Nick and Nite

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  Though I’m sure outdated, I’m willing to bet the backwards antics of the out-of-place Clampett family would still pull some laughs today!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?

Gilligan on Tuesday

Ah, my favorite night!  Not only did Gilligan’s Island have one of the most memorable theme songs of all time, but the lesser known closing theme was bomb too.

To be honest, I can’t pinpoint what it was about Gilligan’s Island that made me love this show as much as I did.  There were only three seasons, the first of which was in black and white– not even 100 episodes.  I was 9 when I fell in love with this show.  I was young, yes, but show was old.  It started and ended long before I was born.  Yet, there was something about this show that appealed to me.  I could laugh appropriately, the humor not being too advanced for a kid.  Television in the ’60s was tame, eh?  Really, it was the colorful cast of characters– the 7 stranded castaways of the S.S. Minnow that kept me coming back to Gilligan’s Island.

Gilligan’s antics, always ridiculous, kept the castaways island-bound.  The Skipper, well he often got caught up in his “little buddy’s” goof-ups.  The millionaire and his wife were my real favorites– Thurston Howell II and Lovey (who’s name was Eunice, but nobody seems to know that) were a joy for me to watch.   The way they seem to ignore the meager accommodations an uncharted island offers and still live like their on a resort, well, that’s the life, isn’t it?  Mrs. Howell was always my favorite of the girls– Ginger and Mary Ann never really did anything for me.  The professor, though, and his coconut-creations, propelled many-a plot line of rescue attempts, only to be foiled by Gilligan himself.  Rather cyclical, isn’t it?  And that was it.  Every episode the same.  Silly, but oh so fun.  Perhaps this is where I get my love for the episodic format.  We got to know the castaways in those 98 episodes.  We got to love those castaways.

It was something special, and that’s why people still recognize this three season show that premiered 50 years ago.

So join us here each week, my friends, you’re sure to get a smile from 7 stranded castaways here on Gilligan’s Isle

Block Party Summer


Summer means sunshine, beach trips, and lots of time spent outdoors. I love summer as much as anyone, but while I go on vacation, so do my favorite TV shows. I’m sad that Game of Thrones and Orphan Black are over, and obviously I burned through Orange is the New Black as fast as I could. Regular programming goes on hiatus and gives way to summer schedules. I’m reminded on my favorite channel growing up, Nick at Nite, which never even had original programming, but still switched into “Block Party Summer.” Here is how I remember it:

All summer long
3 hour long blocks
Lucy on Sunday
Andy Griffith Monday
Gilligan on Tuesday
Hillbillies Wednesday
Brady Bunch on Thursday
And Party Crashers Friday

I think this was the schedule from the summer of 2000, meaning I was 11? Nickelodeon switched over to Nick and Nite at some point, and apparently at 11 I had already grown out of cartoons and kids programming. I was a total TV Land/Nick at Nite junkie by age 10.

This week, while I’m on “summer vacation,” let’s chat about the shows that I was watching all summer long. It’s Block Party Summer on! Here’s the line up:

  • Today is Monday, and there’s no Andy Griffith because this is the one night I wouldn’t watch. I didn’t care for Andy Griffith except for Barney Fife, and that’s because Don Knotts was also Mr. Furley in Three’s Company— which I did love!
  • Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Gilligan’s Island, my very first favorite show.
  • Wednesday, let’s talk The Beverly Hillbillies,
  • Thursday, we’re switching it up.   My Hell’s Kitchen recap, your normally scheduled programming, will be “crashing the party” a day early.
  • The Brady Bunch will show up a bit late to the party on Friday.
  • I Love Lucy will take next Monday, also, I guess, late to the party, but just in time to finish out my vacation!

Does anybody else remember Block Party Summer on Nick at Nite?!

Enjoy a lot of nostalgia while I enjoy the beach!