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Beverly Hillbillies Characters - A Class Act! by Wendy Pan

The Beverly Hillbillies characters were created and brought to TV screens all over America and the rest of the world from 1962-71. CBS and the writer Paul Henning gave the Beverly Hillbillies characters the subversive task of fighting a class war in the imaginations of the TV watching classes of the world. America is often called the "classless society" but that is no truer than the Beverly Hillbillies characters are real people.

The Beverly Hillbillies characters were (we should say are because somewhere in the world someone is watching the 'black gold' bubble up on endless re-runs of the series) members of two families. There was the working class, unsophisticated, uneducated Clampetts and the upper class, moneyed, elitist and snobby Drysdales.

Jed Clampett had good 'down home' common sense, unfailing optimism and naiveté when it came to the motives of their neighbors. Like downtrodden masses everywhere they didn't even realize that Mrs. Drysdale was always trying to put them back in their place.

Granny Moses had unerringly accurate views on human nature, and referred to herself an "M.D." or mountain doctor. In touch with her roots and nature she claimed to know everything about herbs, potions and tonics.
Elly May Clampett was the awesomely strong and capable daughter.

 Guaranteed to keep the male audience tuning in she had a deep rapport with all animals and adopted a great diversity of them. There were raccoons and a chimpanzee, as her "critters." Despite her Earth mother side there was a brilliant running joke on her inability to cook. Her concoctions were not only inedible but, when the clan discreetly fed her meals to the backyard plants as so not to hurt her feelings, the plants died.

Jethro, was incredibly ignorant but well meaning and self-centered. Jethro called himself "Beef Jerky," imagining himself a playboy and sophisticated man-about-town. In episode after episode this class warrior would sally forth into the world and unwittingly outwit the gold-digging moneyed elite that he came across.

The family called their swimming pool "the cement pond." They were fascinated by it, but never seemed to grasp its intended use. Another running joke was that they never discovered the source of the sound that took place a few times prior to someone showing up at the front door the doorbell. They were the noble savages who repeatedly got the better of, without being triumphal, the Drysdales.

They had been placed on the class battlefield by the awesome literary device of giving them a fortune from an oil well on their farm. They always, wisely shunned the trappings of wealth and only ever felt at home when doing their own thing.

The Drysdales were always the most foolish of Beverly Hillbillies characters. Mrs. Drysdale's had obvious disdain for their neighbors, Mr. Drysdale was willing to do anything to keep them next door so as to be able to go on exploiting their millions of dollars in his bank. Episodes in 1962 and 1966 featured his black sheep stepson, Sonny a Momma's Boy whose "career" was going to college. They tried to marry him off to Elly May but the purity of the working class ethic could not be allowed to be diluted. When he jilted her, there was nearly a feud.

Throughout the series Mrs. Drysdale led ever more fiendish and funny campaigns to rid her circle of the great-unwashed Beverly Hillbillies characters.

Even Jed's Bloodhound Duke, was also a constant adversary to Mrs. Drysdale's side. In addition to his howling and disrespect for her garden, he made her French Poodle Claude a cuckold, by fathering the puppies of his intended mate.

Endearing characters all there is no doubt whose side Paul Henning was on in the class war of the Beverly Hillbillies characters
Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Beverly Hillbillies Characters

[], please visit Best Classic TV Shows [] for current articles and discussions.
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