Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Sugarfoo, Sugarfoot

Easy lopin' cattle ropin'


Carefree as the tumbleweeds

A joggin' a-long

With a heart full of song

And a volume of the law

Sugarfoot, Sugarfoot

Never underestimate a Sugarfoot

Once you get his dander up

Ain't no one who's quicker on the draw

You'll find him

On the side of law and order

From the Mexicali border

To the rolling hills of Arkansas

Sugarfoot Sugarfoot

Easy lopin' cattle ropin'


Riding down

To cattle town

A joggin' a-long

With a heart full of song

With a rifle and a volume of the law

From 1957 to 1961, Will Hutchins played the amiable Tom Brewster in 69 episodes of Sugarfoot, an early Warner Brothers western in a rotating Tuesday night slot with Cheyenne and Bronco.  Brewster was a correspondence student who came to the Oklahoma Territory to become a lawyer.   Because the sarsaparilla-drinking Easterner appeared to have little or no cowboy skills, he was dubbed a "sugarfoot" -- a somewhat derisive term that placed him lower than a tenderfoot.  In reality, of course, Brewster could handle a gun well but refused to because of his dislike for violence.

The television show had nothing to do with the 1951 Randolph Scott oater Sugarfoot, nor the Clarence Budington Kelland novel the film was based on.  Rather, the first episode was a remake of a 1954 Will Rogers, Jr., vehicle called The Boy from Oklahoma, using the same plot and characters.  Sheb Wooley and Slim Pickens repeated their film roles for the pilot, which also included Dennis Hopper as Billy the Kid.  Hutchins also reprised his character for a number of crossover episodes in various Warner Brother westerns.

"The Trial of the Canary Kid" has Tom Brewster reluctantly defending his cousin Abram Thomas (the "Canary Kid," played  by Hutchins in a dual role) for murder.  It turns out that the Kid's gang is holding a judge hostage and is threatening to kill if the Canary Kid is not freed.

Also featured in this episode were Frances Bavier (Mayberry's Aunt Bee), Red Barry (Red Ryder), Lisa Gaye, Olan Soule, and Warner Brothers crossovers Ty Hardin (Bronco) and Peter Brown (Lawman); also in the cast was Adam West, reprising his Lawman role of Doc Holliday.

The episode, which led off the show's third season, was directed by Montgomery Pittman, who directed three of the four episodes that featured the Canary Kid.  Pittman also provided the story for "The Trial of the Canary Kid."  Script duties fell to Catherine Moore (as Catherine Kuttner), a well-known and popular science fiction writer who left the field after the death of her husband and collaborator Henry Kuttner and turned to television writing.  This was the fifth episode of Sugarfoot that she worked on.  She also wrote for Warner Brothers shows Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip.


1 comment:

  1. This episode turns up on several public domain western collections, but seems to be the ONLY one. Warner Brothers has issued full seasons of Cheyenne, but what the hell is taking them so long on all their other great shows??