City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

3/10: Interview with Larry the Cable Guy (Comedy Central Roast Sunday!)

I spent 30 minutes gabbing with Larry the Cable Guy, whose real name is Daniel Whitney. He was analytical and confident yet humble.

His character on stage is more a goofy, happy-go-lucky Southern good ol’ boy in cutoff plaid shirts and is now considered one of the biggest comedy draws in the country this side of Dane Cook.

But he says he and the character are now melded together in a sense, not separate people. “I’m half and half,” he said by phone last week. “In the beginning, it was just a character. But I’ve had a wife and kids. I’ve started incorporating more of myself into Larry so it becomes more real.”

Larry — we’ll call him Larry since that’s who he is better known as — is going to be on stage for two shows at Fox Theatre Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and will be the target of a Comedy Central roast which was taped earlier this month and airs Sunday at 10 p.m..

On his own simple comedy philosophy: “I read Steve Martin’s book. I noticed how much his career paralleled mine in the way he exploded on the scene. He never felt nervous before a show because he knew the fans were coming to see him. The only thing he worried about was disappointing the fans. That’s exactly how I feel. You just want to do your best every time you go on.

On the Comedy Central roast Sunday: “It felt great. It’s an honor to be roasted. You have to have a certain level of accomplishment to get roasted.”

On who got to roast him: “I got to pick all the roasters. Jeffrey Ross was in my Christmas special. He’s a great roaster, great one liners. Nick DiPaulo was one of my all-time favorites from back when I was working in clubs. Lisa [Lamponelli] is a dear friend of mine. I had to have Greg Geraldo. I like the way he really hammers you. I saw him on the Foxworthy roast. Toby Keith– I hang out with him a lot. And Maureen McCormick? She’s Marcia Brady! I chose her just because I wanted to.And Gary Busey, you never know what he’s going to do.”

On how they roasted him: “They got on my case about my weight. But that’s crap because I’ve lost 50 pounds. I might blow my Nutrisystem deal! They picked on my movies. “Delta Farce” got hammered a lot. And the fact I’m a character.”

On his real accent vs. his stage accent: “I picked up my accent when I moved to Florida when I was 16. I’m a country kid who grew up on a farm in Nebraska. It’s not like I grew up in an apartment in L.A. or woke up to decide I’ll become a redneck. I’ve always been a country act.”

On other roasts: “I watched a few of them. I didn’t want people to get dirty to be dirty for shock value. They have to be clever and dirty. And that’s what I got — a lot of clever jokes.”

On prepping new material: “I work a couple of hours a day… I used to write commentaries for radio. I still do. Out of a three-minute commentary, they’ll be maybe three, four jokes I can pull out. I start inserting them into my act. There are minor league jokes and major league jokes. I give them three chances to get a laugh. If they don’t work in the middle, I’ll try at the end. Then they go back to the minors to get rewritten.”

How long it takes to cycle through jokes: “I’m a one-liner comedien. Everything is buiilt, joke, joke, joke. Then I’ll add new jokes. Hopefully by the end of the year, it’ll be 50 percent different. Then within a year and a half, it’s almost completely new. I can then create a new album.”

On his guitar act at the end of each show: “I’m a big fan of ‘Hee Haw’ with its pickin’ and grinnin’ and ‘Laugh In’ with the people opening windows telling jokes. The guitar enables me to put all the jokes in that don’t fit in my act. Like, ‘Does a cow ever look out at a field and say, ‘I can’t believe I at the whole thing?’ ‘ It doesn’t fit anywhere I’m talking about. So boom, there ya go. It’s also a place to put in new jokes. They’re like 25 pinchitters. They all get laughs but have no place to bat. They just come up and take cracks at the end of the show. It’s a meticulous process… if it was that easy, everybody would be doing one liners.”

