Q: In the many episodes of "Gunsmoke," Matt and Kitty are obviously boyfriend and girlfriend. Did Matt ever kiss Kitty in any episode? I've looked and have not seen it.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

They never kiss in any episode of the show, but that's not to say they never kiss at all. You're not likely to see the screen smooch, though, because none of the boxed sets or online streaming platforms kept the commercials.

"Gunsmoke" was sponsored for years by L&M Tobacco Company and, in those days, a TV show's stars frequently appeared in the commercials that aired during the show (a tradition that carried over from the radio days). In one ad, Amanda Blake (who played Kitty) hands James Arness (Matt) a carton of L&M cigarettes as a Christmas present and plants a big kiss on his cheek. He looks at the screen and says, "That's the way I like to get L&Ms, folks."

Sure, they're not in character (they're in contemporary clothes and she calls him "Jim" in the ad), but it's the closest we ever got.

For reasons of propriety — and for the sake of keeping some of the will-they-or-won't-they dynamic alive (indeed, "Gunsmoke" helped create the will-they-or-won't-they dynamic on TV) — their romance is never openly acknowledged on the show.

In an interview with United Press International midway through "Gunsmoke's" legendary 20-year run, Arness said the show would never go beyond suggesting a relationship between the two: "You know, where do you go from there? They couldn't be married. That would spoil the whole gag."


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