Ben Matlock ate all those hot dogs thanks to a bad investment in 8-track tapes

''You think it's odd that I eat so many hot dogs?''

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Ben Matlock is not only known for his impeccable record in the courtroom and his high fees, he's known for consuming endless amounts of hog dogs and that iconic grey suit. 

For nine seasons on Matlock, Andy Griffith portrayed the fearless, funny and dedicated Atlanta-based lawyer. Though the courtroom drama was serious by nature, Griffith had his own ways of making the show funny for viewers.

For example, why is a lawyer like Matlock eating so many hot dogs and wearing the same, light-grey suit over and over again? The defense attorney's base fee is $100,000, so you wouldn't think it would be money that's holding him back from lavish meals and some new threads. However, when Griffith reprised the role of Ben Matlock in a 1997 episode of Diagnosis Murder, fans found out some bad financial advice may be the root cause to the same suit every case and the endless amounts of dogs. 

Between 1996 and 1997, Diagnosis Murder was in its fourth season. The medical crime dramedy starred Dick Van Dyke and his son Barry Van Dyke, who play father and son Mark and Steve Sloan. When Dr. Jesse Travis, played by Charlie Schlatter, gets sued after an emergency room operation, he asks Mark Sloan if he can reach out to a lawyer he knew from a long time ago, based in Atlanta.

Aready attending a conference in the ATL, Sloan makes his way to the Fulton County Courthouse. Spotting an unmistakeable grey suit, Sloan approaches a man sitting at the concession counter eating a hot dog. When Ben Matlock turns around and sees Sloan, he says, "Hold onto your kite... Money seems to disappear when this man's around." 

In the initial reaction from this two-part episode "Murder Two," Matlock is hesitant to help Sloan, and money is the reason why. When Matlock refuses to travel to Los Angeles with him, Sloan asks, "this can't be about the money can it?" Apparently it is. Perhaps that's why when Sloan offers round-trip first class tickets to LA, Matlock gives in. 

As the second portion of the episode winds down, Matlock emerges into a scene carrying "one of the last remaining 8-track cartridges in the entire world." It turns out Sloan gave Matlock some bad investment advice back in the day. As his "former investment counselor," Sloan told Matlock to put his entire life savings, $5,000 in 1969, into the product. When it flopped, Matlock lost the cash. 

Still shook up about the investment, Matlock reveals, "I didn't have the money to buy these fine, hand-made suits... had to get cheap stuff off the rack! You think it's odd that I eat so many hot dogs? That's how I got started. That's all that I could afford." 

So, after attending Harvard Law School, Matlock's career got off to humble beginnings thanks to some bad advice from an investment coach. All the hot dogs and grey suits throughout Matlock have an explanation, and even though he's pretty upset at Sloan by the end of this Diagnosis Murder episode, he finally lets go of the grudge in typical Matlock fashion.

After multiple apologies from Sloan, Matlock rambles, "Yeah, well... yeah... yeah... well... I'm sorry too." 

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Moverfan 14 months ago
he didn't lose the money because he listened to an investment counselor. He lost it because he listened to Mark Sloan! A financial expert you're not, Doc...
Avie 19 months ago
"As his 'former investment counsler,' Sloan told Matlock to put his entire life savings, $5,000 in 1969, into the product. When it flipped, Matlock lost the cash.

"Still shook up about the investment, Matlock reveals, 'I didn't have the money to buy these fine, hand-made suits...'"


Former investment COUNSELOR,

When it FLOPPED, Matlock lost the cash.


Still SHAKEN up about the investment...
Kramden62 19 months ago
Both "Matlock" and "Diagnosis Murder" were produced by CBS Studios (at that time, under their Viacom division). Thus explaining how Matlock sand Sloan "knew" each other.
Jaxter14 19 months ago
And lovable Dick Van Dyke played a not so nice guy in an early episode of Matlock.
Moverfan Jaxter14 14 months ago
He played one rotten little stinkerpot of a photographer on Columbo, too...
kb7rky 19 months ago
Andy Griffith brought a certain amount of charm to every character he played.

May he rest well.
JohnGrant 19 months ago
da, da, de,, da, da
JHP 19 months ago
hog dogs?

hmmmm - I guess it could be kosher (pardon the parody)
JHP 19 months ago
well the apocalypse is coming - Andy Griffith is Joey Chestnut!!!
AgingDisgracefully 19 months ago
Who DIDN'T enjoy it when an 8-Track clicked/delayed - mid-song - before continuing its musical adventure?
Runeshaper 19 months ago
My grandmother and I used to watch Matlock. She told me that Andy refused to wear anything than wasn't a grey suit LOL Good memories. I love and miss my grandparents so much.
JHP Runeshaper 19 months ago
ever watch Blue Bloods? Tom Selleck (and he's a real classy guy) but all he wears is dark/black suits
Runeshaper JHP 19 months ago
I haven't watched it, but I may have to!
15inchBlackandWhite 19 months ago
Griffith infused Matlock with this endearing, self-effacing sense of humor that was missing in other TV lawyer shows.
MrsPhilHarris 19 months ago
There was an episode where he looks back to the time he defended a black man accused of murdering the sheriff. It took place in the early sixties. This story kind of insinuates to me he was just out of law school in 1969. 🤔
Michael 19 months ago
I remember nothing about this. He seemed to like hot dogs. And his suits.

8 track took off, he wouldn't have lost money.

And how many cases does he need to recover the $5000 lost?
LoveMETV22 19 months ago
''You think it's odd that I eat so many hot dogs?'' No not really.
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