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An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy
December 3, 2005 7:03 AM   Subscribe

An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy by David Cross
posted by farishta (122 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. I was unaware of this rivalry. Thanks for this. I like David Cross's sign off
"[I]f you really, truly want to respect your fans, lower your ticket price as well as the price of your ubiquitous merchandise. I'm sure all those hard-working Americans could use the extra money now that the budgets are being cut drastically from Transportation, Education, Health and Human Services, HUD, Dept of the Interior, EPA, Farm Service Agency, FEMA, Agricultural, FDA, VA, FDA, FHA, National Center for Environmental Health, and numerous other departments and agencies that they might directly rely on for help. All so that we can pay off this massive tax cut during "war" time that we're all getting (them not so much though). Oh well, that's just one of those "political" things that I think about occasionally."
posted by jessamyn at 7:14 AM on December 3, 2005


I'm not a fan of Larry The Cable Guy, there's other guys who do the average slob routine* and even the juvenile fart joke shtick (and there's always a time and place for the juvenile) much better. And while I sometimes find Cross a bit annoying and mean spirited, I gotta say he's on target with that letter. He's gained some respect from this former hater.

*Nick DePaolo, Drew Carey, even Tim Allen is funnier than Larry.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 AM on December 3, 2005


and Roseanne Barr.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on December 3, 2005


Indeed... as a David Cross fan, and a Larry the redneck Guy anti-fan, I found this to awesome.

I was relistening to this yesterday.

A long interview of Cross from the Narduar Website.
posted by cusack at 7:34 AM on December 3, 2005


(er... insert "be" in the 1st sentence.)
posted by cusack at 7:35 AM on December 3, 2005


Shock 'n Y'all!
posted by Marnie at 7:43 AM on December 3, 2005


As soon as I started reading this I thought to myself "you know, I bet the best part is that David's going to reveal Larry's some dude from New England or something," so I was sort of close.

If Larry really attacked Cross with the old chesnut of "PC," then he's a bigger idiot than the one he plays on television. Of all the people in the universe he could accuse of being "PC" he picked David Cross? It would have been easier to just say "I've never listened to a single one of his albums."

Cross could have easily offered a response with more filth and insults akin to his standard act, and instead he wrote (for Cross) a measured, intelligent response basically solidifying the fact that Larry is full of shit. Beautiful.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:47 AM on December 3, 2005


Perfect. Every word of it.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:49 AM on December 3, 2005


The whole thing seems bizarrely out of place. Like, why in the hell does David Cross give a crap about Larry the Cable Guy's comedy? It's like Aimee Mann getting into a feud with Good Charlotte, saying that their music and style is artificial, pandering, juevenile and simple. Well, duh. I doubt that Good Charlotte would disagree.

Larry's comedy and style is artificial, pandering, juevenile and simple. Well, du-fucking-uh, David Cross. It seems designed that way on purpose, in an effort to get people to give him money. Of course, it's not like the guy can just come out and say "Yeah, you know, this whole thing is something that I knew would appeal to alot of people, so I ham it up and dumb it down so that people will buy my albums and schwag." If he says that, then no one buys his stuff, which defeats the whole purpose of the schtick.

About the only thing that comes close to an actual meaningful criticism is the charge of racism, and even that can be rebutted with a cocktail of broad satire and "giving the fans what they want to hear".
posted by 23skidoo at 7:52 AM on December 3, 2005


Nice words.
posted by birdherder at 7:52 AM on December 3, 2005


My favorite snip-it:

"It's kinda like you're this guy who speaks for all these poor, unfortunate souls out there who wear shirts with blue collars on them, work hard all day to put food on the table for their family (unlike people who wear shirts with white collars or wear scrubs or t-shirts or dresses or costumes that consist of flannel shirts with the sleeves cut-off and old trucker hats) and pray to the American Flag of Jesus to protect them from the evils of muslims, queers, illegal immigrants, and the liberal jews who run Hollywood and the media. I guess one could say that you're "telling it like it is". And considering the vast amount of over-simplification you employ to describe with sweeping generalizations, all of America and the World that "don't make no sense to you", as well as your lack of sensitivity, and second grade grammar, one might be led to think that you are somewhat proud of not appearing (or being) too intellectual."

