July 25, 2002

Well, I never knowd

Well, I never knowd THAT!

Well sir, ol' Festus Haggen had quite the interesting life 'fore he scrunched up his ol' whiskery face and played the part on Gunsmoke.

Thanks to our astute reader in the field, Curt-with-a-C, who points out that Ken Curtis once sang with Tommy Dorsey, doing the lead in one song clip you can hear on the net, as well singing with the Sons (including Tumbling Tumbleweeds), then having his own Sons of the Pioneers-type singing group for years.

Curtis owned his own production company in the early 50's, producing and starring in the 3-star (out of 10) "The Attack of the Killer Shrews" (yes, I exaggerate at times, but this one is for real, honest!) which a reviewer on IMDb called "unfair to shrews" and another who states "KILLER SHREWS is memorable to me ... because of the lovely Ingrid Goude as well as the stunt doggies, ridiculously disguised as shrews, that are running amuck with long 'hair blankets' covering their bodies".

The character of Festus was one that Curtis did grudingly, in a bit before Gunsmoke, but then was saddled with for 11 years until the series ended in 1975. He had a varied career and was really a nice looking guy behind the two weeks worth of stubble, the squinty right eye and the nasal whine that sorta makes ya skin crawl.

Now, if I find myself starting to think and talk like Ms. Kitty, I'm in trouble boys, and run fetch Marshall Dillon quick-like cause I think him and me needs to have us a talk before things get outta hand.

Posted by fred1st at July 25, 2002 11:57 AM

I was sorry to read your comments on Ken Curtis and how he felt about the character he played on Gunsmoke, Festus Haggen. Festus was enormously important to Ken, so much so that he was quoted as saying "I don't care if they tattoo Festus all over me-he's been good to me." He also toured the country as Festus for years after Gunsmoke ended and the day before he died rode a mule in a parade. After he died a statue of Ken as Festus was donated to the city of Clovis.

Posted by: Pan at May 3, 2005 03:54 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?