Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 10
Left: Terry's portrayal of Deputy Barney Fife will have you believing you've landed right in Mayberry with Andy Grifﬁth. Right: The comedian performing as his famous Homer Lee character as
part of C. J. Newsom's Classic Country & Comedy Show, located on Highway 76 in Branson. Below: Numerous personas Terry portrays as part of C. J. Newsom's show at The Americana Theatre.
"My characters may all be different but they're deﬁnitely a piece of me," he
says. "I just amp up my personality and away we go."
While Terry loves all his personalities, he really enjoys his Gospel-loving
Grandma Beulah or the one many recall knowing him for, Homer Lee, a wacky
overall-clad, plunger carrying handyman who's bound to destroy more than he
tends to repair.
Terry says he's had a lot of good breaks and one of those was back in 1989
when producers of the famous television show, "HeeHaw," scouted him during
one of his evening performances at The Braschler Music Show. Terry impressed
the producers so much he appeared in the entire 23rd season of "HeeHaw",
performing with the likes of Roy Clark, Grandpa Jones and Lulu Roman. The
variety show started on the CBS channel and featured country music, comedy
and rural culture. The show ran for 25 years and can still be seen in reruns
Terry says Dede, his wife of 31 years, isn't in show business but understands
what makes him tick. "And our sons, Austin and Evan, are both part of the
Shepherd of the Hills show now."
A normal day has him running to two or three locations and turning into
different characters about a dozen times. "It's highly possible I've met myself
coming and going," says the funny man, noting he's only double-booked his
schedule once in 40 years.
The comedian says his love of entertaining has opened doors for meeting
some of his favorite childhood actors, like Don Knotts, actress/comedian
Joan Rivers and singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, to name a few. News of his
impression of the late Joan Rivers eventually garnered him a day of hanging
out with the star on the QVC cable channel selling jewelry for a day.
"She was a lot of fun to be with and very gracious," says Terry, adding Joan
knew he portrayed her and seemed ﬂattered by his impression.
Terry has collected more than 6,000 autographs from people like Joan
who've become good friends through his career. "When my mother was battling
cancer, many of them took the time to write a note or send a card to her. I'll
cherish those forever."
Terry says observation is the best fodder for most of his comedic portrayals.
Something as simple as a trip on the sidewalk to plumbing issues can turn into
potential for any of Terry's humorous characters.
"I love people watching, and you can't get much fresher material than just
watching the world around you."
His comedic talents have garnered Terry the title of Branson Comedian of
the Year not once, but seven times. But the best reward for him comes from
the laughter and smiles of those who watch him perform.
"Every day I tell myself how fortunate I am to do what I do and still love it,"
says the humble comedian. "Bringing joy to others is what gives me joy. I'm
You may contact Terry Wayne Sanders at 417-334-4241 or check out
www.homerlee.com for various performance locations and times.
Rural Missouri - November 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2019
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 5
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Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover4