This first episode of the classic TV series features everything that would work for this show-a solid cast, the Shady Rest hotel, Hooterville-the country town, and Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe, as the theme song went, moves mighty slow at the junction! The comedy elements are all in place in this episode. For example, the engineers Charley and Floyd, transport Kate Bradley (Bea Benederet), the owner of the hotel, and her daughters, Betty Jo (Linda Henning), Billie Jo (Jeannine Riley) and Bobby Jo (Pat Woodell) a short distance to Drucker’s General Store to shop! As a return favor, Kate makes the two engineers a nice chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, and apple pie for dessert.
The Vice President of the C & FW Railroad, Homer Bedloe (played by the great character actor Charles Lane, who lived to more than 100 years old) is a logical, no-nonsense vice president who travels to Hooterville to straighten out the railroad and the operators of the Cannonball (the locomotive). But the people are so nice that he just can’t seem to make them angry with him, no matter how hard he tries!
He learns that the only telephone in the hotel lobby doesn’t work. It was put there by Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) to give the place class! The same goes for the elevator, which doesn’t really work but adds a bit more class to the hotel.
Bedloe huffs and puffs and threatens to even fire the easy-going store owner, Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), until he learns that Drucker doesn’t run the station, just the General Store. When Bedloe says he’s fired engineers Charley and Floyd, he then demands to be taken by train to Pixley. “How?” asks Kate. “You just fired Floyd and Charley!” When Bedloe makes demands the town folk say they will “vote” on it, which drives Bedloe half mad!
In the end, Bedloe comes to realize that the small-town people of Hooterville are really very nice, and they look out for one another. Kate even allows Bedloe to spend a night in the hotel and he gets a nice bath to boot! The comedy will have you laughing, and the homespun humor is delightful. This show has deservedly captured our Dove seal with its wholesome content. It has procured our Dove seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take
Your entire family will enjoy a nice visit to Hooterville in this family-friendly, funny episode.