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  • BumpyRide15 November 2006
    Watching this as a child during the late 1960's I didn't like this show. I didn't find it funny because it frustrated me! With all of the locals frustrating Mr. Douglas endlessly, they frustrated me too. Stumbling upon the show years later, the frustration was gone and I could finally enjoy the humor of it all. This was light years ahead of the tame (and boring) "Pettycoat Junction." This was life with "The Three Stooges." I always loved the on-going home improvement projects with the closet doors opening to the outside, the telephone poll phone, the over-blown big chic New York City furniture stuffed into a little farmhouse, Lisa's pink appliances, her cooking, Arnold the pig and many more. When they say they don't make 'em like they used to, they don't, and that's a darn shame.
  • ericbryce214 December 2006
    I've been a fan of GREEN ACRES as long as it's been on the air. When my wife says "how can you watch that? " I'm not worried because she just doesn't get it. This show is not for everyone but for the ones who do "get it" it's a ball to watch.

    Eddie Albert was great as the lawyer turned gentleman farmer who seems to be the only one not affected by whatever was in the water in that strange place called Hooterville. A wonderful actor, the veteran of dozens of movies he played the straight man in a company of wacky characters that could have come from the mind of Rod Serling. Probably the only show on American television with this particular kind of absurdist humor, landing in Hooterville was like going through a tunnel and coming out in TOONTOWN where people understand pigs, can leave a written egg order for a hen and predict the weather with a coo coo clock.

    The beautiful Eva Gab or was perfect as the Hungarian airhead who for a city girl had no trouble communicating with chickens, cows, pigs and all the off the wall locals. She made a name for herself in movies as the two timing, suicide prone mistress Liane d'Exelmans in the multiple Oscar winning GiGi. She was a good sport about all the humor involving her accent. I remember an interview where the reporter asked her why she still had such a heavy accent after living in the United States for so long and she replied without a seconds thought, "what are you trying to do, blow my act?" She was a class act all the way and although this show took place late in her career she was never more beautiful. Who can forget the situation where Lisa was determined to ruin the Governor's deer hunting party by flying over in a crop dusting plane shouting from a megaphone "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, THE HUNTERS ARE GOING TO SHOOST YOU!"

    For all the other fans out there who "get it" it's good to know we can get our Green Acres every day thanks to cable television. I predict that this show along with THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, and I LOVE LUCY will still be on the air and people will still be laughing in the year 2050.
  • Many in my generation (too young to be a boomer and too old to be an "X"er) think this is one of the funniest shows ever. It doesn't have any deeper meanings or ramifications or redeeming social importance. It's funny, and for the sake of being funny. This show proves that humor rises from character. Too often a show gets by on a series of insults, or double entendres, or one-liners. "Green Acres" had characters who were rich and diverse, who might be funny by what they say, or by the fact that they're saying it, or just because they show up at a certain moment. "Hooterville" could, I suppose, be construed as a Kafkaesque construct where even the woman who doesn't want to live there understands what's going on there, and only the man who wants to live there can't comprehend what's going on, or understand what the pig is saying. But why bother with such interpretation? This show is funny, well-written, and performed by fine actors. Shot on a sound-stage, "Green Acres" nevertheless opens out where most shows seem claustrophobic -- there are fields, roads, houses, barns, cows, jeeps, tractors, and all the great outdoors. I'm a country boy myself, and I appreciate that, unlike most shows written by high-handed cityfolk that show country folk as either ignorant bumpkins whose foolishness is the basis of laughs, or makes them more sagely inscrutable than smugly-superior urbanites, "Green Acres" gives the people of Hooterville thier own mindset that is neither better nor worse, just different. And the show itself is different from anything else on television until the arrival of "Newhart" which, for all its humor, nevertheless remained stagey and claustrophobic. "Green Acres" is funny. Enjoy it.
  • I always thought that if Salvador Dali wanted to do a TV sitcom, he'd come up with something like "Green Acres".

