I-Hardly-Know-R!

I know I’m a few months late on this, but I’m about to watch the Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy. I’m not sure what to expect. Well, besides a cheap, fat, lazy, pandering comedian trying to go toe to toe with a panel of his betters.1 But enough about Jeff Foxworthy.

We’re here to talk about this guy.

To be honest, I do appreciate the difficulty of the situation that “Larry” finds himself in. It’s the same problem Stephen Colbert faced when his show first took off, namely whether to ever appear out of character. Despite a few miscalculations like The Love Guru,2 Colbert has been pretty diligent about never straying from his parodic persona. And yet on the rare occasions when he’s interviewed completely out of character, or even more fascinatingly, in a hazy limbo equidistant between fact and fiction, he’s been even more entertaining.

With one exception, I have never seen Dan Whitney perform out of character.


The man has always had style, at least.

There is, however, one other slight, almost negligible difference between the two men: not a single person goes to a “Larry the Cable Guy” comedy show to laugh at the character. Sure, he does self deprecating humor, what comedian doesn’t, and yes, every comedian adopts a persona, but no one is there to enjoy the comedy stylings of Dan Whitney. No one is there ironically. Except maybe David Cross. His audiences, much like the occasional unfortunately out of touch politician on The Colbert Report or The Daily Show are not in on the joke.

Mr. Whitney is not an inept comedian, if nothing else he is savvy as fuck. He figured out out a way to make the most out of his limited skill set. He is even, albeit rarely, capable of some legitimate humor and certainly more so than a Jeff Dunham or a post-success Carlos Mencia.3 This is precisely what I find so offensive about “Larry the Cable Guy”. It pains me to say, but he’s better than this.

Intelligence is a rare enough commodity in this world that pretending you have less than you actually do, unless in the service of some greater good, should be a prosecutable offense. I realize this might be just my axe to grind, but it is sharp and always thirsty. It would be one thing to pretend to be an idiot to make fun of idiots, or to comment on how idiots gain so much attention so easily, or to say something universal about the nature or idiocy. It’s another thing to pretend to be an idiot just to get idiots to line your pockets with (confederate) money. That’s just diabolical.4

The true terror of “Larry the Cable Guy” is not that a fat, unfunny comedian had the balls to try to peddle this sort of mindless, racist, jingoistic, homophobic, xenophobic, smartophobic humor to America, but that America fell for it. The only guy to profit more from 9/11 is Dick Cheney. He really has his finger on the (scrotal) pulse of the nation.5 The true terror of “Larry the Cable Guy” is that we get the comedians we deserve.

I guess I do know what to expect: some of the most savage, smart and innovative mainstream comics to absolutely decimate this buffoon, rip out his heart and piss in his empty skull and then promptly brush up on the history and precise execution of seppuku when they realize he’s more successful than all of them combined will ever be.

So, all in all, good television.

  1. Even the toothless comedians? country music stars? Marcia Bradys? football players? and drug addled madmen that Comedy Central wrangled together can clear that bar. []
  2. Not John Oliver too! []
  3. Hey Dane Cook, want to see what your future looks like? []
  4. The greatest trick Dan Whitney ever played, was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. []
  5. I’m sorry. That was a lazy and offensive joke. Scrotums are marvels of engineering, nature’s adorable little gore-tex thermostats. Scrotums, we salute you. But enough about Lisa Lampanelli. []