‘The Beverly Hillbillies’: Here Are the Classic Series’ Best Five Episodes

by Craig Garrett

The Beverly Hillbillies might be pop culture’s most famous rags to riches story and has been a staple of classic tv for decades. It originally aired on CBS from 1962 to 1971. Across 9 seasons the series totaled a staggering 274 episodes. Its immense popularity spawned other comedy shows featuring rural characters and settings. Series creator Paul Henning was instrumental in Petticoat Junction and Green Acres joining CBS during this era. These shows enjoyed great popularity into the early 70s. However, CBS executives decided they wanted to appeal to a more urban, sophisticated market and abruptly canceled all of their rural-themed shows.

Despite this unceremonious “Rural Purge”, The Beverly Hillbillies is still beloved by generations. The Clampetts had a lot of adventures. It’s tough to zero in on the best 5 episodes. The most diplomatic way is to go by IMDB user ratings of individual episodes.

Coming in 5th place is “Granny vs The Weather Bureau”. In this season 2 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, Irene Ryan gets to shine as Granny. Granny gets sick of the weather presenter on television who incorrectly predicts that the weather will be clear when, in fact, it will rain. Luckily, she has a weather beetle named Cecil who can help fix the problem. It’s a classic battle of know-it-alls against common sense.

More Favorite Episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies

In 4th place is “Jed Becomes a Banker” (Season 1, Episode 24). Jed is given a high-ranking job at a Bank due to the nepotism of Mr. Drysdale. What ensues is a sharp satire of corporate America. Jed knows nothing about banking, so seeing that world through his eyes is hilarious. The episode features some of the best social cometary of The Beverly Hillbillies run.

3rd place belongs to “The Clampetts in Court” (Season 1, Episode 32). It’s amusing to watch the Clampett family be so perplexed by today’s legal system. Seeing a down-to-earth family use common sense against laws that often lack them is very satisfying. Of course, Jed represents himself.

“The Giant Jackrabbit” (Season 2, Episode 16), comes in 2nd place. You might be noticing a pattern in all of these favorites coming from the first 2 seasons. However, this is one of the more outlandish episodes. Granny mistakes an escaped kangaroo for a giant rabbit. When she tells the men of the family, they totally disregard her. Again, Irene Ryan shines in this episode. Still, modern viewers might be annoyed at the male character being so dismissive of a woman.

The Top Rated The Beverly Hillbillies episode goes against the grain

Coming in 1st place is “Jethro’s Friend” (Season 1, Episode 36). The episode makes it quite clear that Jethro’s friend, Armstrong, comes from a completely different background than the Clampett family. Armstrong has been coddled his whole life because his family thinks he is fragile, but the Clampetts see a kid who just wants to have fun. This episode of The Beverly Hillbillies breaks the typical sitcom mold. Usually, such instances would be depicted with the family being confused and not comprehending what is happening; however, in this case, they warmly accept Armstrong and show him an alternate lifestyle than what he knows from living in a bubble.