hoss and the leprechauns
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Hoss and the Leprechauns Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #05, Episode #12

In this classic and uproarious Bonanza episode, Hoss Cartwright makes a surprising return to the Ponderosa with a strong box of gold, attributing his fortune to a group of “Little People”—Leprechauns, to be precise. Despite skepticism from his family and friends regarding his tale of tiny benefactors, the undeniable existence of the treasure sparks a miniature gold rush. Meanwhile, the so-called “Leprechauns,” actually a troupe of carnival midgets and dwarves, revolt against their deceitful boss, Professor McCarthy (portrayed by Sean McClory). Featuring esteemed professional Little People such as Frank Delfino, Harry Monty, and Nels Nelson—both of the latter appearing in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz—the cast adds depth to the whimsical storyline. Written with a playful tone by Robert Barron, Hoss and the Leprechauns originally aired on December 22, 1963.

Explore the plot, along with intriguing trivia, or enjoy the full episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of Hoss and the Leprechauns

Watch the Full Episode of Hoss and the Leprechauns:

Main Cast

In the twelfth episode of Bonanza’s fifth season, “Hoss and the Leprechauns,” several recurring and supporting cast members appeared. Notable members of the cast include:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Sean McClory as Professor James Aloysius McCarthy
  • Ray Teal as Sheriff Roy Coffee
  • Robert Sorrells as Charlie
  • Clegg Hoyt as Dorsel
  • Frank Delfino as Timothy
  • Harry Monty as Michael (as Harry Monte)
  • Felix Silla as Sean
  • Nels P. Nelson as Bobby (as Nels Nelson)
  • Roger Arroyo as Audie (as Roger Arroya)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Breen as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Brunette Townswoman in Red Dress (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Blonde Townswoman in Plaid Dress (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Noel as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Jack Tornek as Darrell Gillespie (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Hoss and the Leprechauns

While exploring the woods, Hoss encounters a bear harassing a small, green-clad man perched in a tree. After shooing away the bear, Hoss discovers a buried strongbox brimming with bags of gold dust. Unable to locate the elusive “leprechaun,” Hoss brings the treasure back to the safety of the Ponderosa. Despite Pa, Adam, and Joe’s skepticism about his tale, they cannot deny the reality of the gold. Ben decides to stash the gold in a locked bookcase, intending to hand it over to the sheriff in Virginia City.

During the night, Hoss is roused by a noise downstairs and investigates, only to spot the leprechaun attempting to abscond with the strongbox through the window. In his haste, Hoss stumbles on the stairs, crashing through a railing and alerting the household. Pa, Adam, and Joe find Hoss sprawled on the floor, nursing a sizable bump on his head and insisting that the leprechauns made off with the gold. Once again, Hoss’s account is met with skepticism, but Pa acknowledges the disappearance of the gold and confirms Hoss’s injury.

The following day, the Cartwrights visit the sheriff to report the theft from their ranch. Rumors about buried gold on the Ponderosa spread like wildfire throughout the town. As a newly arrived Irish professor confirms the existence of multiple leprechauns and their gold, the entire village becomes consumed by the search for these mythical beings.

Full Script and Dialogue of Hoss and the Leprechauns


Old Hop Sing gets through
breading and frying you,

you're gonna be so good, it ought
to be against the law to eat you.

Now, I'll tell you
what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna go out there and
I'm gonna get your granddaddy.

Only reason he ain't been caught
yet is because I ain't been after him.

But I am now.

And then he's gonna join
you at my dinner table tonight.




Help! Please help!



Help, help!

Help! Help!

Get out of here.

Hey. Hey! Wait a minute!

Wait a minute! The
bear's gone! He ain't...

Hey! Come here!

Wait a minute.

Hey, little fella!


Hey, little fella, come
on out. The bear's gone.


Little fella, is this
strongbox yours?

Now, I know you can hear me,
you couldn't have got that far away.

You better come on out here and
claim it right now, or I'm gonna open it.


