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The Real McCoys Online

The Real McCoys  Online
Original Title :
The Real McCoys
Genre :
TV Series / Comedy
Cast :
Walter Brennan,Richard Crenna,Kathleen Nolan
Type :
TV Series
Time :
Rating :
The Real McCoys Online

From the hills of West Virginia, Amos McCoy moves his family to an inherited farm in California. Grandpa Amos is quick to give advice to his three grandchildren and wonders how his neighbors ever managed without him around.
Series cast summary:
Walter Brennan Walter Brennan - Grandpa Amos McCoy / - 225 episodes, 1957-1963
Richard Crenna Richard Crenna - Luke McCoy 225 episodes, 1957-1963
Kathleen Nolan Kathleen Nolan - Kate McCoy 186 episodes, 1957-1962
Tony Martinez Tony Martinez - Pepino 152 episodes, 1957-1963
Michael Winkelman Michael Winkelman - Little Luke 136 episodes, 1957-1962
Lydia Reed Lydia Reed - Hassie 124 episodes, 1957-1962

Lyrics for the show's theme song: Want you to meet the family that's known as the real McCoys / From West Vir-gi-nee they came to stay in sunny Cal-i-for-ni-ay / 'Ole Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys / What a housekeepr Kate is, she's doin' what she enjoys / No gal can beat her when it come to looks and the same can be said 'bout the way she cooks for / Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys / Livin' as good folks should live and happy as kids with toys / 'Ole Grandpappy Amos is the head of the clan, he roars like a lion but he's gentle as a lamb / His grandson Luke keeps a beamin' with joy since he made Miss Kate Missus Luke Mccoy / Sharing each other's sorrows, enjoyin' each others joys / Like all other families they quarrel and fuss but it a'int never serious with / Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys

Writer Everett Greenbaum said Walter Brennan made racist and anti-Semitic remarks on the set.

When the series moved from ABC to CBS for its sixth and final season, some of the continuing characters were dropped. For instance, Luke's wife Kate had died, and his brother Little Luke was packed off to boarding school and was not seen again.

In the promos for this series, the McCoys' farm is described as "20 miles northwest of the Los Angeles City Hall". This would be very close to where Walter Brennan was buried, at the Mission San Fernando Cemetery.

Richard Crenna was just 32 years-younger than his on-screen grandfather, Walter Brennan.

Richard Crenna was the only cast member to appear in all 224 episodes of the series.

Richard Crenna was 18 years-older than Lydia Reed and 20 years-older than Michael Winkelman, whom both played his siblings.

User reviews



The 224 half-hour episodes (all in B&W) of the situation comedy "The Real McCoys" ran from 1957-1963 on ABC and CBS. The show's creators/producers were Irving and Norman Pincus, a pair of brothers with little other claims to fame.

But they left quite a legacy with "The Real McCoys" as the series literally changed the direction of network situation comedy. Early sitcoms like "I Love Lucy", "The Honeymooners", "Make Room for Daddy", and "The Goldbergs" were urban in tone and set in downtown apartments in big east coast cities; urban families were the first buyers of televisions. By the mid-fifties suburbia was getting a lot play ("Life of Riley", "Leave It to Beaver") as Americans began moving out to the suburbs. But network executives were resistant to the idea of rural characters in rural setting. Rural families were unlikely to own televisions (or have television stations within broadcast range) and urban sophisticates could not be expected to tune into a show featuring rural rubes.

When "The Real McCoys" proved the suits wrong it set the stage for Andy of Mayberry, Jed in Beverly Hills, Kate and the Shady Rest, and Oliver and Lisa in Hooterville. Danny Thomas and Paul Henning who would launch those shows were both involved in "The Real McCoys".

The premise of the show is the move of the legendary West Virginia McCoys to a farm in the San Fernando Valley they inherit from their uncle. Given the current value of valley real estate it is amusing that one of the central conflicts of the series is the family's precarious financial position (insert lack of money here).

The McCoy family is a bit usual as it skips an entire generation. Grandpa Amos (Walter Brennan) lives with his grandson Luke (Richard Crenna), Luke's new wife Kate (Kathy Nolan), and Luke's little brother and sister (Michael Winkleman and Lydia Reed). Apparently Luke's parents mysteriously died.

