How Well Do You Remember "Have Gun - Will Travel"?

By: Susan McDonald
Image: CBS

About This Quiz

The late 1950s and early 1960s were the heyday of television westerns, and none is more iconic than "Have Gun - Will Travel." The show, which starred the rugged Richard Boone, was an immediate ratings hit and remained so throughout its lifespan. Do you still remember it?

How many years was "Have Gun - Will Travel" on the air?

The show aired for six seasons, debuting in September 1957 and wrapping up its run in April 1963. During that time, the show produced a whopping 225 episodes, each season ranging between 32 and 39 episodes.

The show's main character goes by the name Paladin. What is his first name?

Paladin's first name is never revealed, and it is strongly suggested that his last name is not real. People call him either Mr. Paladin or simply Paladin.

Where does Paladin say he came up with his name?

The Paladins, also called the Twelve Peers, were the foremost Knights of Charlemagne's Court, who ruled France in the eighth century. The name fits, because the character is quite gentlemanly, despite being a hired gun.

Where was Paladin educated?

Paladin is a graduate of West Point. This explains his wide-ranging knowledge, love of literature, and fluency in languages.

When he is not on the road, in what city does Paladin live?

When he is not traveling the west solving problems for his clients, Paladin lives in San Francisco. It's quite a different lifestyle from the one he leads in his professional life.

What is Paladin's official residence?

Paladin's permanent residence is the Hotel Carlton. It's an upscale place that enables him to enjoy the finer things, unlike his life on the road.

What is Paladin's profession?

Paladin is a gun for hire, but he is unlike most of his peers. He is a man with a strong sense of ethics who serves as a kind of troubleshooter, trying to resolve differences without violence, if possible.

Does Palatin have military experience?

Paladin served in the cavalry during the Civil War. Although his rank is never revealed, we do know that he was an officer.

What kind of symbol appears on Paladin's business card?

Paladin's business card depicts a backward-facing knight like those in a chess set. The same image appears on his holster.

Paladin's business card has instructions for contacting him. What are they?

Back in those days, contact information was uncomplicated. His card simply says "Wire Paladin" with the words "San Francisco" underneath. It seems to work, because he stays busy.

Paladin's business card includes the name of the show as a way to describe his services, but there is a slight difference between the way the words are styled in the show title and on the card. What is the difference?

While the show's official title is "Have Gun - Will Travel," Paladin's business card is a bit different. On the card, there is no punctuation, but the graphic image is between the phrases, serving to separate them.

What is Paladin's primary weapon of choice?

Paladin carries several firearms, as any good gunfighter should. However, his primary weapon is his trusty Colt .45 revolver, which he carries in a black holster.

Paladin has a way of communicating that is unusual for a Wild West gunfighter. What is it?

Paladin is definitely the most cultured of the TV western heroes. He often sums up a situation with a quote from a favorite poem, piece of literature, or the Bible.

Which of these is not a feature of Paladin's physical appearance?

Paladin is known for his all-black attire, including a wide-brimmed hat. He also has a thin mustache and wavy hair.

What does Paladin usually wear when he is in public places?

Although he is more casual when he is in his own room, Paladin gets spiffy when he is in public places like the bar. His usual attire is a three-piece suit with a frilly shirt and a bow tie.

What musical instrument does Paladin play?

Most of his clients probably don't realize just how cultured their hired gun is. When he is at home, he is often seen playing the piano.

What was the name of Paladin's horse?

The name of Paladin's horse is never revealed. In fact, he rides several horses during the course of the show's run and none of them seem to have a name.

What is the second line of the show's theme song?

The song begins with the line "Have gun will travel reads the card of a man," followed by "A knight without armor in a savage land." The song was co-written by series star Richard Boone and it became a hit on the radio.

Paladin has an Asian friend who works at his hotel and whose real name is rarely mentioned. What does Paladin call him?

Paladin is friendly with the Chinese bellhop who works at his hotel. The character's real name is rarely, if ever, revealed. He simply goes by Hey Boy.

The hotel's bellhop has a distinguishing feature. What is it?

Hey Boy has a long pigtail that hangs down his back. In today's world, the stereotypical depiction of an Asian character would be deemed offensive, but it was typical of TV shows and movies of the 1950s.

