|Frank Peppiatt (right) and long-time business|
partner John Aylesworth, who died in 2010
Peppiatt was born in Toronto on March 19, 1927, to Frank and Sarah Peppiatt. His father was a car salesman. After graduating in 1949 from the University of Toronto, he became an advertising copywriter. An entry-level job at the Canadian Broadcasting Company led to production credits in Canada and to his longtime partnership with John Aylesworth. By the mid-1950s he was working in American television.
Created in 1969 by Peppiatt andAylesworth, HEE-HAW had a proudly cornpone sense of humor and a lineup of musical guests that included some of the biggest names in Nashville.
“John and I knew we were pushing a boulder uphill with HEE HAW,” Peppiatt wrote in his autobiography, “When Variety Was King: Memoir of a TV Pioneer,” scheduled to be published next year. “Country music was considered a second- or even third-rate art form in the entertainment capitals of New York and Los Angeles.”
|HEE HAW included a regular soap opera sketch,|
The Culhanes of Cornfield County)
“I’m a-pickin’,” Mr. Owens would say. “And I’m a-grinnin’,” Mr. Clark would reply.
One of the regular sketches was "The Culhanes," a take on soap opera-esque storylines.
HEE HAW continued in syndication until 1992, leaving an archive of more than 600 episodes. It currently airs on RFD-TV.
Peppiatt was writer and producer for a number of other series including BARBARA MANDRELL AND THE MANDRELL SISTERS, THE SONNY AND CHER SHOW and THE JONATHAN WINTERS SHOW.
His death, of bladder cancer, was announced by a spokesman for ECW Press, the publisher of his autobiography.
He is survived by his wife, Caroline; two daughters from a previous marriage, Francesca-Robyn and Marney Peppiatt; and four grandchildren.