Q&A with Larry the Cable Guy

Dan Whitney, better known by his alter-ego Larry the Cable Guy spoke to Xpress prior to his show here this week.

Mountain Xpress: Are you funny at home? 
Larry the Cable Guy: Oh, I’m very deadpan. I’m very serious. No! (laughs) I’m pretty goofy all the time.I don’t know. I mean, my wife’s funnier than I am so the whole house is full of funny people. I would say I’m cracking jokes as much as I can. Let’s just say I don’t sweat the small stuff.

Other comedians often aren’t very funny in interviews.
Yeah, a lot of radio stations tell me that. I like telling jokes and doing what I do so I’m pretty much always in a good mood.

How often do you come up with new material?
Every single time I’m on stage. See, I do a whole different kind of comedy. I’m a fan of the old Vaudeville one-liner guys. So, I do a lot of Vaudeville-type — no, I wouldn’t say Vaudeville — but I do a lot of one-liner comedy. I’ve got notes and notes of jokes that I want to try, and the only time I can try them is on stage. So, I have my set act, but I have jokes and I’ll pop in about 15 brand new one-liners a day, I would say. And sometimes none of them work, sometimes two of ‘em work, sometimes eight of ‘em work. You don’t know until you try them. So I’m always putting them in and when I get a big laugh on a couple of them I’ll take out a couple of older ones I’ve been doing for a while and replace them with a couple of the newer ones. Once you get through the course of a year you’ve replaces 130, 140 jokes and you’ve got a new … well, since I do one-liners, 140 jokes, that’s about seven minutes (laughs). 

No, I’m always doing something new. When people come to my show they’ll recognize some things. Most things they won’t recognize. I totally rearrange my act. I add new punch lines to old stuff, I take stuff away and add new things to that. A lot of it’s the same topics just with different jokes. It keeps it fun for me because it keeps it fresh. I always throw in something new somewhere. It’s fun for me, I like to laugh at it, too … I’m my biggest fan. Like today, I’ve been doing interviews — and honest to God — I’ve lost fifty pounds on NutriSystem. That’s like seven Nicole Ritchies.

If you change your look much, will people still relate to you?
Believe me, I’m a pretty big-boned guy. It’s not gonna change my look that much. I’m down 50, I’m still up 25 from when I started doing it. I started at around 280 pounds. Now I’m down around 237-236 So I’ve still got a ways to go. But you know, I’m always wearing a sleeveless flannel and a pair of jeans so I don’t think it really matters. My face looks thinner. I look just like Brad Pitt, only different.

Where do you look for inspiration? Do you “people watch”?
Yeah, you people watch. You invite guys over to play poker and every body’s taking about stuff and you pop out a funny quip and you write it down. It kind of happens like that. Or you hear something that could be a punch line and then you just try to think of a set up for it.

I was talking to one lady and she was asking if I’d ever been to the Popeyes down the road. I said well, I took my wife there to Popeyes for our anniversary but we don’t eat there that much: We don’t want people to think we’ve got money. See? You just come up with stuff like that. You’re always in that mode of thinking. That’s how you write them. You have to be in that frame of mind. They’re there in your head, you’ve just got to look for them.

Are there topics you won’t address?
Well, if it’s funny I’m going do it, you know. I’ve come to the realization after doing this it doesn’t matter what kind of comedian you are. You could be squeaky clean, it doesn’t matter. Somebody’s getting pissed off at something you say. Somebody’s getting offended. It could be the dumbest thing. You’ve got to get over that. Once you get over that, you can write some pretty funny stuff. I’m over that. I just got to the point of, ‘If you don’t think it’s funny, don’t come see me.’ My stuff’s pretty much harmless compared to a lot of comedians. I don’t drop any f-bombs, I don’t take the lord’s name in vain. I do a lot of old redneck phrases and that kind of stuff. I cross the line a little bit but not too much. As far as picking on stuff, I pick on myself more than I do anybody else. Obviously there’s a time and a place for certain jokes and you really don’t know what line you can cross until you’re doing the show.

Do you alter your material depending on the venue?
If you go down the political venue, if you go down that avenue you can tell what your crowds’ kind of laughing at. But that doesn’t happen a lot at my shows because everybody comes to see me. They’re there to laugh and they pretty much think the way I do, anyway.

