July 12, 2018

"Green Acres The Musical is a fast-paced, contemporary story that features the best in comedy, music and dance. This is the spirited musical comedy love story of Oliver and Lisa Douglas."

"He is a high-powered, Manhattan attorney and she is an aspiring fashion designer and, together, they are living ‘the good life’ in New York City. Faced with the overwhelming pressure to run his family’s law firm and live up to his father’s reputation, Oliver longs for the simple life, but New York and all that it has to offer is Lisa’s perfect world. What happens when two people in love find themselves wanting opposite lives sends us on a journey that is both hilarious and filled with heart."

That's the press release — published in Entertainment Weekly — for a "Broadway-bound" musical. I guess there's no limit to how stupid and touristy theater in New York City can become.

When "Green Acres" was on TV in the 1960s, it was one of many sitcoms set in rural America. From the Wikipedia article on the "rural purge" — the systematic cancellation of all that stuff:
Starting with The Real McCoys, a 1957 ABC program, U.S. television had undergone a "rural revolution", a shift towards situation comedies featuring "naïve but noble 'rubes' from deep in the American heartland". CBS was the network most associated with the trend, with series such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Lassie, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw....

Mayberry's total isolation from contemporary problems was part of its appeal, but more than a decade of media coverage of the civil rights movement had brought about a change in the popular image of the small Southern town. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., was set on a U.S. Marine base between 1964 and 1969, but neither Gomer nor any of his fellow marines ever mentioned the war in Vietnam. CBS executives, afraid of losing the lucrative youth demographic, purged their schedule of hit shows that were drawing huge but older-skewing audiences....

The numerous cancellations [at the end of the 1970-71 season] prompted Pat Buttram ("Mr. Haney" on one of the canceled shows, Green Acres) to make the observation: "It was the year CBS canceled everything with a tree—including Lassie"....

Several conservative members of Congress,[who?] as well as President Richard Nixon and members of his administration, expressed displeasure at some of the replacement shows, many of which (especially the more socially conscious shows such as All in the Family) were not particularly "family-friendly"...
It was decided that those rural shows — a refuge from the social and political upheaval of the 60s — were too damned unsophisticated and irrelevant for 1970s America. I don't know if the long arc of history bends toward sophistication, but it makes me sad to see that one of the shows that were seen — half a century ago — as too naive and out of it for television is now the basis for a Broadway show. What is happening to us?

Is Donald Trump part of the answer? Here he is performing at the Emmys in 2006:



I'm reading the lyrics to the theme song at the website Genius, where there are annotations:
Green acres is the place for me
Farm livin' is the life for me
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside

New York is where I'd rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue

...The chores
...The stores
...Fresh air
...Times Square

You are my wife
Good bye, city life
Green Acres we are there
There's only one annotation. It's on the last 3 lines: "This might seem sexist to younger generations."

ADDED: The Wikipedia article mentions that one of the shows brought in to replace the rural sitcoms was "The Sonny & Cher Show," and that reminds me that I never wrote about the "Broadway-bound" show I saw in Chicago a couple weeks ago. "The Cher Show" is a bio-musical like "Jersey Boys" (the big Broadway hit that tells the story of The 4 Seasons). I guess I was too bored to put my thoughts into writing, but the show was completely unsophisticated. It assumes everyone in the audience just loves Cher, knows her songs and her costumes and will be delighted to witness a live parade of all that familiar stuff. There was no edge, no challenge, no acknowledgment that the audience members had any intelligence or critical eye at all. I was left cold (even though I loved Sonny & Cher from the moment I heard "I Got You Babe" on the radio in 1965). But so many other old women in the audience were whooping at every damned thing. Especially the lady sitting next to me. It was like watching a show in an insane asylum. Which reminds me: When I was a teenager in the 1960s, I saw the Broadway play "Marat/Sade" — "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade." That's where it looked as though Broadway would go. Into immense creativity and sophistication. It's so sad what happened instead.

155 comments:

mezzrow said...

Perhaps our POTUS took some of his negotiating acumen from Lisa Douglas. She always took the piss right out of Mr. Haney, IIRC. Oliver negotiated like Obama with the Iranians.

You know I'm right.

Equipment Maintenance said...

It was a great show !

traditionalguy said...

Since Disney's Lion King kept the out of town audiences selling out the Theater, Broadway has decided that is the way to make money: Appeal to the Deplorables visiting NYC for the first time.

The hard part is finding popular TV and movies to imitate that are family friendly. They have to go way back. I can't wait for the Broadway musical version of Ozzie and Harriet. The Ricky Nelson songs will add a Jersey Boys flavour to the excitement.

Sydney said...

They’re going for the nostalgia angle to hook in the demographic that can afford Broadway tickets. In fifty years it will be Breaking Bad, The Musical.

LordSomber said...

Ah, but for the middle brow Sundays at grandma's, enjoying Hee-Haw, Lawrence Welk and hard candy.

Ralph L said...

Neither of them can sing. That takes more nerve than I can imagine, even if that's most of the joke.

Shouting Thomas said...

All in The Family was extraordinarily family friendly.

Remember. I said long ago that Archie Bunker was a positive character and that he was usually right?

That’s how the audience perceived him, too. I believe Norman Lear became concerned about the public adoration bestowed on Archie, and had second thoughts about continuing to produce the show.

Archie was a blue collar, hard working guy who wanted the best life he could get together for his wife and daughter. Most of us could see that that was a lot more important than a debate over the issues of the day.

And Meathead, after all these years, is still a fucking Meathead.

Bill Peschel said...

What is happening to us?

What do you mean us?

Seriously, why should the decisions of a few people hundreds of miles away reflect the nation as a whole?

