Max Baer Jr. talked about the true dynamic of The Beverly Hillbillies cast

"Sometimes the closer you are, the more you fight."

CBS Television Distribution

Sometimes, the backstage ongoings are more interesting than the actual show. While we're free to revisit every episode of most of our favorite shows, some of the behind-the-scenes stories are harder to find.

So when author Stephen Cox had the chance to speak with Max Baer, Jr. about his time on The Beverly Hillbillies, Cox was sure to ask about the cast and how everyone got along.

Baer gave a nuanced, thoughtful explanation about not just his castmates, but the nature of relationships and coworkers in general.

"It's like a dog and a cat," said Baer.

"They may be enemies, but if you put a dog and a cat in a room together, they will learn to tolerate each other and get along because they know they have to do that to survive. I think that's the way most shows operate. It becomes very tedious for me to listen to all these people on the television shows tell how they're all a family and how they all love one another and are so happy together when I know from experience that it's bull****. They don't really get along. And they do have animosities. There are a lot of fights but they aren't unusual.

"That's normal living. You may like or even love somebody, but from time to time, you're gonna get pissed off at them and tell them to get lost."

As Baer continued, he narrowed his focus to just the cast of Beverly Hillbillies costars.

"I mean I yelled at Irene and she yelled at me, I'd get pissed at Donna and she would cry or something like that. Buddy would get angry with me and just turn his back on me, or I'd say, 'Goddamnit, Buddy, what's the matter?'"

While Baer admits there was occasional friction, he went on to say that it was all pretty standard for a cast and crew working together for any sustained period. 

"But that's natural. Not everything runs smooth. It's obvious to anyone with a brain in his head who has been fortunate to have a mother and a father that they might fight and argue. Sometimes the closer you are the more you fight."

However, Baer was also quick to point out his protective nature over the people he spent his time with.

"But don't let anyone else pick on them, though. Don't let anyone else yell at Donna, Irene, or Buddy. I can yell at them, but if somebody outside of our little clique says something, I tell them off."

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8 Comments

JHP 12 days ago
my 2 or 3 cents opinion - he could have been better - he was Gomer on steroids - he was better than the on screen doofs he played
Mannixishot 13 days ago
Max gave a very intelligent answer. That's just the way it is with any job imo. I know there's people I don't get along with at work and I keep a professional attitude with them. Even the people I enjoy working with, we might have a difficult day and get snippy with each other. Nobody should expect any work environment to be a total love fest
frenchman71 14 days ago
With the exception of Buddy Ebsen it's too bad none of the other BH stars continued on in show business. Baer appeared in a couple of movies and was even a P/T director but was hopelessly typecasted as Jethro. He is, however, running a very successful casino out in Vegas.
JHP frenchman71 12 days ago
here here
JHP frenchman71 12 days ago
well Irene Ryan had so many miles of old time radio but that's water under the bridge:)
justjeff 15 days ago
"Sometimes, the backstage ongoings are more interesting than the actual show."

I'm not sure, but shouldn't that read "the backstage goings-on"? Either/Or... I'm not going to get too picky today with the MeTV writers...

What I am going to do is show off my latest batch of retro-influenced typefaces - set for August release... and bringing me to the incredible milestone of 2,150 designs!
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