Would you say your material reflects current American values?
You know what? I don’t look into it at all like that. A lot of people like to look into entertainment and comedians and try to pick it apart and see what kind of political aspect it has. Look, I’m telling jokes and getting laughs and at the end of the day it was a comedy show. I don’t think it’s a statement about anything. It’s more of a statement that at the end of the night people are going, ‘Man, my broth-in-law’s just like you. ‘You know, I got a cousin who’s just like you.’ ‘You remind me of my sister-in-law.’ You know? So that’s pretty much it.

What I do is a character but it’s a magnification of myself in a way because I grew up — I’m a country kid — I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Southeast Nebraska on a farm. I grew up bailing hay and raising pigs, feeding horses, the whole deal. Cutting heads off chickens, making fried chicken. I just grew up around guys like that and I pull a lot of my comedy from experiences I had as a kid and further on into life, so it’s not a statement of political anything.

I gotta tell you, I got no problem with New York and L.A. I know everybody hammers them. I’ve got a lot of friends who live in both places. I went and did Radio City Music Hall, sold out two shows, did almost 14,000 tickets. There’s good people everywhere who like to laugh and have fun and they get it. I mean, there’s a lot of times you do certain kinds of material or something, you’re a hayseed or you’re a hick or you’re not socially conscious. You know, there are people who don’t understand that they live in a completely different world and I live in reality. I don’t live in a Hollywood world that’s based on movies. I live in the real world. Stuff that I talk about and laugh about is stuff that my friends and I laugh about going down to eat down at Sunny’s Barbecue. Now, other people might think it’s not hip, it’s not sophisticated, and I say, ‘Who gives a rat’s ass? Funny’s funny!’ I’m a comedian, I’m not James Irwin. Why did I pick James Irwin? Really, I think people look into that stuff too much. It’s just funny stuff.

Asheville is a very liberal town.
I do everything the same. Everything’s the same. It’s like I say, people who don’t like me aren’t coming to the show anyway. My show’s for people who like what I do and like to laugh and have a good time. If it’s a liberal town and liberals don’t like it, fine. I could care less. I don’t do my shows for people who don’t like me, I do it for the people paying the tickets.

Why are you performing in smaller towns on this tour?
I always do that. I go into all different areas. When I was a kid growing up, if you wanted to do anything, you had to go to Omaha or Lincoln [Neb.]. I think it’s good we do some of these smaller towns. They’ve got just as big venues. They have theaters, they have arenas, you know what I mean? We went into St. Jo, Mo.. A lot of concerts won’t go to St. Jo. They go to St. Louis. Well, we went to St. Louis and did real good and said ‘Hey, let’s go into St. Jo down the road and then they ain’t gotta drive to St. Louis.’ Went to St. Jo, pulled four or five thousand people. Hey, they need entertainment, too! I just don’t like neglecting anybody. I don’t want to neglect those cities just because they’re not a big city. There’s still people who like to laugh and be entertained. If you can go in — we’ve been doing mainly arenas, but we’ve been picking up some theaters. If I can do an arena in St. Louis and pull in 8,200 or 67,00 people, why not go to St. Jo and do a theater and pull in another 2,300 and then do another show and pull in another 2,300? You’re doing 4,600.

Are smaller crowds more fun?
Yeah, it’s been a whole growing process because it was always comedy clubs and then you move out of those and you’re doing theaters and that’s a huge venue and you’re all nervous and your timing changes and everything about the way you present changes. And then, you get used to that and it becomes your new comedy clubs and it’s a piece of cake. And then you move into arenas and that’s a completely different venue and you’ve got to adjust and get used to that. Once you get used to that, you’re back into theaters and it’s like ‘Geez! I might as well do all brand-new material, this is a work-out room.’ You just feel more comfortable in the theaters. I think it’s a better experience for the fans because they get to sit closer, it’s more intimate, the fans like the theater a little bit better. We try to do as many places as you can, try to get as many people as we can. You don’t want to do a place that’s too small because then you sell out and people that wanted to go can’t go, so that’s why you do the arenas sometimes.

What comedians do you like?
I like all kinds of comedians. My wife and I are the same … there’s people who’ll go to a comedy show and just because they don’t like the politics of the comedian on stage, they’ll never go see them again. But I’m not that way. One of my good friends in the business, who I like to go watch, is Lewis Black. I think he’s hilarious. We’re on two totally opposite sides of the fence. I think he’s funny; we’re good buddies. You know? I can hear him with a grain of salt. I think he’s a good comedian.