Reflect back to the days when hippies roamed the earth. There were thousands of them, wafting clouds of patchouli and bearing volumes of "The Whole Earth Catalog" and the collected works of the Grateful Dead. And yet, they were not the whole of the generation, only those who lived in high concentrations of the media at the time (and remote outposts such as Woodstock).

What percentage of that generation were actually hippies? Ten percent, maybe? And yet, we're conditioned to think of them as a solid bloc. Yet the majority were in college, working jobs, serving their country, and apart from maybe buying a copy of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," they had nothing to do with the hippie ethos.

And why assume that the Broadway version is going to be as unsophisticated as the TV version (although I seem to recall that the show had some particularly odd moments, too). In fact, [I found the article that discussed that] as the Onion AV Club reminds us, "Green Acres" was inspired by an S.J. Perleman novel.

Can't get much more sophisticated than that, can we?

Merny11 said...

That show was hilarious!

Ralph L said...

Our main PBS station has Lawrence Welk on at 6 pm Saturdays.

Temujin said...

Everything seems sexist to younger generations.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

Singing cats was the nadir...no, wait- singing trains!

Rory said...

Just to get it out of the way, it's very troubling to see all those good people intimidated into listening to that dictator wailing away.

Between the current shows no one watches and the recent shows that are being revived because no one watches the current shows, you have to reach back pretty far for source material.

traditionalguy said...

Green Acres always brings to my mind an avant garde liberal college town set down in the midst of bordering corn fields and red necks far away from everything. No, not the very cosmopolitan Madison near to Chicago. But Blacksburg, Virginia. Don't miss it.

Shouting Thomas said...

The problem: What should serious theater be about?

At the moment, that answer seems to be a shitload of leftist propaganda about “social issues.”

This boils down to grinding out more feminist, gay activist and black nationalist propaganda.

I don’t want to see that any more than the corn.

sinz52 said...

This article doesn't seem to mention the real reason why all those rural shows were canceled: A major change in Nielsen's demographics.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Nielsen ratings were based on total households and total viewer audiences. These ratings skewed older because elderly retirees watched a lot of TV. And rural-themed shows appealed to older audiences.

In 1970, Nielsen went to demographic ratings, emphasizing the 18-35 year old age range because they bought more of the sponsors' products. And suddenly, all those rural shows had lousy ratings because young viewers didn't care for them. That's why they got canceled in favor of younger, hip shows.

BTW, in the 1960s, one show that did appeal mostly to younger audiences was Star Trek (Original Series), but its overall ratings were poor because the elderly didn't like it. It was canceled in 1969, one year before Nielsen started emphasizing 18-35 age range. If Nielsen had started doing that in 1967 instead of 1970, Star Trek would have been considered a big five-year hit.

sinz52 said...

Shouting Thomas said: "Remember. I said long ago that Archie Bunker was a positive character and that he was usually right?"

That's why Trump won.

He reassured you that Archie Bunker's bigotry toward minority groups was nothing to be ashamed of.

gilbar said...

but, remember!
Stix Nix Hix Pix!

Bad Lieutenant said...

I love that thing women do of bending one knee while standing attached to their inamorata. I know "inamorata" but I don't know what the move is called. They all loved them some Trump a decade ago, huh?

Darrell said...

The kids call lifting the leg "foot popping." (Urban Dictionary and TV Tropes)

Browndog said...

There's only one annotation.

*TRIGGER WARNING!

I'm Full of Soup said...

Damn those Broadway play writers are so creative! How do they come up with these new and interesting ideas for entertaining us?

Robert Cook said...

Give me concrete sidewalks over green acres anyday!

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

All those phony Hillary supporting corruption excusing money whores in Hillarywoodland loved Trump.

Fakes phonies and frauds, all.

Phil 314 said...

Never liked “Green Acres”, preferred “Petticoat Junction” and “Beverly Hillbillies” and of course Andy.

One problem with this narrative of CBS “purging” the rural - “The Waltons”.

Rory said...

Sinz52 said: "This article doesn't seem to mention the real reason why all those rural shows were canceled"

There was also a matter of available time: the FCC required networks give 30 minutes of prime time every day back to local stations beginning in 1971-72. That meant 9 hours of programming had to go even before room was made for new shows.

MountainMan said...

Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Floyd, Otis, Gomer, Goober, Clara, Helen, Thelma Lou, The Darlings, and the immortal Ernest T. Bass. Greatest cast of characters in US TV history. Barney Fife the greatest character of all time. Best TV show of all time. I still watch an episode from time to time. Enjoy it just as much now as I did 55 years ago.

Darrell said...

From Wiki--
Some sources indicate CBS put the show on its fall 1972 schedule in response to congressional hearings on the quality of television. Backlash from a 1971 decision to purge most rural-oriented shows from the network lineup may have also been a factor. The network gave The Waltons an undesirable timeslot – Thursdays at 8 p.m., opposite two popular programs: The Flip Wilson Show on NBC and The Mod Squad on ABC. "The rumor was that they put it against Flip Wilson and The Mod Squad because they didn't think it would survive. They thought, 'We can just tell Congress America doesn't want to see this'," Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth Walton, said in a 2012 interview. However, CBS had enough faith in the show to devise a full-page newspaper ad flanked with the show's positive reviews, urging people to watch the show. This ad was attributed to saving The Waltons, causing the ratings to radically increase.[12]

Phil 314 said...

While looking through the entire 1971 TV schedule on Wikipedia I found this info regarding the short-lived series“O’Hara” starring David Jansen. The set up for the show is the “rural purge” encapsulated:

O'Hara, U.S. Treasury starred Janssen (whose company co-produced the show with Mark VII) as the title character, Treasury Agent Jim O'Hara. A county sheriff from Nebraska whose wife and child died in a fire, O'Hara cut all ties with his past life. He put in an application with the United States Department of the Treasury, which accepted him.

wildswan said...