Like "The Beverly Hillbillies", the comedy comes from watching the family adapt to their new environment and seeing things we take for granted from a fresh perspective. And like Granny on that series, Amos is stubborn and irascible. The beauty of the series is that it finds satirical humor in the unsophisticated way of country folk while demonstrating that their backwoods wisdom often puts them ahead of the curve.

Luke and Kate join Oliver and Lisa Douglas of "Green Acres" as television's all-time most "in- love" couples and this dynamic is the shows underlying strength. Crenna and Nolan deliver fine performances throughout the series. Brennan is likewise excellent, managing to make a basically annoying character lovable. Amos is nicely overplayed as a cantankerous old coot full of rural aphorisms and blustering exasperations yet fully repentant when he goes too far.

Also notable is Tony Martinez as Pepino Garcia, a Mexican farmhand who just came with the farm. Pepino is a frequent foil for Grandpa, as his more laid-back approach to life often riles up the old guy. They do a nice job of avoiding what could have been a negative stereotype as Pepino is the best adjusted character on the series and second only to Kate in the wisdom department. Kate left the cast after the 5th season, she was missed.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


Any show with Walter Brennan is a winner! I was very little when this show aired. Walter Brennan was the epitome of a grandfather to me. I loved the way he walked, arms slightly bent, elbows back and kind of cocking them in the rhythm of his step.

Favorite episodes include Grandpa's games of checkers with George (Andy Clyde).

Brennan's Grandfatherly persona was showcased in this series. He disappeared for several years after the show's cancellation from television and resurfaced as a tough old hombre in The Guns of Will Sonnet, which was another great series.

The show declined over the years with cast members falling off like over-ripe cherries from a cherry tree. It finally died and made way for its successor, The Beverly Hillbillies.

When it aired on TNN a few years ago, it made for some wonderful memories of retro-t.v.


I had seen episodes of The Real McCoys as a very small child during the original airings in the early 1960's. Many years had passed before I had the chance to see it again. Except for the ill-advised sixth and final season, without the lovely and talented Kathy Nolan as Kate, it is a heart-warming and wonderful family show that all too sadly is of the kind that is no longer made anymore. It is just great that the entire series is being released on DVD. I will certainly add the first five seasons to my collection. As for the sixth season, the show had lost it's heart with the departure of Kathy Nolan. Not until Don Knotts left The Andy Griffith Show did such a loss cripple a show again. Yes, The Real McCoys was basically a comedy show, but it often had touches of realism and drama you never saw on the later classic The Beverly Hillbillies. It had solid acting throughout, even down to the supporting cast. It also had a heart.


This was indeed the grandfather of all shows and it set the standard for its precessdors,"The Andy Griffith Show"(CBS,1960-68),"The Beverly Hillbillies"(CBS,1962-71),"Petticoat Junction"(CBS,1963-69),"Green Acres"(CBS,1965-71),"Mayberry RFD"(CBS,1968-71),"The Waltons"(CBS,1972-81),and not to mention on the same category "Hee Haw"(CBS,1969-71),and "The Dukes of Hazzard"(CBS,1979-85)as the foundation for the successful "rural" comedy show. The Real McCoys was just that,a mountain family who moved from the hills of West Virginia to the countryside of California. It format was the first to feature a "real star" as the understanding Grandfather Amos McCoy(played by Oscar winning actor Walter Brennan),his faithful son Luke(played by Richard Crenna),and his lovely wife Kate(played by Kathleen Nolan)and their two wonderful children. And their was the next door neighbor(played by Andy Clyde),and the hired handyman Papito who manages to work around the farm and to keep things in order. However his son Luke and the rest always had their hands full and they share some of the sorrows and joys during the family's up and downs.

The show ran on two different networks---first it was on ABC-TV for four seasons,and then it went to CBS-TV for its last two and during its six year run the show went on to win Emmys for actors Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna. The last time this show was ever seen was recently on TNN(formerly The Nashville Network before it changes the logo to The National Network)and for those who like some down home spun country humor with a message in between,well "The Real McCoys" was the show to watch and set the standard for other country sitcoms to follow.


