Beverly Hillbillies: An All-time Classic

by Erika Cox
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Beverly Hillbillies is one of my favorite classic television shows. The Beverly Hillbillies made its debut in 1962 and lasted almost a full decade. The show is one of the most popular and successful television sitcoms in history. The show's theme was probably the reason behind its success. The Beverly Hillbillies depicted every person's dream that one day they will hit it rich by a stroke of good fortune or luck.

The Beverly Hillbillies was a story about a poor, struggling country family that hit it rich when the father, while hunting, stroke oil. It's the pivotal from rags to riches story.

So-called critics got it wrong. They expected the show to be a flop but the show quickly became a success soon after it aired. The sitcom won a number of Emmys and was constantly in the Top Ten each week during most of the seasons it aired. The show starred JD Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen, who was the patriarch of the family.

JD Clampett was an unassuming and mild-mannered man, who was not at all interested in living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. He along with his family members, with the possibly exception of Jethro Clampett's activities, preferred the hillbilly lifestyle and fought to keep it that way.

JD Clampett basically tried to manage the family's sudden fortune and keep the family together by giving advice on a number of situations each member found themselves in. He had the most trouble controlling Granny and Jethro's "wild" ways. Next was his mother-in-law, Granny, played by Irene Ryan.

The funniest character in the show, Granny, was a tough, scrappy grandmother that didn't take any mess from the more "civilized" characters in the show. She fought long and hard to keep the family from becoming too civilized. She cooked up tasty country meals for the family and others who would often balk at the ingredients.

The next character was Elly Mae Clampett, played by Donna Douglas; she was the daughter of JD Clampett. Elly Mae was a pretty blond that was as tough as the beef Granny cooked. Elly Mae looked sweet and innocent but she could fight and often would win fights with several guys she came across, including her cousin, Jethro Clampett.

Jethro Clampett was played by Max Baer, Jr. He was JD Clampett's and Elly Mae's cousin but had no relation to Granny. Jethro was often getting into some sort of minor trouble with either girls or get-richer schemes. Unlike his cousin, Elly Mae, Jethro's IQ wasn't that high.

The family had little in the way of modern inventions, although they did own a television, they had very little concern about materialistic values and would scoff at certain items and what they perceived as excess. Although the family lived in a nice mansion, they kept most of their old possessions and grew their own food.

There were a couple of other main characters in the show. One was Mr. Drysdale, played by Raymond Bailey. Mr. Drysdale was a greedy banker who constantly tried to get Mr. Clampett to invest his money so he can make more money, not so much for himself, but for Mr. Drysdale.

Granny would sometimes suggest to Mr. Clampett to remove their money from Drysdale's bank, which was a threatening and devastating thought for Mr. Drysdale.

The other character was Mrs. Jane Hathaway, played by Nancy Kulp, she was Mr. Drysdale's levelheaded secretary who had the daunting task of calming down and reassuring Mr. Drysdale. She would often have to calm and reason with Granny as well. The show's theme song is also very popular.

The show was funny and the very down to earth characters made it a success. The show ended in 1971 but has been in reruns ever since.

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