I guess they went from Green Acres to Mean Streets. But most Americans live in suburbs of one kind or another or in small towns which are just further out suburbs or suburbs are that close-in small towns or cities that have lot of green and are broken up into small communities. And if they don't live there they are mostly trying to get there. But the best stories aren't about that reality. They are about nasty doings in remote or strange locations (but not Hollywood) or else by remote or strange figures in ordinary locations like racketeers in New Jersey suburbs or selling meth in our town. And slowly the stories are getting less and less probable - zombies and the revival of Green Acres are just the same story really. Probable stories like Roseanne and Last Man Standing are taken off the air or never go on like Seinfeld refusing to tell jokes at colleges. The suppression of conservatives is a story also; the Evergreen professor is a story; the trashing of Christians is a story; the WalkAway guy is a story; the election of Donald Trump is a whole novel cycle; conservatives hiding their opinions like Jews in Germany is a story; the actual use and function of the race card is a lot of stories. All suppressed. That's what makes all the self-righteousness about creativity, truth and social justice in the stories and jokes allowed on the networks so hypocritical and such a joke. They should have series called Banned. I Leaped Over the Network Wall.

Unknown said...

This was the first thing the progenitors of SJW ruined.

Those shows have a timelessness: Green Acres if full of oddballs, and the only sane person feels out of place. You can't get that with your "Vietnam war issues".

Funny, I was watching the theme to Green Acres 12 hours ago with Thai wife, who never heard of it. And here you are with a post.

And then we watched Gilligan and Gunsmoke themes.

Robert Cook said...

"One problem with this narrative of CBS “purging” the rural - 'The Waltons.'"

That came slightly later.

chickelit said...

Broadway actors will fight over who gets to play Buttram’s parts.

Darrell said...

Robert Cook doesn't read the comments.

PJ said...

What exactly was not to love about Green Acres? A wonderful old screwball comedy perfectly adapted to TV. Good writing, good pacing, good cast. And the apparent sexism lurking in the theme lyrics was completely undone by the actual scripts, in which back-to-the-earth wannabe Oliver was the butt of nearly every joke, while Lisa the extravagant foreign-born City-lover, by accepting the locals on their own terms, was usually able to adapt and prevail.

Phil 314 said...

Cookie;

From Wikipedia:

“The television movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story was broadcast on December 19, 1971.[1] Based on its success, the CBS television network ordered one season of episodes based on the same characters and that became the television series The Waltons.[2] Beginning in September 1972, the series subsequently aired on CBS for nine seasons. “

tcrosse said...

They'll need a drag queen to do justice to the Eva Gabor role. Unless they can persuade Arianna Huffington to take it.

wildswan said...

I Burned My Race Card. I Wore My MAGA Hat. I Told My Sociology Professor I Was A Marine Vet. My Sociology Professor Saw Me Wearing My Deplorables T-Shirt - What Happened Next will Astound You. I Ran From MY Ivy League College. I Told My Religion Professor I Believe In God and Know I am A Sinner. I Lied About A Rape And Ruined A Man's Life. I Told My Psychology Professor The Hook-Up culture Led To the Rape Culture - What Happened Next Will Astound You. My Roommate Caught Me Reading Old-Time Poetry and Told Everyone I am A Trump Supporter - Now I'm Feel I Am, "on darkling plain/Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight/ Where ignorant armies clash by night", As Matthew Arnold Said.

Quayle said...

What is happening to us?

Nothing.

What is happening to them - the producers - is that the cost is so high to get a play up and running on broadway, and the risk of failure so catastrophic, that almost no one will put money on an unproven franchise. Which explains why, in contrast to how it used to be “Broadway to the big screen”, you now see moderately or clearly successful movies later appearing as plays on Broadway- e.g. Legally Blond and School of Rock.

It’s gotten so bad that I’m always surprised every year we don’t see the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese musical or the Nabisco Fig Newton play.

Wilbur said...

If the Broadway show is about the "love story" of Oliver and Lisa, the show will fail.

The marital angle was quickly abandoned by the TV show, and the focus switched to the surreal life and characters surrounding successful lawyer/failed farmer Oliver Douglas. Although there was usually a scene in every episode showing their domestic life, Lisa became another quirky surreal character, e.g., able to speak to and understand the pig, Arnold like everyone else except, of course, Oliver.

The rural purge had everything to do with advertising revenues, just like network programming today. The advertisers wanted the youth market (and to a lesser extent, an urban audience), and shows were/are tailored to attract them.

I'm Full of Soup said...

I would go to see a Sanford & Son remake. That was a great show.

Fernandinande said...

Knowledge of the Green Acres story is essential to a deep understanding of Western culture, which is in turn vital to proper psychological health (as human beings are cultural animals) and societal stability. The story is an investigation into the structure of Being itself and a call to action within that Being: "Green Acres, we are there!"

Phil 314 said...

And as penance for humanizing southern Whites we got urban black comedy in the ‘70’s (“The Jeffersons”, “Sanford and Son”, “Good Times””.

narayanan said...

"while Lisa the extravagant foreign-born City-lover, by accepting the locals on their own terms, was usually able to adapt and prevail."

sounds like a good plan - says Melania

SDaly said...

I'm not seeing anything particularly "sophisticated" on TV these days. Gritty and solipsistic are not particularly sophisticated. The "woke" shows deliberately avoid any complexity and are predictable, stunted morality plays. The half-hour sitcoms, e.g., The Goldbergs, are as dumb, if not dumber than anything since the 50's.

narayanan said...

"The rural purge had everything to do with advertising revenues, just like network programming today."


does this analogize with Social Media and purging "the deplorables"

GRW3 said...

