The Hollywood Squares Go Country in 1980

Hee Haw Personalities Take Nashville to Hollywood

The Hollywood Squares was a long-running game show that pitted two contestants against each other in a gigantic game of tic-tac-toe.

The “board” was a three-story grid of cubes, each containing a celebrity seated at a desk. Hundreds of entertainers participated as panelists in the game’s 38-year run, but during a week in 1980, country music took over the studio.

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Country music panelists (top left to bottom right): George Jones, Jim Stafford, Mel Tillis, Minnie Pearl, Roy Clark, Tammy Wynette, George Gobel, Margo Smith and George Lindsey

Selected from the cast and guests of Hee Haw, the panelists provided plenty of funny moments despite the sometimes awkward questions and scripted answers. See how Roy Clark, Minnie Pearl, Mel Tillis and other entertainers shaped the game in one of the “Salute to Hee Haw” episodes that aired on March 25, 1980.

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Host Peter Marshall introduces new contestant John and returning champion Diane to the country music panelists.

Contestant John kicked off the game by selecting George Gobel, who is asked: “True or False? Turkeys often stare up into the sky during a rainstorm with their mouths open until they drown.” Gobel correctly says it’s true, and John earns an “X.”

Diane then chooses Tammy Wynette to answer: “What do you use a condiment for?” “A what?” Wynette says, eliciting laughter from the audience. “To tie back your hair.” Diane disagrees, and earns her “O.”

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“A What?”

Next, John chooses George Jones to answer a dud of a question: “According to advice column ’Ask Meg’, Is it okay to marry your step-sister?” George says “No”, John agrees, and they both get the answer wrong. Whether or not it’s okay, no one seems to find the question funny.

Margo Smith turns the frowns around when asked “Can a priest bleach his hair?” After a devious glare she says “If he wants to have more fun, he can!” She ultimately answers incorrectly with a “No.” Priests can bleach their hair.

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“If he wants to have more fun, he can!”

Minnie Pearl then gets the question: “Where do you have the best chance of finding a single man your age; Japan, France or the USA?” “That’s one thing I’d like to find out!” she says, adding, “I hadn’t been kissed in so long I don’t know whether it’s done by drawing in your breath or blowing it out!” After the laughter and applause dies down, she incorrectly answers, “The USA.”

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“I’d like to find out!”

Clark is next. After chiding host Peter Marshall for giving him difficult questions, he is asked: “In 1889 when Spain gave Puerto Rico to the US, what did Spain want in return?” He incorrectly answers, “Louisiana.”

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“They got Puerto Rica, with an ’A’?”

At this point, contestant John gets the boot and is replaced by Larry, a sports freak. Diane picks Mel Tillis to answer: “There are approximately 2000 different ways to swear in English, true or false?” Tillis thinks for a moment then says “There is if you don’t stutter; I get by on three!” Marshall says the answer is false; there are twelve ways to swear.

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“There is if you don’t stutter!”

Clark finally redeems himself by knowing that ham comes from the upper part of a pig’s hind legs, and that research proved some alcohol can improve memory in mice. To watch more hilarious antics from show, complete with amazing commercials, click here.

Brian Tipton joined CMT in 2005, after cutting his teeth on Music Row.