Monday, June 11, 2012

This Week in Television History: June 2012 PART II

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As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

June 15, 1969

First Hee Haw episode.

TV country-western variety show Hee Haw debuts. Hee Haw started on CBS as a summer 1969 replacement for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Although the program ran for only two years, it was a hit with audiences and was in the Top 20 when CBS dropped it, deciding the show's hick country focus wasn't appropriate for the network's image.


Hosted by country singers Roy Clark and Buck Owens, the program featured top country musicians and wacky stunts, jokes, and hijinks. The show went into syndication after the network dropped it, becoming highly successful and running until 1992.



David "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife were murdered in November 1973 during a robbery at their home.



The show was inspired by Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the major difference being that Hee Haw was far less topical, and was centered around country music. The show was equally well-known for its voluptuous, scantily-clad women in stereotypical farmer's daughter outfits.



Hee Haw continues to remain beloved and popular with its long-time fans and those who've discovered the program through DVD releases and its reruns on RFD-TV. In spite of the loving support of the series by its fans, the program had never been a favorite of television critics or members of the more high brow society. This particular fact was reinforced when TV Guide ranked the series number 10 on its 50 Worst Shows of All Time List in 2002...a full 10 years after the last first-run episode aired in May 1992 (although the entry specifically refers to the Hee Haw Honeys spinoff, not the main show itself).

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".






Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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