    This show was a lot of fun, and thank God it never took itself seriously. It was also one of the first to really break the "fourth wall", making self-referential remarks, such as the characters pointing to the credits as they rolled, or having the characters refer to background music being played--I don't think any sitcom had ever done that before! Anyway, Eddie Albert did a great job as perennial straight man to the lunacy around him, with everyone else in on the strangeness. I watched this show as a kid and never really appreciated Oliver's predicament, but now, as a middle-aged man, I know exactly how he feels.

    Forty years after its heyday, the show holds up very well. Give it a look.
  • "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.
  • When I watch "Green Acres" I can't help but think that this is what Vaudeville must have been like. There's Oliver Wendell Douglas in his three-piece suit and Phi Beta Kappa key standing in front of an obviously painted backdrop with the most pathetic looking stalk of corn "growing" nearby. Then comes onstage a series of the finest comedians doing their standup routine with Mr. Douglas as the straight man: Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram) with an endless supply of wacky things to sell; Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore) as the oh-so-forgetful farm agent ("Ah, Mr. Douglas! I have a message for you." "What is it?" "What is WHAT?" "The message!" "What message?" "MY MESSAGE!" "You have a message?"); Eb the farmhand (Tom Lester); on and on and on.

    Love it.
  • Green Acres is brilliant. It's Oliver Douglas's American dream turned surreal nightmare week after week. It's like Dali meets Bunuel meets American Gothic. The logic is completely twisted. But it is consistent. And Oliver is the only one not in on the joke. The writing is first class. Read some of Mr. Kimball's dialog written down some time. It is beyond belief. I recall several mind blowingly funny episodes. The one where they decide to have their own college bowl game. The Rudabaga (sp?) Bowl. Lisa gets in a hot air balloon, flies across the country tossing out rutabagas and exclaiming: "eat Hootersville rutabagas." The episode where Mr. Haney pulls up with a full-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in the back of his truck. Oliver asks Eb where Haney gets this stuff. "I think his mom knits 'em" exclaims Ed. But my particular favorite is the one where Arnold gets drafted to go to Vietnam. He has a whole scene with a horse who has just returned from Nam. It is subtitled and the horse waxes harsh and poetic about his time in Vietnam. There are things in this series that go beyond the bounds of anything ever tried in American TV. Green Acres rocks!
  • I'll admit it. I must be pretty low-brow because I am a huge sucker for this series. The chemistry and silliness are really hard to beat. When you do watch the series, you'll notice that at the beginning Lisa wasn't stupid at all and the show was a lot more conventional. However, as the show continued, the episodes got sillier and sillier--introducing Arnold the pig, a neighbor kid who went to the moon, the town of Hooterville trying to host the Olympics, etc. The show got a lot of criticism for its dopey humor, but if you watch it you can't help but laugh--and that is what makes a great TV series.

    By the way, if you have watched Petticoat Junction, do not assume this spin-off is similar at all. I never particularly liked Petticoat Junction, as it lacked the humor and silliness of Green Acres. Comparing the two is almost like comparing The Andy Griffith Show (great show) with Mayberry RFD (duller than watching paint dry).
  • This show was to be the obverse of "The Beverly Hillbillies" and instead turned out to be perhaps the most surreal TV show ever done in on American TV.

    Oliver Wendell Douglas is the button-downed, successful New York lawyer who longs to be a farmer (he even grows corn on the balcony of his Park Avenue apartment). So off he goes to Hooterville with his glamorous Hungarian wife where they begin to farm Green Acres and live a house so ramshakle that even the Joad family in "The Grapes of Wrath" probably wouldn't live in.

    Oliver tends the farm every day in suit and tie and Lisa wears elegant gowns while cooking the only meal that she knows how to make---"hots cakes" which possess extraordinary qualities---some are like granite, others bubble like sulfur mud baths, and others are stickier than any adhesive known to science. The house itself is hilarious---the bedroom closet sliding door which flys off its runners each and every time Oliver touches it, the phone which is at the top of the telephone pole, the "pore-key" hole for the house which makes it impossible to paint the place. And occasionally Arnold the Pig, perhaps the smartest inhabitant of Hooterville, regularly comes in to watch television which is always showing the same show--a wild Western gunfight between cowboys and Indians.

