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Richard Crenna & The Real McCoys

Richard Crenna & The Real McCoys

Richard Crenna was one of those actors that turned up on TV a lot when I was growing up.

He came to prominence in the 1950s, working for 6 years with Gale Gordon and Eve Arden on Our Miss Brooks both on radio then television for 3 out of the series’ 4 years.

He credits his success with learning comedy from working with the greatest comedians of all time - Lucy, Eve Arden, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Gale Gordon to name a few.

Following Our Miss Brooks, Crenna spent 6 years playing Luke on The Real McCoys alongside the great character actor Walter Brennan.

The pilot episode of The Real McCoys is a great example of a late-1950s / early-1960s half hour sitcom that holds up well today, with crisp writing, direction, and a near perfect cast. Not to mention a rock solid premise - a West Virginian family moves to Southern California where they’ve inherited a rundown ranch. Only to them its a palace.

It was a bit like The Beverly Hillbillies only less extreme.

This was one of those reruns I watched a lot in the early-1960s, like Mr. Ed, My Favorite Martian, and F Troop, mostly because there was little else on TV on weekend days in the 1960s.

Richard Crenna & The Real McCoys

Fred Silverman thought of The Real McCoys as the first real family sitcom in TV.

Observe how clearly the characters are drawn, a pilot with the perfect mix of humor and pathos, not unlike the first episode of The Andy Griffith Show, which shares some of the same ‘bones’ as McCoys (writers, producers, directors).

Here’s an interview with Richard Crenna about his days on The Real McCoys:

 

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Richard Crenna & The Real McCoys

 

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