‘Hee Haw’ First Premiers as a Weekly Show on This Day in 1969

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

The fun-loving country variety show “Hee-Haw” first premiered on this day in 1969. Talk about a throwback – the show was a staple for years. Many prominent country artists appeared on the series, which also used humor as a tool for its success. Not to mention the “Hee Haw Honeys” which were the barely-dressed country beauties that often graced the cameras.

According to IMDB, the series was “a mixture of music and comedy skits was a staple of syndicated television for more than 20 years; originally, the show had aired on CBS, but was canceled in 1971 because the network thought it was “too rural.” A majority of each week’s “Hee Haw” shows included a series of skits, blackouts and corny jokes; however, the meat of series came from its music. Each week, two or three country music stars guested usually one or two of the guests being well-established, the others newer and up-and-coming stars as well as bluegrass, country gospel and other acts, singers and musicians popular with country audiences.”

The show played up the rural aspect of country music and all the territory that comes with that arena. However, the show was also successful in many areas of the country – it wasn’t just the country folks who enjoyed the humor and music of “Hee Haw.” The series had a popular following in major cities like New York, Chicago and Boston.

However, later seasons of “Hee Haw” abandoned its original rural foundation.

“Hee Haw” and its Famous Guests

 “By the early 1990s, the show started to abandon its rural, barnyard set in favor of a nightclub setting… that, plus the show’s booking of newer pop-oriented country acts alienated more than a few longtime viewers, who believed “Hee Haw” should have maintained its traditional country focus. During the 1992-1993 season, Clark hosted a series which featured clips from classic “Hee Haw” shows, along with new footage,” IMDB states.

While the show was popular for years, the ratings eventually went down and it declined in ratings. However, it appears that fans of the show everywhere are remembering the singing series for its hilarious antics. And its superstar guests.

One of those superstar guests includes country music legend George Strait. He had plenty of appearances on the variety style show throughout its years of production.

In one memorable appearance, Strait went on the show to perform “Amarillo By Morning.” This would become a truly memorable show. Strait enjoyed his time on the show, especially with funny host Roy Clark.

Additionally, Strait got to perform a little comedic routine with the show’s hosts. He found this especially enjoyable.

“About the only thing I learned,” Strait quipped, “was how to appreciate the two-party system… yeah, one party Friday night and one party Saturday night.”