Good Monday morning...I caught the latest episode of Hee Haw this morning on RFD-TV. It originally aired on the channel Sunday night at 8pm but I caught the re-airing this morning at 10am. The guests were Ernest Borgnine and it featured George Lindsey as a guest as well as Lulu Roman. Lindsey had been a recurring cast member since 1972, often appearing in the Goober character made famous on The Andy Griffith Show, and on this week's episode he appeared as Goober in a brief sketch with Gordie Tapp. The show aired for the very first time on September 14, 1974. It was the first episode of the 1974-1975 season. As many readers of this blog series are aware, RFD-TV airs the show in chronological order, and then it goes into a repeat cycle before the next season of shows air. As a result, RFD-TV is airing episodes that have never been broadcast since that point in time. In the 1990's The Nashville Network aired repeats of the show and there were a lot of mid '70s episodes shown but even more were from the early to mid '80s.
As far as the music goes for this episode we had Buck Owens performing the comical "It's a Monster's Holiday"; The Hager Twins sang a song titled "Cherry Pie", at least that's what I assume the title is since it was repeated frequently; Roy Clark performed "Honeymoon Feeling"; Ernest Borgnine, in a group sing-a-long, performed "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover"; Buck also performed "Pure Love". George Lindsey sang a novelty titled "I Like Ugly Girls", featuring Roni Stoneman in her Ida Lee characterization. There was a banjo performance featuring Roy Clark, Buck Trent, Grandpa Jones, Roni Stoneman, and Bobby Thompson. Earlier there was a brief performance featuring Buck Trent on the banjo and Roy Clark playing the fiddle. Lulu Roman closed the show singing a gospel song.
In the comical sketch department we had Roy Clark as western hero, Randolph Roy. In this sketch we saw George Lindsey and Gailard Sartain cast as villains of a western town. Archie Campbell played the bartender, Gordie Tapp portrayed his philosophical character, while Ernest Borgnine played the bar's piano player. Borgnine's character was shot and died in a comically elaborate fashion...causing Lindsey to look into the camera and make reference to Borgnine's award winning reputation. Also on hand were the Gossip Girls sketch plus Lulu's Truck Stop; Grandpa and Minnie's Kitchen; The Naggers; Pickin' and Grinnin'; Justice O'Peace; Archie's Barber Shop; The Moonshiner's; Pffft! You Was Gone!; Minnie's School House; Doc Campbell; Gloom, Despair, and Agony; Gordie, as a city slicker, attempting to mock and tease Goober; plus there were the usual silent sight gags and animated characters popping up on screen. Empty Arms Hotel had an appearance as did Junior's Used Cars and the sketch with Minnie and her quilt. Kenny Price was featured as a train station clerk, a role he'd play with much more frequency in later years.
One of the things that was a bit out of the ordinary is the opening sketch with Roy and Ernest Borgnine. It played prior to the show's official opening. It featured the two on the Moonshiner's set, concluding with a line from Borgnine referring to his guest appearance on the show, and then the familiar opening was underway.