How come he didn't claim it?

Must be stolen.

Boy, wait till Pa
hears about this.


This ain't gonna
be easy to explain.

None of it.

Now, you ain't
gonna believe this, Pa.

Heh. The funniest thing happened
to me today down at the fishing hole.

Heh. You're probably wondering
where I got this box of gold, huh, Pa?

Well, you see, there
was this little green elf...

Green elf.

We heard you shouting.
What happened?

I was depositing the gold dust.

Before I finished burying
it, a bear got after me.

Then a giant ran down
and chased the bear away.

A giant?

Biggest man I
ever saw in my life.

Then he found the strongbox
and walked off with it.

That's what happened. Honest.

Oh, you don't believe me.

I knew you weren't
gonna believe me.

Well, it doesn't
make sense, Hoss.

Look, if he was as
little as you say he was,

now, how can he go around
lugging a strongbox full of gold?

This thing is a load
for any one of us.

Let's look at it this way.

If there is a little
man running around...

If, if, if, Pa. "If" is
all I've been hearing.

There ain't no "if" to it, Pa!

I seen him with my own two eyeballs.
A little man no bigger than that.

I seen him! ADAM: Right.

A little man in a green suit.

That buried a strongbox
full of gold dust.

And then skips away into the
bushes, where, with a twinkle in his eye,

he thumbs his nose and
flies away to the rainbow.

I've had all I'm gonna
take out of you, Adam.

Pa, how come
nobody will believe me?

I'm just telling you
exactly what I seen,

and if it sounds sort of crazy
or something, it ain't my fault.

Of course it isn't.

Look, what he says
must make some sense

because there it is.

It's a strongbox, it's real,

it contains thousands
of dollars' worth of gold.

- Must have come from somewhere.
- Right.

Yeah, and I imagine somebody's
pretty anxious to get it back.

Well, we can stand around
here talking about it all night.

Tell you what, tomorrow morning
we'll ride in to see Sheriff Coffee,

and tell him the whole story,
and maybe he can help us.

You're not gonna let
him tell that story in town?

Aw, Papa, you can't do that.
They're gonna laugh at us.

They're gonna think he's loony.

We're gonna try to
get to the bottom of this.

Now, Hoss will tell Sheriff
Coffee the whole thing,

exactly the way he saw it.

Hey, who's down there?

Hey! Wait a minute!

Hey, you little
rascals! Wait a minute!

Hey! Come back here!

Wait a minute! Come back!

A whole bunch of them
little green fellows, boy.

Just like the one I
saw out in the woods.

They had little horses, not any
bigger than a good-sized hound dog.

- Oh, he's really hurt himself.
- I gotta catch them rascals.

You'll catch them.
You'll catch them.

- Well, we could if we'd hurry.
- All right, just calm down.

Uh, Adam, Little Joe, go
outside and look around.

What are we gonna
look around for, Pa?

I gotta have
something to look ar...

You heard what he said. We look for
little green men riding on hound dogs.

Now, I'll go out and
check around the house

and you look for a
butterfly net just in case.

Right. Butterfly net.


Oh, you got a good lump
coming up here. Come on, boy.

I'd better get something to put on it.
- Hey, Pa, look.

Somebody broke into the
bookcase. The strongbox, it's gone.

That's what I was
afraid they'd do.

They? Who?

The little green men,
Pa. The little green men.

Now what am I
gonna tell the sheriff?

The only part of my
story you believed

was the part about the gold
because I had that box to prove it.

Now what am I
gonna tell him? Ugh.

Well, you, uh... You tell him...

You tell him the truth.

And you say that Adam and
Little Joe couldn't find a trail, huh?

Well, it was, uh... Of
course, it was dark,

and, uh, they had a pretty
good head start on the boys.

Look, Roy, you
see, these little fellas,

they, uh, got a way
about themselves, they...

Just disappearing into thin air.

Well, maybe them little fellows'
little horses was flying horses.

That's why you
couldn't find their trail.

