Beverly Hillbillies ( the 60th )


Une série loufoque, originale avec de très bons acteurs. Une série  comme « on n’en fait plus »

Que se passe t il lorsqu’une famille qui n’a jamais vu un avion, un hélico, qui  n’a jamais vu un four et connu l’electricité…? Si cette famille devient multi millionnaire d’un coup à cause du pétrole trouvé sur leurs terres?

Loufoque, génial et hillarant…Cette série qui a fait fureur les années 60

J’ai eu beau chercher sur les moteurs de recherches en Français pour avoir des infos sur cette série, ces acteurs…Que dalle…Je crois qu’en France, cette série ne fut pas diffusée à l’époque et ni par la suite…Inconnue au bataillon et c’est dommage.

J’ai pu récupérer des infos des sites US (aussi bien de Wikipédia US que des sites abordant la biographie des acteurs de ce sit com qui a fait fureur partout dans le monde occidental (et au Liban sur les chaines TV locales  aussi à l’époque, puisque je connais cette famille loufoque de l’époque de mon enfance ).

Je vous la repropose ici pour rappel ou découverte selon les cas :

The Beverly Hillbillies is an American television sitcom. It ranked among the top 12 most watched series on television for seven of its nine seasons, twice ranking as the #1 series of the year, with a number of episodes that remain among the most-watched television episodes of all time. The series was about a hillbilly family transplanted to Beverly Hills, California after finding oil on their land. A Filmways production, the series aired on CBS from September 26, 1962 – September 7, 1971 and comprises 274 episodes—106 in black-and-white (1962–1965) and 168 in color (1965–1971). The show starred Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett, Irene Ryan as Daisy May « Granny » Moses, Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett and Max Baer, Jr. as Jethro Bodine.

At the beginning of The Beverly Hillbillies series, the OK Oil Company discovers oil in a swamp owned by family patriarch Jed Clampett. Jed moves with his family to the wealthy Los Angeles County city of Beverly Hills, California, where he attempts to live a rural lifestyle despite his wealth. This sequence of events was recapitulated in the title credits for each show and was described in the lyrics of the theme song, so that new viewers would easily understand who the Hillbillies were and why they were in Beverly Hills (although the credits and song portray Jed finding the oil while hunting as opposed to knowing the oil was there, but being unaware of the value). Lasting nine seasons and accumulating seven Emmy nominations, it remains in syndication on several cable stations including TV Land.

The Hillbillies themselves were Buddy Ebsen as the widowed patriarch Jed « J.D. » Clampett; Irene Ryan as his mother-in-law, Daisy May « Granny » Moses; Donna Douglas as his daughter Elly May Clampett; and Max Baer Jr. as his cousin’s son Jethro Bodine. While Granny frequently mentioned that she was from Tennessee, the series never specified the state from which the Clampetts moved to California. However, they often referred to nearby towns such as Joplin, Branson, Springfield and Silver Dollar City, all of which are in southwest Missouri. In episode 8, of season 8, « Manhattan Hillbillies », Granny tells the Police Officer in Central Park that her family comes from Taney County, (SW Missouri). Early episodes also contained several references to Eureka Springs, which is in northwest Arkansas. All of the communities are in the Ozark Mountains. The show’s producer Paul Henning is from Independence, Missouri and donated 1,534 acres for the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area near Branson.[1]

The supporting cast featured Raymond Bailey as Jed’s greedy banker Milburn Drysdale; Harriet E. MacGibbon as Drysdale’s snobbish wife Margaret Drysdale; and Nancy Kulp as Drysdale’s secretary, « Miss » Jane Hathaway, who pined for the clueless Jethro.

Jed’s cousin Pearl Bodine (played by Bea Benaderet) was Jethro’s mother. She appeared in several episodes during the first season, as did Jethro’s twin sister Jethrine, played by Baer in drag, using Linda Kaye Henning’s voiceover.

Veteran canine actor Stretch portrayed Jed’s bloodhound Duke, and the many other animal actors on the series came to be known as « Elly May’s critters ».

A three-act stage play based on the pilot was written by David Rogers in 1968.[2]

Theme music

The theme song « The Ballad of Jed Clampett » was written by producer and writer Paul Henning and originally performed by Bluegrass artists Flatt and Scruggs. The song was sung by Jerry Scoggins (backed by Flatt and Scruggs) over the opening and end credits of each episode. It was #44 on the music charts in 1962 and a #1 country hit. Flatt and Scruggs also had another Billboard country top ten hit with the comic « Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, » an ode to the feminine charms of Miss Pearl Bodine who was featured in the episode « Jed Throws a Wingding, » the first of several Flatt and Scruggs appearances on the show.