I can't find it now but it make me think of the side by side quotes comparing rhetoric from right wing agitators (concerning university faculty I believe) and eerily similar speech from the cultural revolution in China. Both were anti intellectual or defensive of ignorance.
posted by tvjunkie at 7:56 AM on December 3, 2005


this is pathetic. my comic is better than your comic.

do you know what you people look like from outside america? a bunch of whiny rich kids who can't cope with the relations who never went to university.

a huge amount of mefi is spent in these irrelevant little pissing contents where the moleskine users get to reinforce each other's feeling of superiority by taking swipes at rednecks and trailer trash.

it's not important. if you think it's important you're part of the problem. the problem isn't that your country is half full of ignorant republicans. your problem is that you think you're so fucking superior you won't even talk to them.

grow up before your country fucks all of us.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:59 AM on December 3, 2005


Note to self: lay off David Cross. He's testy.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:00 AM on December 3, 2005


Also, someone want to post a link to the RS article?
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:01 AM on December 3, 2005


uhhh... we call it "college" here.
posted by cusack at 8:04 AM on December 3, 2005


That was great.
posted by graventy at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2005


Like, why in the hell does David Cross give a crap about Larry the Cable Guy's comedy?

Well (and as you know, I've been very critical of Cross before), I'd venture that Cross cares about the art of comedy and I'd even imagine that he cares about the working stiff lugs Larry claims to represent. And Larry fails on both accounts, he's not a comedic representative of his purported audience so much as minstrel show. I've known my share of cable installers and none of them were that dumb.

Where the comics I mentioned in my in my initial comment differ from Larry (and you could add others to the list) is that they not only have an affection for their audience and the characters they portray, but they also give their audience credit for some intelligence. News to Larry: blue-collar does not equal dumb. And evn gross out humor deserves some originality.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 AM on December 3, 2005


andrew cooke : "grow up before your country fucks all of us."

ha! try and stop the ignorant bastards!
posted by graventy at 8:09 AM on December 3, 2005


the moleskine users get to reinforce each other's feeling of superiority by taking swipes at rednecks and trailer trash.

andrew cooke, I've been more critical of that shit than just about anyone here, and I can't speak for everyone but what I find annoying about Larry is that he's a deliberate misrepresentation of such people. and he's laughing all the way to the bank. I'm a big fan of lowbrow humor, but it better at least be funny.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on December 3, 2005


Well (and as you know, I've been very critical of Cross before), I'd venture that Cross cares about the art of comedy and I'd even imagine that he cares about the working stiff lugs Larry claims to represent.

Sure, but Larry's making jokes for people who don't care about comedy. Cross is a comedian, Larry just "does stand-up". Yes, comedy (like all forms of entertainment) can be an art, but that doesn't mean that all entertainers in that field need to try and be artists.

Sure, the character of Larry is a two-dimensional stereotype. And the comedy is unoriginal. But people are eating that shit up. And not in a "hahha, those inbred rednecks are so ignant" way, but in a "finally, a comic who looks and thinks like me" kind of way. Why the hell should he stop, especially if he's uncapable of making comedy that's intelligent and challenging?
posted by 23skidoo at 8:22 AM on December 3, 2005


andrew cooke: it's not important. if you think it's important you're part of the problem. the problem isn't that your country is half full of ignorant republicans. your problem is that you think you're so fucking superior you won't even talk to them.

What is important is that Larry the cable guy and other 'half ignorant' conservatives have a larger audience than NPR, PBS, or any other balanced new source combined. What is important is that racist, anti-elitist, proud anti-intellectualism is being propogated and reinforced by popular sources of entertainment. So there is room to critique them. Is it cultural analysis make people feel so 'fucking superior,' or does the real sense of superiority come from attacking people who happen to take interest in David Cross' cogent, witty polemic?

Where do you get off attacking us, andrew cooke? I'm probably just as politically informed and active as you. David Cross is a funny guy. It's not difficult to engage in political discourse and enjoy it when one comic tears apart another who espouses ignorant anti-intellectual stereotypes.

Take note, cooke: sweeping generalizations are what you and Larry share in common, though you happen to be on opposite sides of the fence.
posted by farishta at 8:25 AM on December 3, 2005


I think there's a big difference between the type of un-PC comedy that David and Larry do. David makes fun of racism and ignorance whereas Larry uses racism and ignorance to get laughs. The difference is Larry helps his audience feel more comfortable hating gays, Jews and Arabs.
posted by eperker at 8:28 AM on December 3, 2005


too many words
posted by jmccorm at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2005


But people are eating that shit up. And not in a "hahha, those inbred rednecks are so ignant" way, but in a "finally, a comic who looks and thinks like me" kind of way.

