Season 3 Episode 21

The People's Friend

Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Feb 07, 1960 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Penelope: What about those who fought for our freedoms … men like Nathan Hale!
      Bart: Well, you could think of a better example. They hanged him, you know.

      Revolutionary war hero, Nathan Hale, is often regarded as America's first spy. In 1776, during the Battle of Long Island, Hale, a teacher, volunteered to spy on British troop movements by posing as an unemployed schoolmaster. He was captured by the British as they burned New York City. Before being hung, Hale is reported to have declared : "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

    • When Bart says "I do not choose to run", and Penelope responds "That remark will not go down in history", they are alluding to a historical fact - about fifty years in the future! When Calvin Coolidge chose not to seek renomination, he announced his decision to reporters, writing : "I do not choose to run for President in 1928." Today, those ten words are still remembered as perhaps the most significant of Mr. Coolidge's six year Presidency.

    • Obviously, as he's only a gambler passing through town, Bart would not be allowed to run for the State Senate or probably even vote. At first glance, when the librarian announces she's going to vote for Bart, it might appear to be fanciful as well, since women weren't given the right to vote in most of the United States until the early-1900's. However, in some western states and territories, women gained suffrage rights earlier and could indeed vote in elections.

  • Quotes

    • Bart: You must be a politician, sir.
      Cosgrove: I prefer to look upon myself as a defender of those unalienable rights that are the heritage of our founding fathers.
      Bart: Really? Well, I reckon somebody's got to do it.
      Cosgrove: Don't scoff, friend. The trust of the public is not to be taken lightly.
      Bart: Just so long as the public isn't taken.

    • (Bart foils an assassination attempt)
      Citizen: This young man acted just in time If he'd a stopped, even for a second, to think about it, the assassin might have accomplished his foul deed.
      Bart: If I had stopped to think about it, sir, I don't think I woulda done it.

    • Bart: But why me? What makes you think I could win the election?
      Penelope: Because you're a popular hero. You're young and energetic, and you're also quite handsome. Oh, I'm speaking impersonally, Mr. Maverick. I gather, too, that you're clever with words.
      Bart: I'm very flattered, Miss Greeley, but nonetheless, I do not choose to run.
      Penelope: That remark will not go down in history.

    • Bart: Well, I, uh, reckon the first thing I should in asking all you wonderful people to vote for me is make promises. I understand anyone running for senator is supposed to do this. And I'd be only too happy to make promises, except for the dirty trick that my most worthy opponent pulled on me. He used up all the promises, he didn't leave me a single one! Well, the only qualification that I have for political office is that I am not a politician. Now, I've been told that the difference between a statesman and a politician is that the statesman keeps his eye on the next generation, and a politician has his eye on the next election. Well, I'm neither a politician nor a statesman, I'm just people, like all of you. But I can tell you this : I'll keep my eye on those politicians down at the state capitol, and if I find any of them in underhanded deals, I will scream like a scalded cougar. And I'm pretty good at spotting underhanded deals.

    • (Bart comes up behind Cosgrove as he's passing out cigars and takes one)
      Bart: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Cosgrove, but if you're attempting to bribe me, sir, it'll take a bit more than cigar.

    • (Bart ditches his "day job" and prepares to win some money at poker)
      Bart: All play and no work makes jack.

    • Penelope: Don't you realize you're running for State Senator on the Reform Party ticket?
      Bart: Yes, but, uh …
      Penelope: And that the word "reform" means just that : No Gambling. Why if I hadn't caught you, you might've lost any number of votes.
      Bart: You mean I have to give up card playing?
      Penelope: Well, of course not. Why there's always Solitaire and Old Maid.

    • Sheriff: Oh, Maverick. Turning in?
      Bart: Yeah, unless you know where there's a floating tiddlywinks game.

    • (Bart is grabbed by two hooded men)
      Bart: Halloween already?

    • Bart: Now, listen to me, Sheriff. Would I wake you up in the middle of the night just for publicity? Now, what kind of a man do you think I am?
      Sheriff: What kind of a man do I think you are? If I stopped to think about that, I'd run you right outta town. And if I'm gonna listen anymore, it's gonna be down at the jail!

    • Penelope: What would this country amount to if all its leaders were cowards? What about those who fought for our freedom, men like … men like Nathan Hale!
      Bart: Well, you could think of a better example. They hanged him, you know.
      Penelope: All right, be a quitter. Let Cosgrove and his grafters take over the Senate. Why should you care?
      Bart: I didn't say I didn't care. I just said I didn't want to be killed. Is that unreasonable?

    • Penelope: I guess I have been a little rough on you. You've had to change your way of life so much. No smoking, no gambling. Maybe I … Maybe I can allow you one vice, Bart.
      Bart (realizing her meaning, Bart kisses her): You know, next time, I think I'll run for Vice-President. (Penelope gives him a much bigger kiss and embrace)

  • Notes

    • In this episode, Bart is recruited to run for State Senate and makes his first campaign speech. Life would later imitate art in that Bart's portrayer, Jack Kelly, politicked his way onto the Huntington Beach (CA) City Council for three terms, serving as Mayor from 1983-1986. His campaign slogan was "Let Maverick Solve Your Problems."

  • Allusions

    • Boy (leading his bloodhound away): Come along, Baskerville.

      Like many Maverick episodes, this one involves a mystery. Naming the boy's hound Baskerville is a tip of the cap to Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's more popular Holmes' mysteries.