A TV western, running from 1959 - 1973, featuring Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, patriarch of the Cartwright family. The family, consisting of Ben and his three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon), lived on and worked a Nevada ranch called the Ponderosa.

Ben Cartwright was quite a man. His sons each had a different mother, all three of whom old Ben had outlived. Most episodes involved various threats to the Ponderosa and the Cartwrights' ingenuity and integrity eliminating those threats. The show is still alive in reruns and has one of the most recognizable pieces of theme music and memorable opening credits in television history.

Bonanza is also the name of a chain of family restaurants. Their menu mostly consists of grilled steak and chicken items. These entrees come with an all-you-can-eat food bar. You can also just get an all-you-can-eat food bar, if you want. Many college students have been known to get a cheap meal this way.

Of course, that's not the first thing I associate with Bonanza. Actually, the first thing I associate with Bonanza is the fact that I was a victim of an armed robbery while working at one.

Bonanza was a rather poor HUMO lookalike by an overrated belgian TV production house called woestijnvis. They 'd better stuck with making TV shows.

They bought some editors from competing magazines, offering them the big money.

The market for this type of magazine was already saturated and people tend to be more loyal to a publication than a TV station. The magazine was in trouble before its first edition...

Update: on 20-aug-01 woestijnvis stopped with the magazine and has announced a colaboration with Mediaxis, the company that owns HUMO ... (if you can't beat them, join them)

The Ponderosa Ranch really does exist. It's located around the city of Incline Village, Nevada near Lake Tahoe. It's not really worth your while, you're better off in Reno, but if you're on a road trip and you have some time on you hands, you could drop by the place. Be warned, the only souvenir (worth keeping) is a tin cup, and the attractions are a petting zoo, "Kiddieland," a display on old farming tools, and other corny tourist traps.

The Bonanza is a six-seat, low-wing, single-engine passenger plane manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Company ("Beechcraft"). The first Bonanza was constructed in 1947, and Beechcraft still produces them as of the time of this writing in 2002. The Bonanza is known for its durability and reliability, rivalling the Cessna 172 "Skyhawk" in that regard, and is still one of the most common privately-owned aircraft in the sky.

The Bonanza (while more expensive than the Cessna 172, its primary competitor) is a very high-performance aircraft, reaching a maximum speed of 165 knots, compared to the Skyhawk's 128 knots. The Bonanza is actually safer and more reliable than the vaunted Skyhawk, but it doesn't have the Skyhawk's popularity and market share, because of the Bonanza's significantly greater expense.

One of the most interesting things about the Bonanza is that it comes in two very visibly different types: the straight tail, which has a normal aircraft's tail on the end, and V-tail, which, well, has a tail that terminates in a V-shape.

Most aircraft have a stabilizing tail in a T-shape, with the crossbar of the T either at the top of the tail or the bottom. The V-Tail Bonanza, on the other hand, has a V-shaped tail, without the crossbar. This allows the V-Tail Bonanza to accomplish with two surfaces what most aircraft must do with three, thus reducing weight and drag, as well as making manufacturing cheaper. It also looks really cool.

Unfortunately, the unique V-tail design requires a more complicated control system for the maneuvering surfaces, and creates far more stress on the tail than the T-tail design, leading to a significant number of Bonanzas breaking up in flight. Beech stopped manufacturing V-Tail Bonanzas in 1982, to the disappointment of many, but still manufactures straight-tail machines.

In 1985, Beechcraft released an upgrade kit to strengthen the Bonanza's airframe and control surfaces in order to compensate for the V-Tail's issues, and both types of Bonanza are known for having an even greater safety and reliability record than the Cessna 172.

Raw Data

Beech Aircraft Company Model 35 "Bonanza"

There were actually 2 versions of the theme song for the show Bonanza. The second, and most widely known because it actually aired with the show, was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. This theme was sung by Lorne Greene. Here are the lyrics (as if you couldn’t recite them from memory):

We chased lady luck, 'til we finally struck Bonanza.
With a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, planted a family tree.
We got hold of a pot of gold, Bonanza.
With a horse and a saddle, and a range full of cattle, how rich can a fellow be?

On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name,
fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
Here in the West, we're livin' the best, Bonanza,
if anyone fights any one of us, he's go a fight with me, Bonanza.

Hoss and Joe and Adam know every rock and pine,
no one works, fights, or eats, like those boys of mine.
Here we stand in the middle of a grand Bonanza.
With a gun and a rope and a hatful of hope, we planted our family tree,
we got hold of a potful of gold, Bonanza.

With a houseful of friends where the rainbow ends, how rich can a fellow be?
On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name,
fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
Here in the west we're livin' the best Bonanza.

With the friendliest, fightingist, loving band, that ever set foot in the promised land,
and we're happier than them all.
That's why we call it Bonanza...Bonanza...Bonanza...

The first version of the theme song, which was recorded and intended to air with the pilot episode "A Rose for Lotta", was sung by Hoss (Dan Blocker), Little Joe (Michael Landon) and Ben (Lorne Greene). The producers of the show rejected the theme and decided to go with the above version before the first episode aired. Here’s the original theme’s lyrics:

Little Joe (solo):
I've got a flair for women everywhere---Bonanza!

Hoss (solo):
Bonanza! (Barks and howls)

Hoss, Joe and Ben:
I'm not afraid of any pretty maid--Bonanza! Bonanza!
But when I give a kiss to any little miss,
She'll learn a lot from me.

Ben (solo):
I'm not afraid of any pretty maid--Bonanza!

Hoss, Joe and Ben:
When I give a kiss to any little miss
She'll learn a lot from me
Hair of brown, hair of gold
I'll take what I see

We're not a one to saddle up and run--Bonanza! Bonanza!
Anyone of us who starts a little fuss
Knows he can count on me
One for four, four for all
This we guarantee

We got a right to pick a little fight--Bonanza! Bonanza!
If anyone fights any one of us
He's gotta fight with me!

This node brought to you by the Everyone Should Memorize the Lyrics to Bonanza League.


Bo*nan"za (?), n. [Sp., prop. calm., fair weather, prosperity, fr. L. bonus good.]

In mining, a rich mine or vein of silver or gold; hence, anything which is a mine of wealth or yields a large income.

[Colloq. U. S.]


© Webster 1913.

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