06/22/2005: Thought for the Day:
Larry the Cable Guy, on the other hand, makes me believe - if there is a god - he either abandoned his creation some time around the Pleistocene Era or is actually consciously evil, a la, Prince of Darkness.
I first became aware of him on Sirius' uncensored comedy channel, where he's quite popular (probably because many Sirius subscribers are truck drivers who have consumed such insane quantities of crank they can no longer discern human speech from the incessant drone of their own engines). The majority of Larry's shtick is predicated on how women think differently than men and thinly veiled slurs against homos, which are immediately made better by his please for forgiveness from Jesus. Then he'll trot out the defense that the country has gotten "too P.C." for comedy, which is still the best refuge for the guy who wants the freedom to make jokes about niggers and faggots.
There are three possibile explanations for the phenomenon that is Larry:
1) The redneck act is total bullshit. Not to say the dude is from Finland (he's actually from Nebraska, which makes the Stars and Bars cap a little suspect), but the only way his alleged "jokes" work at all are when they're delivered in conjunction with the sleeveless plaid shirt, trucker cap, and exaggerated moronic drawl. Played straight, his routine would get him booed from the stage at Bob's Country Bunker.
2) It's all an elaborate gag at his own expense. In other words, he's making himself the joke by presenting an outre image of the undereducated, ignorant American. Trouble is (and this one's a long shot), the vast majority of his audience aren't grasping the subtlety of the gag. You can make the argument that Andrew Dice Clay was attempting something similar with his "Diceman" persona, but his fans were overwhelmingly Iroc-driving mooks who shared Diceman's affection for the word "gash."
3) He's n a successful biological project financed by a joint venture between Clear Channel and NASCAR, who cloned him from genetic material collected from the port-o-johns of Talladega Superspeedway.
Whatever the answer, I'm clearly in the minority. He has the highest charting comedy album since 1978 (Steve Martin's A Wild and Crazy Guy) and his 2004 tour outgrossed Chris Rock's.
Meanwhile, Bill Hicks is still dead.
--Pete Vonder Haar
Len on 06.22.05 @ 05:25 AM CST