Now, look, Roy, we came
here to report a robbery.

If you're not gonna take it
serious, we'll go home. That's all.

Hold on!

If anybody but Ben Cartwright

come in here with a
story like that, boy, I'd...

What do you want me to do, Ben?

The gold. Just see that's
it's recovered, that's all.

Look, religiously, I go through
everything that comes into this office.

And there's been no bank
robberies, no stagecoach holdups,

no gold shipments
missing anywhere.

So why in the dickens should I
go out there hunting for something

that ain't even been
reported missing?

But, Roy, that's just the point.
We're reporting it missing.

Well, you can't claim something's
stolen that don't even belong to you.

Well, wait a minute, Roy.

Somebody broke into my house.
Somebody broke into my bookcase.

- Surely that's enough for you to go on.
- Ah.

I'm just not gonna
close up this office

and go out there looking
for a gang of little...

Now, what would the folks of this town
think if I was to try to organize a posse

for the purpose of tracking down a
bunch of little men with green suits?

Why, they'd hog-tie me and lock me
up in my own jail cell till election time!

Well, gentlemen, I got places to
go. I got to meet the stagecoach.

He didn't believe
a word of it, did he?

Uh, well, it's not a question
of believing, son. It's, uh...

Don't make no never mind, Pa.

If somebody came to
me with a story like that,

I'd be at least interested
in it enough to look into it.

Yeah, ahem. Well, listen, while
I'm in town, I think I'd better go

and pay that grain bill.


I think I'll go over to the
saloon and get me a beer.

Yeah, that's a very good idea.

And I'll pick you up there
as soon as I'm ready to go.

Charlie, stage on time today?

Ahead of time.
Done come and went.

Yeah? Anybody get off?

Just one fellow.

You looking for somebody
in particular, Roy?

No, I was just keeping tabs
on the goings and comings.

- Where'd this fellow go?
- Yonder to saloon.

Ah, much obliged.

Well, like I said before,
he's right down the street.

You saved yourself
a trip. Here he is now.

McCARTHY: Oh, ha, ha.

- Hello. McCARTHY:
Pleasure to meet you.

McCarthy is the name. Professor
James Aloysius McCarthy.

Uh... Ahem.

I, uh, assume that you're the
bulwark of local law enforcement?

I'm the sheriff, if that's
what you're talking about.

That's exactly what
I'm talking about.

I think, perhaps,
maybe you can help me.

I was, uh, wondering if you've
noticed any, uh, strangers

passing through this
fair city of yours of late.

No, there hasn't been a stranger
in this town in a month of Sundays.

Oh. Ah.

Unless, of course, they was
little men with green suits.

- Little men in green suits?
- How about that, Hoss?

More like little
thieves in green suits.

Hoss here claims that they run
off with a strongbox full of gold.

Gold? Hoss, did you
fellas make a strike?

Hold on, now, you fellas!

You'll have this
town in a stampede.

I didn't say nothing
about a gold strike.

I was just repeating
a crazy yarn of Hoss'.

It wasn't no crazy yarn, Roy.

Little men in green suits?

Hoss, you must have got
ahold of some bad whiskey.

- Roy, I'm sorry, I...
- No, no, no. Ha, ha.

Just a minute, gentlemen. Now,
please, now, please. I... Ahem.

I, uh... It's a very charming
story. Now, I'd like to hear

a little bit more
about it, if I may.

Why don't we all refresh
ourselves while we talk about it?

Uh, heh, the drinks
are on me, gentlemen.

Won't you step up here, sir?

Bartender, a couple
drinks here, please.

I'd have given an eyetooth
to see you out there

fumbling around after them
little green men you dreamed up.

Dag burn it, Roy, I didn't
dream them up, I seen them.

Of course you did! Now,
gentlemen, please, please.

What's the matter?

In my country, it's very bad
luck to laugh at the little people.

- What? Where do you come from?
- Ireland.

Oh, excuse me, Professor
McCarthy, this is Hoss Cartwright.

