Have Gun Will Travel NRA episode

There is an episode of the 1950s television show, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Protege that I call Have Gun-Will Travel, the NRA.

Have Gun – Will Travel was one of several shows I used to watch with my sister well over a half-century ago, when we were pre-teens. Recently I noticed that some of these very old shows were available on Youtube and watched some episodes, not really knowing what to expect: I remembered the names of our favorite shows but little else.

Most of those shows were unwatchable. Shows I had vague but good memories of had to be abandoned: they were so dated and amateurish I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes. Have Gun – Will Travel was the exception. It’s rather trite and melodramatic by today’s standards but still watchable, and far better than the other shows from that era that I sampled.

As a sentimentalist, part of me hoped that Paladin would shoot just the gun hand and leave Sprague alive. But this would make no sense dramatically nor in gunmanship. I wonder if an episode like this could be staged today: I’m afraid many Americans would be rooting for Sprague and hoping he killed Paladin. :eek:

I’m currently watching the series (along with Mission Impossible and Hogan’s Heroes). Some are more watchable than others, but all three are a step above what is typical for that era. I’m surprised about Have Gun, Will Travel as I don’t remember liking it when I was a kid.

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Hogan’s Hero’s is good but creepy when you remember the Bob Crane real-life skeevyness.

I bought the first season of Mannix and began watching it. It holds up surprisingly well, 50 years later. Even my (20-something) kids are hooked.

That’s true, but has anyone involved with his adventures come out and said that they were unwilling participants?

Otherwise, he was just making homemade porn, which is almost mainstream these days.

It is skeevy how he died though.

I didn’t watch HGWT when I was a kid because I thought Paladin was a dick.

I watched Wagon Train with my Grandmother when I was a kid. I’ve watched a couple of seasons of it now, and I don’t remember a damn thing except the core actors.


A guy terrorized by a gunslinger in his home town hires Paladin to teach him to be a gunman. It is successful, but the protege begins terrorizing other people. Paladin asks him why he insists on carrying the gun and shooting people. “Because it makes me feel good! I am somebody!” He thinks it is cool to carry a gun and act cool, hurting others.

Hogan’s Heroes takes on a deeper level of fun when you realize that all the actors playing Nazis are Jewish!

I knew that Werner Klemperer was Jewish, and accepted the part with the assurance that “Klink would never win”. I did not know that all the Nazi parts were played by Jews.

And this is your takeaway of what the NRA is about?

No, but I imagine that the protagonist in this episode would join up.

Have Gun-Will Travel, Should the North Kick the South Out of the Union?

Oh, I think the West should kick out the East, but then Rhode Island isn’t all that bad.

Okay, fair 'nuf.

I watched the whole thing through. I watched it as a kid also, but didn’t get half the references. The very first time we see Paladin he is descending the staircase of the hotel with a lady, with quite a smile on his face.
Did you know the dance of the Orion slave girl from the first ST pilot came right from HGWT? Roddenberry’s scripts were usually pretty good.
Some of the show was hilarious. In one he takes charge of Oscar Wilde on a lecture tour, and we find that most of Wilde’s famous aphorisms came from Paladin. (They expected a higher class of audience back then.)
I remember the episode mentioned in the OP, and didn’t think NRA myself. By the end of the series it seemed that Paladin, the good guy, was seriously beginning to question the number of men he had killed.

What does that have to do with the NRA?

The antagonist would have joined right up. The kind of guy that helps give them a bad name.

It sounds like he became a bad guy with a gun. Who stopped him?