I think this is one of the best episodes ever. I rarely give any show a 10, but this one was memorable.
Moments after stopping outside the bank, the Clampett truck is bumped, from the front, by a car that backed into it. Damages were easily straightened out by Jethro--pulling the bumper back into place. The couple, the Johnsons, that hit the truck were nice and totally unhurt until the husband, Jim, discovered that they had hit a multi-millionaire. He tells his wife to act hurt.
Next, we see the Clampetts in the courtroom and learn they are being sued. The couple tell this story about a bunch of drunks who recklessly drove into their car and caused severe injuries. In the actual incident, they were arguing about Jim's losing money to his bookie; in the testimony, they were telling each other how much they loved each other, when they were struck.
The judge, played by Roy Roberts (who often played Drysdale's rival banker, John Cushing, and was Mr. Cheever, a semi-regular boss of Mr. Mooney on The Lucy Show) doesn't understand that the Clampetts don't even know that THEY are the ones accused of causing the accident. He lets the plaintiff's attorney cut them off from more than yes and no answers. Until Jed refuses to leave the stand until he has his say.
Of course, the courtroom scenes were farcical. They so clearly did not understand what was going on that any real judge would have insisted they get a lawyer, even if not required for a $100,000 lawsuit.--guess it'd be ten million today.
Even this episode wouldn't have worked if Mr. Drysdale and Miss Jane weren't somehow not around. We never heard how it was that the Clampetts never talked to them about this after they learned they had to go to court. It was sort-of stated that they didn't know anything about this until someone showed up and said they had to go to court, but they didn't say that was immediately.
I loved the wild depiction of the Clampetts by the Johnsons: Jed and Jethro both drunk, Granny and Elly holding guns and seemingly eager to run over Mr. Johnson on the street after he was thrown from his car when they hit it.
In court, the judge fines the Clampetts for contempt, then "suspends" the fine. Later, they wonder why he keeps "spending" the money he promised them.
After lunch recess, the family returns late--with all sorts of food they fixed for everyone in the courtroom. When the judge tells them they shouldn't have kept the court waiting, Granny gets in a great line, saying "If I was you, I wouldn't say anything about us being late. This is the second time today you've shown up in your nightshirt." There were several times when you could see the courtroom spectators laughing at the proceedings. I howled over much of this, and consider it one of the great TV courtroom comedies of all time, ranking with Dick Van Dyke's Case of the Pillow, and two or three of the times when the Odd Couple found themselves in court.
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