Li'l Abner.

This is about the stage musical. For the film adaptation, see Li'l Abner (1959 film).

Li'l Abner is a stage musical based on the comic strip by Al Capp.



It's a typical day as the citizens of Dogpatch, U.S.A. go about their daily activities. As usual, sweet, curvaceous Daisy Mae Scragg is pursuing Li'l Abner Yokum who, despite being a strapping, handsome young man, isn't interested in girls or employment. Abner's domineering, diminutive Mammy sends Daisy Mae to tell Abner to come to the Cornpone Meetin' in the town square. At the fishing hole with his friends, Abner lazily reflects that if he could be anyone in the world, he'd rather be himself. Daisy Mae tells the young men about the meeting, and they rush into town. Daisy is frustrated because Abner has failed to take any romantic interest in her.

The townspeople assemble for the Cornpone Meetin', where parson Marryin' Sam leads a celebration of Dogpatch's founder, "Jubilation T. Cornepone", a bumbling Confederate general whose leadership was more beneficial to the North than to the South. Senator Fogbound, Dogpatch's U.S. congressman, tells the citizens that Congress has declared Dogpatch the most unnecessary town in the U.S., and so it must be evacuated to be used as a nuclear bomb test site. Everyone is thrilled that Dogpatch has been picked out of the entire U.S. But Earthquake McGoon reminds them that if they leave Dogpatch, the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race won't take place: in Dogpatch, the only way anyone can be married is if a young woman catches a boy on Sadie Hawkins Day. Daisy Mae's unscrupulous, filthy relatives, the Scraggs, give Earthquake permission to marry Daisy Mae (mostly due to the $1 bribe he gives them). The townspeople decide to save Dogpatch and Sadie Hawkins Day by proving there is something necessary in the town. Daisy Mae asks Abner if he will let her catch him on Sadie Hawkins Day and tries to persuade him that he deserves to marry a girl like her, and Abner agrees that she should marry a boy like him. The townspeople lament that their beloved home has been declared an "unnecessary town".

It turns out that Mammy Yokum's Yokumberry Tonic, which she makes from the one-of-a-kind Yokumberry tree growing outside her home, is what has made Abner so strong and handsome. When a short, pudgy government scientist is given a spoonful, he turns into a tall, muscular man. Abner agrees to go to Washington, accompanied by Marryin' Sam, to present the government with the tonic for testing on the scrawny men of Dogpatch. There, greedy, tyrannical General Bullmoose wants to buy the formula for Yokumberry Tonic, and he is angry that Li'l Abner intends to turn the formula over to the government for free. He hatches a dastardly scheme in which his girlfriend, femme fatale Appassionata Von Climax, will catch Abner on Sadie Hawkins Day. Once they're married, Bullmoose will kill Abner, and the formula will belong to his widow, Appassionata.

Abner and Marryin' Sam return to Dogpatch with the happy news that the country's in the very best of hands. On Sadie Hawkins Day, General Bullmoose and Appassionata arrive in Dogpatch. They hire Evil Eye Fleagle to help Appasionata catch Abner. The race begins, and the young women of Dogpatch pursue the young men. Though Daisy Mae, with the help of Stupefyin' Jones (any man who looks at her freezes), almost succeeds in catching Abner, Evil Eye Fleagle uses his evil eye to freeze everyone in the race, and Appasionata calmly walks up to Abner and claims him as hers.

In Washington, the scientists testing Yokumberry Tonic dream of a time when life will be totally controlled by science. In Dogpatch, Daisy Mae concludes that the reason she couldn't win Abner is that she, at age seventeen, is too old and no longer beautiful, and Marryin' Sam joins her lament. Mammy Yokum has a vision in which she sees Bullmoose and Apassionata's plot to kill Li'l Abner. Daisy Mae asks Earthquake McGoon to go to Washington, D.C. to save Li'l Abner, promising to marry him if he does.

In Washington, an engagement party is being held for Li'l Abner and Apassionata. General Bullmoose has Evil Eye Fleagle on hand; since Fleagle's evil eye can require him to do anything requested, Apassionata won't even have to marry Abner to get the formula. The General is planning to simply have Fleagle use his eye on Abner, get the formula for Yokumberry Tonic, and then order Abner to commit suicide. Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Earthquake, Daisy Mae, and the ladies of Dogpatch all show up to sabotage the party. When Fleagle tries to use his evil eye on Abner, Earthquake holds up a mirrored serving tray to protect himself, and the beam from Fleagle's eye bounces off the tray and rebounds onto General Bullmoose. Mammy Yokum questions the General, and he reveals the entire plot. The police arrest him and Apassionata.

The women of Dogpatch go to the laboratory to see the results of Yokumberry Tonic. Their scrawny husbands have been transformed into handsome men, but they have no interest in their wives. The scientists explain that this is an unfortunate side effect of the tonic; since it kills a man's romantic interests, it is of no use to the government. The women beg for the scientists to put 'em back the way they were before they took the tonic. Daisy tells Abner that she's promised to marry Earthquake since he came to Washington and saved Abner, but she'd rather marry Abner. Softspoken Pappy Yokum tells Abner that he has a secret potion which will make Abner want to marry Daisy Mae. Abner agrees to take it once they get back to Dogpatch.

Back in Dogpatch, Marryin' Sam is officiating at Daisy Mae and Earthquake's wedding. Before the wedding, Daisy introduces her filthy relatives to Earthquake, saying that they'll be coming to live with them once they are married. Marryin' Sam begins the ceremony by warning Earthquake of the potential consequences of marriage. Abner and Pappy interrupt the ceremony, and Abner takes the potion (Pappy whispers to Mammy that it's really just water) and declares that he wants to marry Daisy Mae. Earthquake now happily relinquishes Daisy Mae to Abner. Men from the government arrive, warning that the atomic bombs will arrive soon. As the townspeople try to move the town's statue of Jubilation T. Cornpone, a plaque bearing a declaration by Abraham Lincoln is revealed: because Cornpone's military blunders almost single-handedly allowed the North to win the Civil War, Dogpatch is designated a national shrine. The atomic bombs are cancelled, the scrawny men of Dogpatch return home to their happy wives, and the citizens of Dogpatch honor Jubilation T. Cornpone as Abner kisses Daisy Mae.

Musical numbersEdit

Act I
  • A Typical Day – Dogpatchers
  • If I Had My Druthers – Li'l Abner and Cronies
  • If I Had My Druthers (Reprise) – Daisy Mae
  • Jubilation T. Cornpone – Marryin' Sam and Dogpatchers
  • Rag Offen the Bush – Dogpatchers
  • Namely You – Daisy Mae and Li'l Abner
  • Unnecessary Town – Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae and Dogpatchers
  • What's Good for General Bullmoose – Secretaries
  • There's Room Enough For Us
  • The Country's in the Very Best of Hands – Li'l Abner and Marryin' Sam
  • The Sadie Hawkins Ballet - Dogpatchers
Act II
  • Oh Happy Day – Drs. Finsdale, Smithborn, Krogmeyer and Schleifitz
  • I'm Past My Prime – Daisy Mae and Marryin' Sam
  • Love in a Home – Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae
  • Progress Is the Root of All Evil – Bullmoose
  • Progress Is the Root of All Evil (Reprise) – Bullmoose
  • Put 'Em Back – Wives
  • Namely You (Reprise) – Daisy Mae
  • The Matrimonial Stomp – Marryin' Sam and Dogpatchers
  • Finale – Company