Eustace Charlton Haney, better known as Mr. Haney, is a fictional local farmer turned salesman and con man in the rural Hooterville community who was a supporting antagonist character on the 1960s CBS television series Green Acres. The character is used as a euphemism for a swindling salesman or conman.
He first appeared in the episode Lisa's First Day on the Farm (September 22, 1965).
Mr. Haney, the downright low down salesman portrayed by veteran character actor and longtime Western film sidekick Pat Buttram with the distinctive, warbling voice, sold his family's ancient, dilapidated farm to Oliver when he and Lisa Douglas left New York City for rural Hooterville and their new life as farmers. In the process of the sale, Haney stripped the farm of everything of value down to the plumbing.
Haney had cheated the Douglases by charging them several times what the property was worth and saddling them with a dysfunctional farm. He continued to cheat them by initially selling the movable property associated with the farm to them, one piece at a time. Douglas bought Haney's cow, tractor and plow, all of which were as useless as the farm. He sometimes put the word "genuine" in front of an object he was trying to sell.
He continued to come back with his farm truck converted into a peddler's truck (a 1924–25 Dodge Brothers truck, part of a running joke that everything in Hootersville was at least 30 to 50 years out of date). The truck would be stocked with worthless versions of items that Oliver needed. He almost invariably succeeded in unloading the items on Oliver at inflated prices despite his past shady dealings with them. He often took a piece of junk and called it by some outlandish name, suggesting that it has some use that it clearly does not and that it's in some way valuable.
Haney would often turn up in his truck at the Douglas farm, minutes after they've realized they needed something, selling exactly that (even if it were very odd), complete with a pull-down sign on his truck advertising it. If turned down by Douglas, Haney would offer a variety of equally useless alternatives. Mr. Haney, ever the glib and creative speaker, was once asked by Mr. Douglas, "How come you always show up with exactly what I need?", to which he replied, "Well let me put it to you another way—how come you always need what I show up with?"
In one episode, Haney's "Grabwell" washer, basically a barrel with an outboard motor in it, wrecks the Ziffels' house. Oliver successfully sues Haney. But Haney, of course, profits because the sale he holds to raise money to pay the settlement brings him in more than if he had peddled the stuff in his normal fashion. Further, Lisa buys some of it. In another episode, Haney examines what he believes is a dead cow (actually a plastic promotional item that fell off a meat truck), hoping to parlay the find into a profit, and refers to it as the “corpus delicious”.
In another episode Haney had what seemed to be an entire company in the back of his truck. One person comes out to speak to him. He then yells into the door for everyone to take lunch, and it sounds as if several dozen employees are contained in the small area.
Haney was married in the series and often talked about his wife. However, in an episode, Haney and Joe Carson from Petticoat Junction compete to see who will date Lisa's mother, the Countess. As this doesn't bother Lisa and Oliver, we can assume Haney's wife was no longer in the picture by that time.
One notable instance Haney failed is when he tried to promote an artificial milk making machine, only to find out that not only were the chemicals so expensive that milk prices would be unaffordable, but the "milk" caused baldness as well.
Mr. Haney would cross over to Petticoat Junction including once as a Realtor for the recently wedded Betty Jo Bradley.
Buttram was inspired to make the character after meeting Col. Tom Parker, Elvis's manager, on the set of the movie Roustabout a year before the series.
- Brode, Douglas; Parker, Fess (2009). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors (1946-present). University of Texas Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-292-71849-7. Search this book on
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