The six main cast members participated on a 1963 Columbia Records soundtrack album which featured original song numbers in character. Additionally, Ebsen, Ryan and Douglas each made a few solo recordings following the show’s success, including Ryan’s 1966 novelty single, « Granny’s Miniskirt ».

The series generally featured no country music beyond the bluegrass banjo theme song, although country star Roy Clark and the team of Flatt and Scruggs occasionally played on the program. Pop singer Pat Boone appeared on one episode as himself, with the premise that he hailed from the same area of the country as the Clampetts (Boone is, in fact, a native of Jacksonville, Florida although he spent most of his childhood in Tennessee).


Despite being panned by some critics, the show shot to the top of the Nielsen Ratings shortly after its premiere and stayed there for several seasons. During its first two seasons, it was the number one program in the U.S. During its second season, it earned some of the highest ratings ever recorded for a half-hour sitcom. The season two episode « The Giant Jackrabbit » also became the most watched telecast up to the time of its airing, and remains the most watched half-hour episode of a sitcom as well.[3] The series enjoyed excellent ratings throughout its run, although it had fallen out of the top 20 most-watched shows during its final season.

The series received two Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series (1963, 1964) as well as nominations for cast members Irene Ryan (twice nominated as Best Series Actress, 1963, 1964) and Nancy Kulp (nominated for Best Comedy Series Supporting Actress, 1966)].

