Skip to comments.The 'Beverly Hillbillies' at 50 -- how would Jethro vote in 2012?
Posted on 09/26/2012 8:17:21 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Fifty years ago today CBS introduced a new TV series that sharply divided American cultural opinion. Critics and intellectuals hated it, and it became for them a symbol of how far television had fallen since the so-called golden age of live, New York-based programs in the early days of the medium. Most everybody else felt differently, however.
The show became an instant hit of mammoth proportions. It spent its first two seasons at the very top of the Nielsen ratings. At its peak, it was being watched by 60 million viewers per week. As late as 1982, eleven years after it had left the air at the end of its ninth season, nine of this shows episodes could still be found on the list of the top fifty highest-rated broadcasts of all time, alongside Super Bowls, blockbuster miniseries, and special event programming. "The Beverly Hillbillies" was, without question, one of the most popular television series in the history of American television.
In the first episode, aired on September 26, 1962, we were introduced to Jed Clampett, his mother-in-law Granny, his daughter Elly May, and cousin Jethro, all poor mountaineers scraping out a happy but subsistence living in some remote location in the Ozarks.
The now-classic opening theme song elegantly sums up the premise of the show. Jed shoots at what he hopes will be the evenings meal, but misses. His errant bullet pricks the surface of the rich American soil, and oil (black gold, Texas tea) commences gushing out of the ground. With his new found riches, his cousin Pearl convinces him that Californy is the place you oughta be (in the pithiest phrasing of American Manifest Destiny since Go West, Young Man), so he loads up three generations of his family and moves to Beverly Hills...
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Can you imagine what CNN would do for 60 million viewers a week? MSNBHeeHaw? CBS Evening News?
He changed his name to Methro and married a stripper.
Ok, time to confess... how many of you can still sing the entire theme song?
Jethro the educated tho stupid one would have voted for Obama because he thinks he is going to give him a new car.
The rest would vote for Romney.
Are you kidding?
Elly May helped my voice change.
Double-Naught spy just might go for the Double Naught Dumb@ss
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'd have more faith
in these folk in DC rather than either political party.
As a double-naught spy, Jethro would naturally be appalled at Obama’s foreign policy ineptness, and cast his lot with Mr. Drys...I mean Mr. Romney.
Ellie May, on the other hand, still donates to PETA, but otherwise remains a staunch conservative after the incident when femi-Nazis mistook her use of the double-barreled slingshot as a sign of support.
Ellie Mae would eventually move in with Miss Hathaway, while Jethro would become a substitute NFL referee.
Jed votes for Romney over the Negro, and Granny, well........
It makes me sick to my stomach just to think about it.
I was a little younger than you, I guess. It was “I dream of Jeanie” for me...
I do remember watching the Beverly Hillbillies, but when it came out, I was in 3rd grade.
The Beverly Hillbillies was an awesome show, and is still better than anything made today. And not to mention, the music was great. See Flatt and Scruggs in this video at 2:20.
I know this is all in fun, but it is a symptom of where our nation is today too. Freepers are informed. But the fact that Fox has to have an article like this is pretty sad.
The best TV show ever made of course.
And, the dreck of "reality TV" had not come to life. Now, we TRULY know how far television has fallen!
Funny thing is, I liked the show, but I never had any idea that it was as popular as the article states. I guess, back then, the networks still had some profit motive.
“As a double-naught spy, Jethro would naturally be appalled at Obamas foreign policy ineptness, and cast his lot with Mr. Drys...I mean Mr. Romney.”
Well, he was educated clear to the sixth grade...and could do his ciphering like all get out.
I'd trust these guys before the BHO choom gang.
That is funny!
And I could easily have seen that being in an episode, would have fit perfectly!
Jethro would go with the republicans because liberal girls all look like Miss Jane.
So what were the nine top rated episodes? I’m sure one of them was Granny and the Kangaroo.
I believe that today is Donna Douglas’ birthday and she is 79.
Rather than having her move in with Miss Hathaway, she should have gotten the slot on the Fox News Channel that Bill O'Reilly currently has while Hathaway sits next to Scarborough on MSNBC's Morning Idiot. show.
Indeed he was the warden in that movie. We used to crank call him at home ( yeah, I know) he was in the Laguna Beach, CA white pages.
No, but we had a girl in the neighborhood whose name was Boone, and her dad looked just like Richard Boone.
Raymond Bailey also played Jimmy Stewart’s shrink at the mental asylum in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”
During the last 4 years of that show I was attending college in the Ozarks. There were lots of families living a self sufficiently on land homesteaded generations ago. They grew their own food heated with wood and had no need for full time work, they were free.
