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 a littleenclosure 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 great.
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 were hilarious.
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 immortality.
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 great nobodies.
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 great things!
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 don’t 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 to society.
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...
Wallace on Marshall Good (2007)
Marshall Good - Hands Out Foundation