When Sheriff Hopalong Casually and Deputy Leon Jones step onto the stage during the "Shenaniguns! Comedy Wild West Show" at the Oklahoma State Fair, don't expect their act to be an authentic look at the Old West.
Instead, sit down and enjoy the silly jokes, gags and enough misfired gunshots to keep you laughing as Hopalong and Leon fight Bad Bob and his baby brother, Bubba Bob, in the cornball comedy shown at different times throughout the day. It's performed for all ages in the Centennial Frontier Experience at State Fair Park and rated "R," for "ridiculous," according to the words of the introductory song.
"You can think the Three Stooges dressed up like cowboys," said one of the actors, Mike Lee, who plays the sheriff's deputy.
For Lee, playing at the Oklahoma State Fair is coming home to where he got started in the entertainment world. He graduated from Putnam City West High School in 1998 and then Oklahoma City University in 2002 with a degree in theater and a minor in mass communication.
Lee, 31, now lives in Winter Haven, Fla., where he is entertainment supervisor for Nickelodeon Suites Resort, which has a full studio for performances at the resort based on the network's shows. There he manages actors and shows centered around characters like "SpongeBob SquarePants" or "Dora the Explorer," both Nick Jr. staples.
But for two weeks during the Oklahoma State Fair, he's under contract again with the company that first hired him during college — West Texas Productions — as part of the Wild West show cast. He helped write the comedy show along with the rest of the cast, and the group has performed it at fairs, parks and even Donald Trump's birthday party, he said.
"It's good to be back here," he said, referring to Oklahoma City, where he is visiting his parents, aunts, uncles, grandmother and other relatives and friends.
"They've already seen (the show) three times, and it's only been open two days," he joked.
After you've seen the show, don't miss other parts of the Centennial Frontier Experience to get a sense of Oklahoma's Western history. Tepees, live buffalo and a working blacksmith add to the atmosphere, and Western-themed shows and music are on stage throughout the day.
In the same area, Roger Abrahamson, of Minneapolis, re-creates the antique art of wood turning using the spring pole lathe and a long-handled hook tool that he created to be as close a replica to what tradesmen used in the late 1800s.
Always interested in folk art, he also studied the history of the trades and found wood-turned bowls to be the early American version of Tupperware.
"It's almost a lost art now," he said as he worked on a bowl underneath his tent at the fair park.
You can see "Shenaniguns!" today at 2, 3:30, 5:30 and 7 p.m. The show is about 30 minutes. (The final show of the day is a showcase of all the Western acts that day.)
And you'll more than likely laugh as you keep hearing one-liners like this one that Sheriff Hopalong Casually threw out to the crowd: "What did the Mama Buffalo say to her son? 'Bi-son.' "