The "Old West" has long been a popular theme in amusement parks and theme parks. A part of many western themed areas has been a gunfight, which in some cases evolved into a "comedy gun fight" show which remain popular in some parks to this day.
|With the addition of the Viper roller coaster in 1995, an elaborately themed ghost town and desert queue was built as part of the ride's theming. With Time Warner's ownership of Six Flags, great efforts were made to bring theming back to the chain of Six Flags parks, and each new addition usually featured a highly detailed queue which improved the sometimes underwhelming rides. After the first two seasons for Viper, lines decreased and the queue was no longer utilized the way it had been. As a result, the park began efforts to bring in more entertainment by offering a show performed in the desert ghost town area of the queue. This new show opportunity was a natural especially following the success of the Frontier Adventures Stage just a few years prior.
|Introduced in 1997, the Legend of Venom Gulch show was added utilizing the facades of Viper's ghost town queue along with the prop-filled dirt area between the ride's waiting line and the neighboring pathway in front of the ride. By locating the performance area here, it offered a show for those on line for Viper as well as those passing by on the main thoroughfare. This set up made the show one of Great Adventure's only theater-in-the round.
Rather than a strict "gun fight" like so many parks had offered,
the Legend of Venom Gulch
was a comedy show. The cast of four performers gave a show with broad
humor and bad puns often resulting in laughs but more often groans from
The cast also provided a series of physical jokes often timed with movable props and zany sound effects. Two of the largest props included an oversized water well and an authentic stagecoach. The stagecoach was a veteran of Great Adventure's shows appearing in numerous entertainment offerings dating back to the 1974 wild west show at the Great Arena and later as a photo op prop in front of the Fort starting in 1992.
|The show props were controlled by a stagehand located in the little wood-clad shed towards the front of Viper's queue. This shed dated back to 1986 when it was constructed under the switch track of the Ultra Twister coaster. It survived that ride's removal and lasted until the Viper coaster was demolished in 2005.
|For Fright Fest, the
Legend of Venom Gulch show area became home to Bad Bob The Bone Butcher, a long
running part of Fright Fest in the park's Western Adventures section.
The Legend of Venom Gulch show ran for just two seasons, with the area becoming home to the Rodeo Stampede flat ride for the 1999 season when 25 new attractions were introduced around the park as part of the "War on Lines".
|Original Spotlight: June 6, 2021. GAH Reference#: SHOW-1997-001