Although he is known for his more serious, western film roles, John Wayne did have a fun side, this includes him dressing up as an Easter Bunny in a 1970s comedy sketch.
During an episode of the “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” series, the two presenters announced that John Wayne would be appearing on the show. “Oh, we got a real problem,” one of the presenters declared. “John Wayne refuses to do the sketch. He says he feels stupid.”
The presenter further states that John Wayne was backstage holding his breath as a sign of protest. “Hey Duke, come here. What’s the matter?” The other presenter asked. And here comes John Wayne rocking an Easter Bunny suit. “First one [that] snickers gets a broke face,” Wayne declared.
When the presenters say they don’t know what was bothering him, the Easter Bunny-dressed John Wayne stated, “I’ll tell you what’s bothering me. I’m a grown man. You got me all dressed up in this silly bunny outfit.”
John Wayne, while still wearing the Easter Bunny outfit, said he will not perform in the bunny sketch. “I’m an actor. I read the part. It’s demeaning and embarrassing. I won’t do it.”
As the presenters continue to try to convince John Wayne to do the sketch, other cast members took the stage wearing animal costumes. He ends rehearsing for the sketch, which causes the audience to crack up laughing.
Finally, John Wayne said he was no longer having all of the nonsense. “I’m gonna go to some bar and have a martini … and a carrot,” he added then he hopped away. He did reappear at the end of the episode and said, “I guess it could have been worse. They could have asked me to dress up like a liberal.”
John Wayne’s Son Said His Father Knew He Wouldn’t Be Around to See Him Grow Up
During a 2018 interview with Fox News, John Wayne’s son, Ethan Wayne, spoke about how his father knew he wasn’t going to be around to see him grow up. “He took with me on location. I’d be homeschooled down on location in Mexico because he knew he wasn’t going to be around for me when I was older, and that he would probably lose me while I was young, teenage man. So he took me with him when I was little. And one of my jobs was to load the car with all the personal items that he wanted with him when he would make a film somewhere remote. Or if he went on his boat, the Wild Goose.”
John Wayne’s son was 10-years-old when his father was 66-years-old. Even at that time, the Duke was still cowboyin’ in movies. “[And] he’s on a horse, he’s running at full speed across open country, with a herd of horses running with him… he was a bold, outgoing individual who was full of life, constantly moving forward… And nobody sits on a horse like John Wayne does.”