It’s the oldest gag in the book — as old as this video, a “biograph” that the Library of Congress dates to 1903. It looks like it was a cliché already at the time: The cowboy firing away: “Dance, pardner, dance.”
If you must have color, or a talkie, you could do worse than the Yosemite Sam version:
Now, a fellow could get away with that in the Old West. In the New West, not so much, it turns out. The Bonner County (ID) Daily Bee has the sad story.
John Ernest Cross, 30, of Clark Fork, Idaho, who’s got to be in trouble if only for having all three names in the news, is charged with aggravated assault for making a “Dance!” demand at gunpoint.
Sheriff’s deputies say that Cross, somewhat the worse for drugs, used an apparent AR-15 to terrify another man into dancing. The weapon was not discharged (for reasons we’ll see momentarily).
Cross doesn’t appear to have sought legal advice, because his excuse to the court is that his weapon just looked like an AR-15 — in reality, it was a harmless Airsoft toy. We don’t think that will buy him the leniency he seemed to think it will.
According to the deputies, Cross at least wanted a more modern dance than the long-deceased cowboy in the Alphonse and Gaston gag above: He wanted his victim to moonwalk, a dance the equally dead Michael Jackson popularized thirty years ago — so long ago that he was not only still alive, he was still black!
Cross has been assigned a public defender (who will probably hang his or her head in hands on hearing about Clark’s Airsoft “defense”) and is being held on $20k bail.