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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2009
This DVD contains the Hee-Haw special from 1978 that wasn't a part of the weekly line-up. In the special we see a star-studded gala at the Grand Ole Opry house which features the show's cast, producer, and others involved with the show hosting a clip-fest look back of the program. Junior Samples is highlighted with a series of clips showing his legendary bloopers and mispronouncing of words...there's a segment spotlighting the "Pffft...You Was Gone" skit in addition to a montage of clips with Archie Campbell.
There are exclusive skits performed on stage and then the actors afterward break out of character and talk directly to the audience, introducing clips from previous episodes. Kenny Rogers appears on the special singing "The Gambler". There are plenty of other performances as well...Conway Twitty, one of my favorites, appears on here singing "Your Love Had Taken Me That High". Tennessee Ernie Ford and Merle Travis perform "Sixteen Tons". Tom T Hall performs "What Have You Got To Lose"; Barbara Mandrell sings "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" plus she plays in a group number, "Rattler". Charley Pride sings "Burgers and Fries".
The special ran 96 minutes...well, commercial free. The show was 2 hours when you factor in the commercial breaks during the original 1978 airing. There was a second celebration, in 1988, when the show turned 20 years old but as of now that has yet to be released on DVD.
Among all of the clips and look-backs from the cast, there are a few serious memorial segments. Buck Owens salutes Don Rich while Grandpa Jones salutes Stringbean.
This is a must for all Hee-Haw fans.
Hee-Haw aired as a weekly show for 23 calendar years, 1969-1992, before going out of production in the summer of 1992. In terms of television it was in production for 24 seasons...it's first season being the summer try-out on CBS in 1969 prior to the start of it's second season in the fall that same year.
Some technical information I gathered through the years: In 1991 the show let go all of their cast-members, except host Roy Clark and a few regular cast-members, due to pressures from advertisers wanting younger demographics and a somewhat younger cast. As a result, the Hee-Haw most people recognize went out of production in the spring of 1991. There were no new episodes on the air that fall...instead, the show was casting actors and actresses to star in an up-dated, youthful spin on the show.
These episodes, called "The Hee-Haw Show" didn't have a country look, the cornfield was gone, and basically everything that made Hee-Haw a fan favorite was gone. The "new" Hee-Haw started airing in January 1992 and it quietly went out of production that summer.
The show returned as a retrospective series in the fall of 1992: In some markets fans were treated to this "Hee-Haw Silver" during the 1992-1993 season. The program got it's title due to what would have been the show's Silver Anniversary, during the 1992-1993 TV season, had it remained in production with all-new episodes. This show featured Roy Clark hosting clip-filled episodes of older episodes, mostly episodes from the 1970's, with Cathy Baker appearing at the end saying her "that's ALL" catchphrase.
The ratings of these retrospective programs improved over the low ratings the 1992 version of Hee-Haw had gotten. CBS-TV aired the program on their network for three TV seasons: 1969-1971. Afterward it was picked up in syndication and aired on a lot of television stations, locally, all over the country for 22 more seasons.
The most memorable and longest-lasting sketches originated in the early seasons but for most audiences who started watching the show in the late '70s or later, the earlier seasons may come across a bit manic and free-wheeling as compared to the more meticulous, well-honed approach of later seasons.
Season One: Summer of 1969
Season Two: 1969-1970
Season Three: 1970-1971
Season Four: 1971-1972
Season Five: 1972-1973
Season Six: 1973-1974
Season Seven: 1974-1975
Season Eight: 1975-1976
Season Nine: 1976-1977
**Season Ten: 1977-1978**
Season Eleven: 1978-1979
Season Twelve: 1979-1980
Season Thirteen: 1980-1981
Season Fourteen: 1981-1982
Season Fifteen: 1982-1983
Season Sixteen: 1983-1984
Season Seventeen: 1984-1985
Season Eighteen: 1985-1986
Season Nineteen: 1986-1987
Season Twenty: 1987-1988
Season Twenty-One: 1988-1989
Season Twenty-Two: 1989-1990
Season Twenty-Three: 1990-1991
Season Twenty-Four: 1992 (January through May as "The Hee-Haw Show")
Season Twenty-Five: 1992-1993 (Hee-Haw Silver)
TNN aired reruns of the show in the early to mid 1990's...it's success in reruns on that network directly or indirectly led to Opryland hosting a "Hee-Haw Live" stage performance show with a few of the show's regulars reprising their character roles. TNN stopped airing the show each Saturday for whatever reason around 1997...but they would air it as a filler program in case a regularly scheduled program was not available for technical reasons...or they'd air it for a few weekends and then they'd not air it again for months at a time.
After the reruns left TNN, CMT started to air the show but they treated the show the way TNN ultimately did...airing it whenever, without any real consistency. After the CMT affiliation ended, the show was never to be seen on TV again until RFD-TV decided to pick the show up and rerun it, starting in 2008, knowing it still had a large audience all these years later.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Hee-Haw's debut.