A small part of a very large family named McCoy who hailed from the hills of West Virginia, put a down payment on a land in the Imperial Valley of Southern California and moved there and into our television sets for a considerable in the late fifties and early sixties. We know there was a whole lot more of them because occasionally some kinfolk came to visit.

After a career with three Oscars under his belt and at that time he was the only one who had that many, you'd think Walter Brennan might want to slow up at the age of sixty three when he started that series. Not only did he keep up the grind of a weekly television series, but Brennan's movie career didn't slow down a might. You might remember he played a pretty substantial role in Rio Bravo and in How the West Was Won while The Real McCoys were still running.

The rest of the McCoys consisted of Richard Crenna and Kathleen Nolan as Luke and Kate, a pair of young marrieds. Kate married into the McCoys, but like Ethel Kennedy you'd think she was born into the clan instead. Kathleen was a wise old soul in her own way inside a beautiful young lady. She was the heart of the show, more than Brennan at times.

Richard Crenna went on to a career that involved him playing a lot more than hayseeds like Luke McCoy. But he said many times that the real value of The Real McCoys for him was as an acting school. Just working with and watching Walter Brennan every week was more valuable than acting lessons with Stella Adler or the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Two younger siblings came along with Luke, Kate, and Grandpa. There was Lydia Reed and Michael Winkelman as Hassee and Little Luke. I thought it a bit much to name a kid after Tallahassee because someone sent them a picture postcard from the place and they thought the name was so pretty. Lydia had enough teenage angst, settling from West Virginia into sophisticated southern California without that added to her woes. As for Little Luke, I guess the McCoy clan got squeamish on names after Tallahassee and stuck with one tried and true.

Tony Martinez, all barely five feet of him, played their Chicano farmhand, Pepino. The Chicano and hill cultures blended very well together. At the time Tony Martinez was considered to have a breakthrough part for Latinos. Pepino was always a cheerful guy, but a hardworking person of real dignity and was never demeaned in any way by the stories.

As I said other McCoys got in the cast. Jack Oakie did several episodes as Uncle Rightly McCoy when Brennan was on extended leave in a movie. And several episodes had the McCoys make a visit back to West Virginia where we ran into the real head of the clan, Great Grandma McCoy played by Jane Darwell. That's right, Jane was Amos's mother and in fact she was just about old enough in real life to be just that.

They should have canceled the show after Kathleen Nolan left or paid her what she wanted. A lot got taken out of the show when she left and Luke was left a widower.

In many ways the Real McCoys was a survival story about a family leaving one culture and trying and succeeding in making it in a different location with different ways. Maybe that's why The Real McCoys was as successful as it was. Isn't that what the American Dream is all about?


I watched this show fairly frequently as a child but now that I am an adult I appreciate it much more. I am so impressed with the acting and stamina of Walter Brennan. For a man in his late 60's, he had to memorize tons of dialogue and work so hard it must have been a strain on him, however it never showed in his performance. His wonderful love/hate friendship with George MacMichael (Andy Clyde) was a highlight of the show. I was very sorry when Kate left the show, though it wasn't the same, I still enjoyed it because I loved watching Walter. I am so glad that TNN is showing reruns of this show.


A pleasant thirty-minute bit of family values. Like all successful TV shows of the era, it included a "real star" in the cast - in this case, Walter Brennan. The show stressed family solidarity and doing the right thing. Each episode contained an understated lesson in life and living.


