Robert Osborne Left ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ After One Episode To Work in Commercials

by Chase Thomas

There weren’t many out there with more Hollywood memories than Robert Osborne who left The Beverly Hillbillies after just one episode. One.

The opportunity, as he told it, came for the pilot episode. He had a part, but he ultimately passed for a strong reason. He told the Washington Post, “The show itself seemed so loony and unimportant. I was sure the pilot would never sell. So much for my psychic powers.”

Osborne was, of course, very wrong about this. The Beverly Hillbillies was a hit. It ran for nine years and spanned 274 episodes. Even long after the show has been off the air, folks still talk about the program because it had that strong of a cultural impact on American life. Like The Andy Griffith Show, it was one of those during the time that America latched onto.

Osborne could have been a part of it, but he thought it would bomb. The cool thing about it was, though, that he had a sense of humor about it. That’s life, isn’t it? Sometimes your gut leads you in the right direction, Outsiders, and sometimes it leads you in the wrong direction.

More from Robert Osborne and The Beverly Hillbillies

He answered a multitude of questions for the New York Post, with all sorts of interesting answers and thoughts. One answer, on whether or not older movies are better, Osborne said, “I think they’re better. In the days of the classic movies, we wanted fantasy. We wanted to go to the movies and see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in a café that was bigger than any café you’d ever see. We don’t want that anymore. Also, no matter the subject matter, [the classics] would end on a positive note. Not quite as cynical as they are today. I think we have great movies today, but they’re all the same.”

This is interesting. Part of what Osborne seemed to be frustrated by was that older movies were simple, happy and fantastical. Now, do you think he was being totally fair when it comes to what the audience wants? He used the collective “we” a lot here, and it is doing a lot of work in his answers. He cited ending movies on a positive note as a plus, but then in the same breath pushed for movies not seeming the same. One could argue this is a problem with movies in the past, as they tended to end neatly and happily. There are multitudes of examples of modern films not wrapping this particular way, like Prisoners with Jake Gyllenhaal or No Country For Old Men.

Like most things in life, it really just depends on who you ask because we all have different opinions and perspectives, Osborne is no different.