Yancy Derringer is an American Western series that was broadcast on CBS from 1958 to 1959, with Jock Mahoney (1919–1989) in the title role. The show was produced by Derringer Productions and filmed in Hollywood by Desilu Productions. Derringer Productions consisted of half interest for Warren Lewis and Don Sharpe as executive producers, a quarter interest to Jock Mahoney for starring in the series, and a quarter interest to Richard Sale and Mary Loos, husband and wife, as creators. Desilu had just completed the 1956 series The Adventures of Jim Bowie, which was also set principally in New Orleans. The show's sponsor was Johnson Wax (now S. C. Johnson), and Klear floor wax was a regular sponsor.
X Brands, Frances Bergen and Jock Mahoney in 1959.
|Created by||Mary Loos|
|Written by||Kellam de Forest|
|Directed by||Richard Sale|
William F. Claxton
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||34|
|Executive producer(s)||Warren Lewis|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||October 2, 1958– June 4, 1959|
The Sales based the series on a 1938 short story written by Richard Sale. In the 1930s, Sale was one of the highest-paid pulp writers. The story was never mentioned, but it was about a destitute aristocrat and troublemaker who returns to New Orleans three years after the Civil War. In the story, Derringer has no first name; "Yancy" was added for the television series.
The titular character, Yancy Derringer, is a gentleman adventurer and gambler. He is a former Confederate Army captain who has returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, in the southern Reconstruction Era. The state is under Union control and martial law. The atmosphere is similar to Germany after World War II with a strong military presence and oversight. Life goes on in New Orleans despite the fact that the city's atmosphere is forbidding, filled with trepidation and mourning. The Derringer family itself had paid a heavy price in both lives and property during the Civil War. Yancy's brother David and his father Yancy, Sr., had died in the conflict.
Widely respected by all parts of New Orleans society as a southerner who never surrendered, Derringer is recruited by the Federal City Administrator, John Colton, to work as a secret agent at no pay; and only Colton knows of his special role. Often at the beginning of an episode, Colton, a former Union Army colonel, asks Yancy to help solve New Orleans' present threat; and often, usually at the end of an episode, he arrests Yancy for breaking the law to do it. Yancy agrees to be Colton's "huckleberry," because Yancy feels the United States should be one nation again. Huckleberry was just one of many unique southern slang terms creator Richard Sale brought into use during the show. One slang definition of Huckleberry is man, guy, or fellow, as in "I'm your huckleberry."
Yancy owns a riverboat, the Sultana. (The actual riverboat of the same name sank from a fire/explosion on April 27, 1865, with a great loss of life, including returning Union soldiers.) His weapons of choice are four-barrel Sharps pepperbox derringer handguns carried concealed (one held by a clamp inside the top of his hat, one in his vest's left pocket under his jacket and one up his jacket's left sleeve in a wrist holster) and a knife in his belt. (A belt buckle inset with a toy single-barrel derringer, sold by Mattel at the time and popularly associated with Yancy, did not resemble anything that the character actually used.) He is an expert marksman. He also carries a cane or a riding crop with hidden swords and is said to have iron fists: one punch and his opponent remains unconscious for a day. Yancy dresses elegantly, most often in a white suit with a long coat, ruffled white shirt, a silk vest, a sash instead of a belt, a black under-the-collar bow tie, and a white flat-topped straw hat with curled brim.
Yancy's sidekick, Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah, is a silent Pawnee American Indian who communicates only by sign language. Pa-hoo-Ka-Ta-Wah is Pawnee for "wolf who stands in water" (as mentioned in the first episode). Although Pahoo is short on talk, he is long on action. Beneath a blanket wrapped about his body, he carries a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun loaded with split buckshot, which he wields in emergencies. Most of the time, however, he uses a throwing knife sheathed on his back.
