Jeopardy! writers are typically sticklers for giving the correct clues. After all, they have to stick to a pretty severe editing process that ensures that each clue is accurate and can’t have alternative correct answers. However, every now and then even Jeopardy! writers can make mistakes. They are human, after all.
In a recent Jeopardy! episode, a clue about The Beverly Hillbillies TV show was incorrect. The clue read, “After Jed Clampett discovered oil on his Appalachian property, he loaded up his family and moved to this more affluent locale.” Many of us know that the correct answer is Beverly Hills or more appropriately, “What is Beverly, Hills that is?” But can you spot the mistake in the clue?
If you’re a fan of the show, you probably know that the Clampett family wasn’t from Appalachia. Although the Appalachian region stretches for quite a ways—from southern New York state all the way to Mississippi—the Clampetts were from another area of the country.
Turns out, the Clampetts were from the Ozarks, a region found in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and southeast Kansas.
If The Beverly Hillbillies family is from the Ozarks, why did the clue erroneously say that they were from Appalachia? Perhaps the answer can be found in the show itself.
Do We Know For Sure Where ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Are From?
As the story begins to be told of the Clampetts, the narrator says, “Let’s take them back to their home in the Ozarks and see how this whole thing got started.” Plus, In season five episode 17, the Clampetts are said to come from Bug Tussle. Since Bugtussle is a city in Oklahoma, that means that the family is definitely from the Ozarks—right?
Not so fast. In season nine episode 23, Granny Clampett mentions that she is from Limestone, Tennessee, which happens to be on the western side of the state. If true, the family really is from Appalachia.
The problem is, the show never comes out and directly says where the Clampetts are from. If we want to go with the pilot’s mention of the Ozarks and other clues throughout the show that mention several towns in Missouri, perhaps the family is from the Midwest. Then again, the show’s producer, Paul Henning, had very specific ideas about where the Clampetts were from.
According to the book The Beverly Hillbillies, Henning said, “I feel as strongly now as I did in the beginning of the show, that it would be a mistake to limit the viewers’ imaginations in any way. It’s my belief that millions of viewers believe that the Clampetts come directly from their own neck of the woods. That in some measure adds to the enjoyment of the show.”
In the end, does it matter if The Beverly Hillbillies were from Appalachia or the Ozarks? Not for this Jeopardy! clue. Hopefully we’ll never see a clue that asks where the Clampetts were originally from. If so, there may a lot more people calling out the quiz show’s writers.