Dennis Regan‘s really good … Adam Sandler, there’s a bunch of them. Comedy’s a really hard thing to do. If you’re in comedy and you’re successful and you’re doing really well, hey, I like you because it’s hard, it’s tough to be funny. I always use Dennis Miller because they’s why I try not to get real political. If I can’t do a joke about something in 8 seconds or less, I won’t do it, political-wise. When Dennis Miller was way more left wing, all my liberal friends loved him. I still love Dennis Miller. Didn’t agree with him, but I loved him, Then 9/11 happened and Dennis Miller went a little more to the right. Now my same friends who are real liberal don’t like Dennis Miller anymore. Can’t stand him. ‘He’s not funny anymore, he lost it.’ He’s still funny, he’s just doing material you don’t agree with. He’s the same guy, He’s doing the same irreverent crap he’s been doing ever since he started standup. I thought he was funny both ways, some people can’t handle it. That’s just the way our society is right now, which really sucks.

Its a tough deal to do, so I have a lot of favorites that you wouldn’t know who I like. I love George Carlin. Some people think Carlin isn’t as funny as he used to be, but I think he’s funnier because Carlin now, he’s an old bitter man who doesn’t even tell jokes, he just bitches. And I find that to be extremely hilarious.

Larry the Cable Guy performs at the Asheville Civic Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $41.75. Info: 251-5505.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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69 thoughts on “Q&A with Larry the Cable Guy

  1. Dionysis

    “Comedy’s a really hard thing to do.”

    So it has often been noted. It must be incredibly hard, indeed, impossible in your case.

    I wonder when the cancellation will be announced due to poor ticket sales?

  2. Rob Close

    yeah, he’s a racist SOB. not worthy of being famous. funny like a broken clock.

  3. Nam Vet

    I think Larry The Cable Guy is finnier than heck. I do wish he’d lay off the “redneck’ jokes though. I’d love to see someone pick on yuppies and artsy leftie types. Are your ears burning Rob? :)

  4. Ken Hanke

    Slogging my way through two of this guy’s neanderthal movies — with another one on the horizon — is way more than enough of him for me.

  5. Nam Vet

    Larry’s forte is as a standup comic, not an actor. I’ll give you that Ken. Neanderthal is a bit harsh though. Hum, I wonder what kind of scenes John Waters would think up for him to do? Larry probably has enough class to refuse to dress in drag and eat dog poop. And that’s funny I don’t care where you’re from. :)

  6. Ken Hanke

    “Larry’s forte is as a standup comic, not an actor.”

    We have a different definition of comedy. And as for “neanderthal” being harsh, did you actually go see DELTA FARCE and LARRY THE CABLE GUY: HEALTH INSPECTOR? These things are for people who found ERNEST SCARED STUPID too intellectual.

  7. zen

    I’ve watched his stand-up and he’s funny. People are funny and he makes light of people. Like he says about Lewis Black, We’re on two totally opposite sides of the fence, but I think he’s funny. To be honest i didn’t think it made much of a movie, but he’s funny without being totally mean. And i won’t be paying to see him, but i hope that many do because he works hard at it and it works for many people.

  8. Dionysis

    That some people find him ‘funny’ attests to the fact that humor is quite subjective. Personally, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon his ‘performances’ on television a few times, tried to watch it, but after 10 minutes or so concluded that this was the most idiotic, lame-brained attempt at ‘humor’ that I’d run across in a long while. He made Jeff Foxworthy seem like Einstein.

    The link provided by Joshua is worth checking out. Make note of some of the things this moron writes in his, er, ‘book’. He is clearly a racist and ignorant as a box of rocks.

    But hey, for his fans, paying over $40 listen to his trailer-park pratter is probably a great deal.

  9. Nam Vet

    Ken, where do you put the Three Stooges? Are they neanderthal too? I’d say it is all subjective. The lock-step denounciation of Larry by the pseudo-intellectuals here is predictable though. I find it odd that a Three Stooges type comedian is lambasted as neanderthal yet the artsy lefty crowd thinks Pink Flamingos is “art”…and cool. :)

    “Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are.”

  10. I love the Three Stooges, and I hate you for calling me a pseudo anything, mostly because it reminds me of Sussudio by Phil Collins.

    You are awfully caught up on the whole Pink Flamingos thing. Let it go, brother.

    Also, for a second I thought you said that people were lock step denouncing Larry Fine, and that is not cool at all.

    I don’t like Larry the Cable Guy because I don’t think he’s funny, and I think that what he does is similar to a black face routine for white southerners. Does that justify why I hate him enough?

  11. Rob Close

    hey, if you find a continual stream of racism and sexism funny, go right ahead. any ‘artist’ who preys on division and hatred to make his bucks gets zero respect from me. there’s probably quite a list.

    if he’d make fun of hippies a little more often and lay off gays and muslims, it’d be a step in the right direction. as is, he’s a great representation of everything that’s wrong with our country.

