Of course, Animal Planet is my favorite cable channel. But I also like a channel you’ve never heard of.


Seen it? If yout have regular cable, likely not. But I have DirecTV and more choices.

Rural America’s Most Important Network (their slogan) carries an eclectic mix of shows designed to appeal to farmers, ranchers and family types in flyover country. News shows cover the commodities markets and rodeo. There are more than a dozen half-hour shows about horses. My pal Trigger likes those.

Country music reigns, everything from old reruns of Porter Wagoner to “Hee Haw,” which displays more comic genius in 30 minutes than an entire Jerry Lewis film festival. (Do the French get everything wrong? Don’t get me started about collaborating with the Nazis and one sheet of toilet paper.)

What sticks on RFD-TV is the polka music, found nowhere else on national TV.

One of the network’s first original shows was “The Big Joe Polka Show,” taped in big batches in big rooms with regional musicians and dancing by elderly Midwest couples whiter than the burglars in ADT home security commercials.

Big Joe retired, replaced by “The Molly B Polka Party.” Same format.

The other polka show is more polished. Jimmy Sturr and his orchestra have won 18 Grammys for best polka album. They tour the world.

Molly B and Jimmy are not only talented, they are brave. They will headline a cruise in January. Ain’t getting me out on one of those barf boats.