Yancy and Pahoo live at the family plantation, Waverly. Yancy's recurring love interest is Madame Francine (played by Frances Bergen, mother of Candice Bergen), the strong-willed, beautiful owner of a members-only gambling house in New Orleans. Her real name is Nora and she is actually Irish. Bridget Malone (played by Margaret Field, mother of Sally Field) is an Irish lass recently arrived from Ireland, originally endangered by the ship's crew but rescued by Derringer. Miss Mandarin, Mei Ling, a former love interest and close friend of Yancy, is the proprietor of his favorite place to dine, the Sazerac Restaurant. Yancy also sometimes dines, usually al fresco, at the Charter House Restaurant, whose specialty is French cuisine, and gambles at the Blackjack Club. Most of Yancy's out-of-town associates stay at the King Louis Hotel.
- Jock Mahoney - Yancy Derringer
- X Brands - Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah
- Kevin Hagen - John Colton, the City Administrator of New Orleans
- Frances Bergen - Madame Francine
- Robert McCord, III - Captain Fry, local head of the United States Secret Service
- Richard Devon - Jody Barker, Bourbon Street pickpocket
- Larry J. Blake - Turnkey, the Jailer
- Bill Walker - Obadiah, and also Jeremiah, doorman of Madame Francine's club (uncredited)
- Woody Chambliss - Captain Tom of the Sultana
- Gene Collins - Willy Quill, Sultana pilot
- Kelly Thordsen - Colorado Charlie
- Lisa Lu - Miss Mandarin
- Marvin Bryan- Lt. Bacon
- Margaret Field (billed as Maggie Mahoney) - Bridget Malone
- Sandy Kenyon - Willy Nilly, bartender at the Sazerac
- Claude Akins - Toby Cook
- Beverly Garland - Coco LaSalle
- Noreen Nash- Agatha Colton
- Lee Kendall- Blackjack Benson
- Joan Taylor- Lavina Lake
- Mickey Morton- Wee Willie Benson
- James Foxx- The O'Hara
- John Qualen- Captain Sven Larsen
Madame Francine's club hostessesEdit
- Patricia Blair - Goldy
- Charlene James - Pearl Girlfool
- Joan Boston - Opal
- Jane Burgess - Chrystal
- Julie Adams - Amanda Eaton (first episode only)
- Nick Adams - Duke Alexis in "The Night the Russians Landed"
- John Anderson - Wayne Raven
- Charles Bronson - Rogue Donovan
- Ray Danton - Spade Stuart ("An Ace Called Spade")
- Jim Davis - Bullet Pike
- Gene Evans - Lonesome Jackson
- Louise Fletcher - twins Miss Nellie and Miss Alithia
- Brett King - Jesse James in "Outlaw at Liberty"
- J. Pat O'Malley - Captain Billy of the Sultana
- Steve Pendleton - Sheriff Anderson in "The Louisiana Dude"
- Stuart Randall - Marshal Ike Milton in "Gone But Not Forgotten" (1959)
- Karen Sharpe - Patricia Lee in "A Game of Chance" (1959)
- Dan Sheridan - George Slocum in "Return to New Orleans"
- Lee Van Cleef - Ike Milton/Frank James
- Bill Williams - Duke Winslow
1. Return to New Orleans
- In 1868, Yancy arrives home, penniless, after the war, only to discover he has a (woman posing as his) wife, Amanda Eaton (Julie Adams), he did not know about and that his family plantation, Waverly, has been turned into a gambling den. John Colton, the City Administrator of New Orleans, helps to return the Waverly to Yancy. John Colton asks Yancy to help rebuild New Orleans as his special agent.
- B&W: 02-Oct-1958; W: Mary Loos (as Mary Sale) & Richard Sale; D: Richard Sale
2. Gallatin Street
- Yancy helps a sea captain who was cheated out of his money in a dive on notorious Gallatin Street.
- B&W: 09-Oct-1958
3. Ticket to Natchez
- GS: Marie Windsor (Billie Joe)
- City Administrator John Colton entrusts Yancy with an army payroll that is to be taken to Natchez, Mississippi, on Yancy's riverboat, the Sultana, but robbers have other plans.
