Hillbillies Wednesday

Ah, another great theme song!  And closer, too!

The Beverly Hillbillies ran for 9 seasons, and according to Wikipedia, “paved the way for later culture-conflict programs” like The Nanny and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  The premise is all spelled out in its theme song: Jed Clampett, a poor mounaineer, discovers oil on his land while hunting for dinner.  He becomes an oil millionaire and moves his family into a mansion in Beverly Hills.  Instead of living a lavish lifestyle, the Clampetts– Jed, his daughter Ellie May, nephew Jethro, and mother-in-law “Granny”– continue to live their hillbilly lifestyle.  They make their own soap, grow their own food, and comedically, don’t understand modern convenience.  Mr. Drysdale, Jed’s greedy banker, and his secretary Jane Hathaway do their best to accommodate the Clampetts.  “Miss Jane” was always my favorite; she called her boss “chief,” but really was the brains of the operation.

My favorite gag in this show was the pool in the mansion’s backyard.  The Clampetts called this the “cement pond.”  Because they pronounced it “see-ment,” it took me a while to get this joke.  Hey, I was like, 10!

I’m also remembering a specific episode in which Jed tries to be a rock star.  I have a mental image of Buddy Epsen repeating “yeah baby, well baby” in a metallic-looking outfit.  This show was definitely in black and white, so really, how much could you tell?

The Beverly Hillbillies ran from 1962 to 1971– that’s a long run!  Though I’m sure outdated, I’m willing to bet the backwards antics of the out-of-place Clampett family would still pull some laughs today!

y’all come back now, ya hear?

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