As soon as the western genre was established in the second decade of the last century, comedians headed to the frontier. From Chaplin and Keaton via the Marx Brothers to Abbott and Costello, the comic stars got their laughs by appearing far from home on the range among humourless tough guys riding tall in the saddle. As the B-western developed, its poker-faced, straight-shooting heroes had to be accompanied by comic sidekicks such as the ubiquitous George "Gabby" Hayes or Fuzzy Knight. At the same time there developed the comedy western, a relaxed, easy-going affair – James Stewart as the peaceful new sheriff refusing to carry a gun in Destry Rides Again, for instance, or shy cowpoke Gary Cooper being mistaken for a gunslinger in Along Came Jones.
In the 1960s, the