Well, in that letter Cross did say "I've met your audience. They suck." which is a little off-putting (I don't know whether he meant blue collar people or simply Larry's fans), so sometimes people make the classic mistake of over-correction. Like I said earlier, comics like Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey and even Jeff Foxworthy manage to cover similar ground without insulting the intelligence of everyone involved and by being genuinely funny.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2005


David Cross is awesome, that was great.
posted by smitt at 8:32 AM on December 3, 2005


Wow, Andrew Cooke lives in a society with no social class awareness or class warfare. Sounds like a nice place to vacation.
posted by Neologian at 8:33 AM on December 3, 2005


What is important is that racist, anti-elitist, proud anti-intellectualism is being propogated and reinforced by popular sources of entertainment.

Hold on, there: anti-elitist dosen't neccessarily equal racist and anti-intellectual. And I can't speak for everybody, but I don't feel anti-intellectual so much as anti-sophistry. I like smart people, I just don't much like smartasses.

Oftentimes, it's difficult to listen to some high-brow comics and not feel like you're being insulted or condescended to a bit. And guys like Larry fill that gap, sadly.
posted by jonmc at 8:34 AM on December 3, 2005


David Cross can be very funny, which means he is an effective professional clown, but listening to David Cross give sanctimonious lectures to celebrities no less rich and no less whore-ish than himself like Paris Hilton and whoever this latest Jeff Foxforthy incarnation is, is grating. It's like look you douche, I've seen much of what you've done and you make facile shit jokes*, you make easy gay jokes, you make easy black jokes, you are an over-rich, pampered, self-important celebrity. Get off your pedestal, ass. He's like one of those conceited hipsters who thinks his trucker hat magically transforms into fashion when it's on his head instead of a trucker's - its no longer a trucker hat but a meta-trucker hat. David Cross thinks his gay jokes have some sort of inherent immunity from themselves, because he's David Cross - see, they're Meta-gay jokes.

That said, I've seen David Cross live and he was hilarious. And yes he did jokes that he apparently thinks only he is allowed to make.

*Run, Ronnie, Run featured some of the most unintelligent, lowest-common-denominator, shitty, shallow sitcom humor I've ever seen.
posted by dgaicun at 8:48 AM on December 3, 2005


Andrew -- please get your high horse. Your air of British superiority that drips through your comment really doesn't really help things. You point is valid. A pissing match between two comedians is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But your tone could use some work.



I live in a city surrounded by a state that thinks Larry the Cable Guy is the greatest thing ever. I don't think I'm better than they are. Which is the point. Some of us don't find ourselves superior to others. David Cross isn't saying he's superior to the Larry, he's just calling him on his hypocrisy. Something that doesn't happen in American media about say the president who is portrayed as a regular guy from Texas when he's really part of the aristocracy. GWB's accent is just as fake as Larry's accent.

Having said that, your warning is too late. The US has already fucked things up for everyone. I believe Larry the Cable Guy would say that horse has left the barn. We're all fucked. And we need your help to make the world normal again.
posted by birdherder at 8:48 AM on December 3, 2005


Both of these comedians are smug, un-funny, embittered idiots who capitalize on making fun of people who are different from them. Neither one is inclusive or has any claim to populism. Both pander to their audience without challenging them to create any real solidarity among different people. One is rich, while the other just had his sitcom cancelled and is posting insular long-winded screeds on his website for his "enlightened" "outsider" fans to agree with.

But I love David's proposal to see their fans duke it out in a room together. Let's throw in the Toby Keith fans against the Bright Eyes fans - engendering progressive discourse and unity through the battle of the polarized sanctimonious twits. "I love this bar!"
posted by Marnie at 8:50 AM on December 3, 2005


Who the hell is Larry the Cable Guy? Or David Cross? I've been out of the country too long.
posted by grouse at 8:51 AM on December 3, 2005


Let's throw in the Toby Keith fans against the Bright Eyes fans - engendering progressive discourse and unity through the battle of the polarized sanctimonious twits.

*grabs popcorn and beer*

I'll consider that image your birthday present to me.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on December 3, 2005


dgaicun summed it up nicely and I agree with everything he said except "David Cross... hilarious".
posted by Manhasset at 8:57 AM on December 3, 2005


Whoa, whoa, whoa.... whoa.........whoa.

Let's take a step back, folks.

