Sunday, June 30, 2013

COOL STUFF FROM LIBRARY BOOKS #27: Ed Gorman on GABBY HAYES, "The Olivier Of Sidekicks!"

Albie's note: While going through the large print westerns at my local Public Library I came across a great essay called "ON ROY ROGERS" written by mystery and western novelist Ed Gorman.  The whole essay is a hoot, but I especially loved these words that follow-- surely the greatest tribute that will ever be written for the "King of Sidekicks" George "Gabby" Hayes  (May 7, 1885 – February 9, 1969)  Just that astounding phrase "Olivier of Sidekicks" alone had me literally laughing out loud!

So now... Enjoy the whole passage:

Then there was Gabby.

Even when I was five and six and seven I knew instinctively that Gabby Hayes was the Olivier of sidekicks and that all the Fuzzy St. Johns and Pat Buttrams were only clumsy imitators. The reason for Gabby's superiority was simple.  He didn't do comedy.  He did Mark Twain-- the ultimate misanthrope.  Gabby had two modes-- pissing and moaning.  Sometimes he pissed and moaned in the same sentence! Usually that involved "females" and what a shoddy imitation of real human beings they were...
Roy and Dale and Gabby are good enough for any universe I ever inhabit.

From The Best Western Stories Of Ed Gorman, Thorndyke, Maine, G. K. Hall and Co. 1995

Gabby and wife, early 1950s



Oscar said...

I agree with Mr. Gorman. There was nobody like Gabby Hayes.

Albie The Good said...

OSCAR: Yer dern tootin'!

[Predictable response perhaps... but I could not resist that!]