Oh, Mr. Cartwright, it's a great
pleasure and an honor to meet

- such a fortunate man.
- Yeah?

Only once in a lifetime,
and maybe not even then,

is a man privileged
to meet another man

who has actually
seen a leprechaun.

- A what?
- Oh, yes, well,

of course, you wouldn't
know about those.

Well, they're a darling
little bunch of rascals,

all dressed in
their green suits.

But are you sure these
little fellows I seen are...?

Leprechauns? Of course I am.

Everything fits.

Now, it's a very well-known fact
that every colony of leprechauns

has a buried treasure of gold.

But to a leprechaun,
freedom is much more precious

than all the gold in the world.
That's why if you had caught one,

he would have bought his release, just
like that, by giving you all of his gold.

I ain't sure I understand
what you're trying to tell me.

Oh, it's quite simple.

Had you actually caught
one of these little fellows,

he would have given you all of his gold,
and it would have been yours to keep.

But since you didn't, well, it
was perfectly all right for him

to come after you and
reclaim his treasure.

Well, I never heard
anything like that.

Oh, ha, ha, that's a very
commonplace thing in Ireland.

Happens all the time.

Though I must say, this
is the very first instance

I've heard of it
happening in this country.

Hoss, this fella's
pulling our legs.

I wouldn't be too
sure of that, Roy.

You thought I was.
But I seen them.

Of course you did. And
had you caught one of them,

'tis a far richer
man you'd be today.

Yeah. It was quite
a pile of gold, at that.

Ahem. Uh, Hoss, uh,

you figure them little fellas still
running around loose out there?

I reckon so. I don't reckon
there's any way of knowing.

- Hey, where you going?
- I think I know where he's going.


Wait a minute! Hey! Wait,
what's going on around here?

Wait a minute!

Hoss! You come back here!
Now, what's going on here?

I didn't mean to run
into you! I gotta hurry.

Wait a minute! Where
you gotta hurry to?

I gotta keep them claim
jumpers from getting our gold.

Of course we do.
Of course we do.

- Pa, I gotta hurry.
- I know you gotta hurry,

- but let's hurry very slowly, shall we?
- Pa!

- Let's try to be calm! Just be calm.
- Pa!

Hoss! Let's go inside
and get out of this hot sun.

But, Pa, I gotta
get up the ridge.

Ben, I'd like to have you meet
Mr. McCarthy. This is Hoss' pa.

Oh, himself, is it? Well, it is a proud
father you should be this day, sir.

Pa, this gentleman
knows everything

there is to know about
them leprechauns.

I'm gonna get our horses.
- Hoss! Hoss!


Will somebody tell me
what's going on around here?

Here, leprechaun.

I don't believe it. I
just don't believe it.

Here, leprechaun.

leprechaun, leprechaun.


Have those people taken
leave of their senses?

Want me to run them out, Ben?

You got a legal right to
run them off your land.

Oh, no, no, that'd just
cause hard feelings.

No, let them go.

Maybe when they've
worn themselves out,

they'll come to their senses and
see how foolish this whole thing is.

Or they'll find one
of those leprechauns

and prove to you
I ain't been lying.

How many times
do I have to tell you?

There's no such thing as a leprechaun.
They ain't gonna find leprechauns.

A leprechaun is a
mythical creature.

Like in a storybook. Like
pixies and elves! What?

Excuse me, Mr. Cartwright,
but if those weren't leprechauns

your son saw strolling
around, exactly what were they?

Well, now, I don't
know what they were.

But if there are little
men running around there,

the more hunters we have
looking, the quicker we'll find them.

And the sooner we get this
cleared up, the better for all of us!

If that's the way
you feel about it,

I suppose you won't mind if
I take a little look, will you?

No, no, not at all, professor.

- Look around all you want to.
- Thank you.

I believe I'll poke around a
little too, if it's all right with you?

Why not? Good hunting.

Here, leprechaun.

