Tod and Buz, in Mesquite, Texas "finishing up a 30 day job at a brick factory", meet performers at the town's rodeo. Two of the contestants hate the rodeo's clown and torment him with nasty...
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Tod and Buz, in Mesquite, Texas "finishing up a 30 day job at a brick factory", meet performers at the town's rodeo. Two of the contestants hate the rodeo's clown and torment him with nasty pranks. Buz is drawn into the latest gag unknowingly and helps both the rodeo clown and a female stunt rider to find peace with themselves. Written by
Zap! Suddenly we're in Texas, where the boys are working in a brick factory conveniently next to a rodeo. (Why not give them jobs at the rodeo?) Through much of it this episode just seems like a series of shots of a rodeo in action stitched together with a threadbare plot. Albert Salmi plays a former champion rodeo rider who lost a hand in an accident and who is now rodeo clown. Two cowboys, played by the great Ben Johnson, (Sam the Lion in "The Last Picture Show") and Slim Pickens, who actually was a rodeo clown before he became an actor, seem to dislike the easy-going Salmi and play mean tricks on him. T&B intervene, earning the enmity of the two cowpokes. Meanwhile Salmi has befriended the show's star female rider, who is grieving over her lost husband, (Audrey Totter, possibly a bit hold for her profession at this point).
The show gains depth at the end. Firstly, Johnson and Pickens kidnap Buz, dress him up as Salmi's lady love in a darkened trailer and tell him that 'she' wants him to propose, which he does in a touching scene Buz hears but can't respond to because he's gagged. Then Johnson and Salmi get in a fight and Johnson confesses that he hated Salmi precisely because he was so good-natured, no matter what happened to him or what they did to him. He couldn't stand to be in the same world with someone so saintly so he had to destroy him. A complicated motivation for a TV bad guy.
Not long after this Pickens was asked to ride a "bronco" of a different sort- by Stanley Kubrick.
(Irrelevant factoid: this is the second straight episode where a character has something wrong with his right hand.)
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