Hee Haw With Roy Clark And Buck Owens: The Hosts, The Honeys, And The Hams

By | November 21, 2017

test article image
Owens And Clark And The Cast of 'Hee-Haw'American country music singers Buck Owens (with guitar) and Roy Clark (with Banjo) perform a song in front of other cast members on the set of the television variety program 'Hee-Haw,' 1969. (Photo by CBS Photo Arc

Hee Haw, hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens, was a variety show featuring country music, cornpone-humor, and a cast of attractive young ladies known as the Hee Haw Honeys. The show was set in the fictional "Kornfield Kounty," and it became an American TV institution.  Although it only aired (on CBS) from 1969 to 1971, it remained popular in syndication until 1997. The show's comedy was inspired by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, with the added attraction of big-name country music stars every week. Hee Haw was much less topical than Laugh-In, sticking to timeless jokes around farming and rural culture.

test article image
Buck Owens and Roy Clark. Source: IMDB

A major factor in Hee Haw's appeal was its authenticity, which started with its two hosts. Roy Clark was a famed multi-instrumentalist and a regular on talk shows for his quick wit. Although Clark had cut solo records, and had several hits, he was known more as a musician-slash-comedian on the country scene. Buck Owens, on the other hand, was a living legend when the show started, having pioneered the subgenre of country music known as the Bakersfield Sound. Owens had ten chart-topping country albums in the '60s, and 18 #1 singles in the same decade, ten of them in a row -- beginning with 1963's "Act Naturally" and continuing through 1967's "Your Tender Loving Care," every single Owens released (with his band the Buckaroos) went to #1.

Together, Owens and Clark had chemistry and legitimacy -- Hee Haw might have been a comedy show, but these guys could play with anyone. Although the show featured big contemporary country stars, none of them could overshadow the hosts for country charm and street cred.