Monday, March 5, 2012

Gomer's Cowboy Show

Among the hundreds of folks trying to make a living in the Rio Grande Valley by entertaining is a really sweet couple who are billed as "Gomer & Patsy."  You can probably guess that he does an impression of Gomer Pyle and she sings Patsy Cline songs; but there's much more to it than that.

We met at the "showcase" (a truly hilarious misnomer) last year, and have now become good friends.

Gary Crain is the real name behind a number of characters who manifest onstage in monologues and multiple-personality conversations--Gomer, Pat Buttram, John Wayne, Don Knotts, Walter Brennan, Jimmy Stewart,  Foster Brooks, and, of course, Elvis--all put together around lots of good clean comedy.

Gary also sings (to tracks--but we forgive him), alternating throughout the show with songs from his truly sweet and lovely wife, Patricia (aka "Patsy"), who is now branching out into the material of other great singing femmes like Connie Francis.

They're very popular around the RGV, so we were flattered when Gary invited us to participate in a Cowboy Show they were getting ready to do at Tropic Star RV Resort in Pharr (not that pharr, really).  They needed someone to fill some time while they changed costumes for the different parts of their show, and, since we're putting together our own cowboy show, it was an opportunity for us to try out some of our stuff (at someone else's risk)!

In spite of some rough spots (as will happen the first time a show is performed), the audience was great, and we had a ball.

As usual, we begin our coverage of the event with a photo of the audience.  Not, however, the usual photo...
Recognize anyone?  (Well, the old guy standing at the front looks familiar.)  Just a precursor to the overall unusualness (?) of the evening.

"Patsy" started the show off in a darling Calamity Jane outfit she made, which, of course, we don't have a shot of, singing a number from Annie Get Your Gun.  John Wayne dominated the program, interacting with Buttram and Brennan, and at one point reciting his famous "Why I love America" monologue.

One of their more popular sketches is an encounter between Patsy and Foster Brooks. 

She's not having any.

Is that a cute outfit, or what?
(Patsy looks good, too.)

Then it was time for the fill-in act--us.

At this point, Judy revealed that she, in fact, had a cowgirl hat.

                                                     Oh, yes she did!


We happen to have a lot of photos of Judy with her fist in her face, taken by kind folks who don't seem to notice that her lovely physiognomy is obstructed.  But, how about that hat!

Now, the moment has arrived we've been covering for:  the arrival of Gary on horseback...

Patsy also made the horse, replete with rider's big, uh, bottom and short legs!

Anyone recommend a good equine orthodontist?

Not easy to hold the reins and a microphone!  The horse was so skittish, he was prancing and sidestepping all over the stage.  Well, it was his first performance, and it was more than cute.  And that horse left more than hoofprints on that stage!  (Theatrical magic!)

We must not have done that badly at our part, because we were invited onstage for the finale, a brief rendition of the classic "Happy Trails," written by Dale Evans.
How 'bout all those shiny domes!  If they had all leaned forward, Whitt might have had better lighting!

Watch for our new Cowboy Show (sorry, no horse), making its debut this coming season, and if you ever get an opportunity to see Gomer & Patsy, do it.  And tell 'em Whitt & Judy say "Hey"!

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