Ratings killed Star Trek but not specifically because the older audience didn't like it. It was on Thursday night, a school night, for the first two seasons. Then they moved it to Friday night, a big social night for younger viewers (football, dates, movies, etc. etc.). I missed most of the last season at football games.

Petticoat Junction was a spin off of Green Acres.

Leslie Graves said...

What Fernandistein said.

Other than that (if it is metapphysically possible for there to be an other to that) there are two different genres involving the rural folks.

One genre is exemplified by the Andry Griffith show. That’s in the gentle fiction genre where the problems aren’t very big and the audience is diverted and comforted by that.

The other genre is the “we’re not as stupid as you mistakenly thought we are” genre. Petticoat Junction, Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres (some of the time) fit into that genre. These have a sharper edge. What the audience looks forward to are the scenes where the city sophisticate realizes that the country bumpkin outsmarted him...or sometimes, the scene where the audience realizes that, and is entertained additionally by noticing that the city sophisticate still doesn’t get that, and might never.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Haha. This from the person who has written five posts about American Idol just since May 1 of this year.

This is why I love you. You're complicated.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

King of the Hill is smart, wonderful and ran for thirteen years. It both celebrates and skewers suburban and rural Texans.

Christopher said...

When I was a teenager in the 1960s, I saw the Broadway play "Marat/Sade" — "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade." That's where it looked as though Broadway would go. Into immense creativity and sophistication. It's so sad what happened instead.

Yeah, we really missed out, not going in that direction. A nation weeps.

Wilbur said...

Petticoat Junction was not a spinoff of Green Acres. It predated Green Acres by a few years.

Eleanor said...

"Green Acres" was charming in that it made fun of everyone. The country rubes and the clueless city folks were both the source of humor. In the current climate I don't know if that aspect can be preserved. Having grown up on a rural farm and spent years living in one of the country's largest cities, I can respect both lifestyles. I don't know if the same people who produce something like "Hamilton" can do that.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Darrell said...
The kids call lifting the leg "foot popping." (Urban Dictionary and TV Tropes)

7/12/18, 7:23 AM

Thank you, Darrell!




Blogger Robert Cook said...
Give me concrete sidewalks over green acres anyday!


Fool! NYC would be inhuman without the amount of greenspace we have preserved. The lungs of the city. Or perhaps you just don't want to thank the great Robert Moses, or his predecessors, Olmstead and Vaux, who bestowed upon us the jewels of Central Park and Prospect Park.

Or shall we dig it all up and build condos? Or build projects, I suppose you would prefer that.

Darrell said...

Petticoat Junction was a spin off of Green Acres.

Nah. Petticoat Junction was a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies. Green Acres could be considered a spin-off of Petticoat Junction.

Darkisland said...

Hee-Haw ran for more than 20 years and is still in national syndication. A couple hundred full episodes are on YouTube.

Still funny in a cornball way. Lots of great music.

Unlike Laugh in with which it is often compared, the material is almost never topical

A joke about Proxmire's Golden Fleece awards makes no sense today.

A joke about Stringbean's letters from home or Roy Clark fishing will still be funny 100 years from now. Or not, according to taste.

John Henry

M Jordan said...

I like Mr. Haney and Eb. Also Mr. Kimble, was li? The farm extension guy who would start by making a claim, then back away from it by degrees until he ended with the exact opposite claim.

Ken B said...

It will be a hate-on of the rubes.

Michael K said...

Does no one remember "The Egg and I?"

It became a TV series, I think.

Yes, it did but not for too long.

This was CBS TV's highest rated afternoon serial, garnering much higher ratings than Search for Tomorrow and Love of Life. However, the network's inability to acquire a five-day sponsor doomed the show to cancellation. Proctor & Gamble sponsored the program one day a week, but CBS couldn't draw other backers despite a highly unusual last ditch ad campaign through the broadcast trade journal Variety, touting the serial's ratings. Perhaps the humorous slant of the serial put off sponsors versus the guaranteed success that Search's and Love of Life's melodrama offered.

That was post WWII humor about soldiers coming back from the war.

An old joke was "bought the farm" as an expression of the sentiment, that, "If I get out of this alive, I will buy a farm and settle down."

When he was killed, he had "bought the farm."

readering said...

Sixties golden age of tv theme songs.

Michael K said...


Blogger Robert Cook said...
Give me concrete sidewalks over green acres anyday!


Ants love anthills.

Ann Althouse said...

"This article doesn't seem to mention the real reason why all those rural shows were canceled: A major change in Nielsen's demographics."

That's all there at the Wikipedia link. I didn't quote everything.

Ann Althouse said...

"One problem with this narrative of CBS “purging” the rural - “The Waltons”."

Another thing that's discussed in the Wikipedia article that didn't make it to the post.

David-2 said...

I watched Green Acres when I was growing up. I thought Eddie Albert was Green Acres. Nothing surprised me more, some years later, than seeing him in Roman Holiday.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I don't know if the long arc of history bends toward sophistication..."

Ha ha!

Curious George said...

"Does no one remember "The Egg and I?"

It became a TV series, I think."

It's also a great breakfast diner in the Twin Cities.

chickelit said...

AJLynch wrote: “I would go to see a Sanford & Son remake. That was a great show.”

It’s sorely needed. Someone please burst Maxine Waters pretensions. Sadly, there are no Redd Foxes in the henhouse. Plus the Obamas are coming to Hollywood to remake Netflix in their image.

Michael K said...

I thought Eddie Albert was Green Acres. Nothing surprised me more, some years later, than seeing him in Roman Holiday.

He was also in "The Longest Day" and got a bronze star at Tarawa as a Navy lieutenant for rescuing wounded Marines on the coral reef that cause so much devastation.

He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for his actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November 1943, when, as the pilot of a Coast Guard landing craft, he rescued 47 Marines who were stranded offshore (and supervised the rescue of 30 others), while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire.

