Ken Curtis Explained Why Festus Was Always a Better Character Than Chester

Gunsmoke actor Ken Curtis enthusiastically performed Festus Haggen ever because the present launched him to audiences. He in the end grew to become a fan favourite for a lot of viewers world wide. Nonetheless, the comparisons to Dennis Weaver’s Chester Goode had been inevitable. Curtis as soon as defined why he thought Festus was at all times a higher character than Chester on Gunsmoke.

‘Gunsmoke’ used Ken Curtis’ Festus to exchange Dennis Weaver’s Chester

L-R: Ken Curtis as Festus and Dennis Weaver as Chester | CBS by way of Getty Photographs, CBS picture Archive/Getty Photographs

U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) initially had Chester as his royal right-hand man. Nevertheless, Weaver in the end thought that he took the character so far as he may take him. As a consequence, the actor determined to step away from the Western tv sequence to discover different roles in several types of tasks. Due to this fact, the creatives behind the scenes had to determine what to do with the void left by Chester’s departure.

Curtis had his preliminary debut in Gunsmoke as Festus in season 8, however he grew to become the apparent option to fill the void of Matt’s loyal ally. Moreover, he grew to become the brand new character to bounce off Milburn Stone’s Doc Adams. He caught round till CBS canceled the present in 1975 after its twentieth season aired. Nevertheless, the forged was simply as shocked as the remainder of the world to listen to the information that they wouldn’t return for season 21.

‘Gunsmoke’ actor Ken Curtis stated Festus had extra autonomy than Chester

In accordance with MeTV, a 1971 Day by day Advertiser article interviewed Curtis about enjoying Festus on Gunsmoke. The actor initially feared that he wouldn’t be capable of fill the massive footwear that Weaver as soon as dropped at the present. In spite of everything, the character and the actor each introduced one thing really singular to the present. As a consequence, Curtis initially thought that Festus may probably be a poor alternative.

Gunsmoke Season 13 Episode 7 was named “Hard Luck Henry,” which was one of many episodes that helped Curtis assume in any other case. Actually, the actor thought that Festus introduced one thing to the present that was fairly totally different than what Chester supplied. As a consequence, he believed that, in contrast to Chester, Festus may truly carry a complete episode on his personal.

“He does things on his own, while Chester was always whining along behind Matt,” Curtis stated. He felt a sure consolation degree enjoying Festus as a result of he was “the same character” as Monk, who he performed on Have Gun – Will Journey. Curtis impressed his perspective on each characters due to Cedar Jack – a real-life city native from his youth who reduce down cedar bushes for fence posts.

Newly O’Brien changed Festus

Gunsmoke made good use of Curtis and Festus over the course of its run. After the shock cancelation, the actor managed to search out work in different tasks. Nevertheless, none of them reached the peak of recognition of his time on the Western tv present.

CBS returned to Dodge Metropolis with 5 made-for-TV films, however Curtis didn’t see eye-to-eye with them concerning the pay fee. Due to this fact, he determined to not reprise his function. Naturally, the community merely determined to as soon as once more fill that void with one other character. Buck Taylor’s Newly O’Brien was the proper match.



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