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November 4, 2009

Kathie Lee Gifford LINDA THOMPSON Hee Haw Honeys (1978)

Kathie Lee Gifford LINDA THOMPSON Hee Haw Honeys (1978)

"Hee Haw Honeys"

  Spin-off from "Hee Haw"(1978)



Jerry REED.





Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Honey (1978-1979)
(as Kathie Lee Johnson)
Misty Rowe
Misty Honey (1978-1979)
Gailard Sartain
Willie Billie Honey (1978-1979)
Lulu Roman
Lulu Honey (1978-1979)
Kenny Price
Kenny Honey (1978-1979)

Hee Haw had a short-lived spin-off series, Hee Haw Honeys, for the 1978-79 television season.

The sitcom starred

Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford)
Misty Rowe
Gailard Sartain
Lulu Roman
Kenny Price

"Hee Haw Honeys" takes place in a truckstop run by 'Roman and Price,' featuring the eponymous "Honeys" playing waitresses."


"Gailiard Sartain was the resident busboy / bottle-washer, and was a hoot. Unto himself. I swear. I watched the show regularly to see what 'fool thing' he'd do next. And the music? All wonderful!


Gospel, COUNTRY...Comparison to the original? No way, cousin. I give this seven stars for a "Honey" of a show." --IMBIBED USER

Lulu Roman is laughing so hard she's crying mascara tears. The robust former go-go dancer, who has been singing gospel on Hee Haw for two decades, is staring at a nude Polaroid of Hee Haw veteran George ''Goober'' Lindsey.

Goober was caught sans britches in the men's dressing room earlier in the day, and Gordie Tapp, another old-timer, is flashing the photo to anyone who'll look- which is everyone.

The cast members are gathered at Nashville's Opryland complex to tape a Club Quickies segment, which consists of host Roy Clark's guitar picking interspersed with endearingly god-awful jokes

(''I have a 1790 chest of drawers,'' Lulu tells Goober. ''That's nothing,'' he replies. ''I have a $24.95 coffee table'').

Later, off camera, Lulu performs her favorite trick for her coworkers: pinching up her face and squeezing her palm-size whoopee cushion. The effect is astonishingly realistic.

Yep, Hee Haw, in all its earthy glory, is still on the air. For 23 years, the corn-pone variety show has showcased country music's finest-this year's list includes Garth Brooks and Loretta Lynn.

Once a year Lulu, creaky Grandpa Jones, and the rest of the regulars reconvene at Opryland to tape the season's two dozen hour-long shows in seven intense weeks. They call it their family reunion. But when the cast members returned last October to tape the 24th season--which began airing last month-they were met with some big changes, not all of which they liked.

First, the famous cornfield set was gone. Everybody from Tennessee Ernie Ford to Tanya Tucker had popped out of that field to joke about henpecked husbands and lazy cousins.

In its place: a pristine city-street set, a newfangled shopping mall backdrop, and the main nightclub set-a gleaming confection of glass, turquoise, and pink neon.

''There's no straw on the floor,'' says comedian Gailard Sartain.

