Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon: Green Acres “Love Comes to Arnold Ziffel”

Green Acres is the Place to Be! 

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist that. How could I? Every time I hear the Green Acres Theme Song, I just have to smile. Maybe it’s because I have such fond memories of watching it with my father growing up, maybe it’s because I still laugh out loud every time I watch it — or maybe it’s simply because I can relate to Oliver Wendall Douglas, a relatively sane man in an over-the-top zany world… I mean, didn’t you ever have one of those days, when you just had to stop, shake your head and say, “Is it me????” Am I nuts??? “What the what???”  Hehe, my guess is, yes…

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, let me just give you the ‘101’ version… Oliver Wendall Douglas, a successful New York lawyer decides to fulfill his life-long dream of becoming an American farmer (yes, you can even hear the fifes playing as he talks about it!). He drags his glamorous, Hungarian-born, and (not incidentally) city-loving wife Lisa from their beautiful upscale apartment in Manhattan to live on a rural farm, in a run-down old farm house (understatement), in the little town of Hooterville. Sound like a typical storyline for a sitcom? Well, not so fast. What really makes this comedy tick is the absurd, and I mean ABSURD, world of Hooterville — where EVERYONE is (how can I say this nicely) kind-of-nuts. And, unfortunately for Oliver — within the bizarre, almost surrealistic, world of Hooterville — he’s the one who is considered kind-of-nuts by the locals. To add to the fun, his wife Lisa, happens to fit right in with the locals, perfectly in-tune with their crazy brand of logic.

Now, for my ‘favorite’ episode, that’s really hard to pick, but here’s one of them…

Episode: “Love Comes to Arnold Ziffel”
Season Three, Episode Two (Sept 20, 1967)

Synopsis: Fred Ziffel (Arnold’s ‘dad’) objects to Arnold’s love affair with Cynthia, who is ‘kin’ to the shifty Mr. Haney. Of course this leads to quite a bit of gossip among the locals. Realizing that their relationship can never work, Arnold breaks off their relationship. When Cynthia performs miserably at the county field trials, Haney wants to sue. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Arnold is a pig and Cynthia is a basset hound?!?!?!

DISCLAIMER: no other agenda here other than to laugh at the lunacy… and it is lunacy…

That said, here are some of my favorite quotes and scenes from the episode:

green acres, howling dog cyntha

The poor love sick Cynthia howls in front of Arnold’s house…

…..

mr and mrs ziffelArnold’s mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Ziffel, are miffed…

Fred: Ziffel: Cynthia Haney, you go on home, Arnold ain’t a-comin’ out!

Fred: No pig of mine is gonna run around with any kin of Haney’s!

…..

green acres, arnold go to your roomAnd, poor Arnold, what’s a pig in love to do…

Fred: Arnold, do like I told you, go on to your room!”

…..

mr and mrs ziffel green acresConcerned parents ask Oliver for help…

Fred: Mr. Douglas, you mean to tell me you can’t get an injunction against this basket hound?… I thought you was a lawyer.  (yes, basket hound!)
Oliver: I AM a lawyer, and I tell you, you can’t get an injunction against a Basket Hound… uhh basset, basset!

Mrs. Ziffel: It’s your fault Fred, you know how he feels about her!
Lisa: Mrs. Ziffel, it isn’t good to fight in front of a child!
Oliver: He’s not a child. He’s a pig!!!

Oliver: Why don’t you go over and see Mr. Haney and ask him to keep his dog away?
Mr. Ziffel: Oh no, I don’t talk to him
Mrs. Ziffell: No, they’ve been feuding for ten years.
Oliver: What about?
Mr. Ziffel: Oh I forget, but it must have been something pretty terrible to make me remember it this long.

 …..

edward albert green acres

Oliver tries to help but…

Fred: Mr. Douglas, I’m going out of mind, ain’t there anything legal that can be done about this hound?
Oliver: You could call a dog catcher.
Lisa: You don’t know anything about love do you?… If Mr. Ziffel would call a dog catcher, Arnold would never forgive him. He’d probably run away and marry Cynthia just out of spite.
Oliver: Look, we are talking about a dog and a pig, aren’t we?!?!?
Lisa: If you’re in love, what difference does it make who you are!

Fred: Mr. Douglas, if we’d a wanted to listen to a fight, we would have stayed at home.

…..

green acres, cynthia dog The plot thickens when Cynthia’s ‘dad’ introduces her to Oliver…

Mr. Haney: Mr. Douglas, I want you to meet Cynthia.
Oliver: Oh, so that’s Cynthia. Well congratulations. When’s the wedding?
Mr. Haney: Oh you’ve heard about her and Grover.
Oliver: Grover?
Oliver: Yeah, her fiancee. He’s a well-to-do basset hound over in Crabwell Corners…

…..

sam drucker frank cady green acresMr. Drucker who owns the general store is sympathetic…

Mr. Drucker: I’m sorry I shushed you Mr. Douglas, but Haney don’t know about Cynthia and Arnold.
Oliver: Why?
Mr. Drucker: How do you tell a man his dog is running around with a pig… Sure ain’t easy raising kids theses days…

…..

mr kimbal, green acres

Mr. Kimble, the County Agent, is not so sympathetic…

Mr. Kimble: Have you heard the way Cynthia’s been carrying on? A dog can’t expect to win a field trial if she’s going break training. Running around all night howling at a pig!