- B&W: 23-Oct-1958
4. An Ace Called Spade
- GS: Ray Danton (Spade Stuart)
- Yancy is relieved to find that a newspaper story about City Administrator Colton's death is premature, but fears that Colton will be the victim of trickery in an upcoming duel.
- B&W: 30-Oct-1958
5. A Bullet for Bridget
- We meet, for the first time, Bridget Malone, Madame Francine's cousin from Ireland, who, while visiting New Orleans, decides that Yancy is to be her future husband. Special guest star is star Jock Mahoney's real-life wife, Margaret Field, as Bridget Malone (as Maggie Mahoney).
- B&W: 06-Nov-1958
6. The Belle from Boston
- After City Administrator Colton hangs a member of an outlaw gang, the others decide to take revenge on his visiting sister.
- B&W: 13-Nov-1958
7. The Loot from Richmond
- A messenger is sent to New Orleans by a former general in the Civil War, but is killed before he can reveal what happened to a fortune that was taken from Richmond, Virginia.
- B&W: 20-Nov-1958
8. The Saga of Lonesome Jackson
- A wealthy, but lonely, man who has come to New Orleans looking for a wife asks Yancy to help him.
- B&W: 27-Nov-1958
9. Memo to a Firing Squad
- An army officer with vengeance in his heart tries to stop a presidential pardon. Without the pardon, a man is scheduled to die before a firing squad. John M. Pickard, who plays Lieutenant Weems, is among the guest stars.
- B&W: 04-Dec-1958
10. Three Knaves from New Haven
- Shop owners receive threats of violence if they refuse to sell their property to three strangers. Special guest star is star Jock Mahoney's real-life wife, Margaret Field, as Bridget Malone (as Maggie Mahoney).
- B&W: 11-Dec-1958
11. Marble Fingers
- GS: Kasey Rogers (Blackeyed Sue)
- Yancy tries to find out who's responsible for recent grave robberies.
- B&W: 18-Dec-1958
12. Old Dixie
- GS: Louise Fletcher (Miss Nelly/Alithea)
- Special Christmas episode. Villains go after Yancy's dog, Dixie, after Yancy's father dies, leaving a note that only the dog knows where the family pre-war fortune is buried. Special guest star is star Jock Mahoney's real-life wife, Margaret Field, as Bridget Malone (as Maggie Mahoney).
- B&W: 25-Dec-1958
13. Two of a Kind
- Yancy and Pahoo are framed for a series of crimes and now face execution.
- B&W: 01-Jan-1959
14. Nightmare on Bourbon Street
- A mysterious mad bomber steals explosives and threatens to blow up the entire city of New Orleans.
- B&W: 08-Jan-1959
15. The Fair Freebooter
- Yancy must deal with a female pirate, Coco LaSalle, who has stolen his shirt he ordered from Paris. He goes after his shirt into the deadly swamps. Coltan tags along to recover a stolen necklace from representatives of the Mexican government.
- B&W: 15-Jan-1959
16. Mayhem at the Market
- Merchants are in such fear for their lives that Yancy gets no cooperation in his attempt to break a new protection racket.
- B&W: 22-Jan-1959
17. The Night the Russians Landed
- A visiting Russian noble appears to have become a target for murder.
- B&W: 29-Jan-1959
18. A Game of Chance
- Yancy suspects foul play when a lottery winner dies before she can collect.
- B&W: 05-Feb-1959
19. Panic in Town
- A serial attacker is loose in New Orleans. He attacks women and cuts their hair. The authorities are seemingly powerless. A group of vigilantes decides to take over New Orleans.