''There are no funny smells or anything.'' But most jarring of all, many old family members were gone. Last summer, executives at Gaylord Syndicom, which owns the series, asked producer Sam Lovullo, who has been with Hee Haw from the start, to bring the show into the '90s. Though Hee Haw had a loyal middle-aged audience, it had failed to catch on with the young, cosmopolitan crowd that had embraced country music since Randy Travis released his 1986 album, Storms of Life. Ratings for the show, which at the height of its popularity in the mid-'70s was seen in nearly 10 million households each week, had dropped by more than half. The show, facing competition from The Nashville Network and VH-1 (and now, NBC's Hot Country Nights), had slid into late-night or early-morning time slots. Hee Haw had come to a crossroads, and the bosses knew it. Get out of Kornfield Kounty, Lovullo was told. Take it ''to the suburbs,'' as one executive said, and reel in the young folk. That meant, among other things, firing several Hee Haw Honeys, some of whom had been squeezing into their calico hot pants for nearly 20 years. ''I think I went into a depression for about a month,'' says Lovullo, 61, recalling the task. In July, he bade farewell to Honeys Misty Rowe, Gunilla Hutton, and Marianne (Mrs. Kenny) Rogers. The only Honeys asked to stay were Irlene Mandrell (Barbara's youngest sister) and Linda Thompson. Other regulars, including Cathy Baker, who had ended each show with a cheery ''that's all,'' gap-toothed Roni Stoneman, and the Hee Haw gospel quartet, were also not invited back. Over the next three months Lovullo hired art director Bill Camden, who had done Hee Haw's original sets and worked on Designing Women, to change the show's look, and auditioned nearly 300 hopeful Honeys. The winners are all in their 20s: L.A. model Dawn McKinley; actress-singer Alice Ripley; Donna Stokes, a former Miss Snap-On Tools; and Becky and Lindy Norris, twins from Branson, Mo. Lovullo also hired Cuban singer-dancer Pedro Tomas, comedian Gary Mule Deer, and Billy Baker, a former clown. Lovullo asked head writer Herbert Fox, 63, to update old sketches. An aerobics skit was moved from a barn to an exercise studio. The Curl Up and Dye beauty salon segment would now take place at a department store. New spots include ''The Sally and Jesse Raphael Show,'' starring the Norris twins, and the surreal ''Leave It to Beepo,'' about a suburban family of clowns (''Binky, don't play with your nose at the table''). That still left room for some of what Fox calls the ''vaudeville blackout'' groaners:

''That stupid guy I'm dating took the phone out of his car,'' says one Norris twin to the other during a Club Quickies segment. ''Why'd he do that?'' ''He was tired of running out of the house to answer it.''

Roy Clark, the sole host of the show since former partner Buck Owens bowed out in 1986, is tuning his guitar and waiting to tape a round of medleys. "Most young people haven't plowed," he says. "Most of them have not been raised on farms. We're just trying to make it a little more acceptable to them." Like Clark, the show's veterans are trying to be optimistic about the changes, but they miss their old friends. "When we started this, we were all kids," says Lulu Roman, 45, her eyes misting. "I thought we were going to get to grow old together, you know? That hurts." But Hee Haw cast members are accustomed to helping each other through painful times: the deaths of resident fat man Junior Samples in 1983 and comedian Archie Campbell in 1987, and the strokes suffered last year by Grandpa Jones, 78, and Minnie Pearl, 79, who now uses a wheelchair. "It's Hee Haw but it's not," says longtime Honey hairdresser Cindy Rich as the revamped cast gathers for a photo shoot. "The old cast would be screaming and laughing and cutting up with each other." But today a subtle tension descends. Roman's irritated twang can be heard shouting from behind one of the new Honeys: "You can't see me. There's hair in my face!" Being a new Honey under the circumstances can be a mixed bag. "It's hard being a Barbie doll all the time," says Alice Ripley, a striking, no-nonsense Kent State graduate. But the inseparable Norris twins don't seem to mind the demands. "We always wanted to be an actress," says Lindy. The tension on the set dissipates when Linda Thompson, a Honey of 15 years, arrives with a new wedding ring the size of Amarillo. Thompson, who dated Elvis Presley and married and divorced Bruce Jenner, is talking about her new husband, composer David Foster. Thompson regales everyone with stories of their June wedding, set against a Santa Barbara sunset. "Barbra Streisand turned to a friend of mine and said, 'Well, what do you think about this for backlighting?'" Then Thompson leaves, announcing she has to find a push-up bra for the show. "See?" says Rich sadly. "This is how it used to be."

