I was a latch-key kid in the 80s. My parents had HBO and no child locks.
I memorized Eddie Murphy’s incredibly inappropriate and frankly hilarious “Delirious” special by the time I was 9. Sorry, mom.
Dangerfield. Seinfeld. Kinison. I loved all of them.
But there were others as well. On the weekends, it was Bugs Bunny and Three Stooges reruns. It was classic sitcoms and maybe some not-so-classic ones.
And at night, in primetime, it was Hee Haw among others.
Comedy has changed somewhat in the years since Hee-Haw’s heyday. Many of the bits in that Eddie Murphy special would rightly get canceled today.
And many of the down-home style bits that made the show popular from sea to shining sea aren’t going to work in a lot of today’s environment.
But let’s be real: Millions of Hee Haw fans couldn’t be wrong.
The show ran on CBS from 1969 – a country-style answer to Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In – to 1971 and then another two decades to 1993 in syndication. Throw in a couple more revival seasons on TNN. In total, Hee Haw ran for 655 episodes.
It was a hit in rural markets but also did well in places like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
It proved there was an appetite for a silly, funny, show featuring corn pone humor, music and more.
Hee Haw may be gone, but its spirit lives on in places like The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge.
Is The Comedy Barn worth it?
In many ways, The Comedy Barn – which bills itself as the most successful and most attended clean comedy theater in the world – is like a time machine, carrying visitors back to a time when Archie Campbell and crew were world-famous.
The Comedy Barn keeps that vaudeville, variety show spirit of entertainment alive.
In addition to the zany, down-home antics, there are animal acts including cats, canines and barnyard animals. There are also dancers, musicians and a juggling act that can run a little long.
The show also features dancing, magicians, a comedian and ventriloquists and promises to be the funniest show on the Parkway.
The Comedy Barn attraction is absolutely family-friendly.
There will be some scatological clean humor – but it’s kid-friendly and there shouldn’t be anything like the comedy that singed my ears back in the 80s.
If this sounds like your brand of humor, then yes, The Comedy Barn is worth it.
Who owns the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge?
The Barn is owned and operated by World Choice Investments, Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show company.
It was acquired in February of 2019 (ouch on the timing) along with the Smoky Mountain Opry, The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show and a restaurant.
However, the Smoky Mountain Opry closed in 2020 and has not yet been reopened.
Is The Comedy Barn a dinner show?
No, The Comedy Barn is not a dinner show, but there is a robust snack bar to visit. Also, unsurprisingly, there is no alcohol at the show.
Consider dining before arrival.
Because this is a show located in Pigeon Forge, it also comes with a healthy dollop of patriotic fervor and a touch of gospel music to bring everything home.
For even more added fun, the actors also are known for bringing audience members up on stage. There is a lot of audience participation to go with the corny jokes (literally jokes with corn), magic, juggling, music and more.
It’s a great show for kids, accurately billed as fun for the entire family.
If you’re uncomfortable being pulled on stage or into a bit, you might request a seat further to the back and see if they can accommodate you.
Does The Comedy Barn have a Christmas Show?
During the holiday season, The Comedy Barn switches to a Christmas-themed show for seasonal laughter and family fun.
“You will hear all Christmas music, see Christmas costumes, and laugh at special Christmas acts you’ll only see on our stage. Speaking of laughs, be prepared for the biggest laugh muscle workout you’ve ever had!” show officials promise in a press release.
“We have brand new acts, combined with your favorite acts from the past to bring you the funniest Christmas show in the Smokies! No, in all of Tennessee! No, in all the world.”
“From The Comedy Barn Canines to The Comedy Barn Cloggers, and all the jokesters in-between, Merry Christmas from all of us here at The Comedy Barn! We are wearing our favorite Christmas costumes (and they’re not all overalls), singing our favorite Christmas songs, and laughing with our guests like never before. Who knew Christmas could be so funny?”
The truth is, part of me wants to be too cool for The Comedy Barn. I’ve seen George Carlin live, Seinfeld and John Mulaney. I’ve seen the greats.
Shouldn’t I be above corn pone poop jokes?
Reader, I am not.
How long is The Comedy Barn show?
Overall, the show is about two hours. At the time of this writing, ticket prices are $34.99 for adults and $12.99 ages 3-9.
Have you visited Comedy Barn in TN? Do you think the Comedy Barn is worth it? Let us know in the comments.