Daniel Lawrence Whitney (born February 17, 1963), better known by his stage name "Larry the Cable Guy", is an American comedian and actor born in Pawnee City, Nebraska. He's known for his ragged, sleeveless appearance, as well as for his cartoonish, exaggerated Southern drawl. He is a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a comedy troupe that also comprises Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Ron White was also a fourth member of this motley crew, but dropped out amicably in late 2007 due to creative differences.
He honed the Larry character through a series of radio skits before taking to stand-up comedy. His first album, Lord, I Apologize, was released in 2001. Since then, he has had six more albums, including two Christmas discs.
Larry has also starred in the movies Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Delta Farce (which also starred Engvall) and Witless Protection, but is probably best known for voicing the tow truck Tow Mater in Pixar's Cars movies and shorts. He has also written a book called, unsurprisingly, Git-R-Done.
His comedy? Well, it's very informal, very crass, and certainly immature. Jokes about fat people, lesbians, handicapped people, disabled people and, of course, a healthy dose of Toilet Humor... most often followed with a "Just Joking" Justification. Although he has his share of detractors, Larry has proved to have a non-trivial fan base; his first three albums are certified gold, and he had the cachet to voice a character in a Pixar film. He also began a show called Only in America on The History Channel in 2010.
Tropes in his work:
- Artifact Title: He created the "cable guy" character for a radio show. Early on, he actually was pretending to be a cable guy, but that part of the character disappeared long ago."The most sophisticated piece of equipment in your house is about to be installed by the least sophisticated person you've ever met. Here he is - Larry The Cable Guy."
- As the Good Book Says...: Spoofed: he says that he tipped a stripper with Monopoly money because she had fake breasts. He told her "real titties, real money" is biblical, and it's right there in the book of "II Parentheses".
- Attack of the Political Ad: Discussed briefly in his book Git-R-Done, where it's made clear that Larry doesn't care for political mudslinging and can't believe people fall for it. In his own words: "I don't know if it's funny or sad that we've reached such a political low point!"
- Author Tract: Most of the latter half of the book Git-R-Done is Larry ranting on politics and just about anything else that bugs him.
- Becoming the Mask: Bar the occasional Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping moment, he truly never breaks character. Some believe there is no more Dan Whitney; only Larry.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: There's a picture of Larry in a hotel room in his undies...with a sheep. The other guys laugh their butts off when they see it.Larry: It was such a cute daggum sheep.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Apparently.Jeff Foxworthy: I've said before that working with Larry is kind of like watching the Jerry Springer Show. After about five minutes, you will feel better about your own family.
- Breakout Character: Of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour stand-up films. In the first film, he was the last of the four comics to be billed, while in both sequels, he was second-billed and the final performer.
- Catchphrase: "Git-r-done!", "That's funny, I don't care who you are," and if he thinks a joke was a little racy, "Lord, I apologize." The first two got an Actor Allusion in Cars.
- Comically Missing the Point: Has a habit of doing this on multiple occasions.
- The Danza: Expect almost all of his films to give his characters the same "Larry" moniker.
- Deep South: Although he's from Nebraska, Larry has said that he identifies more with the Southern lifestyle, and feels more comfortable in character.
- Dissimile: "I met this gal a while back, looked like Shania Twain. Only a little shorter and, uh, the face was different. I was drunk, she looked like Shania Twain. Next morning, Mark Twain!"
- Another time, he says that one girl he met "looked like Pamela Anderson, only Vietnamese."
- Early-Installment Weirdness: His first major-label album (he had a couple independent ones prior to that) has a "Toddler Mail" segment and a musical track (featuring Mark Tremonti), neither of which he did again. Also, his voice was less gruff.
- Exploding Fish Tanks: The joke starts with him talking about going dynamite fishing with his buddies and ends with, "We blew the aquarium at the dentist office sky high!"
- Fan Disservice: He likes to do a lot of shirtless scenes in movies and shows, doesn't he?
- Gilligan Cut: From a routine where Larry goes to a Victoria's Secret store with his girlfriend, who tries to get him to put on one of their shorts for men.Larry: My girlfriend was like, "Go in there and try them little shorty shorts on". I'm like, "Uh-uh, that ain't happening". So I go in there and try em on.
- Half-Witted Hillbilly: Larry's character was originally a spoof on the stereotype, although it seems to be being Played Straight more and more as time goes on.
- Hollywood Tourette's: He joked that his deaf cousin also has Tourette's, and demonstrated it by randomly Flipping the Bird while signing.
- "Just Joking" Justification: "Lord, I apologize" is one of his ways to assure his listeners that he is only joking. He often adds, "Be with the starvin' pygmies down there in New Guinea. Amen."
