"The Trial of the Canary Kid"
Original air date Sep 15, 1959
Directed by Mongomery Pittman
Teleplay by Catherine Kuttner
Frances Bavier as Nancy Thomas
Lisa Gaye as Mrs. "Brimstone" Hoyt
Donald "Red" Barry as Arkansas
William Phipps as Hoyt
Gordon Jones as Sheriff
John Hubbard as Prosecutor Lee
Olan Souli as Judge Mason
Wayde Preston as Christopher Colt
Ty Hardin as Bronco Layne
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay
Adam West as Doc Holliday
Will Hutchins as
Tom Brewster & the Canary Kid
In this episode of Sugarfoot, they trotted out two favorite Warner Brothers television gimmicks, the star playing a dual role and cross-overs from other Warner productions. Tom's identical cousin, the Canary Kid, is set to go on trial for murder. Tom Brewster is forced to defend him when his Aunt Nancy (played by Frances Bavier prior to becoming Aunt Bea on The Andy Griffith Show) informs him that his old friend Judge Hall has been kidnapped by Canary's gang, to be held until Canary is free. When he gets to Blanchard, Tom runs into his old friend Chris Colt who was trailing the Canary Kid on a federal charge.
Tom Brewster starts out the show with a mustache to distinguish him from Canary but foolishly shaves it off. This facilitates the inevitable switch which results in the two trading places about half-way through the trial. This is accomplished when one of his cohorts screams out that he hates Texans right in front of Bronco Layne. The ensuing ruckus distracts the sheriff, giving Canary time to knock out Tom and exchange clothes.
Some of Canary's old gang testfy
Bronco becomes an unwitting part of the switch
The trial goes on with the cousins switched
As it turns out, Canary actually has an ailibi for the murder he's charged with. He was locked up in the Laramie jail for suspicion of stage robbery. Deputy Marshall Johnny McKay comes from Laramie to testify to this fact. He testifies they kept him for a few days and had to release him for lack of evidence.
When a dispute arises as to which is which, Johnny just happens to have a man with him who can tell them apart. Doc Holliday was in protective custody at the time and had the opportunity to do a little dental work on Canary. In Lawman episode "The Wayfarer," Doc Holliday (played by Adam West) was given jail accommodations by the Marshal. In court, Holliday examines Tom's teeth and declares them admirable, much better than the teeth of the Canary Kid.
His alibi confirmed, the Canary Kid confidently struts out of court only to be grabbed up by Johnny, who says that they now have sufficient evidence to convict him of the stage robbery. He's interrupted by Chris Colt who notes that Johnny is out of his jurisdiction. Canary thinks he's home free, until Colt notes his federal jurisdiction and promises to take him to Laramie first.
NiteOwl Review: We generally liked Sugarfoot with the affable, high-charged Will Hutchins as the affable, low-key Tom Brewster. This wasn't one of the best episodes, but it was decent enough. There's nothing very special about Peter Brown's cameo here so we haven't tried to upgrade our barely fair copy. It was just a throw-away cameo used to promote the ratings for this episode. Interestingly to us anyway, Lawman never used the cross-over cameo gimmick. For a better Peter Brown appearance with Will Hutchins, see his pre-Lawman guest spot in the Sugarfoot episode "Hideout."
Our Favorite Scene: They didn't get James Garner for a cameo, but they did use a wanted poster with his picture in the Marshal's office.
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