Beginning on September 10, 1955, and continuing for more than 600 episodes over the next twenty years, the television show Gunsmoke ruled the airwaves.  Jump ahead 56 years, local author Ben Costello will be joined with author/film historian Julie Ann Ream for “GUNSMOKE NIGHT”.  This event will be a tribute to the legendary western TV show.  It will be held on Wednesday January 4th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, 58116 29 Palms Highway, in Yucca Valley.  Admission to this Morongo Basin Historical Society event is $5.00.  Autographed copies of this book, along with other books will be available.

Ben has wrote several award winning books, this night will be tied to his book Gunsmoke: An American Institution.  Also participating will be legendary western actor Bo Hopkins along with famed Gunsmoke writers Jim Byrnes and Paul Savage.

Ben Costello is a self-confessed film and television buff.  Starting at the age of five, he has appeared on stage in a variety of dramatic and comedic roles.  He also enjoys writing and directing.  Costello has played casinos and clubs from New York City to Las Vegas, frequently portraying characters similar to Abbott and Costello (no, Ben Costello and Lou Costello are not related).  In fact, Costello performed the classic “Who’s on First” routine at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to kick off the 2000 World Series.  His comedy team was the first to do so since Abbott and Costello performed the skit there 44 years earlier.

Costello wrote, produced, and costarred in The Whitley & Costello Show in 1979.  In 1987, he took the classic Laurel and Hardy movie Way Out West and adapted it for the stage, with the blessings of Lucille Hardy Price, widow of comedian Oliver Hardy.  In 1988, his play titled “Company B” debuted. The show, a slapstick musical tribute to World War II, was so popular that it spawned five stage sequels.  For his work on this production, Costello won Best Actor, Writer, Director, and Production awards from the Southern California Theatre Leagues.

Costello has taught seminars on “Hollywood Comedy and Comedians” and is an authority on television and motion picture Westerns.  He makes his home in the Mojave Desert community of Joshua Tree, California.

For more information about this event call:  The Morongo Basin Historical Society at: 760 364-2000

For more information about the book Gunsmoke: An American Institution, click on the link below:

Don’t miss out on the chance to meet some of the people that are tied to this historic television show.

Take It Easy – Mojave


  1. Dear Mojave,

    Great article! Gunsmoke fans are in for a real treat that evening! Ben and the many others that will join him have many wonderful Gunsmoke memories and information to share. As author of Amanda Blake’s biography, Perfectly Amanda: Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty, I most certainly wish that I could join the group as well! However, that is the first day back to school (I’m a teacher) AND I live in far away Indiana! I wish you and everyone there the very best evening possible and lots of great Gunsmoke memories among friends! Take care, Beckey Burgoyne

  2. Thank you Beckey. Too bad that you can’t attend, but I know that Ben will share your book with vigor, he has told me what a great book it is. This is an exciting event for the Hi-Desert. Thanks for responding.


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