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Hee Haw was an American television variety show featuring country music and humor with fictional rural Kornfield Kounty as a backdrop. It aired on CBS from 1969 to 1971 before a 20-year run in local Syndication. The show was inspired by Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the major difference being that Hee Haw was far less topical, and was centered on country music. Initially co-hosted by musicians Buck Owens and Roy Clark, the show was equally well known for its voluptuous, scantily clad women in stereotypical farmer's daughter outfits, male stars Jim and Jon Hager, and its cornpone humor.
Two rural-style comedians, already well known in their native Canada, gained their first major U.S. exposure on Hee Haw — Gordie Tapp and Don Harron (whose KORN Radio character, newscaster Charlie Farquharson, had been a fixture of Canadian television since 1952 and later appeared on The Red Green Show).
Other cast members over the years included: Roy Acuff, Cathy Baker, Billy Jim Baker, Barbi Benton, Jennifer Bishop, Archie Campbell, John Henry Faulk, Marianne Gordon (Rogers), the Hager Twins (Jim and Jon), Victoria Hallman (as "Miss Honeydew"), Gunilla Hutton (as "Nurse Goodbody"), Leon "Grandpa" Jones, Zella Lehr (the "unicycle girl"), George Lindsey (reprising his "Goober" character from The Andy Griffith Show), Jimmy Little, Irlene Mandrell, the Rev. Grady Nutt, Minnie Pearl, Claude 'Jackie' Phelps, Slim Pickens, Kenny Price, Ann Randall, Susan Raye, Jimmie Riddle, Lulu Roman, Misty Rowe, Junior Samples, Gailard Sartain, Jeff Smith, Roni Stoneman, Linda Thompson, Lisa Todd, Nancy Traylor and Jonathan Winters, among many others. A lot of the regulars were also regulars in the Grand Ole Opry.
The Buckaroos were the house band on this popular syndicated show and consisted of: Don Rich, Jim Shaw, Jerry Brightman, Jerry Wiggins, Rick Taylor, Doyle Singer (Doyle Curtsinger), Don Lee, Ronnie Jackson, Terry Christoffersen, Doyle Holly and Jesse Rose McQueen (Victoria Hallman).
This show presents examples of:
- A Good Name For A Country Band : BR-549
- Annoying Laugh: Don Harron's "Charlie Farquharson" character had one that was somewhere between a nerd laugh and a donkey's bray.
- The Barber: Archie's Barber Shop.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Lulu Roman, who was a former go-go dancer but had a thyroid condition.
- Blooper: Flubs and goof-ups were often left in, as they were often funnier than the jokes.
- Blowing a Raspberry: At the end of "Where O Where Are You Tonight?"
- Brainless Beauty: Many, though some were a lot smarter than they seemed. Others, played this trope straight, though.
- Burma Shave: An occasional gag presented a Burma-Shave-style rhyme/joke, one line at a time on a series of signs filmed by a camera moving slowly past them.
- The Cameo: Often, especially in the "Where, Oh Where are You Tonight?" sketches (the cameo star would often have their back turned to the camera until the chorus reveal).
- Catch Phrase: Several.
- Owens: "I'm a-Pickin'...!"
Clark: "...And I'm a-Grinnin'!"
- Minnie Pearl: HOWWWWWW-DEEEEEEE!
- Cloudcuckoolander: Several, as much of the humor was based on this. Most notably, Junior Samples.
- Comic Book Adaptation
- Country Doctor: Archie Campbell played one.
- Country Music: The show was built around it and would usually have popular country music guest stars.
- Deep South: Kornfield Kounty is located somewhere here.
- Despair Speech: The song "Doom, Despair and Agony On Me" is a parody of this trope.
- The Ditz: Junior Samples was this in spades.
- Eccentric Townsfolk aplenty.
- Everything's Better with Chickens: Often, if someone would tell an especially lame joke, someone else on the cast (or offstage) would hit them with a rubber chicken.
- There was also a regular animated segment, with a chicken mistaking anything and everything for an egg. The chicken would sit on items, such as a ringside bell, a man's bald head, a billiard ball, a football, a golf ball, and even a bomb, with various disastrous results.
- Farmers Daughter: Most every girl on the show, especially the Hee Haw Honeys.
- Good News, Bad News: This famous Archie Campbell sketch.
- Good Ol' Boy: Most every guy on the show.
- Gossipy Hens: The Gossip Girls sketches. (Not to be confused with the soap opera.)
- Greasy Spoon: Lulu's Truck Stop.
- Hello, Nurse!: Nurse Goodbody.
- Heroic Dog: Beauregard the Wonder Dog (earlier, Kingfish the Wonder Dog). Four dogs actually played the dog during the show's run (usually seen in the Moonshiners sketches). Played with in that the bloodhound did nothing but sleep.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Major "King" Kong is having a barbecue!
- Honest John's Dealership: Junior Samples' used car lot, "Samples Sales".
- Laugh Track
- Lazy Bum: One frequent segment called The Moonshiners, where a couple of the cast would lazily tell a joke while dozing on the floor near a bunch of moonshine jugs and Beauregard the Wonder Dog (Kingfish the Wonder Dog in earlier shows), with scantily dressed girls in the background.
- Ridiculously Short Phone Number: BR-549
- Schoolmarm: Minnie Pearl often played one.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Archie Campbell's retelling of Cinderella ("Rindercella") and the Three Little Pigs ("Pee Little Thrigs"). (Actually more like spoonerisms, but "telling it backwards" was the joke.)
- Sexy Secretary: Miss Honeydew.
- Shop Keeper: Gordie's General Store.
- Shout-Out: A cast member would salute an American small town and give its population, followed by the entire cast popping up from a cornfield and yelling "Sa-loote!!!!" Early on, this was met with canned laughter, but this soon changed to applause (in a nod that small-town America was being honored, rather than this be a joke).
- Simple Country Lawyer: Justus O'Peace; "Cletus Biggs of Biggs, Shy & Stir — Kornfield Kounty's most honorable law firm — where our motto is, 'When in doubt, sue!'"
- Southern Belle: Colonel Daddy's daughter.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Archie Campbell, "Samuel B. Sternwheeler".
- Southern Hospitality: "Hey, Grandpa, what's for supper?" gag (Grandpa Jones would then describe a meal in poetic rhyme, often a delicious country-style meal that would be met with cast approval, but sometimes a comically bad entree (met with a "Yuk!").)
- Also, Slim Pickens' Bar-B-Q.
- Sweet Home Alabama: See Deep South.
- Title Theme Tune: "HEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWWW! Hee hee hee haw haw haw! Hee Haw!"