This show is incredulous.I mean it being premiered in 1957 and all,gee Buddy Holly was still alive,Cuba was not communist,but a free nation,the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn,the baseball Giants still in New York,the Lakers in Minneapolis,and the President Of The United States (Ike) was someone you could believe in. Yes those were good times and this was a good show that had a good run.The Real McCoys had a great cast with Walter Brennan doing his best as the lead as Granpa,and doing well as usual.A young Richard Crenna starting out what would be a fantastic acting career who would have thought of it him being on this show.Madge Blake was on this show,Aunt Harriet from Batman.And a young Kathleen Nolan,yes this was a fine show with some good humor and some good lessons learned about life sprinkled in. You don't get TV like this anymore,of course we don't.Dawson's Creek and other shows like it have meant the end of televison with a sense of humor and with some heart to it.Now shows are filled with self pity,characters that are selfish,and with tons of sarcasm to them.Shows like the new "Get Real and Freeks and Geeks" reflect what we have become to our regret.When people look back at the 1990's they are sure to remember it as an age of anger and disillusionment. We can look back at the 1950's though.Not a perfect age.But a great time for Americans and shows like "The Real McCoys" with a happy and stable family living on a farm enjoying life rather than cursing it,give us an example of who we were.A good show with some good humor, and thanks to TNN now not to be forgotten.


I always loved this show, except for the final season. It was bad enough that Kathy Nolan left, but the kids (Hassie and Little Luke) were also phased out within a handful of episodes. Then, even Grandpa Amos McCoy was gone by the spring of 1963, leaving only Luke and Pepino for the final 13 episodes or so. The show was such a heart-warming sitcom until then, but the final season we had to witness the family disintegrate. Very depressing.


Re: the other comments. But although Walter Brennan was great as grandpa DO NOT forget the rest of the cast. Richard Crenna was wonderful as Luke, and Kathy Nolan (as she was called in the first years of the show, not Kathleen) was fine too, among others. She eventually left the show in a bitter contract dispute for a short-running series (check her credits) and her career went the route of DAvid Caruso from NYPD BLUE. This show had a wonderful theme song: "Want you to meet the family known as the real McCoys. That's grandpappy Amos, they head of the clan, he roars like a lion but he's gentle as a lamb. And now here's Luke who beams with joy since he may take Mrs Kate McCoy". A good show that never recovered from Nolan leaving - Luke as a widow didn't cut it.


The Real McCoys is a genuine classic from the golden age of television. A fine series. They really don't make well-crafted, heart warming shows like this anymore. Walter Brennan was simply amazing as old Amos McCoy, the patriarch of a family transplanted from Smokey Corners, West Virginia to "sunny Cal-i-for-nai-ay" as the theme song tells us. The stories are at once funny and often touching and there are some great people in the cast. Richard Crenna, fresh from playing squeaky-voiced Walter Denton on Our Miss Brooks, drops his voice to it's proper register to play Luke McCoy, Grampa Amos's grandson. He plays him as a sometimes naive, sometimes wise newlywed. The bride in question is lovely Kathy Nolan, as beautiful a woman as any who ever graced a sitcom. Her Kate is the balancing conscience which is a big asset to the show. (Indeed, when she was absent in the show's last season, it was the last hurrah for this long-running series.) Hassie, the 13 year-old "old maid" as Grampa would say is played by Lydia Reed, whose only other performance I have seen was in the 1956 MGM film, High Society. She was very good in the film and is very good in the Real McCoys. Michael Winkleman plays Little Luke with a naturalness not seen in today's high-strung attempts at situation comedy. Tony Martinez plays, Pepino, the "ranch hand". He plays off of Walter Brennan quite well and is an asset to the cast. Finally, we have Andy Clyde and Madge Blake as brother and sister neighbors George and Flora MacMichael. They are pros who know just the right way to play their scenes. The series is populated with many well-known character actors and this show has a cozy, home-spun feel to it. Indeed, it is a predecessor to the many rural comedies that followed in the sixties, like Andy Griffith, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies. Some people have complained about the DVD episodes being edited, but I saw these same episodes when CBS ran this show as part of their morning comedy block of shows, from 1962 to 1966. These appear to be the same prints as shown on the network back in the day. I vaguely recall seeing some nighttime telecasts in prime time, but mostly I recall the morning CBS run. The stories are well-written and some are very heartwarming. The characters are three-dimensional and seem like genuine human beings. This series is all but forgotten these days and I don't think the DVD releases exactly set the world on fire sales-wise, but I am enjoying the set I got for one penny and think this should be picked up by one of the nostalgia channels like ME-TV or Antenna TV. This classic series is ripe for re-discovery.


