When The Beverly Hillbillies became a movie, Buddy Ebsen welcomed the new Jed Clampett

The series was developed into a movie that premiered in 1993.

While there are mixed emotions on the matter of reboots, we can’t deny that in the last few decades, there’s been an influx of attempts to bring well-loved series of the past into the present. Some might argue that this is a cheap attempt at cashing in on nostalgia, others with a more optimistic viewpoint may feel that it’s time to introduce beloved characters to a younger generation.

At any rate, reboots are a part of television and cinema that feel practically inescapable at this point, and they seem to be coming much earlier than previously anticipated. It feels like a show has only been off the air for a few years before announcements are made that it’s being developed into some sort of new project.

While The Beverly Hillbillies met its demise in the 1970s, some fans still felt that it was too soon for the announcement in the 1990s that the series was being developed into a film. What might have led to the less-than-warm reception was the recasting of the entire Clampett clan. But one man who had no problem with the new Clampett family was Jed Clampett himself, Buddy Ebsen.

According to an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Buddy Ebsen was able to meet the new patriarch of the Clampett family, Jim Varney, who portrayed the character in the 1993 film. Ebsen said, “I welcomed him to a very exclusive club. There are only two members. There are 100 people who have played Hamlet, but Jim and I are the only men who have played Jed Clampett.”

Ebsen was actually able to feature in the film as one of his characters, it just wasn’t Jed Clampett. He appeared as Barnaby Jones, who was hired to find Granny after she went missing. 

So while Ebsen wasn’t far away from the film at all, Varney had Jed Clampett The First’s complete blessing. In fact, Ebsen only took one issue with Varney’s portrayal. “My only criticism is that he doesn’t enunciate ‘We-l-l-l-l-l doggies’ that well.’”

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13 Comments

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daDoctah 1 month ago
Some things about it worked, some didn't. Besides Jim Varney as Jed (and Ebsen's cameo as Barnaby Jones), Lily Tomlin made an excellent Jane Hathaway, and Dabney Coleman a passable Mr Drysdale. Cloris Leachman was a better Granny than the TV reunion's "Granny's Ma" played by Imogene Coca, but that wasn't hard to accomplish.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Very cool 😎 of Ebsen. He and Varney are both legends 🙏
Bapa1 1 month ago
Movie was OK. Ebsen as Jones was the highlight.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I like Diedrich Bader as Jethro in the 1990's movie of TBHB. He is a handsome guy.
FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
I thought Jim Varney did well, of course we would much rather see him as Ernest P Worrell. Love Buddy & Jim
Before he became famous as Ernest, Varney was part of the supporting cast of Sid & Marty Krofft's last regular series, "Pink Lady and Jeff". In my mind he proved himself a brilliant and versatile performer there, unfortunately getting shoehorned into the buffoon character that was Ernest. It was only as Jed Clampett that he ever got to showcase his chops as well thereafter.

Ebsen's remark that there are only two Jed Clampetts reminded me that there are also only two actors who could play "Huggy Bear" on Starsky & Hutch: Antonio Fargas on the series and Snoop Dogg in the movie, and it was Chill Mitchell who brought the two together on a sitcom he produced.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Not a fan of reboots, remakes or whatever.
Not true. The fugitive did the tv series justice and brought it into the modern era.
The movie with Tommy Lee Jones? It was okay. Still like the old tv show more.
Yeah, I never went to see the Mission Impossible movies because they totally missed the point of the TV series.
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