It turns out that even Buddy Ebsen didn't know why Barnaby Jones loved milk so much

Milk, shaken, not stirred.

CBS Television Distribution

Milk haters, this article is not for you. Milk lovers, please feel free to continue reading. As we all know, milk is a superior beverage to most other drinks. Why else would you use it to make other things like coffee and cereal taste better? For all the unnecessary fluff milk has gotten in the last couple of years with the popularization of variants like oat milk and almond milk, we raise our literal glasses to the irreplaceable victor: Plain old milk.

If you're a milk lover, you're also in good company. If you recall, it was the favorite beverage of one private investigator, Barnaby Jones. The role was portrayed by television great Buddy Ebsen. While most hard-boiled investigators were chugging whiskey in the privacy of their offices, Barnaby Jones always kept a gallon of two percent milk in his fridge. Ebsen later revealed in his autobiography, The Other Side of Oz, that even he wasn't sure where the character's love of milk had come from.

Ebsen wrote, "I'm not sure who came up with it, but Barnaby was given a penchant for drinking milk. It wasn't that he disapproved of people who drink alcohol, it was just that he liked milk. It became his trademark. 

It's a fairly simple explanation for a fictional character, but it led to worldwide recognition for Ebsen in his real life. He recalled an incident where a waitress made a nod to his character one day when Ebsen sat down for a spot of lunch.

Ebsen wrote, "During a hiatus, I was sailing my boat off the West Coast of Florida. I went into a little restaurant in Pensacola, sat a moment, and then a young waitress with a big grin on her face walked over and put a glass of milk on my table. It was a win-win situation. She enjoyed the gag. I enjoyed the milk, plus the recognition. It happens quite often now."

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Marty53 1 month ago
Being a regular milk drinker this story is delicious! Going to the frig for a glass of it now.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
The story with the waitress was cute. I would think it may have been that the creators and/or writers wanted Jones to come off more as kid friendly or just not a drinker.
JHP 1 month ago
there was one episode I did see Barnaby sip some sort on booze - could have been champagne or brandy
Bluerabbit2 1 month ago
I love the idea that the writers and creator decided that Barnaby Jones drank or will forever drink milk. It makes me want to drink more milk. Bravo for thinking about a healthy choice and not letting social pressure, even in the 70s change that. Buddy Ebsen still is the greatest choice to portray this character. Makes me want to find this wonderful man's autobiography to learn more about him.
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