  12. Nam Vet

    Rob, I have seen Larry on the Comedy Channel many times. I have never heard him make a mean remark that could be construed as racist or sexist. He preys on “division”? No way. If anything, he is self-deprecating. You obviously have not seen him perform, or are so wrapped up in your own hubris that you don’t see this in a clear light. If any group is picked on, it is the lower income “redneck” Southerner. Which is his own peer group.

  13. Nam Vet

    “Git ‘r done!”
    “Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are.”

  14. Ken Hanke

    “Ken, where do you put the Three Stooges? Are they neanderthal too?”

    I’m not morbid about the Three Stooges, but there are certain huge differences, especially when you consider the craftsmanship that went into creating their better short films. If you take a look at, say, the Stooges’ 1934 film MEN IN BLACK (coincidentally, nominated for an Oscar for best short film of its year), you’ll see a well-made short that has a degree of wit mixed in with the slapstick. Look at their other 1930s — even some of their 1940s — work — say, VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY or WE WANT OUR MUMMY or SOME MORE OF SAMOA, and the same holds true. Of course, the whole comparison of slapstick and stand-up is wrong-headed to begin with. For that matter, so is constantly dragging in your default bete noir PINK FLAMINGOS, which is in no way comparable to either one.

  15. Ken Hanke

    “I hate you for calling me a pseudo anything, mostly because it reminds me of Sussudio by Phil Collins.”

    Some memories should be left alone.

    “If any group is picked on, it is the lower income “redneck” Southerner. Which is his own peer group.”

    No, it’s not his peer group. It’s the group he targets as his audience. It’s the public persona he adopted (after his stint as a regular stand-up comic didn’t bear fruit), but it is not his peer group.

  16. Nam Vet

    Larry is from the panhandle of Florida, real redneck country. I would say he has a wide audience from many walks of life. The same audience Jeff Foxworthy has. And Jeff has made a lot of money with his schtick. Also, Larry has been on Don Imus several times. Don knows talent. And don’t think you could label his audience “redneck”.

    Ken, I’m glad we agree on the Stooges. I have been a fan all my life. Same with Laurel & Hardy. And for some reason it’s pretty much a guy thing. I think perhaps only 1 in 20 ladies like slapstick. And although you are correct that standup and movie shorts are different, Larry is related to that type of humor, in my opinion.
    Git ‘R Done!

    Jason: you are a hateful little monkey aren’t you? :)

  17. Kriss

    You know, I’ll laugh at most anything that strikes me as funny. And if it happens to not be quite politically correct enough to suit everybody’s tastes, or happens to be kind of lowbrow, I’m not going to feel guilty if it makes me chuckle. I haven’t seen his movies and have no plans to, and I wouldn’t pay $40 or whatever to see him in person. But I’ve heard him many times on Sirius radio and on TV, and I laugh out loud every time.

    His shtick is playing a character, and in so doing, he’s making fun of that character, or that stereotypical persona, not unlike the Archie Bunker character of the old TV show, “All in the Family.” Anyone who’s old enough to remember that or has seen some reruns surely can see that the ignorance and prejudice exhibited by Archie brought that type of thinking out into the light where people could see it for what it was – and how silly such attitudes are – silly enough to laugh at. That’s what Larry does. Putting those attitudes into the context of Larry’s character just show the world how silly they are – again, silly enough to laugh at.

    As to being from Florida as Nam mentioned, my understanding is he was actually born and raised in Nebraska and didn’t move to Florida until he was 16, and now lives in both Florida and Nebraska. The accent and dialect are more of a put-on than anything else – and that was pretty clear in his interview on “60 Minutes” a month or so ago. The guy’s got a unique talent, in my opinion.

    As to the Three Stooges, I think Nam Vet’s right. It might be guy thing. I love them – my wife hates them. Another laugh out loud event for me, watching them even if I’ve already seen the episode dozens of times before.

  18. Ken Hanke

    “Larry is from the panhandle of Florida, real redneck country. I would say he has a wide audience from many walks of life.”

    That does not make “rednecks” his peer group. Listen to him talk out of character, or look at his pre-Americanus Napus Rosa stand-up. He may pose as “just one of the boys” (much like certain politicians), but it doesn’t make him one.

    “And although you are correct that standup and movie shorts are different, Larry is related to that type of humor, in my opinion.”

    Putting Larry the Cable Guy in the same basic universe as Laurel and Hardy is perhaps the most blasphemous thing I’ve ever read.