Despite Hee Haw's home-baked flavor, the show was cooked up with shrewd marketing instincts. In 1968, Canadian producers Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth, the team behind The Jonathan Winters Show, looked at that year's top shows and figured that Laugh-In plus The Beverly Hillbillies equaled surefire success. With producer-agent Bernie Brillstein (The Blues Brothers, the new Dennis Miller Show), they sold the idea to CBS. In 1971 CBS killed its rural shows, including Green Acres, but Hee Haw was resurrected in syndication later that year. Since its beginning, the show has caught flack-for the Honeys' skimpy outfits and for what some have charged is an insulting attitude toward the South. The revamped show probably won't change anyone's mind. The Honeys still wear something less than bathing suits, although their gloriously tacky gingham ruffles have been replaced by just plain tacky miniskirts, which belong more to 42nd Street than Main Street. "They just hired younger bimbos, that's all," says country singer K.T. Oslin, who refuses to appear on the show because of its portrayal of women. "Maybe its time has passed," says Brillstein, who is no longer associated with the show. "If something has been on that long, I don't know if you ever fix it. They tried to do it to The Carol Burnett Show " Hee Haw will still attract top musicians, however. Most stars have long considered a Hee Haw appearance a rite of passage. Even Kenny Rogers says he and Marianne are still "good friends" with the show. Garth Brooks has such an affinity for it that when he taped a show for this season, he insisted on wearing the old show's trademark overalls instead of the men's new jewel-toned shirts and pressed jeans. Longtime employees can get nostalgic too. "The overalls were comfortable and there was just one change a day," says Gailard Sartain, who also appeared on the 1978 spin-off, The Hee Haw Honeys. He comes back to Hee Haw every year, despite a flourishing movie career (he's currently Kathy Bates' oafish husband in Fried Green Tomatoes). But Sartain is also a realist. Between takes, he drags on a cigarette and ponders whether Hee Haw's new dress will spoil the old girl. "I think change is always good," he says. "I don't know why it wouldn't work. Then again, I don't know why it would I mean, no one ever thought Hee Haw would be on this long, anyway." So give it another two decades; maybe the mall of today will be the cornfield of tomorrow.

Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford),
Misty Rowe,
Gailard Sartain,
Lulu Roman,
and Kenny Price
During one summer in the early 1970s she was a live-in secretary/babysitter for Anita Bryant at her home in Miami. Gifford's career took off in the 1970s (during her first marriage to Christian composer/arranger/producer/publisher Paul Johnson) as a vocalist on the game show Name That Tune with Tom Kennedy (she performed the "sing a tune" segment as Kathie Lee Johnson).

producer: John Aylesworth
  1. "The Nashville Palace" (1981) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
  2. "Hee Haw" (executive producer) (1 episode, 1979)
    - Episode #11.11 (1979) TV episode (executive producer)
  3. "Hee Haw Honeys" (1978) TV series (executive producer)
  4. "Shields and Yarnell" (1977) TV series (producer)
  5. "The Sonny and Cher Show" (1976) TV series (producer) (unknown episodes)
  6. "Keep on Truckin'" (1975) TV series (producer)
  7. "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" (1974) TV series (executive producer)
  8. "The Jonathan Winters Show" (1967) TV series (producer) (unknown episodes)

Hee Haw Honeys Gunilla Hutton and Misty Rowe Magnet

Hee Haw Honeys Gunilla Hutton and Misty Rowe Magnet

Heep-Haw Jailbird, 12-13-1975 T

the questionable looking girl on the right is regular cast member Misty Rowe. Best I can tell from IMDB, she would have been about 22 when this was taped- but she don't hardly look it. She also co-starred in the 78-79 truckload Spinoza Hi Haw Honeys with among others Kathie Lee Gifford..

Her partner here was Gunilla Hutton, approximately age 31 at this taping, and supposedly the longtime mistress of Nat King Cole, according to Natalie Cole. She was Swedish by birth. She was also the second Willingness Josephine 'Billie Jo' Bradley on Petticoat Junction in 1965-1966.