    That's just the house. The townspeople are an assortment of extreme oddballs. Hank Kimball, the memory-gapped county agent, Ed and Doris Ziffel who are the parents of Arnold, and Mr. Haney who is the biggest flim-flam man since P.T. Barnum (he sold Oliver the house in the first place) and who has a seemingly unlimited assortment of things to peddle to Oliver. Meanwhile, the Monroe Brothers, Alf and Ralph, are perpetually trying to repair Oliver's house. Ralph is a woman and probably the first female tradesman in the history of American television, decades before women were welcomed into the construction industry. Oliver's hired hand, Eb, lives in the barn. Even Eb gets surreal---one great episode has him trying to win a radio "name that tune" call-in show. Every song snippet that is played is exactly the same as the previous one but Eb always comes up with some bizarre new title which turns out to be right.

    The entire world around Oliver is insane but he gamely struggles along, erupting on occasion but absolutely determined not to give up farming and regularly trying to inspire his neighbors with stirring speeches about the nobility of the American farmer---the backbone of the economy, while his neighbors keep wondering where the patriotic music-- which always accompanies Oliver's speeches--comes from.
  • "Green Acres" is a surrealist, subversive sitcom classic... one of TV's greatest comedies. Eddie Albert is Oliver Wendell Douglas, the big-city lawyer who escapes the rat-race with his wife Lisa to live the "simple-life" of a country farmer. The trouble is everyone in the small town of Hooterville is insane.

    Tom Lester is Ebb, the twenty-something farmhand who seems almost intentionally obtuse. He insists on calling Oliver & Lisa "Mom & Dad" in spite of the fact that they are not his parents. This infuriates Oliver who frequently reminds the boy that they are not related. Ebb is a gangly innocent, so lanky that he can get a laugh just by standing up straight. His Adam's apple is constantly in the act of escaping his neck, and will one day surely succeed.

    Alvy Moore is Hank Kimball. Well, he's not REALLY Hank Kimball- he just plays him on TV. Well, not ON the TV... more like IN the TV box. Well, not really IN the box...

    Pat Buttram is Mr. Haney, the king of charlatan salesmen, always ready to sell Oliver a completely unnecessary item at a reasonably outrageous price. He takes a pride in gouging Mr. Douglas that borders on perverse.

    Arnold Ziffel is the TV-loving pig with human parents who had a brief career as an actor in Hollywood. Long-story...

    And don't forget Eva Gabor as Lisa Douglas, a Hungarian princess who never met a word she couldn't shlaughter...

    This show is painfully funny... listen for the fife and drums every time Oliver gives his "American Farmer" speech. Enjoy the brilliant sight gags and the sweet pride that Fred & Doris have for their pig-son. Watch Eddie Albert go six seasons without ever finishing a sentence... the delirious insanity of "Green Acres" paved the way for future TV towns like The Simpsons' Springfield.

    If you haven't seen "Green Acres" it is worth seeking out. I suggest watching at least 2-3 episodes at a time... it's funnier that way. But when it starts making sense it's time to take a break.

    GRADE: A
  • tonedeaf0627 September 2008
    Green Acres is my favorite sit-com ever. There are many excellent ones over the years and perhaps some better, the Andy Griffith Show is close for me, but none make me laugh or allow for complete, escapist zaniness as does Green Acres. Top-notch acting & writing, incredibly wacky characters, bizarre situations and story lines, Green Acres has it all. I do not know about any Kafkaesque similarities or other "deep" meanings. I DO know that Green Acres makes me laugh and lets me escape my sometimes grim world to a place where anything can happen and often does. Of course the glue holding this menagerie together was Eddie Albert as Oliver Wendell Douglas. His brilliant "playing-off" of all the lunacy around him is top-notch. I also felt a real chemistry between Oliver & his wife Lisa (Eva Gabor). One thing I felt was left out of some of the other comments was the great use of editing in the show. The quick cuts and capturing of the sometimes hilarious reactions of the actors really added to the show in both pacing & comedic effect. Truly a charming and insane treasure!!!
  • This programme was traditionally thought of as just another of the cornpone country comedies that CBS used to be noted for, like "Petticoat Junction" or "The Beverly Hillbillies". But with its button-down straight man, Eddie Albert, surrounded by a wild assortment of extraordinary oddballs, "Green Acres" looks both backwards to the screwball comedies of the '30s and ahead to the Bob Newhart series of shows which followed a similar premise.

