Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: The Beverly Hillbillies’ original theme song included two alternate verses (each one about their sponsor)!
It was quite typical in the early days of television (heck, well into the 1960s, even) for the sponsor of a television program to be mentioned at the beginning of the show and even for the characters on the show to incorporate the sponsor into the opening of the show. However, it typically was a sort of tacked on part to the credits, sort of like how PBS has all of the sponsors of their shows directly preceding their programs.
To wit, after the theme song of Gilligan’s Island, you’d have Bob Denver walking on the beach and then they’d tell you the sponsor of the show. Shows would also do commercials featuring their characters at the end of show.
Beverly Hillbillies, though, did one better than most other show – they worked their sponsors into their famous theme song (and please note that I am not saying that Beverly Hillbillies was the ONLY show to do this – it is only especially notable here because the theme song is so famous)!
Obviously, in season one the song was not yet famous, but I am sure everyone involved knew that it was catchy. So after the well-known early parts, they had a verse at the end incorporating one of their sponsors!
“So come along and visit with the Clampett family as they take you to their mansion in the hills of Beverly. And when they do you’ll run into a friend of theirs you’ve met – that good old friend with filtered flames, Winston Cigarette. Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should!”
“Now come along and visit with the Clampett family as they learn the simple pleasures of the hills of Beverly. That includes the products of your sponsor of the week – the cereals of Kellogg’s, Kellogg’s of Battle Creek. K E double LL O double good – Kelloggs best to you!”
The legend is…
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org