The Verses Of The Beverly Hillbillies Theme You Probably Never Heard On TV

It's rare, if not nonexistent nowadays, but even as recently as a decade ago, it was fairly common for network sitcoms to have a theme song that explained the show's general premise at the beginning of each episode. An example of what TV Tropes calls an "expository theme tune" would be the theme song to "The Brady Bunch," which explains to the audience the relationships between the characters and how they all wound up in the same house. Similarly, the theme song to "Gilligan's Island" made it clear to the viewers who the seven stranded castaways were, and why they were on the island in the first place.

One such expository theme song is that of "The Beverly Hillbillies" (pictured above). The fish-out-of-water show about country bumpkins suddenly finding themselves wealthy beyond all imagination ran from 1962 to 1971, according to Britannica. The show's theme song, a catchy bluegrass tune by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs – two of the biggest names in the genre to this day. And, though TV fans may be familiar with the opening verse, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" is actually a full song, with other verses, and indeed, in a rare feat for a TV theme song, the tune even charted in the United States, reaching #44 on the pop charts in February 1963, according to The Boot.

The second verse advertised cigarettes

The advertising of cigarettes, or indeed, any tobacco product at all, on TV has been banned in the United States since 1970, according to History. What's more, cigarette smoking is seen as such a disgusting and dangerous habit that networks are keen to avoid showing it at all costs, according to USA Today, except in cases where the habit is depicted as being dangerous. Similarly, as IndieWire reports, Netflix has been keen to see to it that smoking is not depicted on any of the shows it streams — at least, not on those with a TV rating of TV-14 or lower, or a movie with a PG-13 rating or lower.

In the 1960s, things were different, and not only was smoking shown and cigarettes advertised on TV, but "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme song even hawked smokes. The second verse, as MeTV notes, invites you to visit Jed and his kin at their mansion, and while there, you'll meet their friend: "That good ol' friend with filtered blend, Winston cigarette!"

The second verse can be heard on YouTube.

The third verse was about cereal

In what may be one of the weirdest juxtapositions in the history of television advertising, "The Beverly Hillbillies" was sponsored by a cigarette company and, of all things, a cereal that was originally promoted as a health food. Specifically, the show was, for a while anyway, sponsored by Kellogg's Corn Flakes. In fact, the inventor of Corn Flakes — Dr. John Harvey Kellogg — steadfastly opposed smoking, according to Michigan State History. And, as Forbes reports, Kellogg invented his cereal has a way to give American's a healthier lifestyle as it is was believed a bland diet would assist in the digestion process. Whether or not Dr. Kellogg rolled in his grave over his product being used in a song that also sold cigarettes is unclear.

In the second verse, via MeTV, listeners are again invited to spend time with the Clampetts, this time with the promise that they'll enjoy the simple pleasures: "The cereals of Kellogg's, Kellogg's of Battle Creek, K–E-double-L-O-double-good ... Kellogg's best to you "

The third verse can be heard on YouTube.