Discuss Gunsmoke

According to Dennis Weaver's bio, he almost didn't get the part of Chester Goode on Gunsmoke until he asked for a second chance to read the lines in a humorous, countrified accent and won the role. The accent that Dennis Weaver uses here is similar to that overdone one in the film The Gallant Hours. It seems that after starting Gunsmoke, he just used much the same accent in the later film role. (His natural Missouri accent is nothing like these affected ones.)

And Chester is a motormouth worrywart. I wonder if the writers did this completely on purpose, based on his initial script reading during testing for the part; or whether they decided, after the character was firmly established, that they couldn't move away from that character in any way by modifying his personality.

Anyway, I think the character got rather tiresome and annoying after awhile. I wonder if that had anything to do with Weaver's leaving the show long before the series ended. Maybe he got tired of it, too. :wink:

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@pt100 said:

According to Dennis Weaver's bio, he almost didn't get the part of Chester Goode on Gunsmoke until he asked for a second chance to read the lines in a humorous, countrified accent and won the role.

He also claimed that one reason he adopted that persona for the character of Chester (the accent, the limp) is that it helped to keep him from being completely overshadowed by James Arness's towering Marshal Dillon character. He later regretted adopting the limp, that turned out to be awkward and difficult; and he occasionally goofed it up--either forgetting to limp, and bending his knee; or limping on the wrong leg (!).

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