40 Years of Heapin' Helpings of Their Hospitality
The Immortal Granny Clampett
Buddy Ebsen 1908-2003
Red State vs Blue State Comedy
"The Clampetts Strike Oil" (1962 Series Pilot)
Now, Henning was a right clever fellow in general, but critically, he was the hillbilly himself. He was writing about his own people. He had specific details and emotional understanding that were critical to the success of the show. They weren't merely hicks who didn't know about modern conveniences, but people with a strong culture and attitudes and their own ways of thinking and doing things that worked for them where they were from.
For one thing, the Clampetts had some regional specificity. I don't think they ever named a state, but they were clearly from the Ozarsks, perhaps Arkansas. Henning was from Missouri. They weren't just generic country folk, and they weren't especially Southerners- though of course they identified as Rebels. They didn't carry on about grits though, and they weren't raising cotton.
All kinds of country folk, though, could identify with the insider parody.
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