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Comedian and actor Larry the Cable Guy has successfully marketed his blue-collar-based humor to become one of the top grossing stand-up comedians working today.
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Comedian, actor. Born February 17, 1963, in Pawnee City, Nebraska. Larry the Cable Guy has successfully marketed his blue-collar-based humor to become one of the top grossing stand-up comedians working today. Armed with a thick southern accent, and sporting outfits that favor baseball caps and cut-off shirts, Larry has parlayed his "regular Joe" schtick into sold-out stadium shows, popular TV spots, and an early, but successful movie career.
He's no stranger to the material that he draws from. He was born Daniel Lawrence Whitney and for the first 16 years of his life grew up on a family farm, raising pigs. That's not to suggest, however, that Larry was too far removed from an appreciation for stage life. His father, a preacher and guitar player, had played with the Everly Brothers, while his mother liked to fill out her weekends as an Elvis impersonator.
In 1979, Larry and his family relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida, where his quick observations and even quicker one-liners earned him a comedic reputation among his friends, so much so that on a dare in 1986, he stepped into a comedy club and tried out his act. The chance to perform appealed to Larry and, two years later, he gave up his job as a bellhop at a local Ramada Inn to make comedy the focus of his life.
That didn't mean an instant morphing into Larry the Cable Guy, though. Instead, Whitney was like a lot of comedians trying to scratch out a living. Clean cut, sporting kahkis and tucked-in button down shirts, his subject matter was the usual kind of stuff: family, ex-girlfriends, day-to-day life.
To make it work, and make a name for himself, Whitney pounded the pavement, hitting small clubs and eventually finding steady work as a radio DJ. In 1991 he started to gain some notoriety as a regular caller on radio shows across the country, where he played out various characters that he'd developed for the stage. One of them was a blue-collar southerner whose line of work was installing television cable. On a bit of a whim, the comedian introduced the character on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Show radio program, where he closed out the short segment with a line that's as branded as the character itself: "Get 'er done." Larry the Cable Guy was born.
"It was a about a three-minute bit of my act and it was killing," the comedian recalled. "So I started doing it on the radio. And when you're a comedian, you wanna sell tickets. So that's what I started doing. I found something that I could do onstage and I could do good. I started going out as Larry the Cable Guy, because it was fun for me to write for because I grew up that way."
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