    I am a fan of the British absurdist tradition, as exemplified both by university humour, like "Monty Python" and "Fawlty Towers", with its basis in the antics of the Goons (and Alfred Jarry), and by John Lennon's disassociated imagery, with its basis, probably, in Edward Lear (and Hilaire Belloc), but I personally happen to believe that this particular show belongs to a distinct comedy continuum, one that's entirely American. But I do agree completely that where these two styles are concerned, fans of one are bound to appreciate the other.
  • jimel9823 September 2014
    I've known many who pan this show as pure drudge. Nay, I say to thee, this show was the pinnacle of genius. The jokes may be 'childish', 'sophomoric' and 'dumb' but they are meant to be. This show is one of the most amazingly funny shows ever produced BECAUSE it's humor is so dumb. It's meant to be dumb and done so well, the average person just does not get the joke. And think about it, Eddie Albert was a VERY accomplished actor. Does anyone really think he'd sign on to a stupid show? A brilliant show made to seem stupid, YES! And Eva Gabor, the ONLY Gabor worth ever remembering (were there any others, eh, who gives a damn?) was dumb so brilliantly, how could you not love her and her character?

    I don't care what anyone says, if you watch this show with an open mind, or even a closed one that can grasp pure satire and NOT laugh your ass off, you need some serious counseling. Small, rural town life satired to the point of absurdity while also skewering uptight, big city snobs is just too funny to every dismiss as anything but brilliant. I've used that word a lot, and I mean it.
  • This series while as corny as it can be had something which endeared it to all of us who watched it. This series had a heart which beat strongly & carried us through each week to the conclusion with Oliver & Lisa in their Monroe remodeled open air bedroom.

    While there were times the series got too hung up on Arnold, & Ebb Dawson's love life, the characters of Hooterville always made for great comedy. There were times that Paul Henning was winking & smiling as he made fun of Lawyers, American Farmers, Mobsters, Hollywood, & many other targets during the shows run.

    The characters he created were amazing. The physical comedy in this along with the great verbal comedy blended together into as fine a 1960's sitcom as could be produced.

    Eddie Albert was kind of old for his role, but brought it off with an amazing energy. Ava Gabor was given a character where she could put herself into it, & this series turned out to the best role of her life. Pat Buttrum & the rest of the cast were great in support with special credos to Alvy Moore as Mr. Kimble who created one of the more amazing county agents ever portrayed.

    All of this, higher pay, full benefits, & a years supply of cracked crab. It just don't get any better than that.
  • jwrowe315 January 2004
    When I was a kid, back in the 60's, there were two shows that I never missed. "Lost In Space" was one, and "Green Acres" was the other. Funny that both were on CBS, and I remember that my parents watched CBS's national news, too.

    I always loved Mr. Haney, and when Mr. Douglas begins some story about "The American Farmer", and the patriotic music begins playing in the background. On one episode, the other actors begin looking for where the music is coming from. Priceless gag.

    I am looking forward to the DVD of this series. I hope that they are cleaned up, as what we see on TV now are fairly faded prints of the show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just got off of the IMDb message board for Green Acres where there is an ongoing debate about which state Hooterville is supposed to be located in. All kinds of hints were apparently spun out during the show --- from Sam Drucker mentioning that the state capital was Springfield to the number of connecting flights from Hooterville to Chicago to pointing to series creator Paul Hennings' Ozark roots and the presumed locale of Petticoat Junction. Some think then that Hooterville must be somewhere in the Illinois or Missouri sticks. Others back their way through what they suppose to be the origins of the Beverly Hillbillies and think it must be somewhere in Tennessee and even a few others point out that some of the place names used on the show can be found in central California -- which would explain the 81 degree Christmas temperatures experienced one year in Hooterville. Some of the posters on the board who harbor more sensitive, philosophical tendencies are eager to persuade that Hooterville isn't in any state in the U.S.-but is only a state of mind. One especially keen minded poster even carries this metaphysical exercise to the extreme by pointing out that Hooterville exists only on a Hollywood sound stage and no where else. I just can't buy that though.