Main Cast

Jed Clampett
Although he had received little formal education, Jed Clampett had a good deal of common sense. A good-natured man, he is the apparent head of the family. Jed’s wife (Elly May’s mother) died, but is referred to in the episode « Duke Steals A Wife » as Rose Ellen. Jed was shown to be an expert marksman and was extremely loyal to his family and kinfolk. The huge oil pool in the swamp he owned was the beginning of his rags-to-riches journey to Beverly Hills. Although he longed for the old ways back in the hills, he made the best of being in Beverly Hills. Whenever he had anything on his mind, he would sit on the curbstone of his mansion and whittle until he came up with the answer. Jedediah, the version of Jed’s name used in the 1993 Beverly Hillbillies theatrical movie, was never mentioned in the original television series (though ironically, on Ebsen’s subsequent series, Barnaby Jones, Barnaby’s nephew J.R. was also named Jedediah). In one episode Jed and Granny reminisce about seeing Buddy Ebsen and Vilma Ebsen—a joking reference to the Ebsens’ song and dance act. Jed appears in all 274 episodes.
Granny (Daisy Moses)
Called « Granny » by all, relatives or not, shotgun-toting Daisy Moses, Jed’s mother-in-law, is a hot-tempered daughter of Dixie who loathed the move to California. She styled herself an « M.D. » — « mountain doctor » — claiming to have a complete knowledge of herbs (which she pronounced « yarbs »), potions and tonics. She was extremely scrappy and was an expert at wielding a double-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun, although the one time she actually fired it, unknown to her, Mr. Drysdale had replaced the shotgun pellets with bacon rind and rock salt after he arranged for Hollywood stuntmen to dress up as fake Native Americans to « attack » the Clampett mansion. She was also able to tell the precise time, to the minute and even the second, by looking at the position of the sun. However without her glasses Granny was extremely nearsighted-once in a crossover with the Green Acres show-Granny mistakes a dog for a baby child and a coffee pot for a telephone! Paul Henning, the series’ creator, clearly disposed of the idea of Granny being Jed’s mother, which would have changed the show’s dynamics, making Granny the matriarch and Jed subordinate to her. She could be feisty, but her ideas could also be overruled. Two of Granny’s phobias were « Injuns » (she actually bought wigs so the Clampetts wouldn’t be « scalped ») and the « cement pond » (swimming pool–she has a fear of water). In a long story arc in the show’s eighth season, Elly May dates a U.S. Navy frogman, which confuses Granny: After seeing the frogman climb out of the pool in his skin-diving wear, she thinks that anyone who swims in the pool will be turned into a frog. She also had a peculiar way of retelling the Civil War, where she thought that the South had won, and Jefferson Davis was the President. Any attempts to correct her met with failure. She was also known for slicing off switches to use on Jethro mainly, whenever he went too far with his dumb and idiotic schemes.
There are references to Granny growing up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. From episode 9: « When I was a girl back in Tennessee, I set so many boys’ hearts on fire that they took to calling that neck of the woods The Smoky Mountains. »
Granny’s full name, Daisy Moses, allegedly a homage to the popular and dearly loved folk artist Anna Mary Robertson, known to the world as Grandma Moses. (Grandma Moses died in 1961, a year before The Beverly Hillbillies made its television debut.) Granny is frequently referred to as « Granny Clampett » in a number of episodes but technically she was a Moses. Granny appears in all 274 episodes.
Elly May Clampett
Elly May, Jed’s only child, is a mountain beauty with the body of a pinup girl and the soul of a tomboy. She could throw a fastball as well as « rassle » most men to a fall. She could be as tender with her friends, animals and people, as she was tough with Jethro or anyone else she was rasslin’. She said once that animals could be better companions than people, but as she grew older she saw that, « fellas kin be more fun than critters. » Elly was squired about by eager young Hollywood actors with stage names like « Dash Riprock » and « Bolt Upright ». Other boyfriends for Elly included Sonny Drysdale, Beau Short, beatnik Sheldon Epps and Mark Templeton, a frogman.
Elly’s most notable weakness, oft mentioned when she was being « courted », was her lack of kitchen skills. Family members would cringe when, for plot reasons, Elly would take over the kitchen. Rock-like donuts and cookies, for example, were a plot function in an episode featuring Wally Cox as bird watching Professor Biddle.
Elly is briefly considered for film stardom at the movie studio owned by Jed. In one episode, hearing Rock Hudson and Cary Grant are both single, Granny asks that Elly be introduced to them.
During the final season’s episodes, Elly May takes a job as a secretary at the Commerce Bank although why she should be the only Clampett working is never explained.
In the 1981 TV movie of The Beverly Hillbillies, Elly May is head of a zoo. Elly May appears in all 274 episodes.
Jethro Bodine
Jethro is the son of Jed’s cousin, Pearl Bodine. He drove the Clampett family to their new home in California and stayed on with them to further his education. The whole family boasted of Jethro’s « sixth grade education » but nevertheless felt he was a bit of an idiot. Jethro was simply naive in the first season of the show, but became incredibly ignorant and pompous as the series progressed. He often showed off his cyphering abilities with multiplication and « go-zin-ta’s », as in « five gozinta five one times, five gozinta ten two times, » etc. After that, he decided to go to college. He managed to enroll late in the semester at a local secretarial school due to his financial backing and earned his diploma by the end of the day because he didn’t understand what was going on in class and was too disruptive. (This was an in-joke—in real life Max Baer, Jr., has a college degree in Business).
Many stories in the series involved Jethro’s endless career search, which included such diverse vocations as brain surgeon, street car conductor, Double-naught spy, Hollywood producer (a studio flunky remarks Jethro has the right qualifications for being a producer-a 6th grade education and his uncle owns the studio. The in-joke gag of Jethro as a movie producer was replayed in the 1981 movie), soda jerk, short order cook, and once as a bookkeeper for Milburn Drysdale’s bank. More often than not, his overall goal in these endeavors was to obtain as many pretty girls as humanly possible, which were usually the catalyst that prompted him to do so. While working as a producer, Jethro called himself « Beef Jerky », a wannabe playboy and man-about-town sophisticate. Out of all the Clampett clan, he was the one who made the most changes from ‘country bumpkin’ to ‘city boy.’ Another running gag is that Jethro was known as the « six foot stomach » for his ability to eat: in one episode he ate a jetliner’s entire supply of steaks; in another episode Jethro tried to set himself up as a Hollywood agent for cousin « Bessie »-with a fee of 10,000 bananas for Bessie and 1,000 bananas for Jethro. Jed once mentioned the Jethro was the only baby he knew born with a full set of teeth. Jethro could never succeed in any career he tried. Jethro appears in 273 episodes, he is not in the second-to-last episode but Baer of course remains billed in the title credits. Baer claimed he only auditioned for the role of Jethro for fun, and never expected to get the part. Supposedly, he clinched the part largely because of his grin.