- Kissing Cousins: Though Larry is willing to condone more than just kissing.Larry: I had a buddy of mine call up the other day, all upset 'cause he slept with his third cousin. And I'm like, "Man, if it upsets you that much, quit countin' them!"
- Middle Name Basis: Larry is actually a diminutive of his middle name, Lawrence.
- Moral Guardians: He has a distinct tendency to mock them.Larry: Have you noticed lately how video games are getting way more sexually explicit and violent? I really gotta buy me one of them games!
- Non-Indicative Name: The character of Larry is rarely, if ever, portrayed as an actual cable guy anymore. In fact, his first starring role is in the film Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. Is he a cable guy or a health inspector?
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:"If I'm lyin', I'm cryin', and I ain't sheddin' a tear."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Larry's books are filled with spelling errors as a form of Stylistic Suck, but he will also launch into surprisingly well-researched arguments about things that bug him. He even explained Darwin's theory of Natural Selection properly. He is also one of the highest celebrity winners on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Since starting Only In America, he's been put in startling or scary enough situations that he's dropped character a few times. Probably surprising for people that don't realize it is just a character, which dovetails nicely into:
- Poe's Law: Larry pisses off an impressive number of self-professed intellectuals who seem to be completely unaware that he's just a fictitious character played by a comedian. Andrew "Dice" Clay pulled off a similar ruse years before.
- To be fair, as the Larry persona has become Whitney's primary money-maker, he rarely, if ever, appears in public out of character (see Secret-Identity Identity below). He has gone so far as to stay in character as Larry for a 60 Minutes interview; his only concession for that more serious venue was to tone down his affected Southern accent to a more conversational tone.
- Political Overcorrectness: He did a routine where he translated Twas The Night Before Christmas into PC-speak. Non-denominational Holiday Figure's trademark "ho ho ho" was replaced with "lady-of-the-evening lady-of-the-evening lady-of-the-evening."
- Precision F-Strike: Notable because it's pretty much the only f-bomb he's dropped, keep in mind the it's mumbled enough that it could be argued as curse cut short:She stepped on a talking scale and it said "what the fuck"
- Professional Voice Dissonance: Larry is known for his cartoonish hillbilly drawl. Whitley's real voice outside the persona is more subdued and a lot deeper.
- Role Called: The stage name Larry the Cable Guy itself, which makes his film Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector a notoriously confusing example.
- Secret-Identity Identity: According to some who have worked with him, satirist Daniel Whitney is slowly vanishing behind Larry the Cable Guy (which has also gone from being a satirical character he did at the end of his stand-up routines to being the whole thing and losing the satire).
- Self-Deprecation: All the time. One sterling example comes after he flubbed a line in one joke:Larry: I met a girl who stunk Spanish—spunk Spanish—spoke Spanish! I'm hearing a lot of this for the first time, myself.
- Sexy Stewardess: Discussed in one sketch, when he ponders why he only ever seems to meet stewardesses who look like "The Oak Ridge Boys with titties".
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: He even named one album The Right to Bare Arms.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Claims that "Git-R-Done!" is short for:"To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the day the night, thou canst not then not be false to any man!"
- El Spanish "-o": When introducing the song "I Believe," he says, "Or, in the Spanish, el believe-o."
- Sure, Let's Go with That: While bagging his own groceries at a Walmart, being in a hurry, he was mistaken for a mentally-handicapped store employee.Larry: A woman came up to me, patted me on the head and said, "I think it's wonderful they hire people like you." (Face Palm) And I went, (mentally-handicapped voice) "Thank you!" And I pooped my pants and ran her over with my cart!
- Take That!: He does this to other celebrities on a fairly regular basis.Oh like you never did that before! Every man - every man has done this! Just tuck your weiner between your legs, run around your house, lookit at yourself in the mirror, and say, "Oh, hey there, I'm Roseanne!" You know, like on the Rosie O'Fatass show.That was scarier than Richard Simmons chasin' after you with a box of rubbers!
- Toilet Humour: Several of his jokes involve farts, crap and piss.Larry: My brother got in trouble last Halloween for toilet-papering people's houses. He said, "Dude, I didn't know that was illegal!" I said, "It ain't, but you are supposed to use fresh toilet paper. Pull your pants up and stop pooping in those pumpkins, too! For God's sake, you're the sheriff!"Larry: Ever order breakfast at Denny's, and then you go to the bathroom and yer in there so long you gotta order lunch from the stool?
- Trademark Favorite Food: Moon Pies.
- Vocal Evolution: The "Larry" voice has become noticeably rougher and deeper over time, perhaps as the result of smoking.