) on Saturday nights. I could of watched it but do not remember.
CaptainDunsel 7 months ago
Also in the regular cast was Harry Morgan, as "Seldom Jackson".
cperrynaples 7 months ago
No, the truely weird horse show of the '60's is Mister Ed...LOL! However, I would argue Gentle Ben is a crazy bear show!
Bapa1 cperrynaples 7 months ago
Gentle Ben would have been a better show if the bear talked and stole pic-a-nic baskets.
cperrynaples Bapa1 7 months ago
Well, "the ranger wouldn't like it"...LOL!
GOOSEYGOOSE9 7 months ago
I Like Dennis Weaver As Chester On Gunsmoke Better Than Ken Curtis As Festus On The TV Series. Danny Thomas,Sheldon Leonard And Louis F.Edelman Executive Producers Of Kentucky Jones The TV Sitcom, Earle Hagen Did The Theme Music For Kentucky Jones. Dennis Weaver.Jerry Bick,Louis F.Edelman,Sheldon Leonard And Danny Thomas And Buzz Kulik Formed Weabickluelda Productions Danny Thomas,Sheldon Leonard And Louis F.Edelman Were The Owners Of Kentucky Jones.
teire 7 months ago
I remember Kentucky Jones as a nice little show and different from most of what comedies were on the air then. I was very young, remember being surprised Dennis Weaver did not actually have a limp.
Runeshaper 7 months ago
Kentucky Jones sounds like he had a lot going on. I would have given it a chance.
Moverfan Runeshaper 7 months ago
I would have, too...of course, I was only two years old in 1964...
Runeshaper Moverfan 7 months ago
I wasn't born yet, but I'd watch it now!
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