The Clampetts’ family dog. He’s an old bloodhound that Jed had bought for four bits (50 cents) when he was a puppy. In early episodes, Jethro tried to teach Duke to fetch sticks, though to Jed, it looked as if Duke taught Jethro how to do that trick. In a couple of episodes, Duke got involved with a French poodle that was brought in to mate with Mrs. Drysdale’s pampered pooch Claude. Apparently, the poodle had better taste and had Duke’s puppies instead. When Mrs. Drysdale wanted Claude to get revenge against Duke, Jed warned her that he’d seen that old hound dog hold his own against a bobcat.
The Drysdales
The Drysdales are the Clampetts’ neighbors. Although Mrs. Drysdale had obvious disdain for their neighbors, she was willing to do anything to keep them next door so her husband, Milburn Drysdale, would not lose control of the Clampett fortune, which was on deposit in his bank. Between Mrs. Drysdale and Mr. Drysdale there existed a subtle social commentary on class issues, specifically whether « breeding » or actual wealth should be the determinants that entitle a person to join the privileged class. Milburn Drysdale appears in 247 episodes.
Mrs. Drysdale was a major player in Beverly Hills society and was outraged to the fact that her neighbors were « peasants » from the South. She was, plainly, a snob. She spent much of her time trying to cook up schemes to drive them back home. She disliked the whole family but her most heated rivalry was with Granny with whom she occasionally had physical « scraps ». The Margaret/Granny feud, however, didn’t kick into full gear until after Cousin Pearl had moved back home as most of Granny’s spats were with Jed’s cousin in the first season. Margaret’s family were old money from Boston but apparently her aged father had gambled much of it away.
Mr. Drysdale, like the Clampetts, had country roots, although his were in the distant past. One very early episode had Granny chasing Mr. Drysdale with a shotgun after he told her his family was also from Tennessee—a family that was in a feud with Granny’s family. Mr. Drysdale, unlike his wife, placed wealth above prestige. He clung to people with money and had far more respect for the Clampetts, despite their backwoods ways, than he did for Mrs. Drysdale’s son, Sonny, who didn’t believe in getting his hands dirty with work. Drysdale had a nephew, named after him, called Milby. The swindling Milby (who opened a pawn shop at age six; and was expelled from three military schools in one year for usury) attempted to con the Clampetts out of tens of thousands of dollars of antiques, paintings and the like; but was stopped in this by his uncle, who took away his money belt, to the screaming Milby’s disdain. Mr. Drysdale’s reverence for the Clampetts was so great that, although they had a backwoods approach to life, he saw everything they did as unquestionably right (because they were wealthy) and bent over backwards to rearrange the rest of the world to cater to their whims. For instance, when Jethro wanted to enroll in an elite boarding school, the headmistress has problems with the situation for several obvious reasons, but Mr. Drysdale leveraged his deed on the school mortgage as clout to force the school to admit Jethro. Another example was to get them a gorilla, so he hired an actor who played a gorilla to be their « servant », which met with disastrous results (Drysdale ended up in the monkey suit). His favorite comic book hero and alter-ego is Superbanker-who is dressed in a green custume with golden dollar signs. {Once Drysdale dresses as « Superbanker » in a commercial featuring his banks with the Clampets as « bank robbers » only to have it backfire on him when Drysdale is knocked out by a retiring bank clerk whom Drysdale had tried to cheat out of $7.50!} During World War II Drysdale was a stateside Quartermaster Sergeant who was nicknamed « Dracula » Drysdale for charging 40% daily interest on loans. One of Drysdale’s clients had to transfer to the Paratroops for more pay and ended up a POW; years later as Sheriff’s Deputy he had the satisfaction of arresting Drysdale for dressing up like Paul Von Hindenburg in a tank at a city Park. (Drysdale had dressed up like a German Field Marshal to please Jethro who was dressed like George S. Patton. Raymond Bailey had a brief scene as a US Navy Admiral in the 1961 comedy The Absent-Minded Professor; by coincidence Harriet MacGibbon starred in the « Flubber » 1963 sequel Son of Flubber.) Margaret Drysdale appears in 55 episodes between 1962 and 1969, she is not seen in the last two seasons of the show although is occasionally mentioned.
Jane Hathaway
Jane Hathaway, whom the Clampetts addressed as « Miss Jane, » is Drysdale’s loyal and efficient assistant. Though she always carried out his wishes, she was inherently decent and was frequently put off by her boss’ greed. When she was annoyed with him, as was often especially when one of Drysdale’s schemes went too far, she would usually and forcefully say « Chief! » Unlike Drysdale (who was merely interested in the Clampetts’ wealth), Jane was genuinely fond of them (to the Clampetts, she was considered family; even Granny, the one most dead-set against living in California, liked her very much and thought of her as part of the family), in fact, she actually harbored something of a crush on Jethro for most of the series’ run. At first, she mistook the Clampetts as the servants, until she realized who they really were (which almost cost her her job). Miss Hathaway frequently has to « rescue » Drysdale from his idiotic schemes, receiving little or no thanks for her efforts. In one episode, she and Granny, disguised as « geisha girls, » finally have enough and « crown » Drysdale and Jethro, who have made one too many comments about women serving men. Jane is loyal to Drysdale as well, despite her misgivings toward his avarice and greed. In one episode, the Clampetts, feeling money has corrupted them, give all of their money to Jenny Jennings (Sheila Kuehl), a college student. While Drysdale moans the loss of the money, Jane immediately tells him to stop thinking about the Clampetts and start trying to get the Jennings account. Eventually, everyone discovered Jennings’ real motives, and she was gone, with the Clampetts getting their money back, and things were as they were before. In one episode, it is established that Miss Jane sacrificed her job as the top secretary of the top executive of the top insurance company to join Mr. Drysdale at the Commerce Bank. Miss Jane was a Vassar graduate. Jane Hathaway appears in 246 episodes.

2 commentaires

  1. Juste un commentaire: C’est l »épisode 1 en VO sans sous titrage.

  2. Wow I am literally the first comment to this great post.

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