Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Based on what was then a six-year-old, highly popular comic strip, Li'l Abner was not the best movie ever.  The biting satire of the strip was just not suitabe for Hollywood at the time.  What does remain, however, are many of the delightful denizens of Dogpatch, as well as a number of tropes from Al Capp's comic strip.

The plot?  Simple.  Li'l Abner tries to avoid getting married on Sadie Hawkins Day.

Abner is played by Jeff York, who was born Granville Owen Scofield and who acted as "Granville Owen" in his early career.  (Li'l Abner was part of his early career, shortly after he played Pat Ryan in Terry and the Pirates.)  York is probably best known as a Disney player in such roles as Mike Fink, Bud Searcy in Old Yeller, and as Joe Crane in both The Saga of Andy Burnett and Zorro; York also starred with Roger Moore and Dorothy Provine in the 1959-1960 series The Alaskans.

The volupuous Daisy Mae was played by B-movie blonde Martha O'Driscoll. Her twelve-year film career ended at age 25 when she married her second husband, a wealthy Chicago businessman.  From then on, she spent almost 50 years involved in her husband's businesses and in civic-minded activities.

For me the greatest pleasure of this film is watching the minor characters played by some of the greats:  Buster Keaton (and for one line, his sister Louise), Chester Conklin, Al ("Fuzzy") St. John, Edgar Buchanan, Mickey Daniels, Doodles Weaver,  and others.  And, of course, there are the characters themselves:  Earthquake McGoon, Hairless Joe, Lonesome Polecat, Cornelius Cornpone, Wendy Wilecat, Granny Scraggs, Abijah Gooch, Mayor Gurgle, Marryin' Sam, Cicero Grunts, Barney Bargrease, Hannibal Hoops, Joe Smithpan, and so many others.

BTW, the theme song was written by Milton Berle.

Consider this one Dogpatch lite and enjoy.


  1. Wasn't there also a version in the fifties or sixties?

  2. Belatedly, Patti, yes. Julie Newmar as Stupefyin' Jones is what almost everyone who admires female pulchritude and variegated talent seems to remember.