In this on-going series of blogs I've touched upon the fact that 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of Hee-Haw's debut on CBS in 1969. 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the program's re-launch into syndication. After CBS canceled the series in 1971 it went into first-run syndication later in the year and it remained in first-run syndication for the next 21 years (through May 1992). The follow-up series, Hee-Haw Silver, ran from the fall of 1992 through 1993. If you're familiar with that particular program let me know about it. I'd only heard about it but never saw any of those episodes. I know Roy Clark acted as host and Cathy Baker appeared at the end of each episode to say her signature sign-off line...but I learned of that from reading the Life in the Kornfield book that Sam Lovullo wrote in the mid '90s. I don't think the Hee-Haw Silver series will ever be uploaded onto You Tube or made available on DVD anytime soon...but I'm still interested in seeing the program.
Sunday evening's Hee-Haw episode on RFD-TV featured Connie Smith and Tommy Ambrose as special guests. It was the final episode of the 1971-1972 season (it's first season in syndication). Next Sunday's episode should be episode 1 of the 1972-1973 season or episode 2. I say this because a couple of months ago they aired the first episode of the 1972-1973 season (Ray Stevens and Dizzy Dean were the guests) and so they may skip that and pick up with episode 2. The 1972 season opener, by the way, featured the debuts of cast-members Marianne Gordon, Misty Rowe, Anne Randall, and Gailord Sartain (dressed as a cop). George Lindsey began making infrequent appearances on the program in 1972. He played the Goober character that he'd been playing since 1964 on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. Lindsey, however, didn't appear in the opening cast credits of Hee-Haw until several weeks into his run. He'd remain on the series through it's final episode in May 1992 and often appeared at Hee-Haw related functions in the years following it's cancellation. In 1995 he released his life story called Goober in a Nut-Shell and it became a runaway success. Also, it was at this point in time where Lindsey was in the middle of commemorating his 30th anniversary as 'Goober'.
Over the course of the last several weeks during the Hee-Haw reruns on RFD-TV they've been airing commercials that were taped at the recent get-together of the cast. The commercials feature cast-members saying who they are, often standing in front of a replica Hee-Haw prop, and thanking the viewers for watching the reruns.