Why I, President Jimmy Carter, Am Considering Suing Hee Haw

“According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and—most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants—the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers”. — Daily Beast, 6/22/21

Why I, President Jimmy Carter, Am Considering Suing Hee Haw

May 22, 1978


This memorandum shall serve as effective notice to all Justice Department officials that on this eleventh day of the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-eight, I, President James Earl Carter Jr., am looking to file suit against the American syndicated television program Hee Haw. Here are my key concerns, delineated:


  • A recent skit entitled “Gas Shortage” involved cast members Lulu Roman and Gailard Sartain taking turns flatulating into an oversized moonshine jug. This piece was clearly written as cutting satire on the gasoline rationing methodology proposed by my administration.


  • The show features an in-house troupe known as “Hee Haw Honeys,” who routinely appear in very short cut-off denim shorts. This is obviously a subtle yet biting commentary on the lack of effective air conditioning many predict will stem from our handling of the U.S. Energy Crisis.


  • In one segment this season, cast members Shotgun Red and Little Jimmy Dickens appeared in a sketch titled, “Down at the Ol’ Watering Hole,” which seemingly portrayed two fishin’ buddies perturbed by that day’s haul. It doesn’t take a political scientist to realize its true intent: satirizing my difficulties negotiating peace between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.


  • All characters routinely say “ain’t” and “nuthin’” and “why come?” a sly commentary on my administration’s delays in starting a U.S Department of Education.


  • Ongoing segment “Hey Grandpa! What’s For Supper?” features cast member Grandpa Jones listing his southern recipes. Grandpa’s recent monologue on “salted frog legs so good they’ll have ya grinnin’ like a possum” was in fact an overt criticism of my slow efforts to negotiate the SALT II Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty.


  • Cast members routinely sit on bails of hay in a barnyard setting, stealthily staged to symbolize the instability of my current seat within an Oval Office that critics claim to be filled with animals.


  • The show’s animated mascot is a braying donkey. I am a praying member of the donkey party. I trust you all recognize this obvious attempt to make me look like a dopey cartoon.


  • Nielsen ratings have been declining since my inauguration day, a Machiavellian move by producers to warp the public’s perception of southern voices’—and, ergo, a southern president’s—acceptability with the American public.


While some say suing a television comedy program is beneath the office of a presidency, it is my fervent belief that comedy, no matter how satirical in its conceit or rural in its setting, must be kept in check. Hee Haw is a clear and present threat to speech, and not only because its cast members freely drop the “g” from the ends of most words within their own speech. Hee Haw is right wing agitprop—a one-sided subversion as danger-prone as it is corn pone.

Therefore, our goal with Carter v. Haw should be equal time on this program. I’ve instructed Congresswoman Bella Abzug to brush up on her banjo-playing in order to make the musical case for both passing the Equal Rights Amendment and leavin’ a cheatin’ spouse who came home a’drinkin’. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has already been fitted for his overalls—and he looks surprisingly great barefoot! Vice President Mondale has expressed willingness to appear in the popular “Pickin’ and Grinnin’” segment, where he’ll press the Senate to say “howdy!” to the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act while strumming on a washboard.

I trust producers shall be open to our concerns, just as I trust future presidents will be grateful for my recognizing the need to protect the thinness of a commander in chief’s skin. I know I am personally indebted to both President Truman’s efforts against Howdy Doody for making him look too wooden, as well as President Kennedy’s action against Leave It To Beaver for reminding the public that there were very few beavers he himself could leave.




Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States


P.S. Someone please also get me the autograph of Hee Haw regular Cooter. Big fan, despite myself.