Butler Hickok, mister," the hero announced. Whereupon his fat
sidekick, Jingles, would pipe up in his shrill, raspy voice, "That's
Wild Bill Hickok, mister! The bravest, strongest, fightingest U.S.
Marshal in the whole West!" It was just as well that Jingles kept filling
people in, because Guy Madison, the star of this early oater, was so handsome he
might otherwise have been mistaken for a Hollywood matinee idol (which, in fact,
Good looks aside, Wild Bill could beat up on the baddies
with the best of them, while his 300-pound
companion added comic relief and not a little serious help at times. Despite his girth and blundering manor, Jingles
was good at disguises. Buckshot was Wild Bill's horse, while Jingles'
suffering steed was named Joker.
There was a real Wild Bill
Hickok in the 1800's, who was variously a Pony Express rider, Union scout during
the Civil War, scout for Colonel Custer, and Marshal of Abilene, Kansas. He did
not look like a matinee idol.
Begun as a syndicated program
for local broadcast, Wild
Bill Hickok was also
seen on CBS from 1955-1958 and on ABC from 1957-1958, in the daytime or late
afternoon. There was a concurrent radio version on Mutual from 1951-1956, also
starring Madison and Devine.