What Happened to Chester on Gunsmoke?

November 10, 2023

If you're a fan of Gunsmoke, then you know that the character of Chester Goode is a mainstay on the show. He is Marshal Matt Dillon's loyal sidekick, and he provides comic relief with his thick accent and bumbling behavior. Chester was portrayed by Parley Baer on the radio version of the show, and then by Dennis Weaver when Gunsmoke moved to television screens. Eventually, the producers added a limp to the character, giving him a unique trait that helped to distinguish him from other sidekicks like Festus Haggen and Doc Adams.

One of the most interesting aspects of Chester on Gunsmoke is that he never carried a gun. In fact, he didn't even wear a badge. Weaver told IMDB that this was part of the producers' plan to make him appear non-violent. However, he did back up Dillon when apprehending bad guys.

In the end, it was a combination of factors that caused Weaver to leave Gunsmoke. He wanted to work on other projects, and he also disagreed with the show's producers and writers over his character's direction.

Even so, Gunsmoke managed to thrive without Chester for 11 seasons, and the show was ultimately able to replace him with Festus Haggen. Although the new character was different in many ways, he quickly became one of the most beloved on-screen companions to the marshal.


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