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May 312010

Hee Haw (1969-1993) was one of several series inspired by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In. Hosted by country singers Buck Owens and Roy Clark, Hee Haw is filled with simple cornball style humor, which I find very enjoyable.

I grew up on Hee Haw. In fact, that was what first got me interested in country music. Well, that and Dolly Parton movies from the early 80s. I know what you’re thinking. You think I just liked to look at Dolly Parton. Yes, she is pretty, but I liked her music as well as her classic films like 9 to 5, Rhinestone, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. (I was so young at the time I thought it was pronounced “Best Little Warehouse in Texas”.)

Anyway, Hee Haw has one-liners used in several different ways. Some of the main ones are in the “Cornfield” segment where random characters pop up and tell jokes to one another, and “Picking and Grinning” where Buck and Roy tell jokes while playing their instruments. Funny stuff, I’ll tell ya.

In a way, Hee Haw was labeled as a rip-off from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In. Sure there are similarities, but it does stick out as a classic to me. There’s no political humor, it’s the kind of material that’s kept simple and I think that works a whole lot better.

One of my most favorite gags that I recall was about a guy who decided to get alligator shoes by wrestling an alligator. He won the fight, but was disappointed because the alligator was barefooted. Then there’s Archie Campbell in the barber shop telling fairytales like “Rendercilla” and “The Pee Little Thrigs”. Oh, that cracks me up.

The music on Hee Haw is also good. The most memorable songs are “Pfft, You Were Gone” and “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me”. They talk about sad things here, but it’s still silly. Don’t you just love it?

Not too long ago at a convention, I’ve discovered that there was a Hee Haw comic book. I heard that there were only seven issues made and are very rare, but I found one.

Hee Haw, which features a creative group of performers, is and always will be a long time favorite of mine. Even though I’m not hugely into country music, this show still takes me back. I must confess, other than Dolly Parton and the Dixie Chicks, the only way I even know of any country singers is when they have made appearances on Hee Haw and sometimes The Muppet Show and The Dr. Demento Show.

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