Widower Sheriff Andy and his son Opie live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry NC. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney.
Widower Steve Douglas raises three sons with the help of his father-in-law, and is later aided by the boys' great-uncle. An adopted son, a stepdaughter, wives, and another generation of sons join the loving family in later seasons.
Manhattan lawyer Douglas drags his protesting socialite wife and her finery to the rural backwash of a rundown farm outside Hooterville. They attempt to get the farm fixed up. Farmer Fred Ziffel's pig Arnold watches TV and is in many ways smarter than the Hootervillians. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Green Acres" was one of the trio of "rural comedies" created and produced by Paul Henning (the other two being "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"). The premise was built around a big city lawyer (Eddie Albert) and his fashionable wife (Eva Gabor) that abandon their affluent and hectic life for the rustic and more "civil" world of farming in the fictional Midwestern town of Hooterville.
Though Oliver Wendell Douglas (Albert) is happy to make the transition to farm life, his wife Lisa (Gabor) is less enthusiastic, though she adapts the best as she can. One of the running gags throughout the series involves her inability to prepare anything other than "hotcakes," and even those leave much to be desired. Another running gag centers around the frequent visits by Douglas's mother (Eleanor Audley) who sides with her daughter-in-law in regards to her own son's desire to live the simple live. Audley is best known for her vocal work as the wicked stepmother in Disney's "Cinderella," as well as Malificent in the studio's "Sleeping Beauty". Her occasional appearances on "Green Acres" show the comedic side of the actress.
By having the series set in the same locale as Henning's "Petticoat Junction" allowed frequent crossover appearances by Edgar Buchanan ("Uncle Joe") and Frank Cady ("Sam Drucker") who would become a regular on "Green Acres".
The other cast members were a mixed bag of crazies unlike anything else on television at the time. Farmhand Eb (Tom Lester) was like "The Beverly Hillbillies" Jethro, a doofus without the muscles. The Monroe "Brothers" (Sid Melton and an androgynous Mary Beth Canfield) were the carpenters from hell, forever starting construction on the Douglas's farmhouse but never quite finishing a project. Traveling salesman Mr. Haney (veteran cowboy sidekick Pat Butram) was forever plying his wares at a significant and unreasonable price.
And who can forget Fred and Doris Ziffel's "son," Arnold the pig. The porcine star had his own fan base the perhaps accounted for much of the show's success during its six-year run.
Though Eddie Albert's character was the most "serious" of the bunch, there were bits of lunacy centered around him, also. One ongoing bit involved his frequent monologues on the greatness of the American farm, while a patriotic fife plays in the background, for no apparent reason to the audience, as well as the listeners to his speeches.
Another inspired bit was during the opening credits of one installment. As Lisa was gathering eggs from the hen house, she discovered writing on the eggs: the names of the episode's writer, creator, and director.
One could best describe "Green Acres" as being the flip-side of "The Beverly Hillbillies" or "The Andy Griffith Show" on acid.
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