A New York City attorney and his wife attempt to live as genteel farmers in the bizarre community of Hooterville.A New York City attorney and his wife attempt to live as genteel farmers in the bizarre community of Hooterville.A New York City attorney and his wife attempt to live as genteel farmers in the bizarre community 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.
- May 21, 2006