Roy Clark, Archie Campbell, Gunilla Hutton, Misty Rowe

Gunilla Hutton and Misty Rowe

country hos
Gunilla Hutton, Misty Rowe
Gunilla Hutton, Misty Rowe
Misty Rowe quotes:

"Meatballs Part II is the best work I've ever done. What I don't understand though is why they removed the nudity. I was told the distributors wanted to make it into a children's film, but what we shot was nothing like what is on the screen. I hope, someday, they release the R rated version. It was the only time the nudity was 100% necessary."

"I hated the impression my looks used to give. You know, blonde, big boobs, etc. But now I relish it. I'm famous for my figure." (Source: Movie Buff Magazine, Issue 2, December 1989)

"I love sex. I always have and always will. Especially if the guy is younger than me." (Movie Buff Magazine, Issue 2, December 1989)

"I could write a Karma Sutra type book. I'd call it the Misty's Many Sex Positions. All of them would be for very slim but busty women." (Movie Buff Magazine, Issue 2, December 1989)

This is all I know of this song. I don't have any other words! I don't know who wrote it either.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me! (WOE!)
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery! (WOE!)
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. (WOE!)
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!

Hee Haw FAQ
I am often asked these questions. I hope my answers are helpful! Please look over these questions before sending an e-mail query about my site, as you might not be the first person to ask! Q: Do you know where I can find videotapes of Hee Haw? A: Amazon and Time-Life sell them; also, you can sometimes find them in the electronics section of your local discount stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc. Q. My (choose from the following: boyfriend, neighbor, uncle, mother-in-law; or add your own relationship here) performed on Hee Haw. Do you have this? Can you make me a copy? A: I only have this footage if it's on the DVDs that have been released by Gaylord Entertainment, which you can buy on my site from Amazon or Time-Life. I do not have a DVD recorder and even if I did it would be illegal for me to sell you a copy. If you really want the footage I recommend buying the DVD, even if you don't buy it from this site. Click on the picture to purchase from Amazon - Or this one to purchase from Time-Life - - you may have to navigate their site a little to find the DVD's Speaking of illegal, I have found quite a few bootleg VHS tapes of "Hee Haw"on . I have to admit that I have purchased a couple of these myself in the past. If you are interested, you might e-mail the seller and see who's on the show before buying the tape. The quality of these is usually somewhat lacking, but for the diehard "Hee Haw" fan who just loves seeing all the old footage, it's worth taking a look. Q: Who was the Scarecrow in the Kornfield? A: That was Stringbean. Q: Do you know if "Hee Haw" will be airing on TV again anytime soon? A: It's possible that Gaylord Entertainment will get "Hee Haw" back on the air sometime in the future. CMT and GAC are beginning to show more old footage of country performers and I think it would be AWESOME if they could show "Hee Haw" too. If they DO start running the show on TV, I would expect it to be the later years, the ones that are not on DVD yet. Q: Can we voice our opinion about Gaylord getting "Hee Haw" back on the air or on video? A: I would suggest you visit the official Hee Haw page, www.heehaw.com,and sign the guestbook - be sure you tell them you want to see more Hee Haw! Q: Tell me about that dog on the show! A: Here's what I know about the dog. Actually there were several dogs! There were actually four dogs over the 25-year run of "Hee Haw." The first one was Kingfish, who was only on the show for one season before meeting his untimely death by choking on a bone. The second was Beauregard, who belonged to the show's technical director, Joe Hostettler. Beauregard Jr. came along next. He was no relation to the first Beauregard! The last dog to grace the "Hee Haw" set was Buford, who was on the show for five years. After he left in 1985, they didn't replace him. Q: I know someone who was on Hee Haw, but I don't see them on the cast page. Can you tell me when they were on the show? A: Not if they're not on the cast page. If you have information to add to the site about a particular cast member (such as when they were on the show, etc.), feel free to e-mail me. However, I use my own discretion as to what I add to the site as I don't wish to pass on incorrect information OR slander anyone. Also, since this is not my full-time job, it may take me awhile for your information to get on the page. Be assured, though, that I will keep your information and get it on there eventually.