David Cross Responds to Larry the Cable Guy’s Comments in “Git-R-Done” (And so do I)

Filed Under Print, Stand-Up Comedy

Larry the Cable Guy and David CrossLarry the Cable Guy recently took on David Cross in his book “GIT-R-DONE” for slamming him in a profile of the redneck comic from Rolling Stone. Larry said that particularly takes umbrage (‘cept he doesn’t use “umbrage”) to Cross “hammering his fans” and asserts that Cross takes himself too seriously, that nobody ever comes to a comedian to make foreign policy. He also details how Rolling Stone went looking for a comedian to talk shit about him (with Lewis Black declining). In that same chapter, Larry also called me an idiot (not by name, mind you) for an interview I conducted with him for this site. More on David Cross’s response and my own after the jump.

David Cross published an open letter to Larry the Cable Guy on his own site. It’s a fantastic blast of sarcasm (describing his reaction to reading about himself in Larry’s flatulence-obsessed tome as “I farted up a fartstorm”). David cops to Rolling Stone having a bias, but points out that’s what the press does and that Larry can’t possibly be surprised. He then deconstructs his own Rolling Stone quote, asserting that he does know Larry’s audience (“dumb redneck, easily entertained, ignorant motherfuckers”) and that Larry’s act is racist (quoting Larry on Arabs as “commie rag head carpet flying wicker basket on the head balancing scumbags”). Cross, with his eye for hypocrisy, points out that pretending to be a “good ole boy” who all about his over-paying fans while making millions is, to his personal taste, rather disgusting. For Larry to be offended that Cross thinks he’s “not real” is insane to David, because Larry the Cable Guy (real name: Dan Whitney) is an act. It isn’t real in the first place. David suggests that if he really cares for fans, lower ticket prices (current low I found online - $37.50/seat).

I actually checked out the book a little while ago to read the chapter on Cross, figuring it would be blog worthy and was a bit surprised to find the blog quoted on page 93. (David, I too, farted!) Since Larry doesn’t know me from Adam, I’m classified as one of those “college students who think their shit don’t stink.” My shit may not stink, but man do my farts! P-U! (I’ll stop the Cross imitation here, because I sadly suspect I might suck at it.)

Larry misquotes my interview question, but at least he doesn’t get the actual content completely wrong as he does when he misquotes David Cross (“in a stage of vague intellectual pride” vs. “a state of anti-intellectual pride”). His book quotes my question as:

“I see where your dad was a preacher. Do you think it’s possible to do your act and still be a good Christian, and how does fundamentalists trying to put restrictions on the FCC affect you?”

Restrictions of the FCC? The FCC is the agency that does the restricting. Did anybody even bother to check Larry’s logic? My actual question:

“You are the son of a preacher. What difficulties do you have being a good Christian AND a good comedian? How do you feel about fundamentalists’ attempts to get the FCC to tighten restrictions on television?”

(You can read the full interview here)

Larry concludes from this question that I am “an idiot” and then mentions he believes the FCC has “overstepped their bounds and have no common sense about them.” Apparently, he considers any questions about his religious background to be a “retarded blast of crap” because he’s a comedian and his shows aren’t “revival meetings.” Never mind that Chapter 3 of “GIT-R-DONE” details how his second catchphrase “Lord I Apologize,” evolved out of his relationship with his preacher father. It was a question about influences and it’s obvious that his religious background influenced him if it led him to pretend to apologize whenever he told a joke he thought his father wouldn’t approve of. If it’s a dumb question to ask, why the hell does he’s spend a chapter of his book detailing how religion influenced his act?

Unlike the allegedly biased Rolling Stone writers, I came into my interview without any intentions of “nailing” Larry the Cable Guy. I figured that he had to be pretty smart to have built his act, which has some well-constructed material. It’s not corny Hee-Haw jokes, it’s got the rhythms and the reverses of comedians of many a “hip” nightclub comic dressed in a persona recognizable to many Americans. It’s calculated stupid comedy. Larry the Cable Guy’s stand-up has made me laugh sometimes. If it can make me laugh, I’m interested. As my friend Jesse Thorn said, “You were *so* respectful in that interview.”

