‘Green Acres’: Tom Lester Made Up Rumor that Arnold the Piggy Was Eaten on Last Day of Filming

by Joe Rutland

Let’s put the rumor to rest, “Green Acres” fans. Arnold the Pig was not eaten by the cast and crew when the show wrapped for good.

You can just stop with the scenarios running through your head. BLT sandwiches for all? Maybe a late-night breakfast, hmm? Just know that Arnold was probably escorted off the set safely into a waiting car.

Arnold got his pink slip as CBS canceled “Green Acres” and other “rural” comedies like “Petticoat Junction” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

People may have heard this scandalous rumor that came rolling out of Hooterville for years. After all, a TV series as popular as “Green Acres” had to come up with some wild plotlines during its tenure on the air.

Who, in the name of all things pink, would start up such a red-hot, dirt-sheet secret?

‘Eb’ Actor Said He Made Up Story For ‘Green Acres’

Eb. That’s who.

Actor Tom Lester, who plays farmhand Eb Dawson on “Green Acres,” was telling people that Arnold was taken out that way. It appears Lester, who would become an evangelist after his acting career, got tired of people asking what happened to Arnold.

He makes up the story that Arnold is eaten on the last day of “Green Acres” filming. It simply was a lie.

What likely happened to Arnold? No one really knows but he probably retired to animal trainer Frank Inn’s location. One could see Arnold living out the rest of his life off of residuals, one oink after another.

Lester died on April 20, 2020, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 68.

Hooterville Was Hub Of Activity For The Show

As frequent “Green Acres” viewers know, the center of activity within the show happens around the town of Hooterville. It’s a city with ties not only to “Green Acres” but “Petticoat Junction,” too. In fact, the city gets a few mentions on “The Beverly Hillbillies” as well.

What is Hooterville, though? It is a make-believe town, coming from the creative mind of executive producer Paul Henning. The city is supposedly a reflection of Eldon, Mo., where Henning’s wife Ruth grew up.

Highlights in Hooterville include the Shady Rest Hotel, run by Kate Bradley, played by Bea Benadaret, and Uncle Joe Carson, played by Edgar Buchanan, on “Petticoat Junction.” Benadaret died on Oct. 13, 1968, and Buchanan died on April 4, 1979.

Drucker’s General Store, run by Sam Drucker, played by Frank Cady, was the place to go for food. It also provided the farming community in the area with its needs. Cady died on June 8, 2012.

Memories of Hooterville, though, flood classic TV fans’ minds.