Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, August 24, 2012

So they loaded up the truck....

Linking the Beverly Hillbillies music for that last post, I discovered the very first episode, which I'd never seen. My family watch the Hillbillies every week for years, but we may simply not have had a set that got ITV when it first came out (though we can't have missed by much).

Astonishing to think that it's only a month short of half a century since the first episode aired (26 September 1962). the humour was always a little hit and miss, and latterly got a bit far-fetched (as though the basic premise weren't that already...) but there was a lot to love in the series: great performances (esp from Buddy Ebsen as Jed and Irene Ryan as Granny, as well as Nancy Kulp as Miss Hathaway), and sometimes very witty scripts, especially the ones making best use of Jed's homespun wisdom.

I suppose the reason we never produced a domestic equivalent of the Beverly Hillbillies is partly that in the 1960s Britain was more obsessed by class than by money, so a country bumpkin with $25 million wouldn't have commanded the same awestruck obsequiousness that Jed received. Partly it's that in those days there was no obvious route by which a British country bumpkin could get that rich (a few years down the line and pop stardom would provide an obvious route). And partly it's that the best gags about people dropped into roles for which they were unprepared had already been bagged by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Anyway, here, warts and all, is the very first time the Clampett family crashed onto America's TV screens. I have to say, it takes me back to my childhood.



(If you find this post via Google's cache it may still show my blooper where I typed "Meg Ryan" for "Irene Ryan". Now Meg Ryan as Ellie Mae I could believe....)

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