Mr. Kimble (about his dog who is also entering the field trial): You take Quincy — in bed every night at 9 o’clock, no girls, no drinking, all business…

…..

arnold watching tv green acresMeanwhile, Arnold, as house guest, watches TV… in Lisa and Oliver’s bedroom…

Lisa: Mr. Ziffel asked me if he could keep Arnold here for a couple of days… So when Cynthia comes around the Ziffel house howling and Arnold isn’t there, and she doesn’t know where he is, she’ll forget about him. At the same time, if Arnold is here and he doesn’t hear Cynthia howling, he’ll forget about her.

…..

cynthia the basset hound howling, green acres

But, alas, you cannot hinder love, try you may… Cynthia finds him… and she howls at the Douglas’ front door!

Lisa and Oliver, Green AcresCynthia’s howling wakes up Arnold — and Lisa and Oliver…

Oliver (to Cynthia): Go away!

Lisa: I don’t think she will. It’s just like that play, Romeo and Julius.  (yes, Julius)

…..

oliver lets arnold outOliver in utter frustration, relents…

Oliver: Far be it from me to keep Romeo away from Julius!!!

…..

Now, for my favorite part, the ‘heart-wrenching’ scene between Arnold and Cynthia at sunrise on the porch of the Haney House… not-so-incidentally set against a ‘country-fied’ version of the love theme to Romeo and Juliet!

Get out your hankies… 🙂

Green Acres, Arnold says It's dawn, Cynthia, screen shot

Green Acres, I'm sorry the night had to end, Arnold, screen grab

Green Acres, Arnold the pig

cynthia just a few more minutes

Green Acres, Arnold the pig

Green Acres, cynthia the dog wants to stay with arnold the pig

Green Acres, Arnold says This is Madness! to cynthia the dog

Green Acres, cynthia the basset hound wants to marry Arnold the pig

Green Acres, Arnold the pig says "It wouldn't work!

Green Acres, cynthia the dog says Why Not?

arnold the pig, green acres, because you're a dog and i'm a pig

Green Acres, cynthia move to pixley

arnold, green acres, it's useless cynthia, green acres, would it help if i became a pig

arnold the pig, green acres, to cynthia the basset hound, i couldn't let you make that sacrific

Okay, when you’ve composed yourself, put your hankies away, and let’s move on to the field trials…

…..

Hooterville newspaper, green acres

Hooterville newspaper, headline, green acres

Uh oh…

…..

Mr. haney and cynthia, green acresMr. Haney seeks damages…

Mr. Hanley: There ain’t no sense in crying Cynthia. The only thing to do is get you a good lawyer… but temporarily we’ll have to settle for Mr. Douglas.

Oliver: How did the field trials go.
Mr. Haney: Cynthia come in dead last.
Oliver: Oh, I’m sorry.
Mr. Haney: Not half as sorry as Arnold Ziffel’s gonna be. I want you to sue him for one million dollars
Oliver: But, that’s impossible, you can’t sue a pig.

Mr. Haney: I could have been spared all that humiliating if Fred had a just kept Arnold in the house. Maybe I oughtta sue Fred for one million dollars!

Mr. Haney: You let Arnold out to play Romeo and Julius with my Cynthia! Now I know who to sue, and it ain’t Fred Ziffel.

 …..

Well, I’m not going to tell you how everything ends, except for including some commentary from our love-lorn couple:

arnold the pig, green acres, why are you crying cynthia

green acres, cynthia because everybody has a happy ending except us…..

And here’s the good news, if you’re so inclined… You can watch the entire episode — OR any episode of Green Acres — for free at Hulu!

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A Big Thank You to Terry Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts (@mercurie80)  for hosting this very special event! There are so many more wonderful Classic Bloggers participating in this event so please be sure to check out the other entries.

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—Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

 

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7 Responses to Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon: Green Acres “Love Comes to Arnold Ziffel”

  1. I simply adore “Green Acres” and it’s no surprise you chose this wonderfully daffy episode as a favourite. “Romeo and Julius”!

  2. Steve Bailey says:

    “Green Acres” is one of the insanely guilty pleasures of my life. I’m glad to know I am not the only one who is so affected. Terrific blog!

  3. Rick says:

    Well, it had to be one of the Arnold episodes! Very fun post. GREEN ACRES is still sorely underrated.

  4. I am so happy that you chose to write about “Love Comes to Arnold Ziffel”! Green Acres is one of my favourite sitcoms of all time. I loved it as a kid, even if a lot of the jokes went over my head. As an adult I love it even more. I always loved the fact that everyone except Oliver seems to realise that they are on a TV show, as well as the fact that strait laced Oliver was always so out of step with the absurd residents of Hooterville. It was a truly surreal sitcom at times! Anyhow, my favourite character was always Arnold and I love this episode because it centres on him. Even as a kid I felt so sorry for Arnold and Cynthia (talk about Romeo and Juliet)!

    Thank you so much for contributing to the blogathon!

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      It really was such fun to watch and a blast to write! Thanks so much for running yet another wonderful Blogathon! 🙂

  5. Kristi H says:

    I thought this episode was hilarious. My favorite part was when Lisa was reciting the famous scene from Romeo and Julius. I laughed out loud!! The writers on this show were great, I don’t know how they came up with all the silly, funny lines.

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