    I spent a lot of time as a kid in the late sixties and early seventies in Southern Illinois and Missouri. Everything I see on Green Acres whether placed there by the producers by accident or by design -- from the opening credits aerial shots -- to the Douglas homeplace with its rusting farm machinery in the yard remind me of that part of the country.

    Rod Serling once introduced an episode of the Twilight Zone (The Last Rites Of Jeff Myrtlebank) by describing the setting as "the Midwest...... the southern most part of the Midwest." It's a very intelligent distinction to be made. Once you cross I-70 in Southern Illinois you have crossed a border of sorts. You are still in the Midwest to be sure, but in this region the accents stretch out just a bit. When you hear Tom Lester's (Eb) Missisippi accent or Pat Buttram's (Mr Haney)twangy patter on the show you are hearing a voice not that far off from what you would find in any small town off the road in Southern Illinois or Missouri. But it's still the Midwest and not the "real" South. Make no mistake about that.

    Green Acres, as I remember it, was a big hit among my Southern Illinois relatives back in the late sixties. They loved the show--but the question is why? My Uncle Richard and Aunt Rosalie were not great connoisseurs of absurdist, self referential humour. If you pointed out to them that this was one of the first shows on TV to "break down the 4th wall" they would have slapped themselves silly trying to figure out what you were talking about. They loved this show simply because the it bore some resemblance to the world that they lived in. Nothing else on TV then or even up till now offers such a view of that part of rural America.
  • If you remember in Holiday Inn Bing Crosby just like Eddie Albert wanted a life of ease and comfort and away from the daily grind of show business. In a year on the farm he found just how hard life can be there and decided on something else which was the crux of that film. Fred Astaire gave him a geranium plant to satisfy his agricultural urge as he put it.

    Bing wasn't half as determined as Oliver Wendell Douglas played by Eddie Albert who was a Wall Street lawyer, but who also wanted to get to a simple life on the farm. But his time on the farm lasted for seven seasons and was still going when Green Acres went off the air. Albert was the fictional reincarnation of Wendell Wilkie who Harold Ickes once characterized as the "simple barefoot prairie lawyer from Wall Street" who also had a farm background in rural Indiana.

    But Douglas never saw a farm he only imagined what it was like. Well no one in our society works harder than farmers, even those who don't work for themselves, but might work for some agri-business outfit like Archer Daniels Midland. It's 24/7 for those folks with no vacations and the women work as hard as the men. Crops don't grow by themselves with a decent yield and livestock has to be tended and fed to multiply.

    None of this did Albert realize when he bought a farm in fictional Hooterville, also known as the home of the Shady Rest Motel in Petticoat Junction. The same show regulars did double duty in both shows, making them the hardest working cast in television during the Sixties.

    The comedy came from two sources on Green Acres both equally funny. The first was Eddie Albert, Wall Street lawyer and a curious combination of eager apprentice farmer and lawyer used to dealing with powerful folks. As often as not the rustics of Green Acres got the better of him.

    Secondly though there was Eva Gabor. She'd have much preferred to stay living on Park Avenue as the theme said every week, but she dutifully followed her husband to Hooterville. They invented the word 'chic' for Eva Gabor, but she too was at a loss dealing with her environment and by the rural folks who just didn't quite get her as she didn't get them. Of course it helped to have the best hooters in Hooterville, beating even Bea Benaderet's three daughters from Petticoat Junction.

    The interchangeable regulars were a trip though. My favorites were Alvy Moore as the brain dead county agent and Pat Buttram the ever scheming Mr. Haney who even got the best of Wall Street lawyer Albert from time to time.

