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Petticoat Junction Television Show
Petticoat Junction is an American situation comedy written by Paul Henning and produced by Filmways which originally aired on CBS from 1963 to 1970.
The setting for the series was the Shady Rest Hotel just outside of the farming town of Hooterville.
The petticoat of Petticoat Junction, is an old-fashioned garment once worn under a woman's skirt. The opening of the series featured a display of petticoats hanging on the side of a large railroad water tank where the three girls that are skinny dipping.
The three girls were the daughters of Kate Bradley who was the owner of the Shady Rest Hotel at Petticoat Junction.
Petticoat Junction was located halfway between two towns that were often mentioned in the series. The towns were Pixley and Hooterville.
Hooterville seemed to be the town they would go to for services, like Hooterville Hospital and Hooterville High, and Pixley for other needs, such as supermarket shopping, beauty parlors, and movies.
Partial list of the main cast of Characters were as follows, in no particular order;
Kate Bradley, played by Bea Benaderet from 1963–1968, appeared in 164 episodes
Uncle Joe Carson, played by Edgar Buchanan from 1963 to 1970, appeared in 222 episodes
Betty Jo Bradley, played by Linda Kaye Henning from 1963 to 1970, appeared in 221 episodes
Steve Elliott, played by Mike Minor from 1964, 1966–1970, appeared in 112 episodes, 111 as Steve
Bobbie Jo Bradley, played by Pat Woodell from 1963–1965, appeared in 64 episodes
Bobbie Jo Bradley, played by Lori Saunders from 1965–1970, appeared in 147 episodes
Billie Jo Bradley, played by Jeannine Riley from 1963–1965, appeared in 73 episodes
Billie Jo Bradley, played by Gunilla Hutton from 1965–1966, appeared in 23 episodes
Billie Jo Bradley, played by Meredith MacRae from 1966–1970, appeared in 108 episodes
Charley Pratt, played by Smiley Burnette from 1963–1967, appeared in 106 episodes
Floyd Smoot, played by Rufe Davis from 1963–1968 and 1970, appeared in 131 episodes
Sam Drucker, played by Frank Cady, appeared in 170 episodes
The Shady Rest Dog, played by Higgins a dog from 1964–1970, appeared in 163 episodes
For the first three seasons, Petticoat Junction focused mostly on broad humor and slapstick style comedy. There was a lot of physical comedy and other types of wild humor that was characteristic of the series, much like another Paul Henning show, The Beverly Hillbillies, and its own later spinoff show by Paul Henning, Green Acres.
There were many crossover appearances in season 3 alone between the casts of both shows. The Douglases, Lisa and Oliver, city slickers, now farmers, make frequent appearances on Petticoat Junction, and likewise Kate, Joe, Charley and Floyd, and even Betty Jo and Bobbie Jo show up on Green Acres.
Much of the original focus of the show was on the Hooterville Cannonball, a steam-driven train which got it's water from the water tower where the girls at Petticoat Junstion were seen swimming in the opening credits.
The train on Petticoat Junction was run more like a taxi service by its engineer, Charley Pratt, played by Smiley Burnette, and its conductor, Floyd Smoot played by Rufe Davis.
It was not uncommon for the Cannonball to make an unscheduled stop in order to go fishing or pick fruit for Kate Bradley's menu at the Shady Rest Hotel.
The show benefitted greatly in its first four seasons from the very strong lead-in of The Red Skelton Show, which immediately preceded it on Tuesday nights.
In its first season it even exceeded Red Skelton's ratings, finishing at #4 overall for the season. The rest of its time on Tuesday nights, it remained in the Nielsen top 25.
Re-live the era of slapstick comedy with a trip down memory lane at Brian Hoffman's Remembering Red- A Tribute to Red Skelton show. All you need to do is click on the Show Schedule link above and make your reservations to see the show.
"Goodnight now and may God bless"
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