The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction
The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971)
Green Acres (1965-1971)
Petticoat Junction (1963-1970)
It started with the story of a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed. From there it turned into a mini-TV dynasty.
In 1962 The Beverly Hillbillies premiered. It told the story of Jed Clampett and his family. Having accidentally struck oil (black gold, texas tea) while hunting, mountain man Jed became instantly wealthy. His relatives convinced Jed that now being wealthy, for the good of his daughter Elly May he should move to posh Beverly Hills. Jed was happy living the hillbilly life but, for Elly's sake, agreed. So he loaded up his truck and they moved to Beverly... Hills that is. Swimmin' pools, movie stars.
The rest of the family consisted of his knockout gorgeous daughter Elly May who was strong as an ox and had a way with critters, er, animals. Jethro Bodine was Jed's nephew. Big, super strong, handsome and dumb as a, well, dumbass, Jethro tried to become a ladies man and a movie mogul. If he wasn't terminally retarded he might have succeeded (my apologies to retarded people - it was rude of me to lump you in with Jethro). Granny was the matriarch of the family. Cranky and cantankerous, Granny specialized in "medcine" - otherwise known as high octane moonshine. Like Jethro and Elly, Granny also seemed somehow preternaturally strong and athletic. She looked to be one hundred years old and yet was still capable of running faster than is humanly possible all the while leaping over obstacles.
Also in the cast was Mr. Drysdale who ran the bank Jed kept his money in and his secretary Miss Hathaway. Mr. Drysdale was a live action incarnation of Daffy Duck's insatiable greed - he loooved money and would often bend over backward to make sure the Clampett's kept their money in his care.
At one point, Mr. Drysdale feared he might lose that money when the Clampetts headed home to the mountains for a multi-episode visit. Mr. Drysdale feared the Clampetts might decide to stay in the mountains and take their money with them. Once again Mr. Drysdale drove himself to madness making sure this didn't happen.
But something else happened during the Clampetts' visit home. It was revealed that the hills where the Clampetts were originally from were very close to a little town called Hooterville which also happened to be the setting for two other shows produced by the same people.
The first was a show called Petticoat Junction. Premiering in 1963, it was a sitcom about a hotel called The Shady Rest that sat next to the local train depot, or "junction" - Petticoat Junction. The hotel was run by widower Kate Bradley who had to watch over her three gorgeous daughters and keep them out of trouble. There was also old Uncle Joe who was movin' kinda slow at the junction - Petticoat Junction. A lot of other characters came and went but one who stayed for the entire run of the show was Sam Drucker who ran the town store. When the Beverly Hillbillies came home to visit, Sam was of utmost concern to Mr. Drysdale since he also ran what passed for the town bank - he was Drysdales competition! He wasn't much competition but like I said, money made Mr. Drysdale crazy and paranoid with greed. The junction - Petticoat Junction - was called Petticoat Junction because Kate's daughters would go skinny dipping in the local water tower and leave their petticoats hanging over the edge of the water tower. The show's opening credits always showed the girls getting caught, popping their heads over the edge of the tower in front of the hung petticoats and then disappearing inside with them. I'm sorry. It actually would be the girls doing this along with the show's final star - their dog who was played by the original Benji before he found movie fame!
In 1965 the final member of the Hooterville Triology premiered. Green Acres was the mirror opposite of The Beverly Hillbillies. Whereas the Beverly Hillbillies were the story of a bunch of backwoods country hill folk living in the city, Green Acres was the story of a couple of city folk living in the backwoods country! Oliver Wendell Douglas was a big time Manhattan lawyer who, wanting a to live a simpler life bought a farm, packed up and moved to the country. Keep Manhattan just give him that countryside! He forced his city loving wife to come with him. Oliver, she loves you but give her Park Avenue!
Once on his farm outside Hooterville, Oliver learned country life wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The farm was a dump. He hired people to repair the place but in the show's six year run the repairs were never completed. To answer the telephone he had to climb to the top of a phone pole where the phone was hanging! The neighbors were grimy country folks. He was constantly getting upset and frustrated with them all. Oddly enough, his wife Lisa who never wanted to move to the country seemed to actually enjoy herself more, blithely carrying on her life as closely as she could to the same style and manner she had in the city.
In addition to the Douglas family, Hooterville had a number of other... colorful residents. The Ziffel were the grimy country folk I mentioned earlier. They treated their pig Arnold like one of the family. And to be blunt, Arnold was probably the smartest character on the show! Mr. Haney was the shifty traveling salseman. Eb Dawson was their handyman. Sam Drucker was... well the same guy he was on Petticoat Junction and in his guest appearances on the Beverly Hillbillies: the guy who ran the local store!
While the Beverly Hillbillies only made the occassional guest visit to Hooterville, the casts of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction frequently bopped back and forth between shows with some like Sam Drucker being regulars on both shows!
It was an empire! A grimy pig pooped doused empire! Nothing could stop this hick town juggernaut trilogy! Except for CBS which ran all three shows. Petticoat Junction was cancelled in 1970. Then in 1971, CBS cancelled the still popular Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies as part of a sweeping move on the networks part to get rid of all its "rural" comedies. Smart programming guys. "Gee, people still love these shows but lets cancel them anyway because they seem to have country appeal and not city appeal. And we want urban viewers not farmers." Because, of course, country folk only watch country themed shows and city folk only watch city themed shows. And so I guess only Nazis and POW could enjoy Hogan's Heroes and only people in parallel dimensions watched The Twilight Zone. And even if there was any truth to that way of thinking, what is up with snubbing country viewers anyway! Screw you 1971 CBS executives! Next time you need a meal, go eat pavement. Those are the folks who put the food on your overly self important tables Mr. Corporate Fat Cat! May Jed Clampett buy you out and make you live on the Douglas' run down farm!Other Beverly Hillbillies Crossover Links
The Beverly Hillbillies and Mister Ed
Other Green Acres Crossover Links
Green Acres and Hogan's Heroes
Click here to return to main Crossover List
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