    Eddie Albert was one of the most versatile players that the big and small screen ever knew. That man could play everything from gentle hero to some of the slimiest villains the screen ever saw. But he will forever be known for this show as his career part where his comic side was given its best opportunity.

    Green Acres was an integral part of CBS network's rural lineup that included Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies. All those shows were sacrificed in the eternal quest for younger demographics. I doubt if a show as gentle, but as absolutely hysterical as Green Acres could ever be duplicated again.
  • I kinda re-discovered GA after having watched it as a kid. Back then, it seemed funny enough, but I wasn't intelligent enough to appreciate the show's genius for absurd situations and dialogue. Of course it helped tremendously that the cast was perfect, and that the chemistry among the actors was ideal. I watch the re-runs nearly every day and am freshly amazed at the wacky plots and how Oliver (Eddie Albert) always finds himself virtually alone on this distant "planet" of Hooterville. Even the lamer shows are still very funny. Too bad television had to "grow up" and produce "serious" comedies like "All in the Family" and "MASH", two distinctly shallow and smart-alec shows, void of all of Green Acres' charm and endearing insanity.
  • brian_m_hass7 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    This American sitcom is about a Harvard educated attorney named Oliver Douglas who decides to give up city life to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a farmer. He convinces his reluctant wife to move with him to the farm, where the couple resides in a run-down shack. The Douglases find themselves surrounded by a community of eccentric characters from the small town of Hooterville.

    The situations depicted in the series were often surreal. Oliver Douglas always insisted on wearing suits while doing his farm chores. The Douglases had to climb out of a bedroom window and up a telephone pole to answer their telephone. A neighboring farm couple adopted a pig and raised it as if it were their own child. Although Oliver Douglas had to persuade his reluctant wife, Lisa, to move to the community with him; Lisa was the one who was eccentric enough to fit in with the rural community far better than Oliver himself did.

    This series is easily one of the best-remembered sitcoms from the late 1960's and early 1970's. The show is connected to two other sitcoms, "Petticoat Junction" and "The Beverley Hillbillies." The series is fondly remembered by people who lived through the period when it was first aired. The show's characters are still easily recognized by the public decades after the series ended. Modern audiences will still find the show's zany situations entertaining. The sitcom is highly recommended.
  • "Green Acres" when it premiered on CBS' Wednesday night prime time schedule opposite "The Beverly Hillbillies" on September 15,1965 was one of the trilogy of "rural comedies" that were created and produced by Paul Henning(who was also behind the success of "The Beverly Hillbillies", and "Petticoat Junction"). The overall premise of "Green Acres" started on radio under the title "Granby's Green Acres" that was broadcast on CBS Radio as a replacement for the Lux Radio Theatre that aired for 13 episodes from July 3, 1950 until August 21,1950. Created and produced by Jay Sommers and starred Gale Gordon and Bea Benederet.

    The television version that it was based on was also created and produced by Jay Sommers and Paul Henning(who served as executive producer) the series lasted six seasons and 170 color episodes until April 27,1971. The overall premise was built around a big city lawyer Oliver Douglass(Eddie Albert),and his fashionable wife Lisa(Eva Gabor)that abandon their upscale Manhattan Park Avenue penthouse and affluent and hectic lifestyle for the rustic and more "civil" world of farming in the fictional Midwestern town of Hooterville. Though Oliver is happy to make the transition to farm life,his upscale wife Lisa is less enthusiatic,though she adapts the best she can in spite of her thick Hungarian accent. Of all the running gags that this series had involves her inability to prepare anything other than "Hotcakes", and even those leave much to be desired. The other running gag centers around the frequent visits by Oliver's mother(Eleanor Audley) who begs with Oliver to go back to Manhattan to the law business but in turn sides with her daughter-in-law in regards to her son's desire to live the simple life.

