For many viewers of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” the actors and actresses who appeared on the show will always be closely identified with their fictional characters.
The show was a big hit, after all. And, it has remained a beloved sitcom long after its original television run came to an end. One of the stars who helped make the show so successful was actor Max Baer Jr. He played Jethro Bodine in the series.
According to an interview he gave The Five Count radio show based out of Mankato, Minnesota, being part of the cast of “The Beverly Hillbillies” was an “easy” decision for Baer.
“When I did the ‘Hillbillies’ it was like, it was easy. It was, you know, it was like pumping gas,” Max Baer Jr. said during the interview. “You just went to work and you did your job. It wasn’t that difficult for me, I guess. Um, I don’t know. I’ve always been kind of an introvert. But, it was very easy for me to turn the other way.”
Even though he was personally more inclined to shy away from attention, when it came to doing his job, Baer was able and willing to get the job done.
“I guess it was like being a one-eyed jack,” he said of his time acting on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” “You know, you have one eye on one side, one eye on the other side. You have two different personalities. I could just become the other one very easily. It was not that difficult for me.”
As ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Television Run Continued, Acting Became ‘Easier’ for Max Baer Jr.
Thanks to the success of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Max Baer Jr. and many of his costars acted in hundreds of episodes of the show. And, according to what Baer said in the interview, as time went on working on the show became “easier.”
“It got easier, you know,” Baer said. “You could almost phone it in. The only tough thing I did one time is I made a mistake. I never used an accent and nobody knew what was wrong with the scene, but it didn’t sound right.”
Luckily, Max Baer Jr. and “The Beverly Hillbillies” crew were able to figure things out. It became clear that Baer had forgotten to use his accent for the scene. So, he applied the accent and things moved on from there.
“It wasn’t difficult,” he also said. “I’m sure there were, there are, parts that people play they’re very difficult. Like people play the Elephant Man, for example. … That was a very difficult part to play, I would think.”
Baer also said playing the role of Jethro on “The Beverly Hillbillies” “wasn’t hard at all.”
Listen to Max Baer Jr. talk about the show below.