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Introduction to the Beverly Hillbillies

Introduction to the Beverly Hillbillies
Introduction to the Beverly Hillbillies

The Beverly Hillbillies is a hilarious 1960s television sitcom that aired for nine seasons. It first premiered on CBS on September 26, 1962 and it ran until March 23, 1971. The Beverly Hillbillies stars include Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett, Irene Ryan as Granny, Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett, and Max Baer, Jr. as Jethro Bodine. Other cast regulars include Jane Hathaway played by Nancy Kulp, the Drysdale family, played by Raymond Bailey as Milburn, Harriet E. MacGibbon as Margeret, and Louis Nye as their son Sonny. The character Pearl Bodine played by Bea Benaderet, Dash Riprock played by Larry Pennell and Jethrine Bodine portrayed by Max Baer, Jr. but voiced by Linda Kaye Henning, were some of the show’s other semi-regular cast.


The Show’s Plot

The Beverly Hillbillies surrounds a hillbilly family who lived in a small town in Tennessee called Bug Tussle. In the first episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, Jed Clampett, the head of his family, strikes oil and becomes a billionaire. He then decides to move to Beverly Hills, California, with his daughter, grandma, and nephew. The Clampett family moves into an enormous mansion next door to the Drysdale family. Milburn Drysdale is not only Jed Clampett’s neighbor but also his banker. Many of the series’ episodes are about the Clampetts trying to get back home, and Mr. Drysdale trying to convince them to stay and keep their money in his bank. The show’s plot also surrounds the Clampett family adjusting to “city-living.”


The success and popularity of “The Beverly Hillbillies”

This television show became so popular that it was ranked as the number one television series of the year twice. It was also ranked, “…among the top twenty most watched programs on television for eight of its nine seasons…with a number of episodes that remain among the most watched television episodes of all time.” The episode “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood” became so popular, that in 1997 is was named #62 on TV Guides 100 Greatest Episodes of all time. The Beverly Hillbillies also won seven Emmy nominations during its time on air.


The Show’s Equally Hit Theme Song “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”

The hilarious episodes in The Beverly Hillbillies were not the only popular aspect of the show. The show’s theme song, called, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”, grew to be very popular. It was written by Paul Henning and performed by Flatt and Scruggs, and also Jerry Scoggins. A single of the song was released by Colombia records, and it was ranked as #44 on Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. It was also ranked as #1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.


The Show’s Impact and Legacy to Future Sitcoms

The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the first television shows about culture-conflict. When the Beverly Hillbillies was broadcasted, it paved the way for other shows about culture-conflict such as McCloud, The Jeffersons, The Nanny, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to be produced. The culture-conflict and its truly hilarious episodes are two reasons The Beverly Hillbillies will always be remembered.

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