Out now are two titles to help you get some much-needed laughter:
First we have Hee Haw, which was actually created as “the rural alternative” to Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and ran during some of the same years as its counterpart (1969-1971) before hitting its long-lasting syndication. A comedy variety show set in fictional rural “Kornfield Kounty” and hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, Hee Haw was originally made to be a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It ended up gaining such popularity that even when it was cancelled in CBS’s “Rural Purge” of 1971 (along with other “country” shows shows The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry R.F.D., and Green Acres) in an effort to focus on the network’s more affluent/urban viewers, the show was quickly picked up for syndication, where it stayed for a record-setting twenty-one years (making it the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in television history).
Now out from Time Life is the two-disc set Hee Haw: Pfft! You Was Gone!, which includes four rarely-seen episodes from the show which aired between 1969 and 1973. These classic episodes include sketches such as “Pickin’ and Grinnin,” “Archie’s Barbershop,” “Hey, Grandpa, What’s for Supper?”, “The KORN News,” and “Rindercella” and feature guest stars Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, and George Jones, among others. The set is currently available at Amazon on DVD for $22.44. No special features on this one, but if you just want a taste of Kornfield Kounty homespun fun, this is a good place to start.
Speaking of Laugh-In, Time Life is also currently offering up Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series as a box set, including all 140 episodes (over half of which have never before been released on any format) along with a bonus DVD, which features the pilot episode, a tribute to George Schlatter, bloopers, interviews with Lily Tomlin, Dick Martin, Gary Owens, Ruth Buzzi, and more. The set also includes Laugh-In Memories, a 32-page collectible booklet with archival photos, jokes and one-liners from the show, notes from Schlatter, and other fun tidbits. The Complete Series Set is currently only available through Time Life and retails for $249.95.
Next is the twentieth (TWENTIETH!) season of South Park, out now on DVD and Blu-ray. This season showed South Park school boys Cartman, Stan, Kenny and Kyle dealing with both old and new issues, including politics, online trolling, the concept of Cartman having a girlfriend, and the epic Member Berry epidemic. Developed from one of the internet’s first viral videos (The Spirit of Christmas) that hit the web in 1995, South Park has been running strong for two decades, earning it five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and consistently high ratings. There are also no signs of it stopping any time soon, as the current production deal has the show set to air episodes into 2019.
The Complete Twentieth Season set includes all ten episodes that rounded out the show’s second decade on air as well as some bonus features, including a season commentary with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone (who also act as writers, voice artists, and executive producers for the show), social media commentary for all episodes, the 2016 Comic-Con panel with Parker and Stone, and deleted scenes. On Amazon you can snag the DVD for $19.96 or the Blu-ray for $29.84. You can also purchase the season digitally on iTunes and Amazon for $24.99, both of which include some bonus features (not the same ones on the DVD/Blu-ray option); it’s good to note, though, that the Amazon extras are available as free stand-alone content for Prime members whether you get the season or not.