Tuesday, December 09, 2008

That's why I like Dean Martin so much.

Hey pallies, likes how very cool to know that Daniel, Larry the Cable Guy, Whitney is likes a total Dinoholic. Daniel professes that as a kid he loved watchin' the Dinoroasts, and as the tagg of this Dinogram proclaims Whitney likes our Dino so so much. How cool to find 'nother Dinotestimony of how our great man has inspired 'nother up and comin' entertainer...per usual pallies, likes if you wanna reads this in it's original format, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dinopost. Dinodelightedly, DMP

Monday, December 8, 2008
Larry the Cable Guy 'gits-r-done'
The Blue Collar Comic brings his act to the new arena in Ontario.
Budding stand-up comic Daniel Whitney never thought in his wildest dreams a character he created on a whim would turn into such a success.

Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy, began developing the redneck cable installer with the catchphrase "git-r-done" for a bit on an old buddy's radio show. According to Larry, before he knew it, he was doing that bit on more than 20 radio stations.

"I wanted it to be likable," he says of the Cable Guy's earliest on-air appearances, "and I wanted people to say 'Holy (bleep)' when they heard it – but still think it was funny and think that Larry sounded like someone they'd want to have a beer with and pick his brain.

"It's evolved so much since I started doing it. But I literally found my niche. It was easy for me to do, because it's basically a microcosm of everyone I grew up with. I grew up with nothing but farmers, and I'd listen to them talk, so I know how it really is – and I know what lines to cross and which ones not to. It was so perfect because I could be myself and be someone else at the same time."

Larry the Cable Guy was introduced to the masses when he joined up with comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Ron White as part of The Blue Collar Comedy Tour in 2000. The quartet of comics sold millions of copies of their DVDs and CDs and filled venues across the country.

The popularity of the Blue Collar franchise afforded Larry the opportunity to star in his own feature films: "Witless Protection," "Delta Farce" and "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector." He also lent his voice to the animated Disney/Pixar film "Cars," as Mater the tow truck. Larry is currently on tour doing stand-up solo; he performs Dec. 11, at the new Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.


Larry never thought he'd become a successful stand-up comic. As a kid, he loved to watch the Dean Martin celebrity roasts and was a big fan of Milton Berle and Don Rickles. His favorite show was "Monty Python's Flying Circus"; as he got older he took interest in Steve Martin.

But it wasn't until one night in 1985 – when his friends pressured him into getting on stage during an open-mic night at a Florida bar – that Larry even thought of stand-up as a potential career. The following year, he started working out material at the Comedy Corner in West Palm Beach, practically living at the joint.

From 1986 to 1993, he says, "My entire social life was spent at that club. I had a blast and I loved it. I busted my chops there until I went pro."

Back then, Larry the Cable Guy was just a two-minute part of Whitney's act. Of course, his shows have since become focused on Larry, infused by changing amounts of Whitney's personal life, since he now does his entire act in character.

"At first it was 90 percent bull … and 10 percent reality," he says. "The more I started doing this, the more it became 15 and 20 percent reality. And then I had a wife and kids and I wanted to talk about it in my act – so instead of making up a wife, now I have a real one. I still embellish a lot of things for the sake of a joke, but there is still some real life to it now."

Larry is grateful for his loyal and growing fan base, whose eagerness to have a good time at his performances is what keeps him motivated.

"My show's kind of like a family reunion, except for there's a roof on the place and nobody is kissing my sister," he says. He thinks his crowd can get stereotyped, "but I have all kinds of people coming to my shows – doctors, lawyers, middle class, lower class, upper class. My shows are for people spending their hard-earned money to be entertained – and that's basically all."


Although he enjoys being on the road on his own, Larry says he's had great times on The Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

"I'm gonna tell you, I wanted off of it, to be honest with you, because these guys were just using me to get to the top and I had enough of it. I told Foxworthy that he had to go and do his own stuff because I can't continue to carry all you guys," he says, laughing.

"No, really, to be part of the biggest-grossing comedy tour of all time is just amazing. I still can't believe it happened."

He describes each comic as having a different style, with Foxworthy the more family-oriented one, Engvall the guy who'll go where Foxworthy wouldn't with jokes, and White being a great storyteller.

"I was the one-liner comedy guy," he says. "It made a perfect mix for the end of the show when we were telling stories on stools. I was the glue that could take one story into another. It was definitely one of those things where the stars were aligned at the right time. It was a perfect time for it."

But will the Blue Collar comics ever ride again?

"I wouldn't be surprised to see us in Vegas when we're like 60," he says. "As the Redneck Rat Pack."

Larry's been writing new material and incorporating it into his act as he goes along, though he admits his humor veers more toward the "strange."

"I'm into the stupid and the absurd," he says. "In Dean Martin's book, he said he liked to do the really idiotic and stupid stuff and have the clever stuff to mix in. I'm like that. I'll do fart jokes all day long if I find them funny, but I like doing this kind of outrageously stupid humor. I wrote a joke the other day that made me laugh for three days straight, and it's the dumbest thing I've ever written – but also one of the funniest."

OK, Larry, what's the joke?

"My buddy said, 'Hey, were you talking about me the other day?' I says, 'No, why? Are your ears burning? Because I paid somebody to come over and burn your ears.'

"It's the dumbest thing, but I just started thinking about this guy paying somebody to burn his ears. And I tried it on stage and it killed. I'll do that and put a couple of clever jokes in it, and I like that kind of comedy. Anybody that does that kind of stuff really makes me laugh. That's why I like Dean Martin so much."

Despite all of the success, the 45-year-old Nebraskan lives a pretty low-key life when he's off the road. He's married with two children, ages 1 and 2. He loves George Strait and hair-metal band Cinderella. He's a huge fan of Nebraska Huskers football.

He carries around more money in his pocket these days, but Larry still sees himself as an "average guy" who likes to work and get his hands dirty.

"My buddy Greg owns a Western wear shop in Florida, and when I have time off I'll stop by. And if he has to step out or go to the bathroom or whatever, I know Western wear, so I can help out. And people would come in and there would be Larry the Cable Guy showing off some lizard boots."

One of his favorite stories happened more recently, when he helped a man unload his livestock off a truck after watching him struggle with it alone.

"The guy was a little shocked – like, 'Larry? What are you doing here?' I like doing stuff like that. To me, that is fun. I don't see Barbara Streisand unloading a sheep truck. But that's just the kind of person I am."

Contact the writer: 714-796-3570 or kfadroski@ocregister.com


Keith said...

Hey pallie DMP. I never knew he was such a big Dino fan. That's so cool. I know he had a Christmas special on the other night. He did a roast up there. My first time seeing Dino on television was actually in the roasts. I was too young to remember his variety show. Good story. Cheers! Keith

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, likes does feel it is likes my Dinoresponsiblility to bring such Dinostories to light...truth be Dinotold...there are probably countless of today's up and comin' entertainers that have come under our Dino's influence....'cause only Dino truly matters......