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"He Wore A Cane And Derby Hat, They Called Him Bat, Bat Masterson"
One of the things about this show that lingers in my mind besides the nattily dressed Gene Barry was the fact that this show eschewed any kind of supporting cast. No sidekicks, no permanent love interests, what you got was Gene Barry as Bat Masterson taming the west in his own small way.
The real Bat was quite the dude himself, maybe not as noble a character as Barry played him. That cane was as effective as the Irish Shillelagh and he used it more to disarm opponents than kill them. He wasn't always the gentleman, Masterson did make a living as a scout and a buffalo hunter and I doubt he was so stylish on the trail.
Barry was a literate and bright western hero, he would have to be because the real Bat Masterson eventually made a living as a newspaper reporter for a quaint metropolitan newspaper. If he didn't always battle for truth, justice, and the American way, he always reported it in a dignified manner.
The real Bat Masterson made his living in the last century, died, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. I think he would have liked the way Gene Barry played him.
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