Tuesday, December 4, 2007
On Dec 4, 1937 Max Baer jr. was born in Oakland, California to the former heavyweight boxing champ, Max Baer (see the June 3, 2005 entry for an interesting take on the real Cinderella Man History or check out this article defending Max Baer Sr.).
Anyway - if my ciphering is correct, I think that would make Jethro Bodine, um I mean Max Baer Jr., 70 years old today. Here's a few classic episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies to watch to honor Mr. Baer on his 70th birthday. First - Jethro Goes to School is a classic, where Jetrhro tries to continue his education by matriculating into the 3rd or 4th grade in swanky Beverly Hills (that's where he last graduated his schoolin' career). Another personal favorite is The Clampetts Meet the Dodgers, guesting starring Leo the Lip Durocher. Looks like Jethro might become a major league pitcher, until that possum fat doctoring comes into play. (somehow, this is less disturbing than steriods, but I digress). And our third selection is Clampetts Get Culture, which is a Christmas special episode and features an old flame of Max Baer's in the real world, Sharon Tate - who had a recurring role in the Beverly Hillbillies Tv Show as Janet Trego. Unfortunately, Sharon Tate is probably most famous for the tragic night she was murdered by the Charlie Manson whackos. A beautiful and talented actress, Sharon Tate was also carrying a child - Roman Polanski 's child, best known for his very creepie movie Rosemary's Baby starring Mia Farrow and produced by none other than William Castle, the king of the gimmick horror films. Small world or what?
Now for all those folks who think they are so smart, and that Max Baer is an idiot - well think again. He not only did very well for himself in the very popular Beverly Hillbillies series, Max was also a very shrewd business man, who until recently had the best returning movie of all-time. Yep, before the Blair Witch project, Jethro held the record for the least in, most out ratio of US dollars. The 1974 film was called Macon County Line, cost $110,000 to make and made over $25 million at the box office. He also started a trend of buying the movie rights for a hit song and making a movie out of it. The first film in the genre was Bobbi Gentry's Ode to Billy Joe and starred Robby Benson and Glynnis O'Connor. Since then, this idea has been a pretty successful formula for making a pretty safe profit in the risky business of making movies.
And let's not forget - I suspect Max Baer will really hit pay dirt with his very good business move to build a theme based casino, something he has been trying to do for many years, only to be bullied by "city hall" time and time again. But this time around, I suspect he might finally get his fair stake in the claim. Read all about it at Max Baer jr.s web site - Jethro's Casino, and by all means, write a letter in support of the project. This thursday, Dec 6, 2007 - we will find out if the derrick at the casino gets approved. Hey, what can say - I love this crazy country and all the characters in it, and certainly Max Baer is an entertaining character. And if you think he's just some bozo hick, ummm that the character he played on a tv show about 40 years years ago. Maybe you need to go school, duh.