- B&W: 12-Feb-1959
20. Hell and High Water
- GS: Charles Bronson (Rogue Donovan), Patricia Cutts (Lady Charity)
- It looks like New Orleans is going to be flooded. Obadiah suggests to Yancy a risky scheme to save New Orleans. John Colton is taken prisoner by Lady Charity to protect her plantation property from Yancy's risky scheme. Meanwhile, Rogue Donovan tries to kill Yancy.
- B&W: 19-Feb-1959
21. The Louisiana Dude
- GS: Hillary Brooke (Julia Bulette), John Cliff (Nat Greer), Harry Swoger (Big Jim Ogden), Addison Richards (Judge Harper), Steve Pendleton (Sheriff Anderson), Woodrow Chambliss (Captain Tom), James Anderson (Fitch), Booth Colman (Henry Duval)
- Yancy wins a half interest in a silver mine. The Sultana's boiler blows up, and Yancy travels to Virginia City, Nevada, hoping to get five thousand dollars needed for a new boiler. Yancy discovers that his new partner is a beautiful woman.
- B&W: 26-Feb-1959; W: Coles Trapnell; D: William F. Claxton
- When famed General George Armstrong Custer visits New Orleans, Yancy discovers that he is being stalked by an indian seeking revenge for a past wrong. We meet, for the first time, Colorado Charlie, Indian scout.
- B&W: 05-Mar-1959
23. Thunder on the River
- GS: Patricia Barry ()
- Yancy decides to help a fellow riverboat owner whose fleet is being sabotaged by rivals trying to corner the market on river traffic.
- B&W: 12-Mar-1959
24. The Gun That Murdered Lincoln
- Yancy is unjustly accused of having provided the weapon used by presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth.
- B&W: 19-Mar-1959
25. Collector's Item
- To assist a woman in her crusade to provide a home for the city's orphans, Yancy comes up with a scheme that requires the aid of photography pioneer Mathew Brady.
- B&W: 26-Mar-1959
26. Fire on the Frontier
- GS: Robert Carricart (Thaddeus Stevens)
- Yancy's indian friend, Pahoo, becomes an important element in efforts to prevent a war with the Pawnee tribes.
- B&W: 02-Apr-1959
27. Duel at the Oaks
- Yancy is sentenced to hang for killing a man in a duel. John Vivyan guest stars as LeBow.
- B&W: 09-Apr-1959
28. The Wayward Warrior
- Trying to stop some gun smugglers, Yancy has a run-in with a boxing champion and a rematch with a female river pirate, Coco LaSalle.
- B&W: 16-Apr-1959
29. A State of Crisis
- With the city of New Orleans plagued by counterfeit money, General Hugh Morgan arrives in New Orleans with orders promoting John Colton to a post in Washington and giving Morgan command of the city. Walter Coy guest stars as Slade Donovan.
- B&W: 30-Apr-1959; W: Coles Trapnell; D: Edward Denault
30. Outlaw at Liberty
- Yancy is at a loss to figure out what's going on when a marshal he knows charges an old wartime friend with murder.
- B&W: 07-May-1959
31. V as in Voodoo
- Yancy tries to combat superstition when the city is terrorized by a mysterious voodoo priestess.
- B&W: 14-May-1959
32. The Quiet Firecracker
- Yancy's good friend Miss Mandarin (Lisa Lu) is accused of smuggling opium into the city inside firecrackers.
- B&W: 21-May-1959
33. Gone But Not Forgotten
- GS: Joyce Jameson (Bonnie Mason)
- A friend of Yancy's comes to visit from Virginia City with news that his silver mine is doing well, but that there is a gravestone in the cemetery with Yancy's name on it. Dayton Lummis plays Judge Randall.
- B&W: 28-May-1959
34. Two Tickets to Promontory
- On a train trip to a celebration of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, Yancy discovers a saboteur.
- B&W: 04-Jun-1959
- TV GUIDE Vol. 7, No. 11; March 14, 1959; whole number 311; "Jocko the Gymnast" by Bob Johnson
- "Yancy Derringer - 'The Complete Series' is Steamboating Down the DVD River". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.