Howdy, Howdy, Howdy . . .
Marshall Good was the show’s resident cowboy. In reality,
he was a mooching, has-been actor. In the early years he would
ride onto the set on Meredith the Wonder Horse, a bicycle with a
plaster horse molded around it.
Perpetually broke, Marshall Good (played by Pat McMahon) was constantly
asking for money, spare food (“Any extra Ladmo Bags
lying around?”) or even a place to live. He was not
above asking the people from the Arizona Humane Society if there
was any spare room at the animal shelter (“ . . . just
for the night . . .”). Marshall Good once wrote off
his pickup truck as a medical expense because he was sick when
he bought it.
My favorite was Marshall Good. When you see a cowboy
ride up on a bicycle with a horse’s head on it,
and Pat [McMahon] was not the hugest guy in town, and
here he is in, naturally, an all-white costume with flowers
on the shoulders. He would try and teach Ladmo the ways
of life and that kind of stuff and give Ladmo speeches
. . . and want five bucks from Ladmo after he told him.
His code of the West was ‘Love your mom, love your
horse and don’t pick on any girls bigger than you.’ That’s
Also, what was good about them and every
character they ever did, and Marshall Good did his fair
share, was to use towns that we were all familiar with
growing up in Arizona .
[They would] use Ajo or Cashion. Bisbee or Buckeye. You’d
hear these towns and you passed through them. For them
to say they’re
going to take a bus tour to Ajo . . . Marshall Good’s
trying to drum up business to get a bus tour to Ajo and
if he fills the bus he gets to go on free. Ladmo says ‘Well,
how many people do you got?’ ‘None, I’m
trying to get you.’ That’s
top-notch to me. That’s top-shelf material.
I enjoyed watching Marshall Good
because he seemed so downhearted at not being a big Hollywood star.
Marshall Good, an out-of-work cowboy.
Always bumming money. Even when I was young I thought that
was funny because I knew people like that and still do. The
facial responses by Wallboy when Marshall Good hit him up
Ladmo: It’s Marshall Good!
Come in, Marshall Good.
Marshall Good: You know, Ladmo, I’ve
been on this show since 1964. I don’t know why you
introduce me because they should know who
I am by now.
Ladmo: Well, you see, you’re still getting
letters addressed to ‘that old has-been.’ But cheer
up! At least they know what you are.
Marshall Good: To be remembered as a forgotten
movie star? Oh, the pain!
Ladmo: Don’t be depressed, Marshall
Good. Try to think of being forgotten as a... a sort of a reverse
Marshall Good: Reverse immortality...?
Ladmo: Yeah, yeah. Just think:
your existence blanked out for eternity. The name of Marshall
Good lost forever in a fitting tribute to you, one of the world’s
Marshall Good: That’s good?
Ladmo: Sure, sure. It’s
no trick to get remembered forever. I mean, look who did
it: Julius Caesar, Socrates, Columbus...
Marshall Good: Yeah, but those people did
Ladmo: Well, they had to. They were going
to be remembered forever. But you, you can do whatever you want.
You can spend your life being shiftless, lazy and a moocher. You
have to be great because no one’s gonna remember you anyway.
Marshall Good: Wait! I think I see what
you mean! I should be thankful for my obscurity... because
it relieves me of the responsibility of making a contribution
Ladmo: That’s right!
Marshall Good: Ladmo! I feel so much better!
Hey, thank you, buddy.
Ladmo: You’re welcome.
Marshall Good: It’s good to know that
in the long run I don’t matter...