- Pa, what about me? I'd sort of...
- Now, look, Hoss.

Maybe them people down there have
all that time to waste looking for gold.

But we got work to
do, so let's go do it.

Pa, wait, it ain't the gold.

It's them little men, Pa. I gotta
find them if they're down there.

I got to prove to you
and them that I ain't lying,

and to prove to
myself I ain't crazy.

Pa, it's very important to me.


All right, Hoss. Get
it out of your system.

But on one condition.

After all this is over, and
you don't find anybody,

we won't ever mention
it again. Ever. Right?

Right. Get up.

Here, leprechaun.



Shh, shh, shh. Listen.

Yeah. Sounds like it's
coming from right over there.



Hoss, you dang near
scared the dickens out of me.

Charlie, if you gonna
catch one of them buggers,

you're gonna have
to pay attention

and quit running
around so dang much.

- Hoss, there's one them back there!
- Charlie! Charlie!

That's Roy and the professor.

What're you trying
to do with that thing?

You're gonna hurt
somebody with that.

Excuse me, sheriff. I reckon I'm a
mite jumpy with all the excitement.

Now, tell me, has
anyone seen anything yet?

Nary a sign. Most of them
done give up and went home.

And they're a mite
peeved at you, Hoss.

They figure that you made
up the whole story all along.

Well, I tell you what, why
don't we give it up for the day?

I'm so tired, I can't
stir another step.

Well, there's still about
an hour of sunshine left.

I reckon I'll stick
with it a while.

Now, you all holler
if you see anything.

I got me one, Charlie.

I got me one.

You lop-eared jackass,
it's me that you got.

Well, I better be getting back to town.
You wanna come with me, professor?

Do I...? Of course I wanna
come with you. Come on.

- You coming, Hoss?
- No, thank you, Roy.

I think, I'll mosey around
out here for a spell more.

Ain't nobody searched
that little creek bottom yet.

Heh. You know, I feel kind of
guilty tromping around out here.

Sure hope it's
peaceful back in town.

Oh, don't you worry, sheriff.

After all, you were only
doing your duty, weren't you?

Seeing to it that the
mob didn't get out of hand,

that things were
kept orderly, hmm?

You got the greatest
talent for explaining things.

It makes them come
out sounding just right.

Ha, ha, well, it's all in the way a
man looks at things, I always say.

Yeah, I reckon so.

- What's the matter?
- Huh?

Did you see something?

Heh, no, I just thought I did.
Just a rabbit, perhaps. Uh...

I, uh, ahem, was just thinking,
though, it, um, seems such a shame,

such a terrible pity
for me to be going off

and leaving poor Mr. Hoss here,

when, after all, it was myself
here that instigated this hunt.

No, I think I'd better
stay here with him.

Because if I don't, my conscience
will never give me one moment's rest.

Oh, well, you suit yourself about
that. But I better be getting back.

You sure you can find your way?

Oh, of course, of course.
Look, we McCarthys were born

with an uncanny
sense of direction.

- I'll see you in town, then.
- To be sure. To be sure.

All right, now, lads,
you can come out.

Well, come on out.
I know you're here.

Come on out, lads. You've led
me on a merry chase up to now.

Your old friend. But it's
all over, so come on out.

Good work, men. Michael,
you and Bobby go get the wagon

and meet us at the camp.

Sean, you find a good
tall tree and keep a lookout.

Artie, you help me tie him up.

Well, it's the first time I ever
knew Hoss to miss a meal.

Yeah. He should have
been home by now.

You want me to go out
and take a look for him?

That's a good idea.

This, uh, Professor McCarthy,
just what is he a professor of?

Adam, I don't know the
slightest thing about him.

But I have a sound
suspicion that he's tied up

in this whole thing in some way.

Where are you?

I'm over here.

- Now, don't you run away.
- Oh, I won't.

Pa sent me to bring
you home to supper.

Dag burn it.

Dag burn your ornery
hide, little brother.

Wait till I get my hands...

on you.

