YMMV / Gunsmoke

The radio and TV show:

  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Chester is the closest thing to a Butt-Monkey in the radio series, known mainly for his excessive eating, loose lips and general incompetence, but on two instances, Chester has proved that when he absolutely has to, he can answer the call. First in the episode "Doc Judge", Chester is tasked with protecting Doc from a vindictive man who had mistaken Doc for the Judge who sentenced him to prison. Another example is in "Ex-Urbanites", Doc is shot by a Wolfer in the middle of nowhere and Chester has to not only doctor the doctor, but feed him, as well as protect him from his persistent assailants, all without Matt. He actually pulls this off with a strong air of badass around him, although he does cheat a little.
    • Episode one definitely sets the precedent for the rest of the series. The fact that it starts off with the John Wayne giving it an introduction, where he says that he thinks Gunsmoke is a great show, is very high praise coming from him.
    • Any episode in which Chester got to be the badass- he was not only a good shot but could be quite lethal in a fist fight if necessary. A fine example was the episode "Quint's Trail" in which Chester manages to track down a con artist, ropes him and drags him to the ground, and when the guy tries to fight back, Chester takes a shot as a warning NOT TO TRY THAT AGAIN!. He not only gets the money back but also hauls the man to jail, while Matt failed to track the man down at all.
    • One episode featured a female Haggen- Festus' cousin- visiting Dodge. She's raped by an outlaw and Festus hunts him down and kills him without hesitation. Matt has to arrest Festus but implies that the trial jury will let him go. Obviously, they did.
  • Designated Hero: Matt, in the early seasons, was more likely to kill people with an Instant Death Bullet than arrest or at least injure them, making him seem the "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of lawman. A widow of one of the perpetrators he gunned down calls him out on this in "Reward For Matt". He says he takes no pride in killing, but rarely shows shame.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: The writers of the show got a lot of mail (especially from women) stating that they wanted to see Matt and Miss Kitty get married. The writers toyed with the idea, but felt that if Matt was married he really couldn't go out and do all the dangerous things he did.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Matt's constant greetings of "hello, Kitty" become this thanks to a certain franchise that became a worldwide icon some decades after the show was aired.
  • The Scrappy: Some consider Chester to be almost completely useless when trying to help Matt on the job. Which was odd seeing as Chester could be rather formidable on his own, as he proved numerous times against groups of bandits.
  • Values Dissonance: "Yorky" shows a boy raised by Arapahoes being talked into integrating into a white community, or a "civilized" community, as Matt and Chester put it.

The comic

  • Complete Monster: In the comic, Jim Carr is an Amoral Attorney seeking to be the greatest cattle rustler in the West. To do so, he takes advantage of a village's tensions to create a range war so bad that "the range will run red." To do so, he murders some ranchers to do a Frame-Up for the other side. His original plan to kill a few more ranchers to start the war is complicated by the arrival of Gunsmoke. To speed things up, he kills the neutral sheriff, who happens to be his father-in-law, and tries to frame him as taking a side.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Carr murders his own father-in-law so a range war he's masterminding gets bloody quicker.