1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 2 (USA)
22 x 25 minute episodes
A spoof cowboy series from ABC that plundered film and TV westerns for clichés and wove comedy around them.
It is 1865, and Civil War veteran Sam Best (Joel Higgins) moves Southern belle wife Elvira (Carlene Watkins) and ten-year-old son Daniel (Meeno Peluce) from Philadelphia to the wild west town of Copper Creek where Sam has bought a general store.
Sam is immediately faced with the prospect of paying protection money to the town baddie, Parker Tillman (Leonard Frey), the double-dealing proprietor of the Square Deal Saloon – and the varmint who sold him the store in the first place.
Sam refuses to pay and, despite his lack of prowess with a gun, accidentally scares off a notorious -but incompetent – gunfighter (The Calico Kid). Best subsequently finds himself installed as the town’s Marshal.
His attempts to perform the job despite a total lack of macho qualifications provided much mirth. Sam also had trouble at home, with his family yearning to return to civilisation.
Elvira does her best to tidy up their new cabin, though, lamenting “I just can’t seem to get the dirt off this floor” – to which Sam replies; “It’s a dirt floor!”.
Others at large in the town included the permanently drunk Doc Kullens (Tom Ewell); the bawdy mountain woman Laney Gibbs (Valri Bromfield); and Tillman’s dim-witted henchman, Frog (Tracey Walter).
Best Of The West was a well-mounted sitcom, from a good stable, which effortlessly fulfilled its own modest brief to be “a kids programme for grown-ups” but only managed to remain in the saddle for one season.
Marshal Sam Best
The Calico Kid
Doc Jerome Kullens
Frog Rothchild Jr