Dag burn it, I reckon you
think that's pretty funny, huh?

Don't hit me.


I can't stand it. Your
face. You looked...

Hey, Joe, you
see him, don't you?

- You see him, don't you?
- Yeah.

Wait till Adam sees him!

- We got him!
- Wait. Wait a minute.

You ain't got him yet.
He's on those branches.

They're not gonna
hold our weight.

How're we gonna get him
down? I'll shake the tree.

Hey, no, no, no, don't do
that. You gonna kill him.

- Look how little he is.
- Hey! Hey, up there!

You, uh, savvy English?

I don't reckon he does.

I don't understand
leprechaun, neither.

- How we gonna get him down?
- I don't know.

I'm gonna go get Pa and
Adam and bring them here.

- You keep an eye on him.
- Good idea. Hurry. Hurry.

Keep an eye on him. Don't
let him out of your sight.

- Uh-huh.
- Yeah, ain't they cute?

- Look at him. I told you, didn't I?
- Hee-hee.

I think I have a
systematic schedule here

that will let us replace
the whole 56 miles of fence

over the next few years
without having to, uh...

What's wrong?

Look, you go out and
saddle a couple of horses

and I'll fill some
lanterns and...

I'll just feel better going
out looking for those two.

If I know Hoss...

- I think you're right.
- Hey, Pa, Adam!

Adam, Pa, where are you?

Hey, Pa, Adam!

Pa, Pa!

Pa, we got one. We got
one. We got one up a tree.

One of those little
men. Those little men!

Now, I saw him with
my own eyes, Adam.

Hoss has got him back up there

and he's keeping him
for us. Now, come on!

He's up in a tree
in this clearing.

- This had better be good.
- All right, Adam, see for yourself.

See what?

Pa, I'm telling you, those little men
was coming at me from every direction.

They was coming out of the trees,
the bushes, up out of the ground!

- Easy, son, easy.
- Pa!

This place is crawling
with them little green men.

They was coming at me from up,
down, sideways, everywhere, Pa.

You ain't never
seen nothing like it.

I saw one of them, Pa.

- Where's Professor McCarthy?
- Oh.

He rode back to
town with Roy Coffee.

Well, he couldn't have. We just
saw his horse, tied up down there.

Hey, there's something mighty
funny going on around here.

I knew it would come
to him sooner or later.

You just have to give
him time, you know?

Will you two fellows go and
see if you can find the professor?

Get up, boy.

Hey, professor!




Hey, Joe, Pa, Hoss! Come
out here, I got something!

Hey, you got the
professor's hat and cane?

They couldn't be our horses,
we left them tied back there.

Sounds like it came
from that draw over there.

Maybe we can surprise whoever's
in there, pin them in. Come on.

What'd I tell you, Pa? See?
Little green men, just like I told you.

Adam, you smart aleck, now
what do you say? See them?

- Didn't I tell you I saw one of them?
- I don't believe it.

Now we know where
the gold dust came from.

- Just in time.
- No, Pa.

Well, they're starting
to break up camp.

We gotta stop them.
Now, spread out.

- And wait till I give my signal.
- All right.

We have to hurry. Leave the rest
of the tools and let's get the gold.

All right, boys, let's get them!


All right, hold it! - Yeah!

Okay. We give up.

Don't you trust them,
Pa. Let's tie them up.

Well, I don't think that'll
be necessary, gentlemen.

I'll take over from here.
Ah, Timothy, how are you?

Hello, McCarthy.

Will you kindly explain
what this is about?

Why, I'd be delighted to.

Gentlemen, allow me to introduce
to you McCarthy's Leprechauns.

They sing, they dance,
and as you've seen,

they're daring and
accomplished acrobats.

They have performed before
all the crowned heads of Europe.

They are the toast
of two continents.

You're performers?
You're in a show?

Oh, and I, uh...

I must apologize for the lads'
behavior just a few minutes ago.

They were, uh, well, a little
annoyed because they thought that

you were going to
steal their gold again.