    “His shtick is playing a character, and in so doing, he’s making fun of that character, or that stereotypical persona, not unlike the Archie Bunker character of the old TV show, “All in the Family.” Anyone who’s old enough to remember that or has seen some reruns surely can see that the ignorance and prejudice exhibited by Archie brought that type of thinking out into the light where people could see it for what it was – and how silly such attitudes are – silly enough to laugh at.”

    Yes, that WAS the idea behind Archie Bunker, but is that how it really played out with a lot of the viewing public? Not so much. Far too many people took Archie Bunker to heart as a hero who said the things that they wanted to say. I am hard-pressed to believe that Larry the Cable Guy can even be accused of having any such agenda. He isn’t by any stretch trying to hold up a mirror and expose small-mindedness that I can see. Rather, since he always ends up on top, he’s ultimately extolling the virtues of his own schtick.

    Bottom line for me — apart from finding his act xenophobic and racist, apart from finding him to be perpetuating the myth of the crude, dumb southerner, etc. — is I think he’s crashingly unfunny. If someone finds humor in endlessly repeating a stupid phrase like “Git ‘r done,” that’s fine, but I’m not in that number.

  19. Nam Vet

    “Blasphemous”? Ken, have you made a religion out of movies now? :)

    I have seen Larry perform many times on the comedy channel. I don’t recall ever hearing him utter a racist comment. Perhaps YOU Ken Hanke WANT to think you’ve heard him do that. You have over-analyzed this subject just like you do with most of your movie reviews. I wonder if you ever enjoy a good flick with such an overactive critical imagination. And I would say your artsy-leftie snobbery is showing…big time.

    “Git ‘R Done!”
    “Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are.”

    I can’t afford the $41 to see him this time. But I hope he does well. He’s a true talent and a guy with a good heart.

  20. Ken Hanke

    You may be surprised — even shocked — to realize that I don’t consider “artsy-leftie” a negative term.

    And you can keep writing “Git ‘R Done” all day long. It still won’t be funny.

    “He’s a true talent and a guy with a good heart.”

    And you’ve concluded this last based on what? I don’t believe you’ve read any of his book (wherein you’ll find some pretty racist, homophobic and xenophobic remarks) from what you’ve said. Could it be that your right-wing anti-intellectual bias is showing?

  21. “’Blasphemous’? Ken, have you made a religion out of movies now?”

    There’s worse source material for a religion, I think. I pretty much live my life by ideals you’ll find clearly echoed in a lot of films. None of those films star Larry the Cable Guy, though.

  22. Nam Vet

    Steve, and hopefully not John Waters’ Pink Flamingos either. :)

    Ken, I base my opinions on my own judgement. We obviously see things differently. But you do not have to be a movie critic to know people and know what you enjoy as entertainment. And I didn’t intend “artsy leftie” as a negative, just as a descriptor. I’m glad you wear the label proudly. :)

  23. Nam Vet

    And Ken, I am not rightwing, and I am not anti-intellectual. I am a freedom-loving independent libertarian who believes everyone should follow their bliss, as long as they don’t hurt others. To me a true intellectual couples the ability to think with this free spirit attitude I just mentioned. To me, that means a person doesn’t lock step their judgements and opinions on what others in their peer group consider politically correct. That is kind of like being an outlaw biker who dresses just like all the other bikers. A true intellectual is a free thinker.

  24. I used to get really upset over people like Larry the Cable Guy as well as other “mainstream” forms of entertainment like Friends, Forrest Gump, Warrant, etc. However, as I get older I’ve realized that we are all not the same and some people actually find this guy funny. He’s not for me, but he’s making a career out of it, so god bless him. I’ll never be able to convince his fans that Zach Galifianakis is funny, so I just let it drop. We still don’t stock Health Inspector however.

    marc

  25. Kriss

    Ken: “Yes, that WAS the idea behind Archie Bunker, but is that how it really played out with a lot of the viewing public? Not so much. Far too many people took Archie Bunker to heart as a hero who said the things that they wanted to say.”

    I think that’s the fear that some people who were offended by the character had when the show started, but that’s the whole idea behind censorship. No one can be trusted to read or listen to free expressions without being negatively influenced by them. I don’t think there’s any proof that anyone took Archie “to heart as a hero,” so how do you come up with “far too many”? And even if a few uncountable persons did, so what? Would that have justified that show never having aired, as you seem to imply?

