Before Larry the Cable Guy, There was Dan Whitney.

Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy

Incredibly fascinating video found on the site Lafflink of Dan Whitney, a.k.a. Larry the Cable Guy, back before he found his blue collar persona. Looks a lot like many other 80s comics - khakis, sneaks and brightly-colored shirt. And check out the mullet.

I guess you might chalk up the “Larry” persona to the evolution of a comic, although “Larry” probably doesn’t believe in evolution. (But maybe Dan does?) Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him deliver the same joke as “Larry.”

Some might say this gives ammunition for the arguments in David Cross’s letter from late last year, specifically the “blatant and gross marketing and selling of (a) bullshit character to (Larry’s) beloved fans.” I’ve come to the conclusion that most of “Larry’s” fans probably think of “Larry” like they think of wrestlers like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or “Triple H” - as characters. They know it’s not real, but it’s kinda fun to pretend it is. Of course once they know how unreal… does it matter? Probably not. But “Larry” has been pretty good of keeping Dan a mystery. Until now.

(Dan Whitney video originally found through A Special Thing - best comedy message board eva!)

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Comments

Posted by Oscar on 06/14  at  06:55 PM

I have to disagree.  I find Larry the Cable Guy funny in a “meh” kind of way, but his popularity scares me.  And the way culture is today, I don’t know if most of his fans know that it is a character.  I understand the wrestling analogy, but characters as stand-ups isn’t as well-known as wrestling yet so I don’t think his fans really think “Hey, this is a fictional character.”  And I don’t think they understand that what he says on stage might not be what he really thinks.  And that is what scares me.

Posted by Jeannette on 06/16  at  03:14 PM

Larry the Cable Guy sells himself as a representative of the “common folk” when he has never, nor will ever be, anything even close to “common,” working class people.  I find him and his schtick to be totally nauseating.

Posted by Jim on 06/19  at  02:57 AM

Let me put it this way: Richard Pryor was a comedian.  George Carlin, Chris Rock, and Denis Leary are comedians.  This guy is a novelty act, nothing more than a fake-redneck version of Andrew Dice Clay.  I predict he’ll be working at a Taco Bell in Des Moines within two years.

Posted by Steve on 06/19  at  06:42 AM

I can kind of see why he uses the whole “Cable Guy” character.  As unfunny as it is, it sure is a hell of a lot funny than the crap he was dishing out in that video.  It’s kind of funny to see the comedian I know as “Larry the Cable Guy” talk and act like an upper class suburban citizan.  For the record, Ron White is the only “Blue Collar” comedian whose funny.

Posted by Mike on 06/19  at  05:16 PM

I think this is great, he’s always talking about attacks on his audience from the PC left and David Cross… and in reality he’s pretty much dumbing down his act to appeal to the people he claims are looked down upon.  It’s hypocritical, I understand it’s juvenile bullshit humor but don’t take a stand against someone when you are doing the same exact thing, playing down to your audience…

Posted by Bart on 06/20  at  03:38 PM

I went to high school with Dan.

He was lower middle class, his dad was principal of the elementary school in West Palm Beach.  He was a Nebraska farm kid who did gravitate toward the red-necks in the school.

I think it’s hilarious that he’s as successful as he is and judging from the character of those who hate him for his success, I have to say, I’m proud of him.

Posted by a visitor on 06/22  at  01:39 AM

I admire Dan’s creativity. What a clever way to stand out from the crowd! I think he respects his fans and appreciates the love and success they’ve given him.

Posted by Mitch on 06/22  at  12:50 PM

I think he is hilarious charactor or not i just got Blue Collar comedy Tour, it is hilarious and he adds so much to it with his stupid yet hilarious jokes and acts

Posted by justin on 06/22  at  03:13 PM

remember everyone this is just entertainment. Nothing in entertainment is entirely real. even reality tv is mostly staged and set up. take “larry” for what he is. he’s entertaining for some. for those who don’t like him, fine. this is america after all. but please don’t for a second try to act all incredulous and tell us what he should or shouldn’t be. if you don’t like it don’t buy tickets and don’t watch the television special. if you do like it, then enjoy and laugh your butt off. at the end of the day who really cares if “larry” is real or not. he just trying to add laughter to a world that can really use it right now.

ps. if you really think that ron white is standing up there drinking whiskey you need to take a long hard look at yourself. that’s apple juice and guess what? acting!