- Now, just a dang minute.
- Just a minute, just a minute.

What was the point of
filling everybody's heads

with all those wild stories about
leprechauns and buried treasure?

I was merely trying
to help the lads.

After all, I didn't know that
they'd come by the gold legally.

The last time I had
seen them was in Kansas,

where our show was disbanded
because of, uh, financial difficulties.

Yeah, and you cheated
us out of all our savings.

The money we were
going to buy the farm with.

And our families are still back
east, waiting for us to send for them.

That's why we began panning
for gold. We were broke.

Oh. Now, come on, Timothy.

After all, everything has
turned out fine, hasn't it?

And with the gold
from our little...

Uh, heh, heh.

Your little enterprise here,

we can fashion the most magnificent
show this world has ever seen.

And think of it,
lads, just think of it.

You're going to be the stars.

Hold on there, McCarthy.

There's something I
think you ought to know.

You're on Ponderosa land.

Heh. I don't think
I quite understand.

Well, let me explain.

You see, the gold that your little
friends here have been panning,

they panned on our land, so
the gold isn't theirs or yours.

We didn't know that.
Honest, we didn't.

We thought it was open land.

Hmm. Well, now this, uh,
puts a different complexion

on things altogether.

Yes, we'll have to attack this
problem from another angle, I can see.


All right, now, lads.

- Since we've got the gold, let's be off.
- No, McCarthy.

We won't steal for you.

The gold belongs to
these people, not us.

Come on, now, Timothy. After all,
you've only got one of two choices.

A simple little bit of
larceny or bloodshed.

And I imagine that you'll
choose the former, eh?

Good, I thought
you'd see it my way.

Uh, gentlemen, would
you step over here, please?

Good, thank you.

Thank you for your hospitality,
gentlemen, thank you.

Now, it is with a great deal
of sorrow that I bid you...

I'm sorry, McCarthy.

Don't be too hard
on him, mister.

Bring him along.

Mr. McCarthy, you can
thank the Cartwrights here

for not bringing
charges against you.

And once you're
on that stagecoach,

I want that to be the last time
that Virginia City ever sees you.

The old refrain, eh, lads?

Ah, Mr. Hoss, I understand
congratulations are in order, huh?

All the gold goes
to you, I'm told.

As the old saying has
it, them that has, gets.

Well, I'm afraid not
this time, Mr. McCarthy.

We figured on giving the
gold back to these fellas.

- You what?
- What?

Yeah, we figured that they got
more of a right to it than we have.

Well, I'd like to hear
how you decided that.

Well, Roy, where'd that gold
come from in the first place?

Up in the high mountains, right?
Now, they ain't on the Ponderosa.

I figure if these fellas
hadn't panned that gold out,

it'd have gone out to sea and
nobody would've benefited from it.

But they were standing on your
land while they was doing the panning.

That don't make no difference.
That gold never did belong

to the Ponderosa
in the first place.

I figure it was just
sort of passing through.

Hmm, what a charming idea.

Hoss, by all legal rights...
- Roy,

I think what Hoss
is trying to say is,

regardless of who
has a right to the gold,

he feels that the gold should go to
where there's the most need for it.

And this way, that gold will help five
new families get started on a new life.

Oh, I don't know what to say.

The only thing I wanted
to do in the first place

was just prove that I didn't
dream you little fellas up.

Uh, heh, heh.

I, uh, ahem, don't suppose that you
would like to come along with me, eh?

No, professor. I'm sorry, we
just don't want to be performers.

No, I didn't suppose you would.

We just don't like being
laughed at all the time.

Laughed at?

Well, now, listen
to me, lads, listen.

None of us in the show
ever laughed at you.

But those people, those people
outside there, they'll laugh at you.

It's a very beautiful dream you have,
settling down with your loved ones,

farming your own land,
leading normal lives.

The only question
is, will they let you?

Stagecoach is here,
Mr. McCarthy. Let's go.

All right.

