Alfred Hitchcock Presents: ''The Jar'' - Starring Mr. Haney and Blacula!

Pat Buttram gives the inside scoop.

Pat Buttram was typically modest in a 1981 interview with the Tampa Tribune:

"When people ask me if I consider myself a good actor I say, 'I can play Pat Buttram better than anybody.' That's the only character I play." 

If Buttram was a one-trick pony, he did it with style in Green Acres. He's Hooterville's Mr. Haney, a conniving bumpkin opportunist who wants a slice of the city folks' fortune.

But he had some very famous opposition to his view, as Alfred Hitchcock approached Buttram for a different kind of role. The director had a particularly creepy episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour that he thought Buttram would be perfect for. Buttram, though, wasn't so sure.

He told Hitchcock, "You're out of your mind; I can't do this damn thing; I'm a comedian!"

Hitchcock remained steadfast, declaring, "Young man, If I say you can do the part, you can do it." 

The resulting episode, "The Jar", is one of the best-remembered episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. The script, adapted from an early Ray Bradbury story, saw Buttram as a backwoods swindler obsessed with a hairy "thing" in a jar. The character isn't too far off from Mr. Haney as he makes money off his neighbors, but Buttram's performance is way more chilling. 

"It was a real grabber," said Buttram, "a real weird thing and they never rescheduled it for TV. I don't know if it was too scary or something. But I was nominated for an Emmy just the same."

The episode also starred William Marshall. Svengoolie fans will remember Marshall in the title role in Blacula. He was also Pee-wee's King of Cartoons!

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11 Comments

TippiH 2 months ago
It is an excellent episode. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it.
Mannixishot 2 months ago
This was an excellent episode. Also enjoyed Pat's other episode "Lonely Place" that featured Bruce Dern. But this: as a backwoods swindler obsessed with a hairy "thing" in a jar. The character isn't too far off from Mr. Haney as he makes money off his neighbors,

I don't think the man was a swindler. His WIFE was the swindler because it was implied by other characters she was basically with him for a bit of an inheritance he had received and was already seeing James Best's character on the side. I do think Pat's character still loved his wife for the majority of the episode. He seemed hurt by what his wife was doing behind his back with James Best's character. He bought her a hair ribbon that had her name stitched on it with sequins. I think what killed his love was her ruining the jar for him. I won't spoil it for those that haven't seen it. It really is an excellent and well written/acted episode.

And he never charged money. He was even talking about serving refreshments. This was just a regular old get together in his mind with his friends and neighbors. They all gathered together for free to sit and watch this jar and discuss what they thought it was, what it meant, etc.
MrsPhilHarris 2 months ago
I don’t recall this episode. 🤔
Well, you can watch it right now on Peacock!
I doubt I have access to Peacock.
Stoney 2 months ago
I loved "The Jar." Brilliant episode based on an equally brilliant short story.
ETristanBooth 2 months ago
It also starred Collin Wilcox as his wife. She was Marilyn in “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You” (Twilight Zone).
Yep, and Billy Barty sold Butram the jar! It's a great episode with a morbid twist!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 2 months ago
PS would you believe Goober's in it too?
Kavajava cperrynaples 2 months ago
I met Billy Barty and got a autographed photo of him when he had his kid's show, Billy Barty's Big Top. That was about 60 years ago in Lompoc, California during the annual Flower Festival Parade. Also had Bob Crane's (of Hogan's Heroes) autograph.
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