Marshal Matt Dillon says, "Hold it! Real easy now. Read this hub"
"Hold it," a trademark phrase.
635 times total. This was the number of times that fabled-television "marshal," Matt Dillon, (Gunsmoke), a/k/a the late James Arness said those stop-all words, "Hold it,' to stop the meanest outlaw and roughest of bullies. This phrase could easily be in competition (as television's best-known catch-phrase) with Jack Lord's, "Steve McGarrett," "Book 'im Dann-o," on the early CBS' series, "Hawaii Five-O," that was more realistic than today's cheap copy.
More stars with their catch-phrases.
Do you also recall the bold, confident Telly Savalas' hit detective series, "Kojak," the lollipop-eating New York detective who ate nails for breakfast and snacked on cement between meals, whose delight was catching criminals by saying, "Busted, baby?" I do. I loved the show. Side note: today in 2015, my head looks just like Savalas' head--shaved slick. No, the hot girls do not attack me when I appear in public.
Even tough Broderick Crawford who was "Officer Dan Matthews," on early television's action-series, "Highway Patrol," has his own famous phrase: "Take 'im away," which meant "take these lawbreakers straight to jail."
Other stars' catch phrases.
As far as television's tough lawmen and their catch-phrases, there was also, "That's far enough," "Stop or I'll put you down," "Don't even think of running," and this one that is so bland, it was a miracle that it even made it to early lawmen scripts: "Stop! You are under arrest." They were all fun to hear each week and sometimes we adults worked these phrases into our work life. Or I did. And that was always met with confused looks from my coworkers. So I stopped saying these famous phrases.
I will leave you with one more that although it seemed out-of-place in with these other demanding terms, caught my eardrums one night on the old "Starsky and Hutch" episodes where the police duo were chasing a crime kingpin named, "Amboy," who had his hand in "every crooked pie" in town. So at "this" episode's end and with Starsky and Hutch sometimes on foot and sometimes in Starsky's tomato-red Ford Torino, winding down, "Amboy," had nowhere to run. He was on the edge of a dock that overlooked the ocean. With one breath, Hutchinson yelled, "It's all over, 'Amboy,' thrown down that gun!" And that was that.
Oh, how catch-phrases change
But wouldn't it been just as effective for Hutch to say, "It's all over?" Rather than add 'Amboy,' throw down that gun"? That's just me.
On COPS, the reality show about cops being filmed in some city catching thugs and serving the community, these modern-day lawmen are more sensitive and courteous to their criminals than their forerunners. When making a traffic stop, the officer slowly walks to the driver's side of the car and says, "Driver. Show me your hands." And the driver complies. Then the officer says, "Get out of the car, please." And the driver obeys without conflict. I guess it was all because of the power of the word, "please." If only Matt Dillon, Bat Masterson, and their crime-fighting bro's had just used "please," instead of those uncultured terms to get the thug's attention.
I think that "Matt (James Arness) Dillon," should have been given a variety of phrases he could have yelled at the lawbreakers in his time to get them to halt so he could take them to jail. This, after all, would have been the fair thing to do. Right?
So going from there, let's see my title . . .
Other Phrases "Matt Dillon" Could Have Used Besides "Hold it"
"Hey, you. Put your brakes on!"
"This is 'Matt Dillon,' United States Marshal. Hit the ground with your face."
"One more step and you're a goner."
"I hate to do this, but cease running."
"How'd you like a slug in your back?"
"You're under arrest now learn to like it."
"Hands up, low life!"
"Get to stopping or get to finding a doc!"
"Your back makes a great bulls eye."
"I said stop!"
"Whoooaaa! What are you, a mule?"
"You are going to jail, mister."
"Uh, now don't make this harder than it has to be. Stop. Now!"
"Hands up, please!"
"Excuse me, but you are going to jail tonight."
"Freeze where you stand!"
* "Stop or I will fill you full of lead!"
"Drop it. You don't stand a chance."
"That's it, you low-down polecat!"
"You don't want to tangle with me, 'Harley!"
"This badge ain't tin, so throw them hands up!"
* This command was actually used by sheriff(s) Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.