I just discovered that most of my favorite childhood television shows were syndicated reruns which I watched as I got a little older.
With one black and white television set which only received WIBW from Topeka, there was no fighting over the remote. Well, there was no remote either.
I know I had a crush on Donna Douglas who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies.
Last Monday night after watching a marathon of the Bachelorette, I discovered that one of the 175 stations we receive was broadcasting the first and second episodes of season one of The Beverly Hillbillies.
(Actually, I only watched a few minutes of the Bachelorette and it’s so difficult for me to sit that long through the soap opera that it truly seemed like hours. “Shhhushhhh!” says wife Kathy if I try to comment on how crying on the show must produce better ratings and even better if it’s the guys doing the crying.)
So on comes the first episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Now my grandchildren have probably not seen the show but it was a big hit at the time. Maybe they have caught it on Netflix.
Uncle Jed was very much a dumb hick but was similar to the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz who acts like he doesn’t have a brain but always make wise decisions.
Elly May, who could out fight, out run and out arm-wrestle any man, according to Uncle Jed, “sure was purty”.
Yep, there was a crush all right but when the first episode aired I was just six years old.
In episode one we find out that poor folks living in a shack in the hills strike oil while shooting at some food.
“Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.”
So Jed moved his mother-in-law Granny, daughter Elly May and nephew Jethro to Beverly Hills where he deposited his $25 million in a bank.
The Morgan-Friedman web page calculated that amount to be close to $206 million in 2017.
In the second episode they move into a mansion in Beverly Hills that has a cement pond and a fancy eating room.
Come to find out, all my favorite shows were reruns.
Gilligan’s Island ran from 1964 to 1967.
I always wondered how all those strange people, including the Harlem Globetrotters, got on the island but Gilligan and company never could get off.
I Dream of Jeannie, another classic, aired from 1965 to 1970.
I know I used to watch Jeannie get Major Nelson in trouble only to make things right again. Only I Dream of Jeannie was on NBC. We could only get CBS, using the antenna on the west side of the house, so it must have been on reruns viewed in my college years.
Some shows I know we watched as regularly scheduled programming because who would want to watch reruns of Perry Mason, My Favorite Martian or The Fugitive?
Wonder how my grandkids would survive today if the 100 inch big screen television only received one channel in high definition black and white?
Bewitched started in 1964 and ended in 1969.
It was somewhat of a knock off of I Dream of Jeannie. While Barbara Eden could send astronaut Larry Hagman to the moon with a puff of smoke, Elizabeth Montgomery could do the same thing with a twitch of her nose.
And occasionally I refer to a member of my family as the nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz who is not Lenny Kravitz’s mother. That would be Roxie Roker who portrayed Helen Willis on The Jeffersons.
Over the years the role of television for families has changed dramatically.
We didn’t have a VCR or digital recorder so we planned our evenings around episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney, Lassie, Mission Impossible, The Ed Sullivan Show and Gunsmoke.
Even with cable back in the early days of my children growing up, there were only three networks: CBS, NBS, ABC. Fox didn’t come along until 1986.
As a young parent, I huddled the family around WKRP (with God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly), Dallas (who shot JR?) and, believe it or not, ALF (Yo Kate! Where do you keep the casserole dishes? Why? The cat won’t fit in the toaster.)
There was the action packed Miami Vice and the most controversial show of the time, Married with Children.
Today we record 80 percent of what we want to watch on television and don’t watch commercials. Sorry, McDonald’s, Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi, Chevrolet and all you other advertisers.
Such was not the case Tuesday night during The Beverly Hillbillies where I learned about skin care products that makes one look younger and about Medicare benefits and reverse mortgages. Apparently, the viewers are all over 60.
Contact Tim Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org.