Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Shakespeare in Hee Haw

“Episode 13.” By John Aylesworth, Frank Peppiatt, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, et al. Perf. Buck Owens, Lulu Roman, and Junior Samples (et a whole lot of other al., but those are the ones in the clip below). Dir. Bill Davis. Hee Haw. Season 1, episode 13. CBS. 17 December 1969. DVD. Time Life, 2015.

You may be asking why I, a Shakespeare and film blogger of some repute (no, I didn't say what kind of repute) and a Shakespeare scholar who is highly respected (quiet down there, you in the back, or I'll send you out in the hall) am watching a show from the 1970s that is full of corny jokes (literarily corny some of the time—they were often delivered in a corn field) and country bumpkin stereotypes.

But is the Shakespeare scholar not able to have other fields of interest? Can we not find amusement—nay, even pleasure—in things that smack less of Shakespeare than other things? Does not even Shakespeare Geek himself enjoy WWF wrestling? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you . . .

Sorry. I got carried away.

I grew up on Hee Haw, and the Ken Burns documentary on Country Music (which, even though others make fun of me for so doing, I rewatch once or twice a year) reminded me of the show. A few ILL requests later, and I had me some Hee Haw to watch.

And that's when I spotted the Shakespeare in it! In the episode listed above, the "Hee Haw Players" give us a bit of Shakespeare. Let's take a look . . .

In the Romeo and Juliet scene, we have the expected joke. But with a twist. Lulu Roman says "Whereforth art thou, Romeo," which makes Junior Samples' reply ("Any fool can see I'm right here at the bottom of this stupid ladder") not quite fit. Then again, since neither "wherefore" nor "whereforth" mean "where," any reply about location is equally nonsensical.

In the second scene, we have a line from Richard III . . . followed by Gordie Tapp, dressed as Julius Caesar of all people and smoking a big cigar, giving a tip on a horse race and trying to make Junior break.

All in all, I suppose there not much depth there. But I find it intriguing to have additional evidence of how pervasive Shakespeare is in modern Western culture.

Note: ShakespeareGeek says that calling it WWF is "a very old school thing to do." That's a compliment, I imagine.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

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