Posted by The Ozzfather on 06/22  at  05:00 PM

Bah, doesn’t change a thing. We all know that it is an act and a damn good one at that. There are so many comedians out there that act, they are entertainers its their job. I’m still going to listen and go to his shows and love every minute of it.

Posted by drew on 06/23  at  04:14 PM

Many of these comments illustrate perfectly exactly what’s wrong with people like ‘Dan’. Whether it’s Ashley Simpson, GW Bush or Larry the Floridian douchebag, there is no longer any penalty in this country for being exposed as a fraud. What kind of message does this send to people? Go ahead, lip synch your music, lie to everyone you ever meet, convince the trailer trash simpletons of middle America that you’re ‘one of them’ by donning overalls and making racist jokes. Even if you get caught, everyone will just shrug their shoulders and go right on spoon feeding your horseshit into their diabetic, fat pie-holes. If anyone in this country had any taste at all, Dan never would have made it out of Sandals.

Posted by PERSON with PROBLEMS on 06/26  at  03:22 PM

Larry the Cable Guy effin’ rocks!!! no matter what anyone says he’s a great COMEDIAN, not novelty act. even if his persona is just an “act” he’s making money off of it and at the same time making millions of people laugh.

Posted by iburl on 06/26  at  04:48 PM

Terrifyingly pathetic. Could those pants be any higher? The mullet any more greasy? The jokes any worse? The Venue any more cheezy? The references to elder abuse any more unfunny? Oh yeah, The Cable guy is even more unfunny.

Posted by Marybeth on 06/27  at  06:10 PM

Are you people serious?  He is a comedian.  He is there to make you laugh and forget about the stress that life brings.  Are you really going to sit there and stress out about whether or not he is a redneck?  Who cares????  I personally think he is hilarious and will therefore continue to watch him.  If you don’t, then don’t watch him but knock other people for enjoying what they enjoy.

Posted by denise on 06/27  at  08:11 PM

How can you keep a straight face and watch this guy. The Nascar skit is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s great to laugh especially when you see all the pain in the world. Larry keep it up. I’m one of your biggest fan and I’m not redneck.

Posted by Mike on 06/28  at  01:13 AM

Its funny to see how many people dont have lives. start looking at yourself before judging someone else. He is an entertainer. You do not have to like him. It seems like some people just have to put others down to feel better about themselves. GET A LIFE!!!!

Posted by Ken on 06/28  at  12:39 PM

What are you people so uptight about? It’s comedy, lighten up.

Posted by LaTasha on 07/13  at  10:38 PM

I think Drew (#11) has a really good point… but I have to admit that I still think the guy’s funny.

Posted by Vanita on 07/20  at  12:27 PM

Seems like there are a lot of jealous folks out there…. actual redneck or not, Larry is wonderful….funny and entertaining… he makes a believable redneck regardless and he actually gets pretty close the the truth of a real redneck. I think he is one of the funniest comics around….He is in SHOW BIZ folks..it is all bull anyway and it is not like he is running for President or something…if he was he would have my vote! Nothing better than a man with a sense of humor and can make fun of the sillier side of life… Way to go, DAN or LARRY…(or for true southern rednecks I guess it would be Larry Don) I love your jokes and your humor!

Posted by Gaile on 07/23  at  03:54 AM

I just got to laugh at you nay-sayers.  How pitiful is your life when you take Larry’s status as a redneck so personally?  Geez!  Get a life already.