So when I received the answers to his interview questions, in all caps with several misspellings, I was a bit torn. I was certain that Larry could spell and find the caps lock key, so it seemed like all the mistakes were a deliberate extension of the character. On the other hand, mistakes are mistakes, and I wasn’t entirely certain it’s good for a comedian to look stupid, even when they’re playing a dumb hick. In the end, I figured my own doubts about Larry’s errors meant it would be best for readers of the interview to decide for themselves. (I didn’t do [sic]s because I thought it tilted the reading a negative way. I did feel the need to apologize for the SHOUTING, because that’s just online etiquette.) In a strange circle, David uses the misspellings in this interview to prove Larry’s “anti-intellectual pride.”

Whatever I feel about Larry the Cable Guy’s comedy, I’m pretty glad he doesn’t talk about his politics on stage. They’re abhorrent. David detailed some examples. I think I’ll give you some more:

On the Lyndie England Abu Grahib photo:

“...hysterical. It was the kind of uplifting thing that we here at home needed to see.”

And the photo of the naked pyramid pile, he was

“laughing at it like it was a sketch from Comedy Central.”

Maybe it is a good thing comedians don’t set policy, Larry.

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Posted by Matthew Janovic on 12/18  at  09:30 AM

Apparently, like Billy O’Reilly with Al Franken, Larry feels threatened. Must be why he attacks: Arabs, homosexuals, and anyone-else he THINKS won’t be hitting-back. He must be a really scared Cable Goy/Guy. He’s obviously afraid of Jews and intellectuals, but that’s because most of them are smarter than he is (which ain’t hard). Wait for Larry’s new enemies-list in the next coloring-book…

Posted by Dan on 12/28  at  08:37 PM

Is “Larry” really dumb or just pretending to be dumb?  Come to think of it, the question is moot - it’s dumb to pretend to be dumb.  Stupid people are rarely funny so why pretend to be stupid?Larry’s interview wasn’t funny - except for the spelling mistakes, but i wouldn’t consider that a talent.

Posted by Mark on 01/07  at  03:34 AM

I thought your interview was fair.  It was certainly a helluva lot more fair than I would’ve been (my interview would have been the question, “Why do you suck so bad?” asked fifteen times).  The whole caps-lock/misspelling thing… I honestly thought that was an extension of his act, too.  I didn’t really understand what misspelling “phase” and “satirize” has to do with being a good-ol’ boy, but I suppose that’s what makes me a damn “lib.”  All in all, a good interview and a good response letter.  Don’t let one shitty comic get you down.  And frankly, a war of words between David Cross and Larry the Cable Guy is like watching Mike Tyson punch a five-year-old girl in the face (which I’ve seen twice… and man, was it awesome).

Posted by Don in Ca on 01/11  at  09:01 AM

As Larry has said, “this ain’t rocket science”. We do have the right to free speach in America, even if we don’t agree with it. Chris Rock makes some very savvy and funny remarks about hating N*****s and gets no press (except from Ed Bradley), he knows he can go there because he has the credentials. If Larry makes comments about ‘retards’ and rednecks, well… (remember it’s a free country)! I happen to be a college educated, professional individual and fully appreciate humor for humor’s sake and don’t pay any attention to whether it is polically correct or not, hell, at least they are not dead baby jokes. Let’s all take things in context. One person’s humor is certainly not the next (dead baby lovers may have a chuckle too) I merely think that if one doesn’t like Larry’s humor, that’s fine and it’s also ok to dish him on it. Just remember, Larry took off on radio and he’s riding a wave right now and deserves every penny he makes on it as he strikes a chord with a LOT of people. He’s doing it out in the open the American way and not driving airplanes into high rises and that works for me. Those who don’t like him have their right but I also surmise they would trade their bank account for his. I know I would.

