Have Gun, Will Travel
Well educated and sophisticated, a gentleman who appreciated chess, opera and refined ladies, and who chose the unlikely profession of a gun for hire. Such is the profile of Paladin, a soldier of fortune who resided at the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco in 1875. Paladin’s business card was simple, a white chess knight with the words Have Gun Will Travel, Wire Paladin, San Francisco. The design defined his identity – a paladin was a French knight first known in the 8th Century – and his work required old west wisdom and a gunslinger’s skill.
Have Gun, Will Travel aired on radio from November 23, 1958, to November 27, 1960, one of a handful of programs produced after a beginning on television. That meant for the duration of the radio version, the two shows with different scripts ran at the same time. Paladin was played by John Dehner, one of radio’s most respected performers whose voice created the personality of Paladin. Although younger listeners enjoy it as well, the program is generally regarded as an adult western with storylines that challenge ethics and evoke emotions.