By Juliette Vara
You see it all the time plastered on bumper stickers, the creative mastermind behind the popular catchphrase “Git R Done” is now on tour sharing his comedic one-liners with thousands of fans. If you watch Nascar, eat at Hooters, shop at Wal-mart, or pass gas on a regular basis, then Larry the Cable Guy (real name Dan Whitney) will tickle your funny bone.
Backstage at his recent show in San Diego, a die-hard fan swoons. “Oh he’s sooo cute.” Maybe he’s better lookin’ now—after shedding 50 pounds—but Larry’s the first to tell you he’s no sex symbol. What he does have is a down to earth and likeable personality off stage.
He recently called me from his Nebraska home, where he lives five months out of the year. The comedian’s second home is my old stompin’ ground and home to some of the countryʼs largest and nasiest bugs: Florida! He and I dive into that topic during our casual morning interview. Enjoy!
Country Music Goodness: Is this Larry or this Dan? Who am I talking to?
LCB: It’s both of us. Hold on I’ll get Dan. (He switches his voice, flaunting a deep, all-American, sophisticated accent) Hello.
CMG: Hello Dan, how are you?
LCG: I’m doin’ real good. Hold on, let me get Larry. Hey Juliette (deep,southern accent).
CMG: Good Morning. So, what did you have for breakfast?
LCG: I had a ham and cheese omlette with onions, ham and cheese. My mother-in-law made it for me. And a piece of toast.
CMG: I know you’re on a diet. You say you lost an Olsen. What’s your secret?
LCG: I did. I went on Nutri-system. I follow it real good. Every now and then I’ll have an omlette or some scrambled eggs for breakfast in replacement of what I’m supposed to have. I work out all the time.
CMG: That’s good. You sound pretty dedicated to that.
LCG: Yeah, I am. But, my pant size went all the way from good lord down to hello ladies, that’s pretty good.
CMG: Do you have plans on losing another twin or are you sticking with Mary Kate for awhile?
LCG: I’ll stick with Mary Kate, but my wife says if I lose another 12 pounds
she’d let me back on top.
CMG: It’s too early for those kind of jokes!
LCG: That’s a goodin’ (laughs).
CMG: How’s the tour been this year so far?
LCG: Oh man, it’s been great. I gotta tell you and honestly a lot of people kiss their fans ass, but I’m not kissing their ass. My fans are by far the greatest fans ever. They have senses of humor. They love to laugh. They’re not the uptight, politically correct crowds. They know what it’s about.
CMG: How long does it take you to come up with the format of a show and the jokes?
LCG: I write two hours every day. I’ll write three paragraph stories, just make ’em up as I go. That’s how I do it. I look in the newspaper, stuff like that to try and come up with jokes. By the end of the week I’ve got about 15-20 new jokes, and I’ll try em on stage. Sometimes 5 are funny, sometimes 10 are funny. Within 13 to 14 months you have about a new 40 minutes.
CMG: What is a day like for you?
LCG: I’m about as normal as it can get. I got a wife, two kids, two year old
little boy and a one year old little girl. I can’t remember her name, but shes pretty cute. My little boy is two years old, but he’s pretty advanced for his age. The doctor says he’s already fartin’ at a third grade level.
CMG: You and you’re fartin’ jokes!
LCG: That is awesome (giggles). My little girl gets up about 8:30. My little boy gets up about 9:30. My wife and I get up and feed em breakfast. If I have a lot of phone calls to do or interviews, I’ll come to my office and do interviews all morning. Then my mom or my sister usually comes over and watches the kids, and my wife and I will go down and workout. Then the
rest of the day is just pretty much playin’ with kids.
CMG: You travel with your family. What’s the raciest thing or perhaps the weirdest thing a female fan has said to you in front of your wife?
LCG: It was in San Jose. Some girl came up to me by the bus. My wife was there talking to the tour manager’s wife, and she asked me what I was doing after the show. I said, ‘I’m probably gonna go back on the bus there with my wife.’ She goes, ‘That’s your wife?’ I go, yeah. She said, ‘You’re not staying in a hotel?’ I said, ‘No, I’m staying on my bus.’ She said, ‘Well I’m staying over here in room blah blah blah.’ I’m going, you do realize that’s my wife don’t you. She goes, ‘Yeah but you’re not with her all the time are you?’ I mean it was bizarre. (laughs)
CMG: You know you’re a sex symbol now!
LCG: Yeah right, I’m real hot. (laughs) Believe me.
CMG: It’s Christmas time, what songs absoultey get on your nerves?
LCG: “Feliz Navidad.”
CMG: I’m here close to the border, and it’s on the radio all the time. I kid you not!
LCG: Oh I know. 24 hours a day “Feliz Navidad” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” I know it’s tradition, but enough already. (laughs)
CMG: It’s Christmas time and you have two little kiddos now. What kind of traditions, if any, are you starting to share with them?
LCG: They’re still at that age where people buy them all kinds of stuff and they’re happy with a rubber band and a box, you know. Every Christmas Eve, we’ll go over to my grandma’s house or go over to my brother’s house, don’t know why we do this, but we’ve done it for years…and we have oyster soup, and chili soup, and ham and cheese sandwiches.
CMG: Oyster soup?
LCG: Yeah (laughs) I have no idea how that became a tradition.
CMG: I know you live in Florida. I’m from South Florida. That’s my old stompin’ ground. Every time I go back, there’s flying cockroaches and the big mosquitos the size of my head! How do you deal with it?
LCG: Oh dude, is that crazy. Cockroaches with ticks in em.
CMG: I know. People always ask me if there really are cockroaches that fly. I say yes, theyʼre called palmetto bugs, and theyʼre gross!
LCG: That’s the crazy thing. My wife is from Wisconsin….and when we go back there (Florida) she hates it. It’s every day you see a different bug you’ve never seen in your life. You know I started doing stand up in West Palm Beach. I started at the comedy corner in 1986. Yeah, that’s my old stompin’ ground too. Yeah, 16 years I lived in West Palm Beach.
CMG: With the palmetto bugs.
LCG: (laughs) With the palmetto bugs.
CMG: How often do you pinch yourself and go, wow? I’m married to a beautiful wife, I’ve got two great kids, I’ve got a great career, I call the shots?
LCG: ALL the time. I mean seriously. It’s unbelieavable. I would have not thought in a million years this would have happened to me. When I got into the business, I wanted to do what I loved and make a good living at it. When all these things started to happen, it was crazy. We’ve had other projects we wanted to do. We had a cartoon that I think is real funny. We pitched it to people and got turn down a couple of times. I gotta tell you, I don’t even give a shit. I really don’t. I was disappointed. It didn’t ruin my day. I have already done more than I ever thought I would do. Anything else that comes now is fun little extra things.
Larry the Cable Guy on YouTube