All right, folks.
Excuse me, please.

- There they are.
- What are they?

The funniest
critters I ever did see.

Maybe the professor's right.

Maybe we shouldn't try to
live out among other people.

Maybe we just don't belong.

Now, wait a minute. Just
hold your horses a minute.

Don't you go selling
those folks short out there.

Don't you see? You're making
the same mistake they're making.

You're judging them
before you even know them.

Now, come on, you're
gonna go out there

and meet these folks
right now. Come on.

Folks, I'd like for all of
you to move down here.

I got something I
wanna say to you.

It concerns every one of you. I
want you to hear it. Come on out.

Now, folks, I know that
because all of you turned out

and are raising such a
ruckus over our newcomers

that you're just chomping at
the bits to meet them, ain't you?

Hey, Hoss, be careful you don't
step on one of them little fellas,

you might squash him.

Charlie. Charlie.

You be careful you don't
get stepped on a little bit.

Now, folks,

I know that none of
you would purposely

or mean to hurt
anybody's feelings,

but Timothy here and the others
feel like that they ain't welcome here.

They think you're making fun of them
because you don't want them around.

Now, of course, you've noticed
that they're different from you.

They're a whole lot littler.

Well, that's a funny thing.

You see, I notice the
same thing about you.

Now, these fellas are here for
the same reason most of us are.

That's to help settle
our town, make it grow.

Raise their families. They're
planning on building their homes here.

Working their crops.

Being good neighbors.

Now, in the past, we've
always welcomed folks like that.

And I don't see no reason we
should treat these fellas any different.

You, Mr. Lucas,
you're the banker.

You ought to be happy to
see new investors in the town.

Their money is
just as big as mine.

And you, Darrell Gillespie,

it ought to tickle you to death
to find prospective buyers

for that bottom land
you've been trying to sell.

And that ain't all.

They're gonna need
tools to work that land with

and to build their homes.

We got five brand new
families here in Virginia City

that's gonna raise
their young'uns,

they're gonna buy clothes
and buy food and get haircuts

and get their teeth fixed, buying
seeds and supporting the church.

I figure every one of us is gonna
benefit from their being here.

I think we ought to give them a
great big rousing Virginia City welcome.

Shucks, Hoss, we wasn't
making any more fun of them

than we do of you
for being so big.

Dorsel's right, Hoss. I reckon
they're as welcome here as any of us.

Probably more
welcome than some of us.

- Must be something in the air.
- Yep.

Something real nice.

All right, now, listen!

We're going over
to the Gold Lily

and we're gonna have a
toast to our little friends.

Wait. Don't forget
our friend Hoss.

Hey, hey, fellas. No,
wait a minute, fellas.

There ain't enough of us, Hoss.
Come along on your own power.

Behind the Scenes of Hoss and the Leprechauns

This particular episode aired just a month after the tragic assassination of President Kennedy, served as a timely comedic relief during a period of national mourning. Its Christmas theme added to the festive spirit, providing a much-needed source of laughter for the grieving nation. Widely regarded as one of the most beloved installments of Bonanza, it garnered immense popularity among viewers.

The costumes worn by the actors portraying the leprechauns were repurposed from another Paramount production, “The Court Jester,” featuring Danny Kaye. Hats were added to distinguish them and create a semblance of uniqueness.

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The lively soundtrack accompanying the leprechauns’ antics features an adaptation of Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture,” composed in 1826, adding to the whimsical atmosphere of the episode.

A notable detail in the episode is the portrayal of Hoss firing seven shots from his gun despite it being a six-shooter. This humorous oversight adds to the charm of the storyline.

Recognized by TV Guide as a classic, this episode continues to be cherished by fans for its comedic brilliance and enduring appeal.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is an exceptional, family-friendly series suitable for solo viewing or shared enjoyment with loved ones. Hoss and the Leprechauns marks the 146th episode out of 430 episodes. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on the network from September 1959 to January 1973, boasting 14 seasons.

You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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