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The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Ready-Made Corpse

A greedy mortuary owner provides a unique service on the side: plastic surgery to disguise wanted criminals, complete with a corpse provided to account for their "deaths."

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x11
Production Number: 66/11
Airdate: Friday November 25th, 1966

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8/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Carroll O'Connor
As Fabian Lavendor

Co-Guest Stars
Karen Sharpe Kramer
As Rose Murphy
Paul Comi
As Pellagro #2
Daniel Ades
As Pellargo #1
Gene Tyburn
As Finley
Jack Perkins
As Golo
Patricia Huston
As Leda Pellargo
Alan Bergmann
As Claudio Antille
Main Cast
Robert Conrad
As James T. West
Ross Martin (1)
As Artemus Gordon


Jim rides into town of Whittenberg and leaves his horse with a blacksmith. Colonel Pellargo and his men walk down the street and Jim greets Pellargo. Pellargo’s bodyguards immediately attack Jim. He gets thrown through a window but quickly jumps back and defeats them. Artie arrives and Jim finishes his introduction. Pellargo is impressed and approves of the fact the government has assigned them to protect him...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Corner Slides
Upper Right: Antille laughing at the fact they’ve fooled Jim.
Lower Left: Gas pumping into the tomb through a gargoyle’s head.
Lower Right: Artie on the mortuary table surrounded by Lavender and his men.
Upper Left: Jim and Artie drink to Rose’s fiancée

It was during the filming of this episode that creator and executive producer Michael Garrison died on August 17, 1966, falling down his staircase at home. After Garrison's death was announced, most of the cast and crew were uncomfortable with the fact they were filming scenes in a mock mortuary.

Jim utters the phrase, "Because, Artie, things aren’t always what they seem to be." This was Garrison's approach to the show in general, and he had the phrase inscribed on a plaque and hung up in his office.

Episode Quotes
Artemus: (after a fight) Well, good morning, James.
James: Hi, Artie.
Artemus: Anything happening?
James: Oh, same old thing, just a different town.

Col. Pellargo: My people are completely dedicated to two basic objectives. The first is eking out a basic hand-to-mouth existence. And the second...
James: Trying to assassinate you.
Col. Pellargo: From time to time, yes. I'm a reasonable man. I'm willing to grant them the first, but never the second.

Claudio Antille: My arm is hurting.
Fabian Lavendor: Yes, well I can see you've got a wound there and I’ll take care of it. The blood, don’t drop it on the carpet because it gives the mourners a very bad impression.

Fabian Lavendor: Oh, ah, you just sit down here on the table, will you, please? It's not a very comfortable table, but then, very few of my clients complain about it.

Leda Pellargo: What does a murderer say when he’s caught?
James: In this case, nothing. He’s dead.

James: I want to check the missing person file.
Artemus: All right, Jim, now it’s my turn to ask. Why?
James: Because, Artie... things aren’t always what they seem to be.

Cultural References
Artemus: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest.

Artie (accurately) quotes from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1. The line is often misquoted, "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well."

Other Episode Crew

CreatorMichael Garrison
Executive ProducerMichael Garrison
ProducerBruce Lansbury
Associate ProducerLeonard Katzman
CastingEthel Winant
MusicRichard Markowitz
Set DecoratorRaymond Molyneaux
Director of PhotographyTed Voigtlander
Art DirectorAlbert Heschong
Film EditorDonald W. Ernst
Assistant DirectorCharles Scott, Jr.
Assistant To The ProducerJoe Kirby
Story ConsultantHenry Sharp
Warning: The Wild Wild West season 2 episode 11 guide may contain spoilers
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