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Spoof on Bonanza TV Show

by Ron Kurtus (18 Jan 1971)

NOTE: Bonanza was a higly popular television show in the 1970s that took place in the Old West. The main characters were Ben Cartwright and his sons Little Joe and Hoss. I could imagine this skit on some comedy/variety show, such as those done by Bob Hope.

(The scene is the Silver Dollar Saloon in Virginia City. Little Joe is at the bar, having a beer. Behind the bar, washing some glasses, is the bartender, It is early in the afternoon, and there aren’t many customers in the saloon yet. At the other end of the bar two cowpokes are drinking and talking together. They are both seedy characters, with dirty sweaty clothes and with several days growth of beard. They both also are wearing their guns low...)

COWPOKE #1:Say, isn’t that Joe Cartwright at the other end of the bar?

COWPOKE COWPOKE #2: It sure is. It’s one of those damn Cartwrights. They think they're so smart.

COWPOKE #1: Yeah, I know what you mean. And he's got enough money — he could buy everybody here a drink. But he's too cheap and too big for his britches.

COWPOKE #2: That whole family, and their big ranch; the Ponderosa, gets me mad. They think they can run the town and push people around with all their money. They're just a bunch of snot—noses.

COWPOKE #1: Hey, Cartwright.

(Little Joe doesn’t respond)

COWPOKE #1: (louder): Hey, Cartwright:

(Little Joe slowly turns his head)

LITTLE JOE: You talking to me?

(COWPOKE #1 starts walking towards doe)

COWPOKE #1: Yeah, I'm talking to you.

(COWPOKE #2 starts walking over to doe also)

COWPOKE #1: I want you to buy me a drink.

LITTLE JOE: Why should I? I don't even know you.

(They've both reached Joe by now)

COWPOKE #2: I told you. He's too doggone cheap.

(Joe turns from them and continues to drink his beer)

COWPOKE #1: Cartwright, you're such a big man in this town, but yet you're too cheap to buy a couple of fellows a drink.

(Joe continues to ignore them)

COWPOKE #2: Cartwright, you're really nothing. You're just trash.

COWPOKE #1:(Angrily): Listen to us, Cartwright

(COWPOKE #1 pushes Joe and he-spills his beer)

COWPOKE #2: Did you hear what we said to you, Cartwright?

LITTLE JOE:, Hey, cut that out.

COWPOKE #2: I think Cartwright’s chicken. He’s yellow.

COWPOKE #1: I think so too. You're yellow Cartwright.

(Joe just looks at them, and doesn’t say anything, but you can see that there is fire in his eyes)

(The bartender comes over to the scene of action)

Bartender: Say fellows, why don't you break it up?

COWPOKE #1: You need the bartender to look after you Cartwright?

(Joe lunges at the cowpokes, and COWPOKE #2 takes a swing and hits Joe on the shoulder)

LITTLE JOE: Why you...

(Joe doesn’t have an opportunity to retaliate, because COWPOKE #1 grabs his arms and pins them behind him. Then COWPOKE #2 socks Joe in the stomach. He is ready to hit Joe again, when Hoss walks in through the swinging doors.)

(Close-up to the bartender's face, as he attracts Hoss's attention to the plight of Little Joe)

Bartender (loudly): Hoss!

(Hoss Is just inside the saloon. he turns, aler-t, with legs spread. Then he sees the two cowpokes manhandling Little Joe, his muscles tense, like a raging bull.)

HOSS: (sounding gay) Thay you guyth. Are you hurting my little brother

(COWPOKE #1 drops Joe's-arms, and both cowpokes stare at Hoss.)

LITTLE JOE: Yeth Hoss. They were being mean to me. They're both just naughties.

COWPOKE #2: We didn’t mean no harm. We was just having some fun with him.

HOSS: That's not what I call fun, you meanie. I'm going to thlap you with my purth.

(Hoss then proceeds to sashay over to COWPOKE #2)

COWPOKE #2: You know, you're really cute when you get angry.

HOSS: Well, you're not so bad looking yourself, thweety. I could go for you.

(Hoss flutters his long eyelashes and adjusts his hair in the back.)

COWPOKE #2: I'll tell you what: why don't we go over to my place and "talk" things over?

HOSS: That's fine with me, you handsome devil, you.

COWPOKE #2: No hard feelings then?

(Hoss grabs his arm)

HOSS: Come on, muscles. We're wasting time.

(Hoss and COWPOKE #2 leave the saloon arm-in-arm)

COWPOKE #1: (putting his hand on his hips) Well, what the hell do you think of that?

(Little Joe grabs his arm)

LITTLE JOE: Shall we join them?

COWPOKE #1: Why not?

(They prance out, Fade-out to the bartender as he goes back to cleaning the glasses.)