Irene Ryan complained to President Nixon after The Beverly Hillbillies was canceled

It was Granny versus Tricky Dick.

Endings are always hard, but some people take it harder than others. Some look at a closed door and simply see a closed door, whereas others may spy an open window.

When The Beverly Hillbillies was canceled in 1971, fans across the world were crushed, and it seemed that no one was taking the loss harder than the viewers who had come to call The Clampetts family. However, there was one person who was just as hurt by the loss and wasn't prepared to take it sitting down.

According to an interview with the Central Press Association, Irene Ryan actually spoke to then-President Nixon about the show's cancellation, complaining to him. According to the article, Ryan, Ebsen, and much of the cast and crew actually blamed the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission for taking the show off the air, and Granny was more than ready to go straight to the top to let her displeasure be known when she had been invited as a guest at the White House. 

Fortunately, Nixon took the criticism cordially, and the article even revealed an interesting detail; It stated, "Nixon told her he loved the show!" 

Ebsen, however, was fully prepared to simply live and let live. 

He said, "After nine years, what can you say about losing a show? It was wonderful while it lasted. You can't ask for much more."

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11 Comments

cperrynaples 1 month ago
Well, let's never forget Nixon made Elvis a DEA agent, even though the king took every drug out there...LOL! And would you believe there are TWO movies about that encounter, one of which stars Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick!
daDoctah 1 month ago
As much as I loved the show (Granny could well have been based on my own great-grandmother who lived across the street from us when I was a kid), I agree now it was time for it to end. They had fallen into the trap of so many comedies where trying to remain topical for too many years was becoming a strain. Bewitched addressed the issue by remaking entire black-and-white episodes in color but changing virtually none of the plot (Petticoat Junction did this on a smaller scale with their Christmas episodes), others added new characters to provide more potential plot lines, etc.
cperrynaples daDoctah 1 month ago
Yes, most of the Dick Sargeant episodes were remakes of Dick York shows!
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
Dick DID promise to "inconvenience" the shark the Hillbillies had leapt from years earlier.
There are also reports he laced up his brogans for a seaside stroll so he could watch.
Yep, I remember the pictures of him walking the beach in a full business suit!
ncadams27 1 month ago
On one hand you don’t like that the family friendly rural shows were canceled in the early seventies but an earlier article praised Norman Lear for his socially conscious shows that debuted shortly after this. CBS only had so many time slots (unlike today). You couldn’t have all these shows on the air on the same network.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
9 years is a good run. I'm still glad Granny was able to give her 2 cents to Nixon though.
Bapa1 1 month ago
Was the conversation secretly taped?
McGillahooala 1 month ago
Sounds like she knew way back then that our government agencies were being used against us. A family friendly show like the Beverly Hillbillies would never be allowed on TV now.
Snickers McGillahooala 1 month ago
No their to busy putting on junk like Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer.
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