Created by Frank Peppiatt and John Ayleswoth, the first HEE HAW show aired on the CBS Television Network on June 15, 1969, as a summer replacement series for the SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR. HEE HAW was such a resounding success CBS slated the series for mid-season debut and as they say, the rest is history. From December 17, 1969 through December 27, 1997, HEE HAW shows were a weekly event in American households. A total of 585 one-hour shows were taped in Nashville, Tennessee, initially in 1969 at the CBS affiliate WLAC-TV (now WTVF-TV) and then moving to the Opryland Complex -Studio A in 1980.
HEE HAW is only one of a handful of television programs that have had a profound and lasting influence on American culture. Skits such as “The Cornfield,” “Pickin’ and Grinnin’,” “Pfft You Was Gone,” and “Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me” have become known universally and are woven into the American comedic fabric. Today HEE HAW is referenced in David Letterman’s “Top 10” and Jay Leno’s opening monologue. HEE HAW has been recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame – Nashville, The Museum of Broadcast Communications – Chicago and The Museum of Television and Radio – Los Angeles and New York.