On his less-than-extravagant lifestyle: “I live in Florida and Nebraska. Most of my familiy lives in Nebraska. I bought some land out there. In Florida, I bought this place in 1995 before the Blue Collar Tour and everything happened. I’ve put some money into remodelling it but I live in the same place. It’s not exactly ‘Cribs’ material.”
What he does in Atlanta when he’s in town: “Not much. I stay on the bus with my family. Sometimes, I’ll go to Jeff’s place [that being Jeff Foxworthy] if he’s in town. I went to college in Marietta. So I’ve got friends who visit, too.”

Game plan for 2009: “I’ve got a new movie planned. I have another Christmas special planned for the end of the year. We’ll tape it in July in Nashville.”

His TV habits: “ I don’t watch a lot of TV. I used to watch a lot of news when I was doing commentaries to stay informed. But it’s nonthing but bad news now. I’ve quit watching. I go on a couple of Web sites and that’s that. We have kids so we watch a lot of ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos.’ I also watch Noggin. And when the kids go to bed, we are History Channel junkies. And ‘The First 48’ on A&E.”

On a Blue Collar Comedy tour reunion: “I’ll do whatever the guys want to do. We’re all buddies. If they all want to do it, I’m in… but it’s got to be special. We left on a high note. Now it’s in the history books. It’s part of comedy folklore.”

12 comments Add your comment


March 10th, 2009
1:12 pm

Ol’ Larry is hysterical & the BCCT was one of the best comedy ensembles of all time. Get’R'dun son! ;)


March 10th, 2009
1:21 pm

Larry is a big Nebraska Cornhusker fan and never misses a game. He has one of the luxury boxes next to the Athletic Directors box. Needless to say he and Tom Osborne aren’t exactly alike, but Larry is a big supporter of the Husker football team.

Christopher Cook

March 10th, 2009
3:53 pm

Larry the Cable Guy is about as funny as heart failure. Git R Done: dumbest catch phrase ever.


March 10th, 2009
10:10 pm

wow, CC, i respect ur opinion but i don’t agree. he’s good for some good ol fashioned belly laughs, plus he seems very bright despite the slow red-neck act. i’m impressed by his study of steve martin. it takes alot of work to be funny

simplistic redneck philosopher

March 11th, 2009
8:03 am

He can’t be that dumb……….He’s smart enough to have made more money than any of us will ever have.

Christopher Cook

March 11th, 2009
10:03 am

tnecvolfan2001: Just calling it as I see it. Hayseed humor can be funny (Andy Griffith, Jeff Foxworthy), but Larry the Cable Guy’s schtick is lowest common denominator. It’s hayseed humor for the most undiscriminating.


March 11th, 2009
3:36 pm

CC, What kind of comedy do you listen to? Ok, you don’t find Larry funny. That’s your opinion. I see you as an very serious person with a limited sense of humor. If Larry doesn’t make you laugh, then your sense of humor is stunted.

Intellectual Redneck

March 12th, 2009
4:59 am

Is it Larry? Or is it Jeff, Bill, or Ron? Vote for your favorite redneck comedian at Intellectual Redneck .Com.. Lots of Larry stuff going on this week.


March 16th, 2009
4:02 am

anyone who doesn’t see the humor in larry has got to be mental are you kidding larry is great
and if you couldn’t tell its an act and a damn good one at that


March 16th, 2009
10:21 am

Listen Christopher Cook, I like Larry, but I realize he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. You have a right to your opinion. But here’s my opinion. Larry, Jeff, and especially Ron White are about 1000% funnier than that hack Dane Cook.


March 17th, 2009
11:58 am

I understand where Christopher Cook is coming from. He was simply inserting his own opinion. Everyone else is telling theirs, and he wasn’t a jerk about it. He was being mature and intelligent about his opinion. You’ll find people who do and don’t like Larry the Cable Guy. No point in getting defensive. He wasn’t burning you, personally. He was inserting his opinion. Try to keep an open mind.

I did love on the Roast:
“[insert long excerpt from speech here]–but that won’t fit on a hat, so GIT-R-DONE!”
That was absolutely hilarious.


March 28th, 2009
7:29 pm

Greetings all members,

I would just like to say hello and let you know that I’m happy to be a member – been a lurker long enough :)

Hope to contribute some and gain some knowledge along the way….