    “I am hard-pressed to believe that Larry the Cable Guy can even be accused of having any such agenda. He isn’t by any stretch trying to hold up a mirror and expose small-mindedness that I can see. Rather, since he always ends up on top, he’s ultimately extolling the virtues of his own schtick.”

    I agree with you there. By my comparing him with Archie, I wasn’t saying that was necessarily Larry’s intent to come across that way. But he ultimately does, in my opinion. The similarity is, he’s playing a character. He doesn’t even use his real name, which is Dan Whitney. He’s playing the character of, as you said, “the myth of the crude, dumb southerner.” That part bothers me, frankly. But he’s no worse in that respect than Jeff Foxworthy with his “redneck” routines, which also perpetuate negative stereotypes of southern people. I don’t like such characterizations, but that still does not make either of those guys less funny to me. I’ll still laugh. Comedy is like beauty; it’s in the eye or ear of the beholder.

  26. brebro

    There are Borat and Ali G fans and there are Sacha Baron Cohen fans. Conversely, there are Larry The Cable Guy fans too, but there are NO Dan Whitney fans.

  27. Nam Vet

    Orbit DVD, good post. And you too Kriss. Yes I sometimes get tired of the redneck stereotyping. That is my own bloodlines, although most of my relatives were educated and professionals. But Jeff and Larry are very funny, and are afterall making fun of themselves most of the time. I like the other two guys on Blue Collar comedy too. Tater Salad and the other guy. “Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are.”

    GIT ‘R DONE!

  28. Ken Hanke

    “There’s worse source material for a religion, I think. I pretty much live my life by ideals you’ll find clearly echoed in a lot of films.”

    Well, since the highest I ever got on the religion-o-meter was coming down with a mild case of agnosticism, I had to look elsewhere.

  29. Ken Hanke

    “I don’t think there’s any proof that anyone took Archie “to heart as a hero,” so how do you come up with “far too many”? And even if a few uncountable persons did, so what? Would that have justified that show never having aired, as you seem to imply?”

    Proof? Well, it was commented on by both Norman Lear and Caroll O’Connor, but beyond that I could cite a load of personal memories from when the show originally appeared of people who considered Archie a hero who “tells it like it is.” I am not, however, suggesting that the show shouldn’t have been made. I don’t approve of censorship on basic principle, and I certainly don’t think you can expect art to have to be dumbed down to a point where no one could possibly take something the wrong way. Making things “safe” for everyone is impossible — and awfully boring.

    “I agree with you there. By my comparing him with Archie, I wasn’t saying that was necessarily Larry’s intent to come across that way. But he ultimately does, in my opinion.”

    That’s kind of the same thing I was talking about with people taking Archie Bunker as a hero in reverse, isn’t it?

    “He doesn’t even use his real name”

    I think that’s very wise of him.

  30. Nam Vet

    All In The Family was just plain funny. Period. And it was a kick that a New Yorker was the bigot this time, instead of the knee-jerk yankee finger pointing down here at us. Of course the dirty little secret has always been that there is a lot of racism up north. In particular in those bastions of tolerance, NYC and Boston. I can still here the laughter of my co-workers in the mid 70s over the national bus order. Charlotte, NC was held up as a model of how busing should be done. The big trouble spot? Boston Mass. Race riots by whites up there. Lots of whining and racialhatred. In the South? No problems.

    Last summer there was a PBS special on when Jackie Robinson was the first black man to be allowed to play in the lilly white baseball major leagues (all those teams were in the north by the way). Of course in the 1930s there was a black player who was equal to Babe Ruth and was not allowed to play with the yankee whiteboys. His name was Satchel Page. But I digress. Anyway, the PBS special highlighted the sickening racial comments Robinson had to endure. From his white Yankee teammates AND the white New Yorkers in the stands.

    I have watched Larry The Cable Guy on Blue Collar Comedy many times on Comedy Channel. I do not recall him ever doing racial humor. Perhaps the artsy-leftie political correct amongst us see their own stereotypes played out…even when it is not there.

    Larry is a funny guy. Glad he’s coming to Asheville and I hope he has a standing room only audience.

    GIT ‘R DONE! (adopted as a slogan by the US Air Force in Iraq!)

  31. Kriss

    Kriss: “He doesn’t even use his real name”

    Ken: “I think that’s very wise of him.”

    Well, of course. That’s the point. “Larry” is a fictional character. It’s all part of the joke, the schtick. I think most people know his real name is not Larry, and he’s certainly not a cable guy. (I wonder how real cable guys feel about that?) There is no way anybody playing it straight could pull off that kind of stuff – the jokes are just too corny and crude. Taken by themselves, completely out of context and away from his character, they fall completely flat. But the whole act, dumb jokes and all, is very entertaining to a lot of people, including me.

