When I was growing up, there were only four channels and that included PBS, which when I was a child had THE most boring programming, even for kids. So, when Saturday afternoon rolled around, there was only one show to watch – “Hee Haw.” Yes, it was cornier than the cornfields that they told their jokes in, but the competition was – well, there really wasn’t any.
The show, which started in 1969, was so wholesome that it made “Little House on the Prairie” look risqué. Even though it was cornball comedy at its best, there are some skits that still make me smile today. If you ever saw the show, the words “Where, oh where, are you tonight?” will probably make you want to go “Phfft! You were gone!” Then, there was always “Gloom, despair, and agony on me” – yeah, if it wasn’t for bad luck you’d have no luck at all! I was a little less than thrilled when my best friend taught my son to say, “Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper?” Oh sure, it was cute the first couple of times, but being three, he likes to say this over and over and over. The cast included among others LuLu, Archie Campbell, Grandpa Jones (the above-mentioned Grandpa), George Lindsey (yes, Goober from “The Andy Griffith Show”), Junior Samples, Minnie Pearl (Howdeeee!), and the ringleaders of the show, Buck Owens and Roy Clark.
There were also the Hee Haw hotties. No, I am not talking about the girls; I am talking about the Hager Twins. They were cute, even if they were on a country bumpkin show.
I was saddened today to read that one of the twins, Jim Hager, died yesterday at the age of 66. He apparently was having coffee at a shop in Nashville when he collapsed. There were no other details about the cause of death as of yet.
The Hager Twins, Jim and Jon, were guitarists and drummers who had worked with Buck Owens in the past. That led to them being added to the “Hee Haw” cast. They were on the first show and remained on the show for a total of 19 years. The twins had spent their whole lives together minus a 3 ½ year period when Jim stayed on the West Coast while Jon returned home to Nashville. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for Jon to lose his twin brother.