Amexpat said...

Great find: Trump acquits himself quite well singing the Green Acres theme song on stage.

Youtube suggested Trump on Letterman in 1986 to me today. I watched it and was surprised at how humble and well spoken he was. He had some of the some talking points then that he used in his campaign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVsAir5fDbs

wwww said...



This idea of a rural purge doesn't strike me as on target when Little House on the Prairie was a hugely popular 1980s TV show.

Nonapod said...

I like that "long arc of history" repurposing of an incorrectly used paraphrase. I wasn't aware until I googled it, but I guess it turns out that Martin Luther King didn't really mean it in the way that Obama meant it.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)


Of course Trump's the answer. What's the question?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I too think that Green Acres was a great show, surreal writing and great acting.

Seeing Red said...

but, remember!
Stix Nix Hix Pix!


Bwaaaaaaaaa


I stood on my deck 7/3 and sang You’re a Grand Old Flag. I can’t believe it’s over 100 years old.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

"Green Acres" was not so much a rural show as a parody of one -- and that worked. You start off thinking that maybe Oliver is the only sane man in Hooterville, then you realize he's crazy as a loon. Then you think maybe Drucker is the sane man, but he's cracked as well. Then you just go with it..

RobinGoodfellow said...

“The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade."

Boy, that does sound sophisticated!

Seeing Red said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
Give me concrete sidewalks over green acres anyday!


For shame. Those cement steppers contribute to global warming.

Seeing Red said...

Arnold was the only one with the most sense out of then all.

Seeing Red said...

My husband and I were looking for something to watch and we ran across HeeHaw. It was still funny even today.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

And what happened to the Germans in the attic remains one of TV's greatest mysteries..

Professional lady said...

I remember that Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs used to be on the Beverly Hillbillies every now and then and they would do some really great strumming and picking. Tney had hot young Hollywood type wives. I always wondered if they were really their wives or just actresses. I should Google it.

M Jordan said...

Read an NBC article about Katie Tur this morning where she referred to the “ark of history.” I smiled. Obama ruined that phrase for me. Nice to see it devolv8ng into “ark.”

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Someone please burst Maxine Waters pretensions.“

Is it just me, or would Maxine Waters be a shoe-in for Aunt Esther?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Comicbook and TV writer Mark Evanier had a great column on Redd Foxx.

Professional lady said...

When I was in law school we had a lecture on trial practice. The guy who was presenting the lecture said the lawyer's opening statement should be like the theme song for the Beverly Hillbillies because it told the story and oriented the listener. Good analogy. I could sing that theme song today (but not in tune).

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What the hell happened to us.

https://tinyurl.com/ybjh2dmv

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

One problem with this narrative of CBS “purging” the rural - “The Waltons”.

7/12/18, 7:33 AM

And "Little House on the Prairie," although our betters have now declared Mrs. Wilder to be Archie Bunker in petticoats.

Michael K said...

I saw Redd Foxx at his nightclub on Pico Blvd in LA when I was in college.

I also had all his records and have a couple of CDs of them now.

Redd Foxx was one of the great success stories of the entertainment industry — a man who made the seemingly-impossible struggle from the shabbiest of nightclubs, all the way to TV stardom, mostly notably with the hit comedy series Sanford and Son.

His nightclub wasn't that shabby.

"Sanford and Son" was a show copied from a British show called "Steptoe and Son."

It was remade in the United States as Sanford and Son, in Sweden as Albert & Herbert and in the Netherlands as Stiefbeen en zoon. In 1972, a film adaptation of the series, Steptoe and Son, was released in cinemas, followed by a sequel Steptoe and Son Ride Again in 1973.

Foxx did a good job with it and was such a good actor that he died of a heart attack on the set while other cast members thought he was kidding.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

It's interesting to watch those Hollywood types laugh and applaud Trump. Look what happens when you're not woke. They had no idea back then that he was Hitler and Satan rolled into one, the worst person in the world.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Michael K:

The Season 3 episode I watched the other night had Grady as Lamont's Godfather and Foxx wasn't in it. I couldn't recall if he had died during the show or had left it. Now i know he did both.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

"Sanford and Son" was hilarious.

And I hated, hated, hated "Hee Haw" when I was a kid.

Rick.T. said...

We live a version of Green Acres. I love tramping through the old woods and revel in identifying all the flora and fauna. It's been untouched for probably a hundred years so lots of rarer native plants. My wife, on the other hand, is a city girl born and bred on the mean streets (at the time) of Chicago's North Side. She won't go past the front porch. Always fun and mayhem when a mouse or skink gets in the house and the cats spot it.

Almost bought some acreage back in the 90's that had a view of Pilot Mountain outside of Winston-Salem in Andy Griffith country. You may recognize the name from Mt. Pilot in the Mayberry show. Asked a local if it was okay for city folk to move in. He said everybody was welcome; they'd just run off the ones they didn't like. He was joking, I think.

Lucien said...

Saw the movie of Marat/Sade at college (Berkeley, natch).

Glenda Jackson as Charlotte Cordray. Yum.

Annie C. said...

Eddie Albert had a son that acted as well. I had a huge crush on Edward Albert as a teenager. He was in Butterflies are Free and The Greek Tycoon.

Rick.T. said...

Professional lady said...

"I always wondered if they were really their wives or just actresses."

Don't know about Flatt but Scruggs was long-time married. We went to his estate sale on the south side of Nashville after he died a few years ago. Hank Williams had a house just down the road which a church owns and lets Korean Christians hold church services there until they get their own. Jack Black lived nearby until he recently sold.

So far we've been to estate sales for Earl Scruggs, Jerry Reed, K.T. Oslin, Leon Russell, Tom T. Hall, and maybe a couple others I am forgetting. It's been interesting.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Sydney said...