Dan Whitney is a bad guy. I don't care which side of the fence you sit on. He's a racist - and not in the David Cross sense of "I like to make fun of other people's racial insecurities so I named my company Liberal Jew-Run Media Incorporated" racism. He's a racist in the, (re: Iraqis / Muslims) "This is a country full of primitive camel humpin' morons and they deserve to all just rot in there little sand huts and pick ticks off of each other for the rest of there lives. F 'em!! And all these so called American Muslims can kiss my redneck ass too. For you ungratefull sumbitches to sit over here in this country, enjoyin' our Burger kings and Wal-marts and then to continue to bitch about our country and the violence after only a year ago you was dancin' in the streets all happy ass ya aughta walk your skanky ungratefull ass to the next airport!" sort of way.

Andrew Cooke - you get the asshat award of the day, as far as I'm concerned. You obviously didn't read the article, and you've clearly never seen "Larry the Cable Guy's" act. He is punching blue-collar America right in it's beflanneled beer-belly. My father-in-law works a blue-collar job - he's an electrician - and every time he sees Whitney's act it's a direct slap in the face.

"a huge amount of mefi is spent in these irrelevant little pissing contents where the moleskine users get to reinforce each other's feeling of superiority by taking swipes at rednecks and trailer trash."

Next time, I will kindly remind farishta to submit his post to the Andrew Cooke editorial committee prior to posting.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2005


*swipes at trailer trash*
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:05 AM on December 3, 2005


it's not important. if you think it's important you're part of the problem. the problem isn't that your country is half full of ignorant republicans. your problem is that you think you're so fucking superior you won't even talk to them.

The problem, in this case, may be that you don't know what you are talking about or that you didn't read the article or know the context of it. Dan Whitney is a comedian whose schtick includes a lot of racist humor. David Cross is a comedian whose schtick includes a lot of racial humor. Both of them are well-educated, well-off, and quite popular. They appeal to vastly different audiences in the US. David Cross is saying that when Dan in his "Larry the Cable Guy" persona "sticks up for his fans" [as he did in the RS article] by caricaturing them as racist hilbillies with poor grammar, that is probably not doing anyone a favor, or helping out the plight of the poor uneducated underclass in the US which is, I believe, one of the problems. No one is swiping at poor or uneducated or ignorant Americans.
posted by jessamyn at 9:16 AM on December 3, 2005


Speaking as a person from the South, I'm incredibly offended by 'Larry the Cable Guy' and his schtick. Unfortunately, in my experience, a lot of the rednecks that surround me are not.

Ditto what Baby Balrog and jessamyn said.
posted by geekhorde at 9:20 AM on December 3, 2005


Now I want to see Sarah Silverman beat the shit out of Jeff Foxworthy! Anybody got a link to that?
posted by fungible at 9:36 AM on December 3, 2005


Andrew Cooke--watch out, I think some dick hijacked your account.
posted by found missing at 9:42 AM on December 3, 2005


All I gots to say is this...if you don't think David Cross is funny, you need to watch Mr. Show with Bob and David. It has finally made it to late-night basic cable on TBS, I think.

Watch it.

The guy is damn funny, anti-sellout (a rarity, to be sure), and pissed.

That being said, I know people from at least 4 different continents that say "Git 'r done!" on an unfortunately regular basis.
posted by wah at 9:51 AM on December 3, 2005


You throw down, Jessamyn!
posted by klangklangston at 9:55 AM on December 3, 2005


People are really too nice to idiots.

I openly attack religion at every opportunity, in an effort to save another fool from wasting their life wallowing in the emotional artifice of mythology.

Same with the glorification of redneckery. Those that uphold illiteracy and idiocy simply allow thugs like the GOP to keep doing what they are doing, blinding the weak, looting the Treasury, etc.

It is time to drive that dreamy demon down.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:08 AM on December 3, 2005


Who the hell is Larry the Cable Guy? Or David Cross? I've been out of the country too long.

I live here and I've never heard of 'em. My loss, I guess.
posted by fixedgear at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2005


"your problem is that you think you're so fucking superior you won't even talk to them."

What gets me about Andrew Cooke's comment is that David Cross's letter is unusual precisely because it *is* an attempt at communication between groups.

I mean, arguably Cross could have been more respectful (although that can be a sort of condescension, too, yes?). But this letter seems like an invitation to a public conversation--or at least a fight by the bike racks. It's not a refusal of communication, anyhow.
posted by washburn at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2005


Oh, so Larry The Cable Guy is about as authentic as Carlos Mencia, AKA Ned Holness.
posted by Relay at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2005


wah- as much as I love David Cross...
Well, he was in Scary Movie 3. or 2, whatever. Too lazy to look it up. That kind of hints at "sell-out", if you give a shit about those kinds of things. I don't, so whatever.