Posted by Duncan on 05/03  at  10:50 AM

Don in Ca… you sure you’re college-edumacated? You got quite a few spellin mistake in that there letter a yours and as far as I know, you fly airplanes, you don’t drive em.

Posted by Lisa on 05/03  at  05:05 PM

Don in Ca:
You’re writing like there’s no middle ground between declaring holy war on the United States and being Larry the Cable Guy. My problem with this guy is that he thinks it is ok to put people on two extremes according to their race and religion. (He spoke out against a Muslim prayer introducing the Republican convention.)

And just because people make a lot of money doesn’t mean they’re untouchable and deserve no criticism.

Also, “Larry” loves to talk about how it’s just comedy and it shouldn’t be turned into anything political, but he brings up political stuff in his comedy routine. If he doesn’t want to criticized for political reasons don’t talk about political stuff like Abu Graib or 9-11 or the Republican Convention.

Posted by sarah on 05/08  at  10:47 PM

hey whats your address

Posted by Trevor on 06/28  at  08:49 PM

Hey I dont no what you yellow bellied city- slickers have against rednecks or a man as funny as Larry the Cable Guy if you take offense to him then you are the dumb ones because its all just an act.  I bet you wouldnt like it if I called Chris Rock a no good SOB N***** who doesnt know shit about comedey.  So it would be nice if you would understand my and MILLIONS of other peoples point of views and STOP putting Larry down.  O by the way David Cross SUCKED in Scary Movie 2.

Posted by guy on 07/12  at  06:58 PM

Wow Trevor,

Of all the country comedians you could have spoken up for you chose to get emotional about the cable guy?  I think the article was pointing out a few of Larry’s contradictions but it’s nice to know you care so much.  Plus, I hear big Larry is raking in the dough nowadays so he can stand to take a shot or two, or three.  And way to keep your cool with the whole Chris Rock example.  Very bed sheet of you. 

Keep laughing Trev (Git-R-life!)

Posted by w on 07/16  at  03:52 PM

Larry The Cable guy exemplifies the monumental problems found in the Southern US. His redneck, celebrate-our-idiocy humor only aids in perpetuating an ideology that supports stupidity.

Just because you cannot understand some of the things Cross says, doesn’t mean he is not funny.

Posted by Tristan Yates on 08/18  at  09:44 PM

They’re both funny in different ways.  But yeah, Larry shouldn’t take himself so seriously, he’s basically just doing Jim Varney’s material, right?

Posted by Setech on 03/11  at  05:42 AM

He is right on the money about this anti-intellectual frenzy that has overtook america

Self Ordain Ignorance is not innocents

Posted by Fadi on 04/22  at  12:35 AM

Regarding the whole Rolling Stones article and the responses in here, you people cannot stop surprising me. First off, easy on the pseudo-intellectual talk (he exemplifies monumental problems? Geez!).

Second, Whitney is right on the money saying that the only people who get offended by his act are rabid PC-crazed white people. (loosely quoted)

I’m Arab, and I find his jokes funny as hell. Where do you get off being offended on my behalf? (I have yet to hear other Arabs complain.)

As for David Cross, he should first take a look at his own act before criticizing Larry’s show as “racist and homophobic.”

It’s not OK to make ethnic or gay jokes if you’re Southern, but it is OK for Cross to do stand-up mocking catholics and joking about how the Virgin Mary raped him at one of her appearances. It’s also OK for him to impersonate gay people, because that’s highly intellectual as opposed to an inherently racist Southern man.

Just lighten up people; you’re taking ‘uptight’ to a whole new level.

Posted by Sean Hoffman on 07/13  at  02:42 PM

David Cross is an elitist. I read his response and he maligns people from Georgia. Make no mistake, he purposefully labels us as ignorant. The irony of this situation is that I thought Cross was very funny and owned quite a few videos of his comedy. Although I have never been a real fan of Larry the Cable Guy, he did not initiate this conflict and is only trying to defend himself. I firmly side with him. I don’t think I will have the stomach to watch Cross, knowing that he views southerners as inferior. Good job David.