They’re going for the nostalgia angle to hook in the demographic that can afford Broadway tickets. In fifty years it will be Breaking Bad, The Musical.

7/12/18, 6:59 AM

Ha! I immediately thought of Dexter, the Musical, but then I remembered: Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. And that plot was in fact based on a Victorian penny dreadful:

"Sweeney Todd first appeared in a story titled The String of Pearls: A Romance. This penny dreadful was published in 18 weekly parts, in Edward Lloyd's The People's Periodical and Family Library, issues 7–24, 21 November 1846 to 20 March 1847."

The Family Library! Ah, those wholesome, innocent Victorians. Here's a reminder of the plot of Sweeney Todd:

"In the original version of the tale, Todd is a barber who dispatches his victims by pulling a lever as they sit in his barber chair. His victims fall backward down a revolving trap door into the basement of his shop, generally causing them to break their necks or skulls. In case they are alive, Todd goes to the basement and "polishes them off" (slitting their throats with his straight razor). In some adaptations, the murdering process is reversed, with Todd slitting his customers' throats before dispatching them into the basement through the revolving trap door. After Todd has robbed his dead victims of their goods, Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime (in some later versions, his friend and/or lover), assists him in disposing of the bodies by baking their flesh into meat pies and selling them to the unsuspecting customers of her pie shop."

Wilbur said...

Redd Foxx (real name John Sanford, interestingly) did not die during the run of Sanford and Son.

The actresses who played the wives of Flatt and Scruggs were just that, actresses.

RMc said...

Is Trump singing badly on purpose? Mullally certainly is.

tcrosse said...

We're never going to see shows like Pal Joey or Kiss Me Kate again unless in revival, and maybe not even then.
The King and I is in revival in London, and is getting cries of Colonialism and Cultural Appropriation, even though NYT raved about the production when it was at Lincoln Center.

buwaya said...

Youtube is a replacement, perhaps, for playwrights and producers who want a cheap way to put on an entertainment. There are tons of indie shorts on Youtube.

Heavily skewed to Science Fiction, but thats the taste of people who would look for this stuff on Youtube I guess.

There is a lot to admire. I recommend the "Dust" SF channel, but there are many others.

I don't know if there is such a channel doing Noel Coward-ish theater, but who knows.

Goody said...

The show was brilliant! Oliver has to navigate a Kafka-esque world, replete with things like pigs as children, that nobody else (including wife Lisa) thinks at all unusual. I remember watching reruns as a young adult and thinking, “wow! I never realized how well written this show was!”

Seeing Red said...

We had a very short insane trip last spring like 6 states in 5 days and we ended up on the Andy Griffith Freeway and had breakfast biscuits there at a fast food biscuit joint.

PRJ said...

I've wondered if the phrase "bought the farm" referred to the $10,000 life insurance proceeds that would "buy the farm" for the dead GI's family.

Professional lady said...

Rick Turley - Did you buy anything interesting?

Michael K said...

I've wondered if the phrase "bought the farm" referred to the $10,000 life insurance proceeds that would "buy the farm" for the dead GI's family.

Good point.

This says it refers to the government paying damages at crash sites.

I'm not sure about that.

This one agrees with the insurance version.

George M. Spencer said...

Created by Missourian Paul Henning who also created The Beverly Hillbillies. Its basic conceit involved seemingly ignorant, yet wise, rural folks who outwitted city dwellers. The concept goes back to ancient Greek theatre. Green Acres tried to reverse the formula which is why descended into inanity.

langford peel said...

Broadway needs to cater to the people who buy tickets. There are plenty of shophisrcated plays chock full of prancing faggots for nasty pompous people like you.

This play is for the normals and not the fag hags.

Trumpit said...

Donald Dumbass's Awful Parody of the Great Eddie Albert.

langford peel said...

I hear it is going to be an Amy Schumer vehicle.

She would make a great Arnold.

Ralph L said...

Seeing Red, that Andy Griffith Parkway path (Rt 52) is one of the most historic in NC, though some of it is now bypass.

Pre-Revolutionary settlers from PA and the Shenandoah valley would see Pilot Mountain (hence the name) all by itself and then go south to the safety of the Moravian settlement of Wachovia (now the Winston-Salem area), before spreading out into the Piedmont, killing/driving out the Indians, and stealing their land. Good times.

Jim at said...

One of the better things about having hundreds of channels on cable?

There are several - MeTV, AttennaTV, Heroes and Icons, etc ... - whose regular line-ups have these older shows.

Green Acres is/was OK. Give me The Beverly Hillbillies every time.

Lou M said...

I always thought of "Green Acres" as the most sophisticated of the bunch--theater of the absurd for American television audiences.

Jim at said...

I would go to see a Sanford & Son remake. That was a great show.

Indeed. And they weren't adverse to dropping the N word. With intent.

WK said...

In the present day stage version, Ralph Monroe will need to be played by a transitioning female actor.

Earnest Prole said...

Green Acres The Musical : The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade :: Trump : Obama

tcrosse said...

Green Acres The Musical :Me, Myself,And I :: Trump : Obama

Robert Cook said...

"NYC would be inhuman without the amount of greenspace we have preserved. The lungs of the city. Or perhaps you just don't want to thank the great Robert Moses, or his predecessors, Olmstead and Vaux, who bestowed upon us the jewels of Central Park and Prospect Park.

"Or shall we dig it all up and build condos? Or build projects, I suppose you would prefer that."


No, I value NYC's great parks...I live close to two of them. But they are nice places to visit, not someplace I would prefer to live, as it were. In other words, I prefer city environments to live in, and would find living in a totally rural area boring for the long haul. (That said, I expect eventually to have to leave NYC. 'twill be a sad day.)

