March 7, 2023
Because of the Hays Code crackdown on risque images and bad language in Hollywood films, 1934-1968, many oldtimers (especially us Boomers) are under the mistaken notion that the humor in the Wild West was tame. We tend to think of ol' Gabby Hayes' sidewinder euphenisms as being authentic.
"Jumpin Jehosiphat! You young whippersnappers!"
In actuality, most Westerners in the real Wild West took their humor straight up, just like their whiskey. For proof, here's legendary cowboy artist, Charlie Russell, weighing in on one of the unfortunate consequences of prostitution.
"A Little Pain"
And, if you think the women were any better, here is a bawdy example of female humor.
"Tea On The Terrace, Madam?"
And back to Charlie Russell, he had a rough sense of humor that all the cowboys could relate to.
Yes, frontier humor could be quite bawdy and often quite blasphemous.
"It takes two Easterners to believe one Westerner."
—Old Cowboy Saying
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