Hee Haw: Pfft! You Was Gone! features four episodes from the early years: 1969 to 1973. You get to see Roy Clark and Buck Owens as they're pickin' and grinnin' and building the show from a humble beginning with a small cast to a much larger production in the later episodes.
Mind you, things aren't always quite like you remember them. When it comes to older shows, such as Hee Haw, sometimes the comedy isn't as... sophisticated as one might remember. But, that's how it is; some things stand the test of time, while others... not so much. There were some animations featured in Hee Haw that were sort of filler: The Hee Haw mascot donkey commenting after certain jokes, using country/hill-billy idioms ("well don't that butter your biscuit") and a poor chicken that keeps trying to hatch various things that look like eggs - at least until the camera pulls back and you find that the chicken has mistaken something vaguely ovoid for an egg... and comedy ensues. Sort of. Also, there is a recurring skit called, "Hey Grandpa! What's for dinner," that features Grandpa Jones listing off a very country menu in rhyme. I mean, it's cool that it rhymes, I suppose, but otherwise, it sounds like it could be the special of the day at Cracker Barrel or Po-Folks.
Some things stand up pretty well to time, however. The "Pfft! You was Gone!" song is still entertaining and is pretty much exactly as I remember it and "Archie's Barbershop" is typically fairly entertaining, as well, feeling similar in nature to some skits from the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Donald Hugh Harron's character Charlie Farquharson's telling of the news on station KORN is another skit that remains delightfully entertaining. The character tells local and national news from a local and rural perspective, while using malapropisms, which add humor and satire.
There are also some things that I noticed this time around that I hadn't noticed previously. If someone had asked me what the sets were like on Hee Haw, I would have said that they were country and rural sets, but I didn't recall that some were done very stylistically. There are sets that are made to look like the interior of a barn, but instead of actual wood that looks like wood planks, there are fake, stylistically (and exaggeratedly jagged) wooden planks that look like a cartoon of the inside of a barn brought to life. Sound confusing? Think of some of the abstraction used in later episodes of the campy Batman TV series and you might have an idea of what I'm talking about. That wasn't the case for all of the sets, however. There is one set that looks like a cabin with a stone fireplace and has an exterior wall, so that some of the filming can be done through the window; this set was notably used for some of the musical performances. And then there's also the front porch set for the Moonshiners skit, that features two country hillbillies laying on the ground in the foreground, trying to beat the heat and, invariably, coming upon some comedic exchange. What I hadn't noticed about this skit was that the front porch in the background was always strewn with "voluptuous, scantily clad women in stereotypical farmer's daughter outfits and country-style minidresses" (Wikipedia's words, not mine), which evidently was one of the draws of the show, although I watched this show back before I would have taken notice of such. Evidently, these girls came to be known as the "Hee Haw Honeys."
Though only four episodes are included here, they are some good ones, Episodes 2, 34, 70 and 111, including performances by Merle Haggard, who I hear was kinda a big thing, and my favorite, Dolly Parton, when her largest and most prominent feature was... her hair. Other noteworthy inclusions are the KORN News, Archie Campbell's telling of "Rindercella", Archie's Barbershop and, of course, The Kornfield, where cast members and guest stars tell jokes and quips in a cornfield.
In the age of 4K video and wide-screen flat-panel televisions, a television show aired back in the 70's can be expected to be a bit fuzzy and grainy. The small print on the back of the box even says, "Due to the age and nature of the film and video elements, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and sound quality. Wherever possible, we have sought out and restored the original materials to ensure the best possible quality." Yeah. Well, once you get into it a bit, you kinda get used to it, but when I first started watching, I was taken aback by the lack of definition and the scan lines, but I was viewing it in a larger resolution than it was aired in, of course.
Despite the disclaimer that the audio could have flaws in places, the sound didn't seem to have any noticeable issues and, for a show that is heavily comedy and musical performances, that is an important aspect. If you're a fan of the show and would like to be able to go back and check out a few episodes, Hee Haw: Pfft! You Was Gone! presents a good, if small, sampling of the show for your viewing and listening pleasure.