Yeah, Larry is bad. He stands up for his fans by overcharging them for shit merchandise and touting the greatness of attitudes and policies that directly harm the working class. And, he's probably the worst comic ever. I mean, Foxworthy's schtick is tired and old and hasn't been funny in years, but at least it's, you know, comedy. Larry is like the anti-comic. Everywhere there should be a punchline, he just says "Git-R-Done" like he's a country boy smurf. It's truly lazy, and as someone raised in the South, I don't see how his audience isn't completely insulted by his shit.

I'm a huge David Cross fan. Love Mr. Show, love his stand-up. He can get preachy at times, and it's not that funny then, even when I agree with him. And yeah, sometimes he comes off as a "too cool for school" hipster with is ironic trucker caps and whatever. This letter is funny, but as someone above says, he gets a little too defensive. Really, getting upset at Larry the Cable Guy? Whatever. I hope this dies down, because if this feud continues it'll be a collosal waste of time for both men. Well, for David at least.

And yeah, what the hell is up with andrew cooke? No one is saying this feud is the most important thing ever. Some of us can take a momentary break from fighting the Man to have a little laugh, you know.
posted by papakwanz at 10:12 AM on December 3, 2005


That being said, I know people from at least 4 different continents that say "Git 'r done!" on an unfortunately regular basis.
posted by wah at 9:51 AM PST on December 3 [!]


I'm fairly certain that it was the motto for my highschool's last homecoming game. They printed up t-shirts. I cried a little.
posted by luftmensch at 10:16 AM on December 3, 2005


Call me back when the rednecks around you take over the entire government and the airwaves and get their fingers on the button.
posted by trondant at 10:17 AM on December 3, 2005


Having reread the article, I think the part that stands out now is the comment on merchandise costs. Cross makes a good point (as papakwanz and others reiterated) about how if Larry trully cared about his fans, he wouldn't gouge them so.

Faux working-class populism can be quite the selling point, sadly. Throwing in status-quo reinforcing points about The Other and you've got yourself a multimillion dollar industry. Turns out that Americans just want to feel good about themselves.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:18 AM on December 3, 2005


Call me back when the rednecks around you take over the entire government and the airwaves and get their fingers on the button.

You might want to check your messages. Some of us have been screaming for 5 years.
posted by wah at 10:20 AM on December 3, 2005


wah: Bush is about as much of a genuine good ol' boy as Elvis was a black belt. Don't confuse the hucksters with those who (sometimes) get conned by them. And it's the "rednecks," kids who are coming back from Iraq in body bags.
posted by jonmc at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2005


Faux working-class populism can be quite the selling point, sadly. Throwing in status-quo reinforcing points about The Other and you've got yourself a multimillion dollar industry.

Perhaps, but we better come up with an alternative other than snotty condescension. Neither is all that appealing to me.
posted by jonmc at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2005


Run, Ronnie, Run featured some of the most unintelligent, lowest-common-denominator, shitty, shallow sitcom humor I've ever seen.
posted by dgaicun at 8:48 AM PST on December 3


I guess that's why Cross hates it so much.

And yeah, sometimes he comes off as a "too cool for school" hipster with is ironic trucker caps and whatever.

What? He doesn't wear them, I've never heard him talk about them, and if he did, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be positive.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:33 AM on December 3, 2005


Larry the Cable Guy is a character. Why is it not ok for a comedian to slip into character and deliver standup? It's a performance. It's nothing more than Steve Martin as the Wild and Crazy Guy when he's a more serious and contemplative person than she showed on stage. Also, so what if "Larry" is a semi-illiterate buffoon character that appeals to the worst in southerners. Comedy doesn't have to be intelligent and insightful. It CAN appeal to the lowest of us and the lowest in us. That said, I would never pay a cent to see a racist, ignorant moron like him on stage or on TV for free for that matter.
posted by my sock puppet account at 10:37 AM on December 3, 2005


I thoroughly adored David Cross until that Sub-Pop compact disc/DVD came out. I agreed with a lot of what he said and thought he was a completely wrong. In traditional David Cross arguments at the bar and whatnot, I tend to compare to Eddie Izzard.

