The Hee Haw Years
America’s Weirdest TV Show out on DVD
Country and comedy have gone together since the dawn of Grand Ole Opry but made a most peculiar marriage with “Hee Haw,” one of the most groundbreaking shows on television during its 1969-1971 run. Seen from the 21st-century, “Hee Haw” was meta—a deliberately corny TV show commenting on the corniness of a certain segment of American pop culture. During its day it was hard to know what to make of “Hee Haw’s” innovative use of animation and instant replay, coupling sideways comic skits with performances by Roy Clark and Buck Owens in contemporary-country style and Grandpa Jones looking and sounding like a circa-1900 Appalachian. And then there was the impressive roster of performances by country’s who’s who: Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynne among them.
Everything you need to know about the show (and more) is included in a deluxe new DVD box set, “Hee Haw: The Collectors Edition.” Fourteen discs (clocking in at over 21 hours) are packed with decidedly bad jokes (some of them funny) alongside creative use of puppetry, animation, mock advertisements and meta-commentary on the show’s own silliness. The “Collectors Edition” also includes bonus features such as recent interviews with Roy Clark and other regular cast members.