    Having the series set in the same locate as Henning's "Petticoat Junction"(which there were several crossover episodes)that allowed frequent appearances by Edgar Buchanan, Frank Cady, and others. Frank Cady did double duty on "Petticoat Junction",and was a guest star on "The Beverly Hillbillies" before he became a series regular on "Green Acres". Oliver's assistant and Farmhand Eb(Tom Lester)was "The Beverly Hillbillies" version of Jethro, a doofus who was shorthanded on brains and no muscles. The other mixed bag of weirdoes were The Monroe Brothers(Sid Melton and Mary Beth Canfield)were the carpenters from hell,forever causing chaos wherever they had a project to do but would never quite finished it. Then there was the biggest scam artist of them all,the slimy and unpredictable Mr. Haney(played by veteran cowboy sidekick Pat Buttram who was a regular of the Gene Autry movies of the 1940's and 1950's) who was forever pulling a fast one or con scam out of Mr. Douglass who was forever plying his oily wares at unreasonable prices. Other characters were the County Extension Agent Hank Kimball(played by veteran actor Alvy Moore)who was always giving Oliver Douglass fits when it came agricultural things which the agent had no experience about.

    Another inspired bit that was also part of a running gag of jokes was the opening credits of one installment and this went on in several episodes where the names of the episode's writer, producer, creator, and director were listed. One of the directors,veteran Richard L. Bare was part of this. Bare,who was a director of "B" movie 1950's standard fare and his work on several television shows,directed more than 166 episodes of "Green Acres" that aired between 1965-1971. The writing and production of Jay Sommers(170 episodes) and Dick Chevillat(152 episodes) were also listed on the opening credits as well. Other directors that contribute to "Green Acres" episodes were Ralph Levy, Bruce Bilson,and Vincent Sherman. Comedical writing came from Al Schwartz, John L. Greene, Elroy Schwartz, Phil Leslie, Joel Kane, Bob Marcus, Dan Beaumont, Lou Huston, Buddy Atkinson, Joel Rapp, Larry Scott Anderson, along with Stan Dreben and Bobby Bell just to name a few.

    Big name guest stars appeared on "Green Acres" too. From Al Lewis, to Parley Baer, Bea Benederet, Melody Patterson, Lyle Talbot, Anthony Caruso, Regis Toomey, Peter Whitney, Johnny Whitaker, Ketty Lester, Doris Packer, Ray Kellogg, Virginia Sale, John Stephenson, Henry Corden, Ray Teal, Bernie Kopell, J. Carroll Naish, Alan Hale, Jr., Francine York, Rusty Hamer, Allan Melvin, Pat Morita, Rich Little and Don Porter. Even theme composer musician Vic Mizzy had a guest starring role in one episode.

    The best episodes from the series I will start with the premiere episode "Oliver Buys A Farm"(Season 1,Episode 1),and "Lisa's First Day On The Farm"(Season 1,Episode 2),and "The Decorator"(Season 1,Episode 3). The other episodes included "The Case Of The Hooterville Refund Fraud" (Season 5,Episode 21); "I Didn't Raise My Pig to Be A Soldier"(Season 2,Episode 3);"My Husband,The Rooster Renter"(Season 1,Episode 5),and "An Old Fashioned Christmas"(Season 2,Episode 13); "The Beverly Hillbillies" (Season 2,Episode 23);just to name a few.