In a 1962 episode called "A Miracle for St. Francis," Paladin retrieves a statue of St. Francis of Assisi that has been stolen from a mission. What unusual item does he ask for as his fee?

Paladin knows that the mission has a rare bottle of brandy and asks the priest to let him taste just a couple of drops. The priest refuses, but finally agrees to give him the bottle if he retrieves the statue in time for the church's festival. Paladin succeeds, but drops the bottle and breaks it before he can taste its contents.

The episode "Man in an Hourglass" features a well-known character actor in the role of Cardiff, who is being pursued by a young man who thinks Cardiff killed his father, but the man is really just a thief. Who is the actor?

Edgar Buchanan played Cardiff in the episode. He later went on to play Uncle Joe on "Petticoat Junction," "The Beverly Hillbillies," and "Green Acres," in addition to many other roles.

Which of these actors did not guest star in an episode of "Have Gun - Will Travel"?

Lord, Roberts, and Bronson all had guest starring roles on the show. It aired a little before Giamatti's time.

Which of the following actresses did not guest star on the show?

Although she appeared in several other popular series of the time, Annette Funicello never made it to "Have Gun - Will Travel." She did a guest spot on "Wagon Train," though.

More than 20 episodes of the show were written by someone who is now better known for contributions to the science fiction genre. Who is it?

Before achieving acclaim with the prolific Star Trek franchise, Gene Roddenberry wrote episodes of numerous television series, including "Have Gun - Will Travel." His first episode was "The Great Mojave Chase" in 1957 and his last was "The Savages" in 1963, during the show's final season.

In several episodes, Paladin is seen receiving instruction in a practice that seems out of place for his character. What is it?

Sometimes a gun just isn't enough. Paladin is known to resort to using his fists, but he also has martial arts at his disposal and is seen using it in several episodes.

In an 1962 episode called "A Place for Abel Hix," a character named Lauro, a young Mexican man, rescues Paladin after he is left for dead, and is instrumental in solving the case. What actor, who later shot to fame, played Lauro?

A young Robert Blake played Lauro. He had previously made two other appearances on the show, playing different charaacters.

What is Paladini's typical fee for a job?

Paladin usually charges $1,000 per job -- quite a lot for that time period. However, there are often times when he doesn't get paid, gets less than his fee, or gives the money to someone else.

There is a casino in the hotel where Paladin lives. What are his favorite games?

Paladin likes to play blackjack and poker, and he's an ace at both. It makes sense that he would choose games that require some skill and cunning rather than games of chance.

What does Paladin wear when he is relaxing in his hotel room?

Paladin dresses just as sharply when he's in his room, just a bit more casually. He wears a silk smoking jacket over his shirt, vest and pants.

What is the scene of the show's closing credits?

As the closing credits roll, Paladin is seen entering the frame, pausing for a moment, and then heading down a trail in a deserted area. It is a fitting scene for a man who spends so much time traveling through barren wilderness.

In the show's final season, veteran actress Peggy Rea plays a character named Maggie McGuire in several episodes. Who is this character?

Maggie is a cleaning lady at the hotel where Paladin lives. She is an endearing character of whom Paladin is fond, although she tries to add a shamrock and her own name to his business cards.

A veteran actor who is noted for westerns and other tough guy roles appeared in five episodes of the show, beginning with "The Outlaw" in 1957 and ending with "Brotherhood" in 1963. Who is the actor?

Charles Bronson was one of the show's most frequent guest stars. In addition to the episodes already mentioned, he appeared once in 1958 and twice in 1961, playing a different character each time.

Two actors who later starred on the television series "M*A*S*H" appeared on "Have Gun - Will Travel." Who are they?

A very young Wayne Rogers made one of his earliest television appearances in a 1963 episode called "The Debutante." Harry Morgan appeared in "A Snare for Murder" and "American Primitive," playing different characters in both.

Hal Needham made more guest appearances on the show than anyone else, but not always as an actor. What was his other role?

Hal Needham had a long and successful career as an actor, including 46 appearances on "Have Gun - Will Travel," usually in very small roles. However, he worked on the show as a stunt man for Richard Boone in all six seasons.

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