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Gabby Hayes Show, The


Original Air Date:
Prod. Co.:
NBC TV Network
Live Action

Characters & Voices
Gabby Hayes - Himself
Regular performers: -
Rita Shaw -
Eli Wallach -
Gabby Hayes, the loveable sidekick from several Western films, found a new role in 1950 as the loveable host of a children’s television show.

The Gabby Hayes Show featured short films that had been made specifically for the show's young and inquisitive audience. The initial film, for example, was a reenactment of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which appealed to the children's taste for adventure, and taught them history as well. Each episode began with Hayes and two guest children discussing the film they were about to see. Hayes also hosted visits from celebrity guests, including his former boss Roy Rogers and Rogers' wife, Dale Evans.

Later in production, the show was re-titled The Quaker Oats Show Starring Gabby Hayes, and Aunt Jemima products could be spotted all over the set.

Hayes often made crossover appearances on Howdy Doody, which aired directly after Hayes' show. But visits to that popular series weren’t enough to save Hayes when he found himself replaced by the younger, clean-shaven Pinky Lee, who, according to executives, would attract the ladies in a way Hayes hadn't.

Not quite ready to ride off into the sunset, however, Hayes was given a new home on ABC, where the show was extended to a half-hour. This series featured Hayes, with a log cabin set behind him, saying “This is your old pal Gabby Hayes, coming at ya with a rip-roarin’ Western.” He would then show some of the films that he had co-starred in. This new format would last for only two months.


Originally, The Gabby Hayes Show was presented as a historial dramatization concept where up and coming actors Rita Shaw(Who would later appear on "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" With Hope Lange, Edward Mullhare and Charles Nelson Reily) and Eli Wallach would perform in playlets depicting events from history. Radio and stage scriptwriter Jerry Coopersmith (Who would later write for The Dumount TV Network version of "Johnny Jupiter" and later write the Off-Broadway Musical comedy "Baker Street")collaborated on the scripts with Herman Wolk (The author of "The Caine Mutiny").

Unfortuneatly, the historial dramatazation concept didn't work out and the show was revamped as a film wraparound program where Mr. Hayes would entertain and inform his viewers inbetween the reruns of old movie westerns. He would mc the movie westerns tv series on both NBC and later on ABC TV.

Fred Rogers began his career in kids tv as Mr.Hayes' floor manager on The NBC TV Network version of the show.
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