March 30, 2005
'Hee Haw' to be revisited during Thursday Night Live at Cowley
You won’t see the real Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Junior Samples or Grandpa Jones on the Robert Brown Theatre stage Thursday night, but you’re still guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
Cowley College’s Act One Drama Club and the CC Singers are sponsoring the second annual Thursday Night Live at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Robert Brown Theatre inside the Brown Center. Admission is $2 for an evening of fun and laughter.
“The show is going to be tremendously funny,” said Scott MacLaughlin, director of theatre and Act One sponsor. “The students have worked hard on this. It will be a night full of laughs.”
Students have been working on skits that are take-offs from the hit variety show “Hee Haw,” which began on CBS June 15, 1969. CBS cancelled the show in 1971, with its last telecast on July 13 of that year. However, it was in first-run syndication from 1971 to 1993.
The long-running television variety show hosted by Owens and Clark and featuring country music and humor with rural “Kornfield Kounty” as a backdrop. It was filmed in Nashville. The show’s name was derived from the sound a donkey makes when it brays.
The show started on CBS as a summer 1969 replacement for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” It was dropped by CBS in 1971, along with fellow country shows “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Green Acres.” It started airing in syndication, and continued in basically the same format, for 20 more years (though Owens departed in 1986).
By 1991, a continued decline in its audience led to a dramatic change in setting, to a more urban location combined with more pop-oriented music. The new format lasted a single season, during which the show alienated many of its traditional viewers. In its final 1992 season, the now renamed Hee Haw Silver featured Clark hosting a mixture of classic clips and new footage.
After the show’s syndication run ended, reruns aired on The Nashville Network until 1997.