Who Is The Short Bald Stranger There, Maverick is the Name…?

John McCain's claim of being "the original Maverick" prompted Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown to recall fond memories of the TV series MAVERICK…and to seek out the sage advice of my Uncle Burl Barer, the author of THE MAKING OF MAVERICK :

I mentioned to Barer how McCain was using "The Original Maverick" as
a campaign slogan, causing my initial confusion with Garner having
played, Bret, the first Maverick, which I cleared up when I remembered
his brother Bart, the other Maverick.

"Yes, you mean Jack Kelly," Barer said.

Jack Kelly?

"Jack Kelly played Bart Maverick," Barer said.

It wasn't John McCain?


Then which of the Maverick brothers did McCain play?

[…] he
patiently explained that at various times Maverick starred Garner as
Bret, Kelly as Bart, Roger Moore as Beau and Robert Colbert as Brent —
the poker-playing Maverick brothers. But never McCain.

"It wasn't, 'Who was the short bald stranger there?' " Barer said,
playing off the opening stanza from the theme song about a tall, dark

MAVERICK was a great show back in the 1950s and holds the unusual distinction of being the only vintage TV series revived three times on three networks in three years…ABC's THE NEW MAVERICK, CBS' YOUNG MAVERICK, and NBC's BRET MAVERICK…all in the early 1980s.

4 thoughts on “Who Is The Short Bald Stranger There, Maverick is the Name…?”

  1. I went to see the Gibson version on opening day. Loved it, the ending was perfect. People would complain “But James Garner didn’t play Maverick!”
    I’d smile and say, “Yeah, he did….and in classic style….”


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