Green Acres

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CBS (ended 1971)

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Show Summary

Successful New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas gives up the rat race to fulfill his dream: living the life of the traditional American farmer. Fighting the move to rural life is his glamorous, boa-wearing, city-loving wife, Lisa. This quaint premise, however, doesn't begin to capture the screwball absurdity of Green Acres. After a few episodes that were somewhat rooted in reality, the series' true oddness started to bloom. The characters see the opening credits as they appear on screen (or on chicken eggs); they talk with baseball-playing pigs who become movie stars; fife music accompanies Oliver's patriotic speeches and is heard by everyone but him; a full-sized Eiffel tower is built on the Douglases' lawn. Hooterville is clearly operating in its own bizarre universe where Oliver is the only normal, reasonable person--and that's questionable at times. The tiny town revolves around Sam Drucker's General Store, where Sam acts as shopkeeper, postmaster, justice of the peace and publisher of the "Hooterville World Guardian". He's one of the more level-headed residents of the valley, but that's relative. The other locals are considerable more bizarre and are a constant frustration to Oliver. Hank Kimball, the county agricultural agent, is a prime example. His short-term memory is so poor he regularly forgets what he's talking about mid-sentence. Fellow farmer Fred Ziffel is an elderly overalls-wearing man who, with his wife Doris, treats their pig Arnold like an actual child. Arnold attends school, reads, writes, skates, and speaks several languages (though they all sound like oinking). Con man Eustace Haney, who sold Oliver his dump of a farm, is always trying to fleece someone out of their cash. Apparently possessing ESP, he shows up outside of Oliver's door with whatever he and Lisa have just been discussing. The Douglases' farmhand, Eb, lives in their barn and considers Oliver and Lisa to be his parents. Lisa, a stylish Hungarian woman who Oliver met during the war, is hardly cut out for domestic life. Wearing ostrich feathers and diamonds around the farm, she can only cook "hotscakes" (badly) and her mangling of the English language is impressive. Matt Groening once accurately described Green Acres as "Oliver Douglas in hell". All he wants to do is farm, but the constant interruptions from the loony locals, the endless double-talk, the ambitious pig all conspire to make it impossible. Oliver earns his reputation as a "hothead" as his face turns red and he bellows about the latest aggravation.
Green Acres
began when CBS handed Paul Henning, the very successful producer of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junctionmoreless
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  • Eddie Albert

    Eddie Albert

    Oliver Wendell Douglas

    Eva Gabor

    Eva Gabor

    Lisa Douglas

    Pat Buttram

    Pat Buttram

    Mr. Eustace Haney

    Tom Lester

    Tom Lester

    Eb Dawson

    Frank Cady

    Frank Cady

    Sam Drucker

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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    60s, small town life, Classics, Sitcoms, laugh track