And what have you got againt digging up parks and building condos...after all, that's capitalism!

Doug said...

Goody said: I remember watching reruns as a young adult and thinking, “wow! I never realized how well written this show was!”

The running gags were some of the best!

"Tiara Ta-Ra-Ra"!

I've got a hankerin' for a big stack of Lisa's hots-kabobs!

SeanF said...

PRJ: I've wondered if the phrase "bought the farm" referred to the $10,000 life insurance proceeds that would "buy the farm" for the dead GI's family.

The Word Detective says it comes form WWII soldiers dying, but doesn't say anything about insurance.

The insurance/payouts theory doesn't really make sense to me - taken literally, saying someone "bought the farm" implies they paid for it themselves, which doesn't really fit with receiving a payout benefit of some kind, in my opinion.

rehajm said...

As a kid my sister and her friend used to visit Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee) when she lived alone in Siler City later in her life. I don't have any good stories to recall other than my sister thought she was pretty much the character from TV.

Bilwick said...

America has grown up considerably since the tv show aired, so I'm hoping the classic scene in which Lisa Douglas takes an outdoor shower can be re-staged without the use of the fence.

Bilwick said...

"Broadway needs to cater to the people who buy tickets. There are plenty of shophisrcated [sic] plays chock full of prancing faggots for nasty pompous people like you."

Langford Peel, always the personification of "shophistication" and intelligence.

Rick.T. said...

Professional lady said...

"Rick Turley - Did you buy anything interesting?"

I don't want to generalize but I've found our decorative tastes do not run along the same track as most of these performers so purchases have been limited to items like books and ephemera.

The most interesting items come from people you wouldn't know but were part of the music industry other than performers. I've scored a number of valuable orginal concert posters including some highly prized posters from the Atlanta International Pop Festival held right before Woodstock and included many of the same performers. One of the posters at the link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_International_Pop_Festival_(1969)

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Earnest Prole said...

Me, Myself, And I

More accurately, Trump voter : Obama voter

tcrosse said...

Even more accurately, Trump and Obama did not appear on the same ballot, so it wasn't a choice. And millions of people got to be both Trump voters and Obama voters.

langford peel said...

What's the matter William?

Kinky Boots isn't faggoty enough for you? There plenty of show for your type of fan.

Why can't there be shows for normal straight people?

Sorry for the misspelling. It is hard to edit on an iPhone..

I presume that's why you are not going by your full monicker of Wiiiam Chadwick III. The third of his name. Heir to the Chadwick fortune and novelty company. How's Lovey these days? Is she still blowing the gardener?

Matt Sablan said...

"And millions of people got to be both Trump voters and Obama voters."

-- Much to Hillary Clinton's chagrin.

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

I am now going to go soak my ears in bleach in hopes of cleansing the poor things of the sound of her voice.

Oh wait, I could just shove an ice pick in each ear. That would make them feel much better.

Biff said...

Ann Althouse wrote "There's only one annotation. It's on the last 3 lines: 'This might seem sexist to younger generations.'"

Maybe, but the annotation sure seems ageist to me!

Earnest Prole said...

Trump and Obama did not appear on the same ballot, so it wasn't a choice.

Who said anything about a choice? It's a Venn diagram with a 9% overlap.

Professional lady said...

Rick Turley

Nice!

Bilwick said...

"What's the matter William?

Kinky Boots isn't faggoty enough for you? There plenty of show for your type of fan.

Why can't there be shows for normal straight people?

Sorry for the misspelling. It is hard to edit on an iPhone..

I presume that's why you are not going by your full monicker of Wiiiam Chadwick III. The third of his name. Heir to the Chadwick fortune and novelty company. How's Lovey these days? Is she still blowing the gardener? "


Bizarre.

n.n said...

You are my wife
Good bye, city life
Green Acres we are there


It's not sexist. She was, in fact, his wife. It was a query, to which she responds, if nostalgically, in the affirmative. And so the couple evolves, geographically, economically, and socially.

southcentralpa said...

We used to have a funny version of that in the Navy. Let's see if I can remember it ... what rhymes with chores, I wonder ...?

Michael K said...

saying someone "bought the farm" implies they paid for it themselves, which doesn't really fit with receiving a payout benefit of some kind, in my opinion.

I'd say that was a pretty high price.

Milwaukie Guy said...

I always thought that "bought the farm" was literal. When poor rural boys were KIA, that $10,000 cash payment often enabled their folks to buy the farm, coming out of depression-era debts.

tcrosse said...

During the Civil War soldiers would say they "Saw the Elephant", meaning they experienced combat.

The Godfather said...

When I was in my first year of law school (1965-66) everyone I knew crowded into the dorm room of Charlie who had a TV to watch "Batman!" -- the one with Adam West that was intentionally over-the-top. Of course, that was "urban", much more sophisticated than the hick shows that came later.

The Godfather said...

Another "urban" show was "Cosby". I read on Wikipedia that "The Cosby Show spent five consecutive seasons as the number-one rated show on television. The Cosby Show and All in the Family are the only sitcoms in the history of the Nielsen ratings to be the number-one show for five seasons. It spent all eight of its seasons in the top 20."

Why aren't we talking about "Cosby"?

Oh.

Focko Smitherman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Focko Smitherman said...

If you listen to the Green Acres theme (or even if you don't), it clearly begins, "Green Acres is the place TO BE," not, "FOR ME". Surprised none of the first-round nitpickers here (including Althouse) checked on that. A competent theme-song composer wouldn't repeat "for me" in the second line.

(reposted. Too many words.)

Rory said...

Jim said: "One of the better things about having hundreds of channels on cable? There are several - MeTV, AttennaTV, Heroes and Icons, etc ... - whose regular line-ups have these older shows."