  32. Nam Vet

    Me too Kriss. I find Larry very funny. He breaks up Don Imus when he is on his show. Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are. I think Ken over-analyzes sometimes…like in this case with Larry.

  33. Nam Vet

    LOL, I wonder if Molton ever makes fun of his own sub-group, “artsy-lefty”? :)

    I will. Here is a little story for y’all!

    At showing of the old John Walters film “Pink Flamingos”, the ticket buyers had to stand in line at the Fine Arts (which used to be a dirty movie theater). You see, the word got out that a true “in your face traditional America” movie was playing.

    Overheard at the Fine Arts line for ‘Pink Flamingos’:

    “Say Vincent, I wonder if there are any locals in line here.”

    “Reginald, you’ve got to be kidding. These rednecks are too stupid to know what true art is. Why they will never get it about why ‘Pink Flamingos’ is art. A grossly overweight man dresses in drag and eats dog do-do. He runs and is caught from behind and ‘raped’ by another man. Now that’s art I don’t care who you are!”

    “Perhaps Vincent, perhaps. It could be that they had a lot of trouble finding a parking space with all the Volvos and BMWs parked in the city garage and on Biltmore Ave. We yankee transplant Ivy Leaguers have taken over this hick town. The locals should be glad we are bringing them culture. True culture, like ‘Pink Flamingos’.”

    “Yes Reginald. We Northerners have always known what’s best for the South. They should be glad this latest ‘reconstruction’ is without the murder, barn burning, and rape we did here in 1864-1865. But I’m sure they just don’t have the intelligence to appreciate us.”

  34. Dionysis

    “I will. Here is a little story for y’all!”

    A mildly amusing, if totally fabricated, exercise in hyperbole. Evidently, there is nothing of more recent vintage to cite as a counter-weight to the ‘artsy-lefty’ elitism claim than a 1972 ‘cult’ film.
    But at least it shows some creative wit, and is worth a chuckle.

  35. [b]Nam Vet:[/b] And it doesn’t bother you that a guy from the North — Nebraska, for crying out loud — is making broad and largely unflattering generalizations about Southern culture? It seems like you’d be insulted, honestly.

    I could care less about Dan Whitney’s act, but I have a hard time seeing the man as some kind of hero of Southern culture. He’s just another comedian with a successful gimmick, as far as I can tell.

  36. Ashevegasjoe

    That’s more frutstratin’ than a Republican trying to choose between a black man, a woman, or John McCain on Election Day. That’s funny I don’t care who you are!

  37. Nam Vet

    Steve, he is a successful comedian with a good shtick. I agree with you there. Here in the South, Nebraska is not held in the same group as the Northeast, where true yankees are from. Nebraska is Midwestern and has a lot in common with the South. Strangers nod and smile and say good morning. Strangers help you if your car breaks down. People go to church on Sunday and are family oriented. Contrast this to the often alienated and overly-serious (and often arrogant) Northeastern yankees, and you’ll see a clear difference…culturally. And if memory serves, Nebraska Territory (if it even was at that time) did not send troops to be part of Lincoln’s and Sherman’s war crimes crusade through the South’s civilian population at the end of the war.

    I find Larry funny. I have seen him perform on the Blue Collar TV show many times. His humor is not mean (like many NYC comics are) and a lot of his one liners are aimed at himself. Like the article says, growing upon a farm in rural Nebraska prepared him for this character “Larry”…because of the similarity of Southern rural residents and Midwestern rural reidents.

    Thanks Dionysis. I’m sure there are plenty of examples I could use. Pink Flamingos is such a good example, it immediately popped into my mind for the “story”. And it has been the subject of discourse here on XPress the last few months because of John Waters’ interview with Ken Hanke.

    AsheJoe, what is truly ironic, and funny, is that many of my liberal friends can’t figure out if they are more racist and against Obama, or chauvinist and against Hillary. Of course they do not say it clearly that way, but it is the undercurrent with many. And the humorous part comes in with the language they use to coverup their political incorrectness. The republicans I know just wish a more conservative candidate than McCain would win their party’s primarys.

    Me? I’m for Obama. We need an outsider with more character than most to lead our country. And that is the new Reagan, Barak Obama!

  38. Dionysis

    “many of my liberal friends can’t figure out if they are more racist and against Obama, or chauvinist and against Hillary.”