I remember watching this show a a young boy and I remember how it made me laugh. In fact, Walter was the greatest of all time 2nd bananas and was loved by Americans all over. He has won Academy Awards and Emmy Awards for his work. He really touched us with his down home drawl which was the best ever delivered by a New England native.

I believe that he had only one movie roll where he played the heavy.

Unfortunately the more I learned about Walter Brennan the hard it got for me to truly enjoy his work. He was an unapologetic racist and had true hate in his blood for all minorities. Every time I see one of his movies all I can think of is his hate. He supported Wallace in 1964 and didn't support Nixon because he believed Nixon was too liberal.


AS DEFINITIVE PROOF that the upstart medium of Television was winning its uphill struggle with the big Hollywood Movie Moguls & their Studios, with the decade of the 1950's progressing, we had many series that featured those who had been designated "Movie Stars" taking starring roles in series TV.

EVEN A ROUTINE inspection of the TV Guide listings of the day prove this. There were: FATHERE KNOWS BEST (Robert Young), THE DEPUTY (Henry Fonda), WICHITA TOWN (Joel McCrea) and THE DETECTIVES (Robert Taylor).

AS A FURTHRER indication of this trend, we had a change of the Big Studio Bosses in their sanctimonious attitude toward Television. Perhaps in taking a cue from Walt Disney, whose success in an entertainment/promotional hybrid in his DISNEYLAND success was proving such isolationist policy to be futile, the Moguls reversed their course of action. Soon program titles followed, such as: WARNER BROTHERS PRESENTS, MGM PARADE and THE 20th CENTURY-FOX HOUR.

SO IT SHOULD have been no surprise that we saw Academy Award winner, Walter Brennan taking the main character role in THE REAL McCOYS (1957-63). Once it debuted, it was an overwhelming success on the ABC Television and forever defined Mr. Brennan as "Grand Pappy Amos" for the Babby Boomer Generation.

CREATING HUMOROUS SITUATIONS by chronicling interaction between "City Slickers" and their Rustic cousins is nothing new. We need only look to Old Time Radio for a clue. On the airwaves of the 1930's & '40's were host to such shows as THE JUDY CANOVA SHOW, HILLBILLY HEART THROBS and LUM & ABNER, etc.

THE REAL McCOYS, however, opted for less farcical of a treatment and instead gave us a far more civil story of an agrarian family's relocation and adjustment to what looked to be a veritable "Promised Land." Much like the later of the later series, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, the McCoys emigrated from West Virginia to California; albeit for far different reasons. The Clampett family struck oil and lived the "Good Life"; whereas the McCoys sought greener fields.

CAST IN SUPPORT of Walter Brennan's Grand Pappy Amos was a company of experienced supporting players. Radio/TV Richard Crenna (grandson Luke McCoy) had grown up on Radio. Specializing in portraying Juvies (typecasting?), he had been Madison High School Student on OUR MISS BROOKS, both Radio & TV versions.

ROUNDING OUT THE cast were: Kathleen Nolan (Kate, Mrs. Luke McCoy), Tony Martinez (Farm Hand, Pepino)and Michael Winkelman (Little Luke). Sennett Veteran comedian, Andy Clyde (George MacMichael)was a Farmer Neighbor and, Madge Blake (Flora MacMichael) in a role before being "Aunt Harriet Cooper" on BATMAN (1966-68).

IN SUMMING UP our recollections of THE FREAL McCOYS, we can only say that its strength lied in its believability; rather than the outrageous, cartoon-like humor of so many other successful series of its day.


Want you to meet the family known as the real McCoys. From West Virginia they came to stay in sunny California, there's Grandpa Amos and his favorite boy, his grandson Luke McCoy.

The Ozarks comes alive and was never better. Walter Brennan's antics were memorable as he portrayed the irascible grandfather here. With his grandson, the two live like absolute pigs. They need a cleaning girl, not wives.

Brennan literally limps along as he portrayed this memorable character. After a world-wind career in films, and 3 Oscars for best supporting actor, Brennan made the transition to television relatively easy here.

Right from his Walter Denton role on "Our Miss Brooks," Crenna was right at home with his role as the Ozark-like grandson.