Then the politicians came up with a plan to give them free stuff but the stuff had to be paid for with property taxes. The taxes got raised so high that that it took a full time job to pay them. Trouble was, there weren't that many full time jobs to go around. So most of those families lost their land and had to go the cities and live on welfare in public housing. Didn't take long for them to figure out that they got more welfare if they weren't married so the families broke up.
Oh and their land, it got sold on the Courthouse steps for back taxes. The auction notices were put on the bulletin boards so naturally it was the courthouse crowd who got most of it.
The kinfolk said “Jed, move away from there!”
Interestingly enough, Nancy Kulp/”Miss Jane” later ran for political office as a Democrat and Republican Buddy Ebsen/”Uncle Jed” campaigned against her. If memory serves me correctly, she lost the election to her opponent.
Two of my favorite episodes dealt with that particular scenario-
“Jethro’s First Love”
And it was highly preferable to the partisan Marxist propaganda we're endlessly fed on the tube today. The author is a J-school indoctrinated PC windbag.
The realities of that era were hard enough to bear. Castro had won his civil war and Che Guevara was herding intellectuals and opposition politicians "to the wall" daily where they were mercilessly shot in cold blood.
I remember spending a couple of days on the Hillbillies set in Hollywood in my job as TV columnist. I guess I'm not an intellectual -- I knew the show was going to be a huge hit. The American public needed escape from the frightening realities of the Cold War.
I enjoyed a breakfast interview with Buddy Ebsen at Brown Derby and dinner with Irene Ryan at Chasen's. I horsed around with Donna Douglas and Max Baer Jr. and the rest of the cast on the set, and flew home with some great column fodder. "Hillbillies" was just the kind of diversion the country needed at that moment.
In another flashback to that time I remember standing in front of a bank of 20 or so clacking teletype machines waiting for news about the flotilla of Russian warships headed toward Cuba during the Missile Crisis. Would Kennedy stand firm? Would Khrushchev waver? Or would nuclear bombs start raining down any moment? It was the most terrifying hour of my life, wondering about my wife and family and how the world might change at any moment.
In those days we got "reality" in big doses, undiluted. And we didn't get it from Hollywood TV shows.
Wow. You should write a book. I went to school with Buddy Ebsen’s kids in Newport. You could always see him playing solitaire at his kitchen table in Balboa Island
I was a 2 year old toddler in Santa Ana at the time, but I enjoyed the show later on. A true classic.
I remember having my dad fill the Ford station wagon with canned food and blankets one night during the missile crisis. We were almost headed to Arizona but the newscasters advised the traffic very heavy out of Los Angeles. Yes, we got reality in big doses in those days.
The liberal commie b!tch got trounced AFTER Buddy Ebsen took out a full-page ad in the L.A. Times telling everyone what a nanny-state-do-gooder she was and how she held up production of the show for days because she was unhappy with this or that. God Bless Buddy for doing everything he could to keep the commie whore as far from a voting seat as possible.
Hell yeah.I remember that.
Great story. Thanks. And I agree, God bless Buddy.
It’s fascinating to me that a supporting cast member would have the influence to hold up shooting for days and still keep her job. I can understood studio execs putting up with that kind of behavior from a Marilyn Monroe-type lead star but from Nancy Kulp? :?
Fascinating story. Where Ebsen, Baer and Misses Ryan and Douglas as nice off-screen as they were on-screen? The ultimate appeal of the show was the fact that the characters were all nice and unpretentious which is why the American heartland loved them while the snooty critics hated them. In a way, the Mrs. Drysdale character probably resembled their real-life critics.
I loved shows like this that the whole family could watch, they didn’t preach at their viewers and they provided some badly need relief from the stress of their times. Shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Green Acres”, “Gilligan’s Island”, “Get Smart”, etc., live on because they provided folks with the unpretentious entertainment they needed and still needed.
Me too...although I never really liked the show.
Come listen to a story bout a man named Ahmed
Poor Bedouin barely kept his family fed.
Then one day- he was shootin at some Jews
When up through the ground comes a bubblin ooze
Oil that is Saudi soda.... Persian Perrier
Now the first thing ya know, Ahmeds a millionaire
Kin folk said: Ahmed, Move away from there!
said: Californy is the place that youd do fair
So the loaded up their camel and they moved to BelAir
swimmin pools movie stars ...Jews....
The Bel Airabs! -From Saturday Night Live, circa 1979
Except for maybe Gilligan’s Island.....
Her hibiscus was ailing.