We are currently working on our next original offering on the Mainstage: “The All New Grand Ole Hee Haw Hootenanny Hoe Down Jamboree”.  The show was inspired by memories of TV days gone bye.  Many of us here at MET have fond memories of hunkering down on a Sunday night and watching those wonderful variety shows that were popular in the 70’s (“Lawrence Welk”, “Soul Train” “Laugh In”). The old “Hee Haw” was a variety show  that ran from 1969–1971 featuring country music and humor with fictional rural Kornfield Kounty as a backdrop. The show was inspired by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

In researching the show, countless hours of footage was viewed for ideas.  Like the original, our “Hee Haw” will have comic sketches and special guest stars throughout the run.  We’re super excited to finish off the season with some down home, good ol’ fashioned fun!  Here is a list of 10 of the most popular recurring sketches from the original Hee Haw.  You’ll have to come to see our Hootenanny if you want to see if any of them make it into the show!

  1. “PFFT! You Was Gone!” : A comedic duet featured on the premiere episode and holds firm as one of the series’ most famous and endearing sketches. The song was performed by Archie Campbell, a main player & Regular cast member Gordie Tapp (or a guest).(both with solemn looks on their faces), in the vein of folk songs like “Oh! Susanna” and “Old Dan Tucker”.Tapp would often stand with his back to the viewer while Campbell sang the new, humorous verse solo, holding a scythe. At the end of the verse, Campbell would nudge Tapp or the guest with his elbow as a form of slapstick timing, who would then spin around (Tapp would react as if awoken by the elbow) to join him on the chorus.  When they reached the line:  “You met another, and PFFT! You was gone!”The “PFFT” would be done as a spitting “Bronx cheer”, and occasionally, they would break up into laughter after the “PFFT”, unable to finish the song (Who got spat upon during the “PFFT” would change each show.)
  2. KORN News : A newsbreak-esque skit in which Charlie Fahrquarson (Don Harron) would deliver the somewhat local news in his own inimitable way. KORN would become in the later years of the show, KORV. Harron would later resurrect the character on The Red Green Show.
  3. Lulu’s Truck Stop : Lulu Roman owned this greasy spoon, where the food was usually pretty bad; Gailard Sartain was also in this skit as the chef Orville.
  4. Hee Haw Players : Cast members take on some of the Shakespear classics, with some unexpected twists.
  5. Hee Haw Amateur Minute : A showcase of some of the worst talent of all. A cast member would play some yokel who would have some kind of bad talent, which would almost always end up with the audience heckling & booing it; throwing vegetables and the hook operator yanking said act forcibly off the stage. After the skit, five animated cartoon animals (a duck, a sheep, a pig, a chicken and a goat) would appear onscreen booing, as well.
  6. Samuel B. Sternwheeler : Gordie Tapp in a spoof of author Mark  Twain giving off some homilies which undoubtedly made little or no sense whatsoever. After these recitations, he would most often be hit over the head with a rubber chicken, or in later years be given a bomb or something that would eventually explode.
  7. The Haystack : A male cast member and a woman (usually one of the Hee Haw Honeys ) talk about love issues while sitting at the haystack (the skits began with just the top of the haystack on camera and then panned down to reveal the couple).
  8. The Moonshiners : Shown most frequently, were one or two of the male cast (playing a couple of lethargic hillbillies) who 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.
  9. School Scenes : There were always school scenes during the show’s run. At first, it was with Jennifer Bishop and Lulu Roman as the put-upon teachers, with most notably, Junior Samples and Roy Clark as the students. When Minnie Pearl joined the cast, they had a larger classroom scene with, at first, real children as the students, but would later return to the cast members playing children, with Minnie still as the teacher.
  10. “Hee Haw Salutes…” : Two or three times in each episode, Hee Haw would salute a selected town (or a guest star’s hometown) and announce its population, which was sometimes altered for levity, at which point the entire cast would then ‘pop up’ from the cornfield, shouting “SAA-LUTE!!” (sometimes after the salute, Archie Campbell would pronounce the saluted town spelled backwards. Example:“Remember, ‘Franklin’ spelled backwards is ‘Nil-knarf’.”)

The list is a lot longer and I can remember many of these as I read this…..memories of good silly fun!

Maryland Ensemble Theatre