Monday, November 19, 2012

Classic TV: Green Acres (1965)

The final part of the rural trilogy of sitcoms from Filmways landed on CBS in 1965, and, admittedly, Green Acres seemed to be the best of the three, largely because of the ensemble cast built around stars Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor.

Attorney Oliver Douglas (Albert) buys a farm sight unseen in rural Hooterville, and decides to relocate from his tony penthouse in New York, much to the discomfort of wife Lisa (Gabor). However, while Lisa is quickly embraced by the townsfolk, Oliver is perpetually befuddled and conned by snake oil salesman Haney (Pat Buttram), and exasperated by scatterbrained county agent Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore).

Perhaps the real breakout star of Green Acres, or so it would appear, was Arnold, a pig that was treated like a son by his owners, the Ziffels. In other words, he was a porcine answer to Snoopy, the iconic beagle from the Peanuts strip, except that he could not walk on his hind legs, as Snoopy could.

Add to the mix the Monroes, a brother & sister team of plumbers who billed themselves as "brothers", although Ralph (Mary Grace Canfield) was clearly a woman, smitten with the dimwitted Kimball. Alf (Sid Melton, ex-Make Room For Daddy, Captain Midnight) was the more rational half, but disappeared for a time near the end of the series' run (Melton reunited with Danny Thomas on Make Room For Granddaddy). Problem was, the Monroes never finished anything they started!

Amazingly, no one thought to adapt this into a comic strip, as there were plenty of gags that could translate well into a daily strip. There was, however, a comic book version of the series, which, sadly, didn't last very long.

Here's the classic theme song, sung by Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor:

There was a reunion movie, back in the late 80's, but most of the cast has left us since then.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I used to watch the syndicated reruns of this show and it was hilarious!

How can you have anything against a show in which Lisa Douglas wakes up in her bedroom and wakes her husband to tell him she just saw a "Directed By" credit!!

I posted in the PJ post that it was suggested GA was written from the POV of Oliver Douglas (as the city bred outsider) which would explain why things were always so seemingly weird despite existing in the same universe as PJ. Of course that doesn't explain the "Directed By" credit in the bedroom!

hobbyfan said...

They'd do more with that gag today, for sure.

The sure link between the two (Green Acres & Petticoat Junction), the one constant, was Sam Drucker (Frank Cady). He was Hooterville's answer to Andy Taylor in that he did almost everything! It's just too bad he couldn't give Kimball a remedial course!