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Radio & TV Talk

Posted: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Talking with Larry the Cable Guy ahead of his Fox Theatre shows May 4 

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larry the cable guy
Larry the Cable Guy storms the Fox Theatre for two shows Saturday. Plenty of seats still available for the added 5 p.m. show.

By Rodney Ho

A show starring Larry the Cable Guy, in obvious world, would land on Comedy Central or Spike.

But in the real world, the plaid-clad, sleeveless stand-up comic is star of a hit show on the History Channel called "Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy." In it, the wise-crackin' Nebraska native travels the country mining quirky aspects of American culture. For the second season, which returns May 8, he'll learn moose mating calls in Alaska, shoot targets in Army sniper school and hunt for Bigfoot.

"I truly love history," he said, in advance of two comedy shows with Bill Engvall at the Fox Theatre Saturday. "All my wife and I watch is the History Channel."

Larry, as we'll call him since fans don't typically call him by his real name Daniel Whitney, said he tried to balance goofing around with dispensing information. "They really want it to be funny," he said. "I'm the one who often tries to keep the history in the thing. Sure, you may learn facts that aren't all that important. But they're still facts!"

Over 34 episodes, his favorite experiences so far include flying off the Navy carrier USS Nimitz, visiting Amish country and living like a Civil War re-enactor. "I got to dress up as a Confederate soldier and participate in battle and charges," he said. "I always wanted to do that!"

Larry said taping the show ate up nine months of last year and with his comedy touring schedule, he was away from his Nebraska farm for more than 280 days. He isn't sure he's up for a third season. "I'm 50 and I have two young kids," he said. "I need to start enjoying their lives."

Then again, this year, he plans to do even more standup. "I'm not complaining" about the hectic schedule, he said. "I choose to do it. I love doing it." While he does mostly solo dates, he'll occasionally join Alpharetta comic Jeff Foxworthy or Engvall, his Blue Collar comedy mates. Engvall's schedule happened to coincide with Larry's for Atlanta, where an 8 p.m. show is sold out, necessitating a 5 p.m. show, which still has seats available.

Larry moved back to Lincoln, Nebraska two years ago from Florida. "It's wide open spaces," he said. "I bought a farm up here. I love it. I have a stock fish pond and a hayfield. The kids loves it. The weathe rsucks. But it's generally not so bad. Last year in February, it was 50 degrees."

On his Prilosec ads: "It really works for me. They've been really good to me. The're good people. I'm glad that I can help them sell some Prilosec."

On Jay Leno: "I love Jay. I think he's a sweetheart. He gets a bad rap. I think he's hilariously funny. And he's really nice."

On Ron White: "We have different management so we haven't done anything together lately. He does my golf tournaments. We are good buddies. He has his own thing going on. He's got his following. He's happy with them."

Why he avoids news: "I'm a nice person. I like people. I think people are basically good. I want people to like me. But when I watch the news, within 10 minutes, I want to beat the living s*** out of people. It depresses me."

His Atlanta connections: "I went to a Baptist college in Decatur. It's not around anymore. I have been a huge Braves fan since I was 12 years old. I've talked to Dale Murphy on Twitter!"

Concert preview

Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall

5 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturday.

$65.10 after fees. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta,

TV preview

"Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy," 9 p.m. Wednesdays, starting May 8, History Channel

Rodney Ho

About Rodney Ho

I cover local radio and TV for both the print and online editions. I write a blog on the same topics.

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