He will perform at the Canfield Fair on Sept. 5.
By JOHN BENSON
In case you haven't noticed, comedian Larry the Cable Guy is quickly becoming the redneck nation's Jeff Foxworthy of the new millennium.
Wearing a baseball cap with a hook on it and sleeveless flannel shirts, this blue-collar, rugged and oftentimes politically incorrect "Git-R-Done" funny man has skyrocketed to the top of the comedy world. You might be a redneck if... "I grew up on a pig farm in a town of 1,200 in southeast Nebraska," said Dan Whitney (a k a Larry the Cable Guy), calling from Dallas. "So, I grew up in a farming community with cattle, hogs, horses, cornfields, the whole deal. Plus, I lived in Sanford, Fla., and everyone says, well, Florida is not redneck. And I say, you need not go any further than Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and Molly Hatchet."
A stand-up comedy veteran of 20 years, Whitney didn't make the transformation from nondescript comedian to the Larry the Cable Guy persona until a decade ago. As he tells it, the change was natural. Initially dressing up on stage in a tie and shirt, it wasn't until Whitney decided to dress naturally in clubs that audiences really starting paying attention to his live shows. After performing alongside Foxworthy on the insanely popular "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" a few years back, Whitney's Larry the Cable Guy fame went through the roof. Today, he co-stars alongside Foxworthy and Bill Engvall on the WB Network's sketch comedy "Blue Collar TV" show and regularly sells out arenas. You can catch Whitney Sept. 5 at the Canfield Fair.
With material varying from flatulence to social commentary, Whitney believes his comedy is just an amalgamation of his influences.
"I have to tell you, I like the goofy stuff," Whitney said. "I grew up liking Henny Youngman, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Steve Martin, Howie Mandel. I've always enjoyed that kind of comedy. I have some real heady, thoughtful stuff too. You can't be stupid and write stuff like that. You try to make a small point but first and foremost, you want to be funny and shocking. You have to have all elements in there to make it interesting."
Worth a laugh
Talk to any comedian about their joke writing, they are bound to always remember that one joke that bombed but to this day still cracks them up.
"I was watching an episode of 'Barnaby Jones' one time and he shot at a thief and missed, and up from the ground came bubblin' crude," Whitney said. "Which I think is a riot and nobody would laugh at it."
Well, crowds numbering in the thousands are laughing today. While it remains to be seen how Larry the Cable Guy's humor will go over at the Canfield Fair, Whitney remains optimistic about his loyal fan base, which he shows much love.
"I got to tell you, everybody who comes to see me, I love them to death," Whitney said. "I got the best fans. If I could go out and sign an autograph for everybody after the show, I would."
He laughed, "Although it would take me seven hours."