A variety of opinions on Smiley Burnette
October 24, 2011
As regular readers of this site well know, I have a very low opinion of the fat man in the battered hat and the antics he calls ‘comedy.’ Over the years, folks have chimed in with their own opinions. I am sharing some of them here in the spirit of reasonableness and openness to others’ opinions. (But he still sucks.)
Ed: I just received a set of DVDs containing 46 Durango movies. The couple I’ve seen so far confirms your opinion that Smiley Burnette was spectacularly unfunny.
Joe, Sr. : R. SMILEY BURNETT I HAVE NEVER LAUGHT SO MUCH, AS WHEN I SEEN YOU DO YOUR MAGIC ON THE WESTERNS, I DO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT 300-SONGS. SO MUCH TALENT YOU HAVE. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS. YOUR PAL DRANGO KID WILL SHOOT ME! I DID NOT GET HIS NAME RIGHT!
Luciano: I think that in terms of songs by Smiley Burnette, this film, Cyclone Fury, has some of the best. His song “I’ll be getting some sleep” by the coffin is great, so is “Hear the Wind”, a song that he sings by the chuckwagon in order to earn a bite to eat.
Mun Mun: I agree that Starrett always does a great job of feigning amusement at Smiley’s comedy routines.
Steve: I think you’re being a bit hard on ol’ Smiley. I always liked the guy, even though he could be a bit too annoying in some films. Of course, it was in the script that he act that way.
Bruce: SMILEY BURNETTE: agree with you on your blog, he is the single most negative factor in every DK movie, thank God for remotes & fast forward. He’s even annoying on many one sheets where frequently he dominates them more than Charley. Autry never gave him the seemingly free licence he had with Charley.
Mike: Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion and while Smiley’s buffoonish comedy may not appeal to you, he was definitely popular with Western movie audiences of the Forties and Fifties. Even after leaving movies, he took his act on the road to state fairs where people still remembered him and then of course to Petticoat Junction. He wrote countless songs, was able to play a number of instruments and his bug-eyed look and gravelly voice always found an audience.