History of Green Acres

views

What is Green Acres, and what makes it so endearing to a lot of audiences?

Green Acres is one of the most unforgettable American sitcoms in television history. This television series has successfully acquired the influences of surrealism in the production of comedy sitcoms in the past. The show was first broadcast on CBS on September 15, 1965. American audiences in the 1960s loved Green Acres, because of its funny and memorable episodes.

The sitcom served as a regular venue for Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert who were two of the most popular comedians in the American television industry for the 1960s and 1970s. Due to Green Acre‘s wide popularity, it stayed on air for more than 10 years. In its first six years of broadcast it received numerous awards and earned excellent.

In the sitcom, Eva and Eddie were a married couple who lived in New York City and then chose to move to a rural country area to start a new life. They wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of the city to experience having a very simple way of living on a farm. This of course leads to many “fish out of water” hilarious situations, which kept their viewing audience in stitches. As the story progressed, they became more comfortable with their country way of life and the story line evolved.

Get to know the some of the people (plus the pig) of Hooterville

1. Oliver Wendell Douglas

He is one of the major characters ofGreen Acres, of course. Portrayed by veteran Hollywood actor Eddie Albert, Oliver Wendell Douglas is a successful New York City attorney who has been yearning for the idyllic life in the countryside where he could own and manage a farm. But once he and his family settles into the fictional town of Hooterville and their new, dilapidated farm, rural life isn’t what it seems. Moreover, Mr. Douglas is obviously struggling with farming but he is either blinded by pride or too obstinate to admit it. Many of the Hooterville folks, having seen Mr. Douglas labor on in the farm but in vain, are convinced that he’d be far more successful if he goes back to his law practice.

2. Lisa Douglas

The always glamorous Hungarian immigrant Lisa Douglas is Oliver Wendell Douglas’ wife. She is played by the real-life glamorous Hungarian-born Hollywood actress Eva Gabor. The sophisticated Lisa was at first not all too happy with her husband’s decision to move from the city to the farming town. But when they move to the fictional small town of Hooterville, Lisa, surprisingly, adjusts to the life of the rural town far much easier than her husband does. She finds no trouble fitting in to Hooterville’s wacky, kooky residents, who immediately accept her. Her Hungarian accented English is one of notable traits of the Lisa Douglas character, who seems to be content and happy settling in the small town.

3. Mr. Haney

Mr. Haney is a local farmer in Hooterville town. He was portrayed by Pat Buttram, who had made a name for himself by playing sidekicks in several Western films. Mr. Haney is also a con man who is often successful in cheating the Douglases a lot of times, including stripping off the value of his ancient farm (as well as its plumbing) and selling it to the couple. The always shady Mr. Haney would always drive his truck to the Douglas farm, plying his useless items to the couple and convincing them that these things are of value to the farm.

4. Sam Drucker

Portrayed by actor Frank Cady, Sam Drucker is the general goods store owner and operator in Hooterville. Drucker is also the town’s postmaster and the editor and publisher of the town’s weekly paper.The Hooterville World-Guardian.Other than Mr. Oliver Douglas, Drucker seems to be only other sane character of the show, but he has his own quirks too. He would sometimes poke fun at his own baldness.

5. Hank Kimball

Hank Kimball is Hooterville’s county agent – a friendly, helpful if a bit featherbrained and forgetful. He would correct his own sentences (often repeatedly) whenever he makes a statement but then loses track on the entirety of what he’s said. Although he seems to be an expert on farming, usually most of his farming advice turn out to be useless. He is portrayed by the late light comic actor Alvy Moore.

6. Eb Dawson

Eb Dawson is played by actor Tom Lester, who is (as of writing) the only surviving regular cast member ofGreen Acres. Dawson is the young farmhand hired by the Douglases, and he is also one of the loveable characters in the show. Dawson has grown fond of the couple, whom he frequently addresses to as “Dad” and “Mom.” While Oliver Douglas doesn’t like the idea, his wife Lisa on the other hand has developed a motherly relationship towards Dawson.

7. Arnold Ziffel

Arnold Ziffel is entirely different from the other characters of Green Acres, simply because Ziffel is a pig. However, he is a seen and treated as a “son” by the couple Fred and Doris Ziffel. The pig is amazingly intelligent and talented. He could write his own name, play the piano and change the television channels. He also attends school, holding lunchbox in his mouth. He also has had an eventful past life, including his US Army draft and a prior job as a newspaper boy. Once, the pig falls in love with Mr. Haney’s Basset hound named Cynthia, but eventually realizes that their love isn’t meant to be.

