John Wayne’s McClintock! Proves Westerns Aren’t All Serious

Posted by Tony Romando on

While most people remember John Wayne as the stoic cowboy who struck fear into the hearts of his foes, the man behind the big screen persona wasn’t always so serious. Whether he was recalling amusing memories with his friends on the Wild Goose, cracking jokes with his co-stars between takes or lovingly teasing one of his kids, Duke loved to fill his life with laughs whenever possible.

In The Official John Wayne Big Book of Dad Jokes, you’ll find John Wayne-inspired jokes, anecdotes and quotes from his film career and personal life that will inspire you to do the same. Read an exclusive excerpt from the book below and don’t forget to pick up your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, or wherever you shop for books.

With the arrival of the 1960s, John Wayne officially entered the elder statesman era of his Hollywood career. Even though the Western icon known for his blazing guns and flying fists was now 56 years old, that didn’t mean he had to slow down. Instead, Duke embraced this new status by taking on more family-focused projects, even involving his own kin when possible. With his 1963 comedy-Western classic McLintock!, the actor got to share the screen with his son Patrick while his eldest son Michael produced the film under the family’s Batjac banner, together creating a rollicking 127 minutes filled with quotable quips and uproarious action.


Duke’s 1963 family affair is a riotous reminder of the Western genre’s comedic potential.

The film stars John Wayne as the titular rich rancher George Washington “G.W.” McLintock, who has plenty on his plate between the farmers, government workers and land-grabbers at odds with each other in hopes of getting a piece of his territory. Even more conflict comes McLintock’s way, however, when his estranged wife Katherine (Maureen O’Hara) arrives in town demanding a divorce as well as custody of their daughter Becky (Stefanie Powers). In one of the comedy’s most inspired slapstick scenes, McLintock is able to achieve a bit of catharsis when he quickly shifts from peace-maker to punch-thrower. After an earlier incident with a shotgun-wielding local, Duke’s rancher tells the troublemaker, “Pilgrim, you caused a lot of trouble this morning, might’ve got somebody killed—and somebody ought to belt you in the mouth! But I won’t, I won’t…. The hell I won’t!” before jabbing the man in the jaw and sending him barreling down the hill and into a mud pond. This causes the surrounding onlookers to erupt into an all-out brawl in a scene that’s just as humorous as it is thrilling. As the men slug it out and slide through the mud, even Katherine McLintock lets her frustrations fly with the mud as she removes a quill from her hat and plants it into a man’s posterior.