Richard Boone once hit back against critics who were judgmental of the Western genre

"I can't abide critics who scorn Westerns just because they're Westerns," Boone said.

CBS Television Distribution

In every genre, there runs the risk of oversaturation. Take, for example, disco music — fun, funky, and heartwarmingly authentic... at first. However once record companies realized the economic potential that came with disco music, listeners were inundated with disco songs until they had no choice but to turn their noses up at the genre as a whole.

In the case of Westerns, many television series have proven that such a genre is an incredibly lucrative business. A series like Gunsmoke maintained popularity and viewers for the entirety of its twenty-season run. But while the Western is always an entertaining backdrop to set a television show against, there was a time on television when it felt like every other show was a Western, and we were up to our ears in cowboys.

Don't get us wrong, we love a good Western just as much as the next guy, but like everything else, the genre has a time and place.

In a 1961 interview with The Times, Richard Boone expressed pride in his own Western show, Have Gun — Will Travel. He also fought back against critics who felt that Westerns were old news, and ought to go the way of the dodo.

"I can't abide critics who scorn Westerns just because they're Westerns," he said. "Ours is western in setting only. We demand the best writing, the best acting, the best production. You won't hear anyone say 'They went thataway' in any of our shows!'"

Such dedication was only amplified by Boone's desire to make the show as good as it was. In addition to playing the main role of Paladin, Boone also had a hand in directing a number of episodes of Have Gun — Will Travel, and it was a feat that he attacked with the same zealous perfectionism that he held as an actor.

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6 Comments

Beatseeker 21 days ago
...but boone playing a nice guy? not seeing it...
GenJan 23 days ago
Richard BOONE!!!! I still Love Westerns.
Runeshaper 24 days ago
Have Gun — Will Travel was AWESOME and so was Richard Boone!
cactuskate 24 days ago
I'll watch a western any time, love them all.

justjeff 24 days ago
Yep... there were PLENTY of Westerns in TV-Land, Pard'ner... Bonanza, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Sugarfoot, The Virginian, Maverick, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Tales of Wells Fargo, Death Valley Days, Laramie, Frontier Doctor, Cheyenne, The Deputy, Fury, Bat Masterson, Zorro, The Range Rider, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Kit Carson, Tombstone Territory, Judge Roy Bean, Sheriff of Cochise, Shotgun Slade, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Gene Autry Show, The Roy Rogers Show, The Rebel, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Texan, Sky King, The Cisco Kid...

It's noted in an article from the New York Public Library that "from 1949 to the late '60s, there were over 100 western series that aired on the networks"...
tootsieg justjeff 24 days ago
That is a lot of westerns but after all these years I watch more westerns than anything else. The TV shows and movies are so well done and I enjoy the actors.
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