Posted by mike on 07/16  at  10:18 PM

Fadi is right on.  The guy is a comedian, his jokes are gonna offend some people, as do many many many many other comedian’s do.

just cause hes acts as a SOUTHERN REDNECK now all of a sudden you take exception to his jokes. sounds like intolerance towards southern rednecks - hey theyre people too.

some white people are quite elitist, and you need to stfu and stop complaining, cause all i hear is WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH

wait for it… hear it coming? .. the wah-bulance is on the way for PC crazy elitists.

Posted by J on 10/07  at  08:13 AM

David Cross was born in Georgia and is a Southerner (like myself), although he did move away the first real chance he got.  I see no problem with him criticizing the idiots he grew up around.  There are a lot of dumb people down here, are you going to deny it?  I see and talk to them everyday.  You might think I’m an elitist, but I think I’m a realist (a Southern realist - born and bred and with no desire to move away). Cross’ impersonation of Jeanette Dunwoody from Valdosta, GA is so spot on, it gives me chills.  I had someone once tell me we should bomb Iraq because it’s so close to Spain and we wouldn’t want them crossing the border into Spain and making their way to England (this was because Fox news left a graphic up of Spain and Portugal during a story on Iraq).  What do you say to that level of ignorance?

I used to know Dan before he became Larry.  It’s a total act.  He’s not like that at all (or he wasn’t - he might have gotten lost somewhere along the way, I suppose).  He’s actually a really nice guy and used to be quite empathetic towards others (because he was always the left-out, fat kid with no friends).  It’s funny that he has made so much money as this character which he originally created to lampoon Rednecks.  I think having to perform as Larry so often is probably some kind of personal hell for him.  I’m sure he’s crying all the way to the bank.

Posted by jasper on 02/07  at  11:28 PM

So yea, Larry is a hack, and its completely fucked up that he manipulates southern culture for profit.  I think we all know that, critiquing Larry is easy, and its pretty much pointless by now. 

I want to stress that David Cross is about as anti-feminist as you could possibly be.  Also, as a southerner I am appalled at the way he talks about his culture.  Its your fucking culture you asshole and you should fucking own that shit.  It doesn’t mean you need to listen to Hank Williams and drink sweet tea all day but at least show people some fucking respect.  All of my family comes from the country and the mountains and nearly all of them are very intelligent and fairly left leaning people.  They didn’t all have the access to education that more industrially developed regions do but that doesn’t make them stupid, it just means they didn’t get the education that everyone has a right to.  And come off that fucking elitist bullshit already.  The reason Larry’s ridiculous speech patterns are dumb is because he’s trying to co-opt southern culture by fulfilling every possible stereotype, not because using improper grammar is dumb.  People from different regions tend to speak different dialects, you can find that all over the globe with most languages, it doesn’t mean the people who don’t enunciate every word as it appears in the dictionary are stupid.  It means they speak a different fucking dialect you fucking idiot. 

Being against the war and for social spending is a good thing David, but rape jokes makes you a worthless piece of shit. 

So yea, fuck Larry but more importantly Fuck David Cross for abandoning his fucking roots and having the fucking gall to chastise someone else about anything. 

also, wondershozen is a bunch of hipster bullshit.  we get it, things are anti-pc and ironic, try doing anything else ever.

Posted by allen on 08/03  at  10:29 AM

larry the cable “suck`s” he did not come up with “git-r-done”
that`s as old as john wayne, i just don`t think he`s that damn funny,he might be funny if he showed up in a “g-string and paste`s” now that might be funny, and i don`t care where you come from.

Posted by Andrew on 01/31  at  08:23 PM

The reason we “elitist intellectuals” hate Larry the Cable Guy is the same reason we hate Sarah Palin. Not because they’re stupid, but because they’re so popular. In a country that once proudly led the world in innovation and education, we now rank 33rd in reading, 27th in Mathematics, 22nd in Science; yet, instead of seeing a problem with this, we idolize the ignorant.

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