‘Beverly Hillbillies’: The Clampett Meets Mayberry Crossover You Never Knew Existed

by Craig Garrett

A sketch variety show from the 1960s had a classic tv mashup of The Beverly Hillbillies and an infamous citizen of Mayberry. The sketch featured Ernest T. Bass and a direct relative of Jed Clampett. According to an article from MeTV, the iconic crossover happened on an episode of The Danny Kaye Show.

Danny Kaye wasn’t only famous for his starring roles in movies such as On the Riviera and White Christmas. He was also well-known for his musical and comedic skills. In fact, these talents helped him score his own variety show in the mid-60s which featured more than one hundred episodes over four seasons. Some of The Danny Kaye Show‘s most popular guests included Mary Tyler Moore, Vincent Price, and Clint Eastwood. Sketch actor Harvey Korman appeared alongside Kaye often before he became a cast member on another well-known show: The Carol Burnett Show. Given the era, it was only a matter of time before one of the Beverly Hillbillies showed up.

Howard Morris began his career on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and went on to act in many Danny Kaye sketches. He became a frequent sitcom guest star and Hanna-Barbera voice actor. Of course, his most iconic character is Ernest T. Bass from The Andy Griffith Show. The character of Ernest T. first showed up in 1963 in the episode “Mountain Wedding” and remained a fan favorite, even though he only appeared four more times. A year after Ernest T. Bass began causing problems in Mayberry, Howard Morris played a very similar character on The Danny Kaye Show in a sketch that referenced several well-known TV hillbillies.

The Beverly Hillbillies‘ Buddy Ebsen brings the laughs with Howard Morris

The guest star of the episode was Buddy Ebsen, who had achieved great success with his role in The Beverly Hillbillies. Naturally, he had to portray Jed Clampett at least once. Mr. Clampett begins by introducing a sketch before going on to explain that he’ll be playing his twin brother, Jed Clunk instead. The second Jed has two sons, played by Howard Morris and Danny Kaye. Morris’ Spud Clunk character wears a hat and black vest that seem to be ripped straight from Ernest T.’s rickety wardrobe.

Over the years, it became more common to have tv sitcom crossovers. However, it was still pretty rare in the 1960s. Though Jed Clampett visited Green Acre’s Hooterville on the Beverlyhillbiles, it was almost unheard of. Therefore, variety shows were the perfect opportunity to see interactions between two characters who look very similar and would never meet in their sitcoms.

While Jed Clampett and Ernest T. Bass never shared the screen, this sketch from The Danny Kaye Show with Buddy Ebsen and Howard Morris gives a hint at what their collaboration might be like. Fans of The Beverly Hillbillies and The Andy Griffith Show will enjoy this sketch featuring some of their favorite characters. It’s a fun little piece of television history that gives us a glimpse at what could have been. See the complete sketch at this link.