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Guestward Ho - Dude ranch in New Mexico featured on the situation comedy GUESTWARD HO!/ABC/1960-61.


The staff of the Guestward Ho! included:

  • Mark Miller as Bill Hooton, a Manhattan ad executive who wanted to escape the bustle of the big city so he buys a dude ranch (sight unseen) in the desert only to find it run-down and in need of repair.
    Joanne Dru as Babs Hooton, Bill's wife who helps run the ranch
    Flip Mark as Brook Hooton, Bill's son
    Earle Hodgins as Lonesome, the ranch foreman

After arriving at his new home, Mark discovered that the only place within miles to buy supplies was a trading post run by a Wall Street savvy Native American businessman named Chief Hawkeye (J. Carroll Naish).

Hawkeye sold authentic Indian trinkets (made in China) at the trading post as well as at the souvenir stand set up across from the reservation desk at the Guestward Ho. A beautiful Indian maiden named Pink Cloud (Jolene Brand) assisted Hawkeye in selling his wares.

When not profiting off the locals, Chief Hawkeye was dreaming of ways he could regain control of his ancestral lands stolen by the White man.

Title Card - GUESTWARD HO!

Besides the conniving antics of Hawkeye, Bill Hooten had two other problems. First, his wife wanted to move back to Manhattan. She freaks out when she hears a coyote howl.

The other problem was the lack of customers. Despite a modest rate of $25 a day, the Hooten's struggled to attract clients to the ranch. One stumbling block was the Flying Horse Dude Ranch, a rival dude ranch.

Of course, Hawkeye was anxious to making the Hooten's dude ranch profitable. After all, without customers there wouldn't be anyone to buy all of his cheap and questionable merchandise.

Also on hand to help run the Hooten's dude ranch were Lonesome (Earle Hodgins), the foreman, and Rocky (Tony Montenaro, Jr.).

Theme Song Lyrics
by Earle H. Hagen & Arthur Hamilton)

Guestward Ho!
Over the Mountains, Guestward Ho!,
Over the Plains, Guestward Ho!
Under a sun so hot that it can rattle your brains,
Together we roam like a stage
Over rattlesnake and sage
Guestward Ho!
Guestward Ho!

Guestward Ho!, over the mighty river
Faithfully on we go,
Climb with those dragging feet
Guestward Ho!

Bury the mountains, Guestward Ho!
Bury the Hills, Guestward Ho!
Bury whatever threatens our family’s pioneer plans,
And so with spunk and with romance,
We’ll live out our western dance,
Guestward Ho!,
Guestward Ho!


TRIVIA NOTE: The 39 episode series was based on the book "Guestward Ho" (Vanguard Press, 1956) written by Barbara C. Hooton and Patrick Dennis (author of Auntie Mame).

"The bars are down and the horseplay never lets up as Barbara holds the fort for eager widows and willing husbands, vacation-happy maidens and pleasure bent cowboys...all proving that the West was never wilder." - Book Blurb, 1960 edition


The series was originally conceived as a vehicle for Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy fame) who shot a pilot for the show in 1958 for CBS.

J Carroll Naish, an Irishman known for his ability to play multiple ethnic roles, had previously appeared as Chief Sitting Bull  in the feature film "Annie Get Your Gun (1950).

Comic Guy Marks also played a Native American character named Pink Cloud on the western spoof RANGO starring Tim Conway.

Joanne Dru was the sister of Peter Marshall, the host of the game show HOLLYWOOD SQUARES.

A Chicago Tribune review stated "You'll laugh, you'll'll like Guestward Ho!"

Obituaries: Joanne Dru: 09/10/1996; J. Carroll Naish: 01/24/1973;

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