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Li'l Abner (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Family | 15 June 1961 (Mexico)
As Sadie Hawkins Day approaches, Daisy Mae hopes to win the hand of Li'l Abner by catching him in the traditional race. A senator comes to visit to tell the residents of Dogpatch that their... See full summary »



(comic strip), | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Palmer ...
Stubby Kaye ...
Howard St. John ...
Appassionata Von Climax
Billie Hayes ...
Pansy ('Mammy') Yokum
Joe E. Marks ...
Bern Hoffman ...
Earthquake McGoon
Evil Eye Fleagle
Romeo Scragg
William Lanteau ...
Available Jones
Ted Thurston ...
Senator Jack S. Phogbound
Carmen Álvarez ...
Moonbeam McSwine (as Carmen Alvarez)
Mayor Daniel D. Dogmeat


As Sadie Hawkins Day approaches, Daisy Mae hopes to win the hand of Li'l Abner by catching him in the traditional race. A senator comes to visit to tell the residents of Dogpatch that their town is to be used as an atomic bomb testing ground, unless they can find *something* necessary about the town. Could Mammy Yokum's Yokumberry tonic (which Abner has taken every day since he was a baby) be the key? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Oh happy day! See more »


Comedy | Musical | Family


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 June 1961 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

El país de la alegría  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Several of the Dogpatch wives send their husbands off to Washington then, later, take part in the Sadie Hawkins' Day race and capture bachelors. This is a direct holdover from the stage show where there were a limited number of actors available. See more »


On at least three occasions during Lil' Abner's meeting with General Bullmoose in Bullmoose's office, the boom mic remains center top of shot as the camera dollies out for a wider shot. See more »


Daisy Mae: Why it's the Bar Harbor Scraggs.
Romeo Scragg: Yeah, they've been barred from every harbor in the country.
See more »


Referenced in The Last Five Years (2014) See more »


If I Had My Druthers
Music by Gene de Paul
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Peter Palmer and uncredited male cast
See more »

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User Reviews

The Most Useless Spot in the USA
29 August 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Lil Abner ran as a comic strip for over 20 years before being converted into a long running Broadway musical. The original production had Peter Palmer in the lead with Edie Adams instead of Leslie Parrish being Daisy Mae. It debuted in 1956 and ran for two years.

Our government has determined Nevada with its contribution of Las Vegas to our culture should no longer be a site of atomic testing. Dogpatch with its 100% unemployment should be. So everyone's to pack up and leave in a week.

Needless to say the residents of Dogpatch who Al Capp created are not ready to leave, but they are blindly patriotic. They have to find some thing worth salvaging in Dogpatch.

They hit on it with Mammy Yoakum's Yoakumberry tonic which she has been feeding a spoonful of to Lil Abner since his birth. He's grown up big and strong with a soloflex physique.

Let's just say that there's a problem with Yoakumberry tonic. Mammy Yoakum may have hit upon steroid abuse 30 years ahead of time. That leads to all the complications, matrimonial and political, contained in the plot.

I liked the production and the surreal sets, very much like Warren Beatty's production of Dick Tracy later on, another cartoon character. I didn't like the fact that the best song of the Gene DePaul-Johnny Mercer score was left out of the film. It's called Love in a Home and Bing Crosby did a fine record of it back in 1956.

Peter Palmer had he come along even 10 years earlier might have given folks like Howard Keel and Gordon MacRae competition for musical leads in film. As it was, musicals were slowly dying out as they became to expensive to produce.

The one who got the most attention on Broadway and Hollywood was Stubby Kaye as Marrying Sam. DePaul and Mercer wrote a wonderful satirical song called Jubilation T. Cornpone about a less than able southern general who was proud to call Dogpatch his hometown. Kaye was a great performer and fortunate are we that in Guys and Dolls and Lil Abner we have his two best known performances preserved.

By the way, the character General Bullmoose who Howard St. John played, is a spoof of Eisenhower's flannelmouth Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson. He was the President of General Motors and during his confirmation made that comment that came out "what was good for General Motors was good for the USA." He was the perfect living caricature of a blowhard businessman and Al Capp had a field day with him. Hence the choral song What's good for General Bullmoose is good for the USA.

Dogpatch may have been useless, but it's sure a nice place to visit.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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