On Strips: Li'l Abner, The TV Show

By | Friday, November 17, 2017 Leave a Comment
Al Capp's Li'l Abner was, as you probably know, very popular back in the day. Enough to spawn a movie in 1940 (which I wrote about here) and and a more widely known color version in 1959. There was even a 1952 TV show based on the Fearless Fosdick comic that appeared within the Li'l Abner comic itself. (I wrote about that here.)

What I just discovered, though, was that Li'l Abner continued to be popular enough that a TV show pilot was made in 1966. It was never picked up by any of the networks, but the pilot did evidently air once on NBC in 1967. To fill some otherwise dead air, I gather. It's phenomenally bad, even by 1960s' sitcom standards. What I liked about the 1940 version was that the costumes and makeup was done well enough that all of the characters were immediately recognizable, even if you only had a passing familiarity with the comic. This version, by contrast, takes more of a half-assed approach and only Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae seem to bear any resemblance to their comic strip counterparts.

In any event, here's about fifteen minutes (three 5-ish minute clips tied together) of painfully bad writing. The only real saving graces are being able to look at Jeannine Riley and/or a pre-Brady Bunch Robert Reed, depending on your preferences.

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