Larry’s success is not a commentary on the mentality of his fan base any more than any other popular entertainment.  So he looked like a Yuppie in the 80’s.  So did a lot of people!  I’m glad he found the formula that made him successful.  He got er done!  And he made me laugh in the process, which makes him ok in my book!  Good for you, Larry!

Posted by Angry NASCAR Guy on 07/24  at  09:45 PM

Nobody but nobody has even pointed out that the many “gangsta rap” stars in effect are scamming middle Americans.  Many of the tough rappers aren’t tough and didn’t come from such and such ‘hood.  It’s all about street cred.  How is that any different than Larry the Cable Guy?  Isn’t the test whether you’re entertained?  Do your co-workers really like you or just put up with during work hours and you never hang out during off hours?  Same thing.  Get over yourselves.

Posted by Rob on 08/03  at  04:54 AM

I enjoy Larry as much as Dennis Miller or Jake Johansen. Just because you don’t need a PHD. or thesaurus to understand his act, does not mean he is not funny. Andrew Dice Clay may not be selling out arena’s anymore but he is not flipping burgers either.
I predict Larry will be around long after some of the comedians on Comedy Central shows who have based their entire career on bashing the President. Get a sense of humor you “pissed off, liberal douches”.

Posted by Nick on 08/06  at  04:02 PM

Everyone is talking about reality in entertainment and how Larry isnt really from the south. To take an example from another form of entertainment, Lynyrd Skynyrd were from Florida, are still enjoyed by millions, and are considered the pioneers of Southern Rock. Secondly, its comedy. Aren’t sterotypes supposed to be played into? Let the man do what he wants…

Posted by Quinn on 08/07  at  02:33 AM

It’s comedy!  Comedy, no matter what its form may be, is for everyone to enjoy.  Pick your spots and leave it at that….no one has to like the same comedians.  This is why there’s so much variety of comedy, and everything else.  Dan Whitney uses a character to tell jokes, and in these times of arrogant, cut-throat, abussive world leaders, knocking on a comedians onstage character should be the least of anyone’s problems.  Enjoy yourselves and your comedians, and respect each others opinion.

Posted by Reality on 08/08  at  08:12 PM

NIck, last time I looked at a map, Florida was a Southern state. Has there been a change I’m unaware of? They are “Pioneers of Southern Rock” because they are Southerners.

Posted by MemphisBelle on 08/11  at  07:52 PM

Vote with your wallet.

If you find “Larry” amusing, buy his crap. If you find “Larry” offensive, don’t buy his crap.

Not brain surgery, folks.

Posted by Magghe on 08/14  at  02:00 AM

I love Bill Engvall….I love Jeff Foxworthy…I even like Ron White,but Larry absolutely nauseates me…he isn’t even remotely amusing,his jokes are older than the crust in his goatee,and that fake hillbilly accent is completely ridiculous,and extremely obvious.
  The only reason he has the success he does is because of Jeff,Ron and Bill allowing him to sell his schtick act on their very popular and funny show.
  But when I get to the part on the DVD where this inane boob speaks,I fast forward…or mute the sound. His ignorance guiles me,and I simply cannot listen to his inane babblings.
  He lowers the class and humour of the show….and he simply is not funny. He reminds me of a class clown in the first grade that uses potty jokes to make the other little kids laugh…..it may be funny to a first grader….but then most toilet jokes are…they are funny to little kids and teenaged boys who still crowd into a closet to sniff each others gaseous emissions!

Posted by Catherine on 08/14  at  11:05 PM

Lucille Ball wasn’t scatterbrained.  Jack Benny wasn’t a tightwad.

Being so concerned that audiences can’t tell the difference is patronizing and elitist.

Posted by Dennis on 08/16  at  09:11 PM

Richard Simmons’ character is fake as well.  Does that bother anybody?  I hope not.  People, get off your high horse and get a life.  I’m gay and think his humor is funny.  The fact that Santa Clause isn’t real hasn’t wrecked my life either.  It’s comedy and that’s supposed to entertain and help you forget reality.  Lighten up.

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