    "Green Acres" for the first four seasons had solid ratings where it was placed between "The Beverly Hillbillies" on CBS' Wednesday night schedule from 1965-1969. By the 1969-1970 the network moved the series from Wednesday nights to Saturday nights in an earlier time slot opposite "Adam-12" and the long-running "The Lawrence Welk Show". And in it's sixth and final season for the 1970-1971 season saw the show moved again from Saturday nights to Tuesday nights where it was opposite "Julia", "The Don Knotts Show",and "The Mod Squad" where it was clobbered in the ratings. The series that replaced "Green Acres" for the 1971-1972 season was "The Glen Campbell Show" aka "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Country Hour",and "The John Byner Comedy Show". "Green Acres" when it was abruptly canceled in the Spring of 1971 was the victim of CBS' "rural purge" of shows that also included "Hee Haw"(2 seasons), "The Beverly Hillbillies"(9 seasons); "Petticoat Junction"(7 seasons), "Lassie"(17 seasons); "The Ed Sullivan Show"(23 seasons); "Mayberry RFD"(3 seasons); "Hogan's Heroes"(6 seasons); "Family Affair" (5 seasons),"The Jackie Gleason Show"(19 seasons), and "The Red Skelton Show"(18 seasons). The shows that were canceled by the network were replaced with shows to attracted an urban audience.
  • SanteeFats17 June 2012
    I love this series!!! I think it is funny as heck. It is somewhat absurd because you have a New York lawyer running around doing farm work in a suit vest, tie, and slacks but that is also part of its rural charm. Also Ava Gabor is out there as the wife who is almost always in designer gowns, is extremely helpful to the local women and high school girls, loaning out her very expensive clothes at the least excuse. The support cast is great with Haney as the con artist and Sam Drucker as the everything official. It is just a great old time show that has with stood the changes in American TV. Too bad it was cancelled along with Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies when some moronic CEO got in and decided they were no longer worth doing!!!
  • ruffy-43-9963013 October 2014
    Hands Down, the best show, comedy or otherwise, ever on TV. Subtle comedy that many just "don't get" need a certain sense of humor to really appreciate the sheer genius of writing and acting. Oliver is so surrounded by nuts he begins to wonder if he's the one who is nuts and everybody else is 'normal'. Eva Gabor has a real-life sense of humor previously unknown and brought to life. Frank Cady as Sam Drucker cannot be praised enough, Tom Lester as Eb were also so very very good at their roles driving Oliver to the point of most people run screaming pulling out their hair, and at the risk of leaving anybody out, not one actor/actress failed in what the writers and directors wanted, maybe even improvising. No show has ever given as many belly-laughs to tears.
  • I used to catch a few episodes of this show on Nick-At-Nite. Though it was clearly a golden-oldie show (so old my mom wondered why I was watching such dated sitcoms), I still thought the show was quite funny. I got several laughs out of it and it was a good source of entertainment on a slow night.

    The episodes were quite whimsical but the comedy was tastefully done. Just New York City attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) trying to make his wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) forgo the city life to attempt to live as happy farmers in the boondocks was hilarious, and serves as a story-line for many funny misadventures. And of course, the catchy theme song in the opening scene and Lisa's constant "Oliver!" call will resonate in your mind long after you hear them.

    Grade B
  • I once heard "Green Acres" described as being "Twin Peaks:the sitcom," which isn't too far off base if you take away the darker elements of "Peaks."

    I'm not sure it's the best television series either, but it certainly my favorite, and the best thing about it is that it was funny when I was four years old, still funny when I was a teenager, and even funnier now that I'm in my late 30's and can sit and watch the show with my young sons.

    Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor should have won multiple emmy's. The writers stand alone as some of the funniest sitcom writers of all time. Jay Somers and Paul Henning are geniuses. The amazing thing about this show is at a time when most shows were star driven, this show gives all of the actors great lines and showcases for their talent.

    Of course, Oliver and Lisa are my favorite denizens of Hooterville, but I have a lot of fondness for Eb (who is endlessly funny), Mr. Haney (who my kids think is the funniest person ever!) and Mr. Kimble (who ALWAYS cracks me up!).

    "Green Acres" really is the place to be. It's funny, it's family friendly and it is one of the best shows of all time!

    The DVD is great too, but I would have loved some extra commentaries from some of the surviving cast members!

    David Cox Independence Missouri
  • Every episode's been fun to watch again (I'm old enough to remember the shock of it being cancelled, even though it was practically the #1 show at the time). I think my favorite episode, which was just run the other day, is "The Reincarnation of Eb".

    There's something about it that is even loonier than the rest. Brilliant slapstick, throwaway lines that make me wonder if this particular episode was ad-libbed frequently. The story just bounces all over the place - I wonder what the writers were smoking that day...

    Anyway, I'd like to know what other people consider their favorite episode. That "Return to Green Acres" movie was pretty dumb and I especially didn't like how they made Haney such an evil character. Still, it was nice seeing the reunion of the original performers.
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