    I truly wish that I could claim that your ‘friends’ do not represent most ‘liberals’ in having this dilemma, and are an aberration, but my own recent experiences support your view. I was born left of center (okay, maybe not born that way, but by my late teens it was set), and have no hangups about voting for anyone based upon superfluous factors like gender or race. For me, the closest alignment with my own views is paramount. I have become frustrated over recent conversations with liberal friends (and at least one close family member) who do seem to be in a quandary. There are also quite a number of voters who will vote for Hillary based on gender alone, and some who look for a pretext to avoid even thinking about voting for a minority.
    It’s a shame that even among more supposedly enlightened types, such bias is still so deep. All I can do is not get caught up in that kind of fuzzy thinking and stick to my own convictions. I am still skittish about Obama, simply because I need to know more specificity about his views. Charisma and an eloquent tongue are nice, but I need to know more.

  39. Ashevegasjoe

    All of my friends are elated to have such great candidates to choose from. I’m for Obama, not really wanting any more Clinton or Bush. But, comparatively anyone the Democrats put up will be far better than Mitt, Huck or McCain. I wouldn’t let a 72-year old drive my car, let alone my country

  40. Dionysis

    “But, comparatively anyone the Democrats put up will be far better than Mitt, Huck or McCain.”

    Absolutely correct.

  41. ““But, comparatively anyone the Democrats put up will be far better than Mitt, Huck or McCain.”

    Absolutely correct. ”

    Personally, I will not vote Democrat if Hillary is on the ticket. I know many people that think the same.

    marc

  42. Nam Vet

    Marc, right on. Hillary is a deal breaker for me as well. The last thing this country needs is a cynical, power hungry, lying hypocrite like Hillary Clinton.

    Obama, GIT ‘R DONE!

  43. Ashevegasjoe

    so then you’ll put a guy that will be 76 at the end of his first term in office, or just not vote?

  44. Viet Nam Vet

    Anyone know how Larry did last Thursday night? I do hope he did well.

  45. Vinnie

    Hoo cahre how he do? Dat man jus dum. Gift me a Nu Yawkah comeedian any ol day.

  46. nam veteran

    Vinnie, get thee back to NYC. We loveLarry here. YOU are the pariah.

  47. Ken Hanke

    Don’t put me in with this mythical “we.” I’m from NC and I dislike Larry intensely.

  48. nam veteran

    But Ken, you THINK like a New Yorker. Artsy lefty highbrow. Why “intensely” dislike Larry? He’s certainly no worse than the scat eating cross dresser in “Pink Flamingos”. :)

    “Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are!”

  49. Ken Hanke

    Oh, I see. You’re the one who decides what a southerner thinks like! Thank you for explaining that to us.

  50. nam veteran

    I don’t decide anything Ken. I do make observations here on my take. Artsy-lefty is a NYC thing, primarily, and is apparent in some of your views. That is not a typical Southern view. Some of the South have adopted the yankee think-style. I see you here.

  51. Ken Hanke

    What constitutes a “typical Southern view” generally seems to fall along the lines of that which agrees with you. That may or may not be typical to all of us, though I do find it interesting that “highbow,” “art” and “lefty” fall into your category of being foreign to southerners. Does it follow that the definition of southerner — or typical southerner — would include “lowbrow,” “artless” and “righty?”

    By the bye, what’s up with the profusion of screen names? We now have “Nam Vet,” “Viet Nam Vet” and “nam veteran.”

  52. nam veteran

    Ken, Southerners are not lowbrow or ignorant of art. Most Southerners I know just disagree with what you sometimes call art. Personally, as for movies, this is art to me:
    Gone With The Wind
    South Pacific
    Doctor Zhivago…
    Just to mention a few. To me, art uplifts, art transcends the mundane.

    Have a good one Ken! If you have some reviews to do, GIT ‘R DONE! :)

  53. Ken Hanke

    You and I know different southerners maybe.

    But if you want art to transcend the mundane… well, could anything possibly be more mundane than Larry the Cable Guy?

    And you still haven’t answered my question about the outburst of nam names. Have you split into three separate entities?

  54. Kriss

    “And you still haven’t answered my question about the outburst of nam names. Have you split into three separate entities?”

    You know, I’ve been curious about that too. What’s going on here? You get to know somebody by a certain name and then some similar name or names come along making you wonder if it’s the same person or a wannabe imposter.

    I wish people would just use their real names anyway, especially a place like this where it’s pretty local.

  55. Billy P Patton

    I love Larry the Cable guy. He’s put us Southerners on the map. hey he’s got a new movie coming out. Can’t wait to see it!

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