Joe Carson (Petticoat Junction)

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"Uncle" Joe Carson
Petticoat Junction character
First appearance "Spur Line to Shady Rest"
Last appearance "Betty Jo's Business"
Created by Paul Henning
Portrayed by Edgar Buchanan (1963–70)
Gender Male
Occupation Co-hotel owner (later owner)
Relatives Kate Bradley (niece)
Billie Jo Bradley (great-niece)
Bobbie Jo Bradley (great-niece)
Betty Jo Bradley (great-niece)
Helen (niece)
Mae Belle Jennings
Bill Bradley
Kathy Jo Elliott (great-great niece)
Steve Elliott (great-nephew-in-law)

Joseph P. "Joe" Carson mainly referred to as Uncle Joe, is a main fictional character on the CBS sitcom, Petticoat Junction (1963–1970). Uncle Joe is the only character of the series to appear in all 222 episodes. He is portrayed by Edgar Buchanan, who is described as "absolutely perfect in the role," [1] and "the perfect choice to play the loveable codger." [2]

Fictional background[edit]

Joe is a bachelor, never married, in his sixties. He lives at the Shady Rest Hotel with his niece, Kate Bradley, and her daughters (and his great-nieces) Billie Jo Bradley, Bobbie Jo Bradley, and Betty Jo Bradley. Although he is the self-described "Manager" of the hotel, Kate is the true owner and does far more work than him.[3] Joe is quite lazy and often tries to get out of doing work; he complains "My lumbago!" whenever there's heavy lifting or hard work to be done. He also tries to create work-saving devices, such as a clothesline pulley system to bring luggage back and forth from the hotel to the train. His favorite place at the Shady Rest Hotel is the rocking chair on the front porch; he is also frequently seen napping on the sofa in lobby. [4] Joe often teases Hooterville Cannonball engineer Charley Pratt about his weight, though Joe is pleasantly plump himself.

Joe frequently comes up with get-rich-quick schemes and ill-conceived hotel promotional ideas. For instance, in one episode he buys a goat whose milk is supposed to cure baldness. Another time, he turns the Shady Rest into a weight-loss camp. And he even buys a buffalo in order to lure wealthy British hunters to the hotel. He often enlists Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo in his schemes, much to Kate's chagrin. Despite the fact he is lazy and dodges Kate when she asks him to do something, Joe is loved dearly by his family and the citizens of Hooterville.

Joe is Chief of the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department, and is also the conductor of the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department Band. [5] Upon the departure of Kate early in season six, Joe becomes the overseer of the Shady Rest Hotel. However, it is never stated why he takes on this responsibility, because, in the show's storyline, Kate is only away on a trip.

Green Acres[edit]

Joe appears in 17 episodes of the Petticoat Junction's spin-off, Green Acres, the second most of any Petticoat Junction character after Sam Drucker.


  1. ^ Bloom, Ken; Vlastnick, Frank (2007) Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies of All Time p. 270 Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
  2. ^ Garrett, Eddie I Saw Stars in the 40's and 50's p. 36
  3. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh Earle The Complete Direstory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present Ninth Edition (2007) Ballantine Books p. 1077
  4. ^ Terrace, Vincent Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed. p. 828
  5. ^ Brooks, Marla The American Family on Television: A Chronology of 122 Shows, 1948-2004 p. 69 Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub (March 2005)