Irene Ryan bought martinis for Max Baer Jr. during his ”Beverly Hillbillies” audition

Irene Ryan bought martinis for Max Baer Jr. during his ”Beverly Hillbillies” audition

If you have to go through a stressful experience, it’s always best to bring Irene Ryan to go through it alongside you, if you can. Not everyone is lucky enough to have an Irene Ryan, sadly, but for Max Baer Jr., having her with him during his audition for The Beverly Hillbillies could very well have won him the role of Jethro Bodine.

According to The Beverly Hillbillies, an overview of the series written by Stephen Cox, Baer just happened to be testing for his role on the same day that Ryan was testing for the role of Granny. When the two had a bit of free time for a meal during their auditions, they decided to head out together.

Baer said, “At lunchtime, we both went over to this place called The Shack, around the corner from General Service Studios where the tests were being done, and she bought me martinis.”

Baer continued, “Well, I’m not a drinker and the martinis just knocked me right on my butt, so when I came back to the set, I was supposed to walk into this cabin in the scene, and as I go through the door…I bumped into the doorjamb with my shoulder. I looked at the doorjamb and said, ‘Scuse maay!’ with that stupid grin on my face.

It was an audition that made the casting directors realize that Baer would be perfect for a character who was clumsy and a bit dimwitted like Jethro was.After the series had wrapped, Baer actually found that he preferred the series more as a viewer than as an actor. He said, “I like the show more now than when I did it. It’s just a funny show. I can look at it more objectively, kind of like that’s a different person on the screen like those are four other people up there.”

He continued, “I can appreciate Paul Henning more. I can appreciate the acting of other people more. And I can appreciate what I did more.”

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