A hefty, beaming character player and comedian of TV and films with tousled hair and an often hearty manner, Gailard Sartain has played a wide range of roles but has been most typically cast as small-town country bumpkins. He began in entertainment operating a camera for a small Oklahoma TV station while pursuing graduate studies in fine arts at the University of Tulsa. Encouraged by friends, he auditioned to replace a fired radio interview host, successfully held the job for a time, and was noticed by a talent scout. The hit CBS comedy-variety series "Hee Haw" had recently been let go by the network in a corporate decision to eliminate lowbrow entertainment in favor of more prestigious fare. But syndication had the last laugh and Sartain chuckled along, joining the series in 1972 and staying for nearly 20 seasons of country music, neo-vaudeville shtick and wooden plank slaps in the rear amid the goings-on in Kornfield Kounty.