These are actually over-the-air networks, usually available as "subchannels." All you need is a TV and an antenna.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Robert Cook said...
"NYC would be inhuman without the amount of greenspace we have preserved. The lungs of the city. Or perhaps you just don't want to thank the great Robert Moses, or his predecessors, Olmstead and Vaux, who bestowed upon us the jewels of Central Park and Prospect Park.

"Or shall we dig it all up and build condos? Or build projects, I suppose you would prefer that."

No, I value NYC's great parks...I live close to two of them. But they are nice places to visit, not someplace I would prefer to live, as it were. In other words, I prefer city environments to live in, and would find living in a totally rural area boring for the long haul. (That said, I expect eventually to have to leave NYC. 'twill be a sad day.)

And what have you got againt digging up parks and building condos...after all, that's capitalism!

7/12/18, 1:45 PM


Dude, and I do mean dude, I live here. You're just visiting.

rcocean said...

"Ann Althouse wrote "There's only one annotation. It's on the last 3 lines: 'This might seem sexist to younger generations.'"

That's not a "annotation" its SJW hectoring.

Whoever wrote it can fuck off. I don't need someone reminding me what unknown mysterious "younger generations" might think.

rcocean said...

Green acres was funny - partly because of the writing - but mostly because Gabor, Arnold, and a bunch of old time character actors played their parts to perfection.

Even if you could replicate the story, you couldn't replicate the casting or the chemistry that existed between the actors.

As for the massacre of rural Comedies, people forget these shows all went into Reruns - where i watched them.

tim in vermont said...

I am sure it is full of wokeness of one type or another. Broadway gave up appealing to straight men a while back. The last show I saw was “Something Rotten” which, I have to give them one star. for truth in advertising, but it was full of gay dick jokes, feminist empowerment, and a perfunctory love story that was mostly about mocking the man, really.

So of feminists and gays want to have theatre, more power to them,, just don’t expect me to show up for it, you won’t see me at NASCAR either, for the same reason, zero interest.

tim in vermont said...

If they make a musical out of My Mother the Car, you can turn the lights out, the West is done.

Known Unknown said...

Norman Lear hired the wrong guy if he wanted people to hate Archie Bunker.

Gojuplyr831@gmail.com said...

tcrpsse,I believe the expression "saw the elephant" predated the Civil War. It was a reference to a zoo in St. Louise and it meant a person who had been around and had seen everything.

Big Mike said...

It might not be art, but "The Cher Show" will make money, and that's all anyone cares about.

Big Mike said...

@James Smith, you and tcrosse are both right. The back story is that, supposedly, a hick saw an elephant in the zoo and said "There ain't no such beast." Yankee soldiers adopted "seen the elephant" to mean having gone through the terrifying experience of a battle, which is pretty nearly indescribable, and the Confederates adopted the phrase.

I have in my library a book of army jokes dating back to the Civil War and carrying through up to Vietnam. Most of the Civil War jokes are pretty incomprehensible to modern people who aren't up on their 19th century American history, but here's one:

The real reason why we're fighting.

Jeff Davis and Abe Lincoln got together to divvy up the states. Davis took Virginia and Mississippi, Lincoln took New York and Illinois. Davis wanted North and South Carolina, Lincoln wanted Ohio and Indiana. And so it went until they came to Texas. Jeff Davis, ever the gentleman, offered it to Lincoln, but Lincoln politely declined. Davis made another, more forceful demand that Lincoln take Texas, and Lincoln, a bit peckish by then, declined quite firmly. In the end neither would take it so you see, the entire war is over who gets stuck with Texas. 'Truth.

Okay, I guess you had to live back then.

Zach said...

A few weeks ago, I commented on how pop culture seems to have gone upscale since the '70s.

The example I used was comparing Miss Piggy to Kermit's new girlfriend in the 2015 revival:

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Miss_Piggy
http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Denise

Two pigs dating the same frog, but the characters were written 40 years apart.

From modest beginnings (which she is quick to gloss over), Miss Piggy first broke into show business by winning the Miss Bogen County beauty contest, a victory which also marked her first meeting with the frog of her life, Kermit (whom she often calls "Kermie"). The rest, as they say, is history (and a lot of juicy gossip, too).
...
Miss Piggy was born above Becker's Butcher Shop[6] in a small town. Frank Oz filled in some of her backstory in a 1979 People magazine article: "Miss Piggy's father chased after other sows, and her mother had so many piglets she never found time to develop her mind. 'I'll die before I live like that!' Miss Piggy screamed, and ran away to the city. Life was hard at first. People got all the jobs; pigs had to take what was left. To keep going, Miss Piggy walked a sandwich board for a barbecue stand. Desperate, she took a stage name, Laverne, and entered a beauty contest. She won and got her big break: a bacon commercial. This led to a season as mascot for a local TV sportscast called Pigskin Parade -- and then on to The Muppet Show."


Denise is a pig who features in the 2015 ABC series The Muppets. She serves as the network's Head of Marketing on Up Late with Miss Piggy.
...
In the episode "The Ex-Factor", Denise celebrates a birthday where Kermit gifts her (via Miss Piggy, who has her own agenda) a jewelry box and a bracelet. The box is made of Southern Live Oak, the state tree of Georgia, which she says smells like home. In the same episode, she tells Kristin Chenoweth that she was a theater major in college until she got her Masters degree and had to let go of a career in performing.


In 1976, everything in Miss Piggy's bio suggests that she's normal, if not a little bit poorer than her audience.

In 2015, everything in Denise's bio suggests she's a little bit better and a little bit richer than her audience. She's head of marketing. She gets a jewelry box and bracelet from Kermit. She has a master's degree in theater (but doesn't perform! It's not a luxury good if you use it for a practical purpose.)