LARRY THE CABLE GUY
AMERICA'S FAVORITE REDNECK
By Brittany Santos
STRIPLV was recently invited down to the Palms to see an exclusive show from “Larry The Cable Guy”.
The first thing that struck us was the crowd. The showroom was packed. To say that this comedian is loved isn’t sufficient to describe the enthusiasm of the people waiting to see him hit the stage. Now, I had known of his work and had even listened to the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” prior to checking out this particular show, though my journalistic way of prepping to see this guy didn’t prepare me for how funny he would be in the flesh. Then as I sat down to write about the experience, I had to do a bit of research on how this guy got to be “Larry” in the first place.
Well to begin with, America’s favorite redneck is not from Down South – he is from Nebraska. He is a proud American that grew up on a pig farm. His first name isn’t Larry, it is Daniel, but his middle name is Lawrence, and sorry to burst your comedy bubble here, this Larry doesn’t really have a southern accent. The accent became such a part of his comedy persona that it just stuck and is now an iconic voice in our country. It is no wonder that Disney decided to use Larry’s southern drawl as the voice of the lovable and goofy Tow “Mater” Truck, (the best friend of the famous “Lightning McQueen”, played by Owen Wilson. If you take your kids to visit Disneyland’s latest attraction, “Cars Land”, you will feel as if Larry himself is sneaking up on you at every turn. It might even distract you from the pained looks on the parents’ faces, who were conned into the Disney trip by their kiddos and now suffering from the sticker-shock of what it actually costs to visit Disney parks.
Larry most recently was given the chance to become a part of American history by getting a series on The History Channel called “Only In America”. In the show, they fly him all over our country, as he gets to know different regions and takes on odd jobs and experiences that are indigenous to the area he may be visiting. There are some highly entertaining points of his series and he used a few of those experiences to share with us the night we saw him. It is worth looking up a few on YouTube – in particular, there is one episode where he goes out with a few Bigfoot hunters in Kentucky. This group of men and women like to walk around a forest with baseball bats, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mythical creature, and yet have never actually found Sasquatch.
To the audience’s disappointment that night, Larry announced that he was not going to return to the show for another season. He explained that, while it was a great experience, it took him too far away from home – and with two young children, he decided not to return.
Larry sadly is not actually a cable guy, either. Not that it matters, but it was worth sharing with you. Speaking of sharing – that is something that he really does. When his son suffered from a condition called dysplasia and was rehabilitated by the staff at a hospital in Florida, Larry and his wife then became the biggest donors to that hospital. Due to their incredible donations, a new wing was able to be built in the hospital, and in turn, the wing was named after their son. His Git- R-Done Foundation, named after his fan-favorite catchphrase, has donated over 7-million dollars to various charities. During the show he shouts it out every so often, and each time, the crowd screams in delight.
This busy comedian is also doing a program called Zoofari, in which he visits animals at the Lincoln Nebraska Zoo, and makes funny yet very informative videos about the creatures he sees. The videos are then made into DVDs, and Larry sends them out free to pediatric hospitals, so that kids too sick to make it to a Zoo can be entertained and educated through his experiences.
Another feather in his cap is that Larry was selected to be the spokesperson for Prilosec OTC (a heartburn prevention treatment). This is a perfect pairing, especially with all the jokes he has geared toward gas and well, farting in general. No matter how mature you may think you are, we all tend to be somewhat entertained by an unplanned moment of flatulence.
Now that we’ve given you a tiny bit of a history lesson on the guy, we can share with you what he’s like in person, as a stand-up comedian. His opening act for the show was funny – not fall-down funny – but he was entertaining. Next up was the “Cable Man”. The crowd was full of anticipation, then the curtains opened up, and onto the empty stage walked the man, himself. His opening shtick was basically him bitching about the lack of stage props provided by The Palms. There was nothing but some purple lights and a Palms logo behind him. It was a funny way to open the show, but as it went on, you realized that Larry doesn’t need anything but himself to entertain the crowd.
A big part of Larry’s humor is taking potshots at his family members in different ways that don’t really put his family down, but we all can identify with the references and apply them to people within our own gene pool. Also, (as previously mentioned), there are a lot, I repeat a lot, of jokes about farting. But I have to specify they are some of the funniest jokes that I have heard about gas explosions from family members and others. Taco Bell is a big target. He explains many a time, if you are looking for a major gas factory, then go ahead and “run for the border.” He also takes point with every politically-correct title that exists. He makes midget jokes, women’s rights jokes, jabs at vegans, and big jabs at the White House and many more. The thing about it was that he approached some of these taboo topics in such a self-deprecating way that you couldn’t help but laugh.
It is interesting to me how much comedians share of themselves with the crowd. When Larry first hit the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour”, he spoke about his girlfriend and his family. The Larry we saw is now married with two children and his love for family was very apparent. Yet, he still had the same quick-draw humor from his “Blue Collar” days when someone in the audience shouted, “I love you, Larry!” and he responded, “I told you to wait in the room.”
The only thing that didn’t fit with his earlier performances was a tiny, new undercurrent of anger. His distaste for the current administration in Washington D.C. was not hidden in any way. In fact, he shares his lack of faith in our current leadership publicly on his own Facebook page by saying and I quote:
“My fellow Americans, remember, the more we become dependent on government as mommy and daddy, the more government has you under their authority, just like mommy and daddy! I believe in America, and I believe in the people that live in it, and I believe if you don’t like my site, then you’re a commie and you need to get your fat ass off it!!”
You can’t blame a guy for feeling that way. His core belief is that no one should ever be judged by their own cover, ever – and he repeated that belief often. He has no hate for anyone, based on skin color, sexual orientation, or even the politically- biased. He really just seemed to wish for a return of pride in our country. Anyone who has ever served, or had a relative serve in our armed forces, would identify with the message that he was sending to us that night.
In general, for the most part, the guy just kept us laughing, laughing, and laughing some more. And as I watched my fellow audience members, it seemed as though they were in just about as much stomach pain as I was in from all the laughter that he created during his performance. After all, what’s a better way to relieve stresses of all kinds than to indulge in over-an-hour of gut-wrenching laughter? His rant on Facebook ends with this final quote that I thought was too good not to share:
“That’s my story and my beliefs. I’m not racist, I’m not hateful, and I’m not homophobic! I’m just a concerned commentator wondering what happened to the free America that my forefathers fought and died for! Git-R-Done and GOD BLESS MY FANS AND THIS COUNTRY!!”
When the show was coming to a close, Larry invited all of the audience to participate in a “Question and Answer” panel. Anyone with a question for the famed comedian was welcome to shout out a question to the big guy, and then he would answer. Sometimes he would respond seriously, and many times, not so seriously. One woman in the room happened to be born on the same day as he was, and in the same hospital, to whom he responded by saying: “I thought you looked familiar.” Another man in the audience shouted out: “What do you think of the Obama administration?” and his quick-witted response was: “They wouldn’t let me near any of those people, you know that!” There were many people shouting out questions and requests. One of the simplest was: “Can you take your hat off?” to which he casually took off his signature ball cap to the delight of the crowd.
We at STRIPLV are fans of all entertainment in general. What struck us the most after getting to spend a night with this legendary entertainer was his true sincerity. His down-home redneck image has created so much laughter and happiness because, in our opinion, he resonates something that all of us have deeply instilled in our souls. We all have that inappropriate thought now and again. We all have wacky people in our families. We all have challenges to face and things to overcome, but one thing that is universal is the healing power of laughter. So we say to you all: “GIT-R-DONE!”