If you have somehow missed this fact, the term ‘hillbilly’ is not very complementary, and usually refers to someone who is backward or not very smart. Although this was never really discussed on the show, Jed Clampett barely had any formal education.
Because he couldn’t attend much school, he is not very book smart. Fortunately, when he strikes oil, Jed Clampett uses his common sense and makes sound decisions about his newfound fortune.
Best Episode Ever
Though opinions still differ even today, “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood” was ranked as “The Beverly Hillbillies” most popular and successful episode in all of the show’s nine seasons. The episode was considered as having directly added fans to the show, and was also featured on TV Guide’s “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time” list in 1997, at number 62.
That is quite an accomplishment! The women on the show were a big part of the reason it was so great. The show would never be the same without these amazing actresses.
Elly May was Jed Clampett’s beautiful daughter. Despite her beauty, she preferred playing with critters to doing her nails and other girly pursuits. Mattel still decided to make her into one of three Barbie dolls, as part of their Classic TV Collection.
Although actress Donna Douglas felt flattered by the doll, she decided to sue the company for not getting her consent to produce it. The greatest issue was the use of an old black and white photo of her on the packaging. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.
From the Same Neck of the Woods
Die-hard fans of “The Beverly Hillbillies” may remember crooner Pat Boone’s appearance on the show. The pop singer played himself in one special episode. Boone happily agreed to be on the show, and had only one condition, he wanted to be from the same part of the country as Jed, Granny, and the other hillbillies.
What an enjoyable thing to see, famous singer Pat Boone hillbilling it up with the Clampett’s in front of the whole darn world. As if we needed another reason to love him.
Read The Fine Print
Showbiz is a tough industry, which is the reason actors, producers and even network executives need to know how to read legal documents or find someone who does. When “The Beverly Hillbillies” was cancelled after nine seasons, CBS bought the rights to the show, but somehow the network didn’t renew the rights for the first 33 episodes.
Their ownership is unclear, and these episodes are now available as public domain. That didn’t stop random people from releasing the first seasons on both DVD and VHS over the years.