The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 10, 2011 · 89
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 89

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
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THE OKLAHOMAN NEWSOK.COM LIFE TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011 3D Clark: Country shown icon FROM PAGE ID and see me and give me that look like T know you from somewhere,' and then they'd come up and maybe speak after awhile," said Clark, alongtime Tulsa resident. "But after 'Hee Haw' was on the air, it didn't take two weeks and they'd come 'Hey, Roy, how ya doing ? ' They'd know who I was right off." Long-running fun In 1968, the Virginia native was doing a guest spot on "The Jonathan Winters Show" when "Hee Haw" creators Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth approached him with the idea for a country version of "Laugh-In." "In television or any other field of entertainment, you learn right off to say yes to everything because a lot of times it never happens," Clark said with a grin during last week's exhibit opening. But when his longtime manager Jim Hal-sey called with news that the show was a go, Clark had forgotten about it. "He said, 'Well, they're calling it "Hee Haw," ' and I said, 'They're calling what "Hee Haw?" ' " Clark said. "He said, 'Well, they'll probably come up with a better name than that by the time it goes on the air.' But as you look back on it, what better of a title can you come up with. ... People repeat it to themselves." The producers paired Clark with Owens, whose nationally syndicated program was shot at Oklahoma City's WKY-TV. "We did fit because we had worked together before on, like, tours," Clark said of his co-host, who died in 2006. "We were two different people. As you can see, I laugh a lot and everything is a joke, which I think is a good way of handling life ... because it's gonna be sad soon enough. And Buck was a real businessman." "Hee Haw" debuted on CBS on June 15, 1969, as a summer replacement for the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." It was a ratings success. "A lot of people said ... 'It won't last for the summer.' And I make no predictions even right now: I still don't know if it'll last. But I'm taking precautions that it will," he said. CBS canceled "Hee Haw" because executives felt it was "too rural" in 1971, the same year Clark moved to Halsey's home base of Tulsa. So, the producers put together a syndication deal and continued the show in much the same format for another 20 years, making it one of the longest -running syndicated series in TV history. From 1981 to 1993, the show was kept on the air by broadcasting companies associated with The Oklahoma Publishing Co., which publishes The Oklahoman. Clark remained a constant on the series for its entire run. "It was probably the easiest show I've ever done. As you can tell, there was very little if any rehearsing done. We just winged it. We'd just come out and we just did it. And if somebody blew their lines or so, we just did it again. And when they take that kind of pressure off of you, you wind up doing it the first time anyway. No one who ever did that show can say that they were ever under a strain 'cause we left strain at the door," said Clark, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Star-studded show "Hee Haw" attracted an array of top -shelf guest stars, from Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis to Johnny Cash and Sammy Davis Jr. About 40 famed folks with Oklahoma ties appeared on the show, including Roger Miller, Sheb Wooley, Wanda Jackson, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. The cast gathered in June and October to film all the segments for a full season of 26 episodes, giving the performers the rest of the year to record and tour. Clark forged tight friendships with many of his castmates, particularly Grandpa Jones and Junior Samples. Several "Hee Haw" regulars have died over the years, and Clark has mourned those losses. "It was just like a family reunion twice a year," Clark said. "I have nothing but great memories of the friends that I made on 'Hee Haw,' and I miss it. The hardest part of it is looking at a cast picture, and you find yourself -not consciously just drawn to (saying) 'he's gone, he's gone, she's gone, they're gone.' "But instead of getting down and sad, you just think of the great times you had together, and it'll pick you up. There was enough good times that we can stand it." "Hee Haw" airs in reruns on the cable channel RFD -TV, and the show still gets Clark recognized all over the world. Whether he's in Dallas or New York City, people often hail him with Owens' line from the show, "I'm a-pickin' to which Clark obligingly gives his famous answer, "I'm a-grinnin?' No doubt he says it with a grin. Find trailers, locations and movie times at PHYSICIAN PATIENT TECHNOLOGY PROCEDURE COMMUNITY BENEFIT AWARENESS INTEGRIS Men's Health University AFtaN-AMEIUCAN MEN'S EJAlllliU ..MMMliii.. THE PINNACLE OF MEN'S HEALTH AT THE SUMMIT INTEGRIS and the East Zion District Men's Association present the second annual African-American Men's Health Summit. The free Saturday summit on May 14 is designed specifically for you and the issues, strengths and concerns that are uniquely yours. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Langston University's OKC campus, at 4205 N. Lincoln Blvd., get screened, get prizes, get lunch and get healthy. All morning long, the INTEGRIS team of experts will offer free screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels, vision and hearing, and stroke assessment. Make an appointment early for a free prostate cancer screening, too. At 1 p.m., Dr. Johnny Griggs will end the summit with a talk on men's health, diabetes and organ donation. IT TAKES A WEEK TO REACH THE SUMMIT All week long - from May 10 to May 14 - you'll find lectures and meetings around town geared toward your health and lifestyle. On Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at St. John Missionary Baptist Church (5600 N. Kelley Ave.), Dr. Charlyce Davis will cover African-American Men's Health. Then, on Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Philip Mosca will host a men's Urological Health lecture at the Mount Triumph Baptist Church (1716 Abram Ross Ave.). The week culminates with the Health Summit on Saturday, May 14. All events are free, but space is limited. Appointments required for cancer screenings only. Visit integrisok.commen-u or call 951-2277 to register. I N T E G R I S Jfeaftli l,UI,IJU.IfJ.Iljll,Hl,lMtBI What you know about Brain Tumor Treatment is about to change Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that precisely targets tumors. It is particularly beneficial for treating tumors near critical organs such as the brain and spinal cord. With proton therapy, less healthy tissue around the brain is exposed to radiation which may result in: Fewer treatment-related short- and long-term side effects Improved local tumor control Reduced risk of secondary tumors caused by treatment Talk to your doctor or contact the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City. Well help you find out if proton therapy is right for you. call 405.621.5429 INTEGRIS Cancer SJnsiiiuie OF OKLAHOMA PraCure I Proton Therapy Center

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