Successful New York attorney throws in the towel to follow his dream of moving to the country. Cliché, we know. But in the 1965, when the sitcom first aired on CBS it was an original idea, and a colorful plot. Green Acres, which aired from 1965 to 1971, introduced the world to Manhattan lawyer Oliver (played by Eddie Albert) and his city-loving, boa and diamond-wearing Hungarian wife Lisa (played by Eva Gabor).
Bet you can hear the famous theme song now? Goes a little like this:
“Green Acres is the place to be.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.”
“New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.”
Oliver: “The chores!”
Lisa: “The stores!”
Oliver: “Fresh air!”
Lisa: “Times Square!”
Oliver: “You are my wife.”
Lisa: “Goodbye, city life.”
Oliver and Lisa: “Green Acres we are there.”
And so it began. Like a fish out of water, Oliver drags his wife to Hooterville (or was it Hootersville?) to start a new life on the farm. And while Lisa struggles with cooking terrible hotcake after terrible hotcake and sewing, the glamorous wife somehow finds her way of assimilating into the quirky, off-the-wall community. Here, a few memorable, laugh-out-loud moments:
Lisa: Why do you want to irritate your corn?
Oliver: Irrigate. It means put water on it.
Lisa: Won’t that irritate it.
[Lisa and Oliver looking for clothes to donate to a rummage sale]
Oliver: Why don't we give away this one?
Lisa: No that's the dress I graduated from high school in.
Oliver: How about this one?
Lisa: That's the dress I wore the first day of college.
Oliver: [holding a black, low-cut dress] What about this one?
Lisa: That's the one I got expelled in.
[explaining computer dating]
Ralph: Well, they put all your information in the computer, and then when a boy's card matches the girl’s card, they get married.
Lisa: Well that's all right for the cards, but what about the people?
Oliver: Lisa, any school child can figure that out in it's head.
Lisa: Well, I didn't go to a head-school. The school I went to, all they told me is to count how many carats there are in a diamond. The way you do that: you find a jeweler..
[Lisa has hired Alf and Ralph as domestic help]
Oliver: Now about the help... Do you want to fire them, or shall I?
Lisa: [Alf and Ralph look close to tears] Why, you wouldn't fire them on Christmas?
Oliver: It's not Christmas!
Lisa: When you proposed to me, you said that every day is going to be like Christmas.
Oliver: [mellows as he remembers and smiles] Oh, so I did. Merry Christmas, darling.
[kisses Lisa on the lips, then turns to Alf and Ralph]
Oliver: You're fired.
[Alf and Ralph burst out crying]
[Learning to drive]
Tom: [giving Lisa driving lessons] Do you know what these are?
[points to the gear shift]
Lisa: Oh yes. that's a pernundel. My husband has a pernundel on his car, too.
Lisa: The most important thing is to marry a man who loves you. Because if he loves you, you can get away with murder. Now I don't know how to cook, but Mr. Douglas loves me, and I have more diamonds than any of my friends, who are better cooks than I am. Also emeralds.
Oliver: You'll feel better after you've had breakfast.
Lisa: Who's going to cook it?
Oliver: Oh well, I want to talk to you about that.
Lisa: What is there to talk about?
Oliver: About who's cooking.
Lisa: Darling, when we got married I promised to love, honor, and obey. I said nothing about cooking.
[On Mother Eunice Douglas]
Lisa: Don't shout at mother!
Oliver: I can shout at her, she's my mother!
Lisa: Well, she's my mother-in-law.
Oliver: It's not natural for anybody to like their own mother in law. I don't like your mother.
[driving through Hooterville]
Oliver: Hmm, you never smelled air like that in the city.
Lisa: No I didn't. What is that?
Oliver: [sniffles] Oh, that's Fred Ziffel's. He runs a pig farm.
Lisa: He should run it in another direction.
[Lisa wants Oliver to send Eb to college]
Oliver: Well it can be pretty expensive.
Lisa: How expensive? Mink coat expensive or sable coat expensive?
Lisa: Well then why don't we send Eb to college instead?
Oliver: Instead of what?
Lisa: You buying me a mink coat.
Oliver: I wasn't gonna buy you a mink coat.
Lisa: Well then you certainly can afford to send Eb to college.
Lisa: Although... if I go to visit Eb in college, it wouldn't be nice if I would go without a mink coat.
[On cooking with her MIL]
Lisa: [making hotcakes] Would you like to turn them?
Mother Eunice Douglas: [appalled] I've never touched a kitchen utensil in my life!
Lisa: Dahling, cooking is fun!
Mother Eunice Douglas: Oh, poor darling. You've cracked under the strain.
Lisa: Mother, why don't you try to make yourself useful.
Mother Eunice Douglas: Oh, I fully intend to. I'm going to get a court order and have you taken out of here!
[On buying a new dress for the dance]
Lisa: I need a new dress for the dance.
Oliver: Lisa, you've got...
Lisa: All I need is $3000.
Oliver: Lisa, you have to be out of your mind! $3000 for a dress?
Lisa: The dress is only $400, but the rest is for the plane ticket to go to Paris and to get it.
[On finding the right wife]
Oliver: Well, Mr. Thompson lists a few things here that a farmer should look for in a wife: she should be strong of limb, have good wind, large hands and sturdy legs.
Lisa: If that's what you want, you should have married my father.