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When a TV Cowboy Meets a Real-Life Cowboy

Rod Serling had fun developing and writing The Twilight Zone. He especially must have had fun writing the episode entitled "Showdown with Rance McGrew" (Season 3, Episode 20). In the introduction, he described the TV cowboy as "a $3,000 a week phony baloney," and he was right!

Tempers ran short when Marshal Rance McGrew sped up to the set in his Thunderbird and presumed to tell everyone how filming could be done better. But, then, he found himself in the twilight zone, where he was up against a Jesse James who was a head taller than he and not one single bit phony or baloney. Even the horse laughed at him.

It all went to what the nineteenth-century cowboys surely would think if they could look on from their graves and see how they were portrayed on television. No doubt, Mr. Serling wondered the same thing as he watched television one evening. He told the story well.

Where is that T-bird when you need it?

Watch "Showdown with Rance McGrew" on CBS All Access.

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