Interesting Facts About the Show

Here are 20 interesting facts about “Green Acres”:

  1. Hybrid Show: “Green Acres” is part of a trio of shows (along with “Petticoat Junction” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”) created by Paul Henning. These shows occasionally had crossover episodes.
  2. Reverse Premise: The show’s premise, a wealthy couple moving from the city to the country, was a reverse of the popular “The Beverly Hillbillies,” which had a rural family moving to Beverly Hills.
  3. Famous Theme Song: The theme song, “Green Acres,” performed by Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, is one of the most recognizable TV theme songs and sets the humorous tone of the show.
  4. Real-Life Skills: Eddie Albert, who played Oliver Wendell Douglas, was actually an environmentalist and gardener in real life, which mirrored his character’s desire for farming.
  5. Accent Authenticity: Eva Gabor, who played Lisa Douglas, used her real Hungarian accent for her character, adding to the comedic contrast between her and the rural setting.
  6. Arnold Ziffel: One of the show’s most memorable characters was Arnold Ziffel, a pig that the neighbors, Fred and Doris Ziffel, treated as their son. Arnold watched TV, attended school, and was involved in various comedic plots.
  7. Breaking the Fourth Wall: “Green Acres” frequently broke the fourth wall, with characters acknowledging the audience, referring to the fact they were on a TV show, and interacting with the credits.
  8. Surreal Humor: The show was known for its surreal humor, including characters who could do impossible things, like talking animals and characters appearing in unlikely places.
  9. High Ratings: Despite its rural setting, “Green Acres” was very popular in urban areas, even outperforming “The Beverly Hillbillies” in some city markets.
  10. Cancellation: “Green Acres” was cancelled in 1971 as part of the “rural purge” by CBS, which aimed to shift the network’s programming away from rural-themed shows to target a more urban audience. For more information on the “rural purge,” you can read What was the Rural Purge by CBS?
  11. Syndication Success: After its cancellation, “Green Acres” found a new audience in syndication, becoming a staple on various networks and gaining a cult following.
  12. Animated Sequel: In 1990, an animated version of “Green Acres” was planned as part of a show called “Garfield and Friends,” but it never materialized beyond the concept stage.
  13. Stage Musical: In 2006, a stage musical adaptation of “Green Acres” was announced, aiming to bring the characters and setting to the musical theater audience.
  14. Pat Buttram’s Voice: Pat Buttram, who played Mr. Haney, was known for his distinctive voice. He later lent his voice to animated characters, most notably in Disney films.
  15. Eva Gabor’s Fashion: Eva Gabor’s character, Lisa Douglas, was known for her high fashion and glamorous outfits, which contrasted sharply with the rural setting.
  16. Real Farm Location: The opening sequence was filmed on a real farm, which is located in Simi Valley, California.
  17. Cultural Impact: “Green Acres” has been referenced and parodied in various other media, showcasing its lasting impact on American pop culture.
  18. Eddie Albert’s Emmy Nominations: Eddie Albert was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as Oliver Wendell Douglas, although he never won.
  19. Comic Book Adaptation: “Green Acres” was adapted into a comic book series by Dell Comics, which ran for several issues.
  20. Legacy: “Green Acres” remains a beloved classic, remembered for its quirky characters, humorous situations, and the charming, if unlikely, marriage of Oliver and Lisa Douglas.

The impact and legacy of Green Acres on American television

Green Acres was cancelled as part of the rural purge of television in the late 60s and early 70s. The major networks had many rural themed shows but as America became more urban advertisers wand more urban themed shows. Green Acresbroadcast its last episode on April 27, 1971. This-thirty minute sitcom aired almost 170 episodes, many of which continue in syndication, DVD and on streaming media.

 

Share this
Tags

Must Read

How Was Beer Made in the 18TH Century?

Imagine you're a brewer in the 18th century, tasked with turning simple ingredients into a satisfying pint. You'd start with barley, soaking and germinating...

Effective Employee Payroll Management for Your Business

Payroll processing is an essential responsibility of any business organization, which involves the payment of employee’s wages or salaries and other emoluments. Payroll management...

Expert Tips From A Professional Plumber: Ensuring A Leak-Free Home

It is essential to preserve the integrity of your property and guarantee the comfort of your family by maintaining a leak-free home. As a...

Must-read

How Was Beer Made in the 18TH Century?

Imagine you're a brewer in the 18th century, tasked with turning simple ingredients into a satisfying pint. You'd start with barley, soaking and germinating it before drying it in a kiln to preserve essential enzymes. Next, you'd mash the malted barley in hot water to extract the sugars, setting the stage for fermentation. Boiling the wort with hops would add...

Adolphus Busch: The Visionary Behind Beer Powerhouse Anheuser-Busch

Adolphus Busch was born on July 10, 1839, in Kastel, Germany, and later immigrated to the United States in 1857. His journey to becoming a brewing magnate began when he joined the E. Anheuser & Co. brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, which was owned by his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. With a keen business acumen and innovative spirit, Busch quickly...

The Story Behind the Famous “King of Beers” Slogan for Budweiser

Budweiser is a prominent name in the beer industry, known for its iconic slogan "King of Beers." This slogan has an interesting history that reflects the brand's journey in the United States. German immigrant Adolphus Busch arrived in the country in 1857 and later married Lilly Anheuser. He began working at his father-in-law's brewery, which would eventually become Anheuser-Busch. By...

Recent articles

More like this