The guy's not American, is well-educated and is able as an outsider to point out stupidity in a thoroughly engaging and fascinating way that's dead-on and not mean. And he's got much better style, of course. Maybe the outsider is granted an advantage, but I'd think people would be less willing to take it from a foreigner.

Do you have to be nice? Hell no, but you don't have to be an ass all the time. And every time Cross talks about where we grew up (yes, I'm a peach from Augusta), he's a twat about it. Then again, that's Cross' act and clearly some market somewhere appreciates it enough.

I've also never seen and barely heard of this Larry the Cable Guy. But even if what is mentioned here is not just the normal MetaFilter hyperbole, sounds like the guy stinks. I don't know the breadth of his audience or any such, but other entertainers have done the same gag for years. We've all heard of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, the Putzhead Twins on Fox...
posted by Captaintripps at 10:41 AM on December 3, 2005


So has it not occured to any of you that both Larry the Cable Guy and David Cross both stand to make a lot of money by having this sort of public feud? It's the same reason Oasis always takes shots at other bands in the press. They've made another mediocre record and if they same something mean about another band, then they get more publicity. And when they get more publicity, they sell more of their mediocre records.

For the record, David Cross is usually funny and Larry the Cable Guy can lick the red and white right off my blue-collar intellectual ball sack. That's right. I've got the most intellectuall ball sack y'all have ever seen in your LIFE! Just the other day I heard my left nut defending Wittgenstein's Tractatus against the bitter claims that only later does Wittgenstein adequately deal with the inherent problems of identity and language.
posted by marcus singer at 10:59 AM on December 3, 2005


Man I wish Bill Hicks were still alive. He would have probably had a running fued with Larry the Cable Guy and would have done a much better job of explaining exactly what was wrong with Larry and his fans.
posted by Justin Case at 11:09 AM on December 3, 2005


Who the hell is David Cross? Seriously, I've never heard of him. Larry the Cable Guy is mildly funny, though I know he has a lot of fans - apparently many more than David Cross.

Fuck David Cross. That letter was elitist and bitchy and precisely why regular people in this country think liberals are annoying.
posted by b_thinky at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2005


Friggin' hilarious. Thanks.
posted by iamck at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2005


I've got the most intellectuall ball sack y'all have ever seen in your LIFE!

But sadly, his ball sack's neighbor is a real asshole.
posted by jonmc at 11:20 AM on December 3, 2005


jonmc: And it's the "rednecks," kids who are coming back from Iraq in body bags.
Just a tangent, but hasn't that been shown to be false- that there isn't, after all, a disproportionate number of rednecks/poor/Southerners in the military, that the numbers may be the opposite? Which does reinforce this image in my head of the red states as a high-maintenance girlfriend who picks fights in bars with big guys, then expects her boyfriend (the blue states) to back her up...
Faux working-class populism can be quite the selling point, sadly. Throwing in status-quo reinforcing points about The Other and you've got yourself a multimillion dollar industry.
jonmc: Perhaps, but we better come up with an alternative other than snotty condescension. Neither is all that appealing to me.
All that appealing to you?! Oh dear, I'm sorry- why don't you call my personal customer complaint department because we certainly value your business!

Not that I'm picking on jonmc here, but what's this "we" crap? I've given up on this country, because I looked down at my wrists, and lo and behold- I have no stigmata! Lordy me, it turns out that I'm not Jesus, or any kind of savior! I'm not in fact required by any laws, either mundane or cosmic, to "save the world", certainly no more than anyone else. These lowbrow morons get themselves into messes, and somehow people who aren't fucking retarded have to "come up with an alternative" to approach these imbeciles and get the problem fixed?!? How about "Fuck that"! I chose not to have kids, so I sure as shit do not want to babysit a country full of fucking morons.

I sometimes wonder if the likes of Cheney get to this point, and that's why they are what they are: so loathing of how stupid these idiots are, how self-defeating and ignorant! So tired of being told that smart people are beholden to bail out their dumb-ass brethren from the political and economic and ecological shitholes they make for themselves time and time and time again, that you just get to a state of "Fuck this. I'll screw the system, make a boatload of cash, and then go hole up in an undisclosed location as far the hell away as I can get from the idiots and rednecks who gave me the power and money to do this. What morons!" How stupid do you have to believe that Bush is a "guy you'd like to have a beer with", when Bush has fleets of security to ensure he'd never be caught dead with the low-rent likes of his voting bloc?

Seriously- why is it my responsibility to communicate with or convince the fans of Guy de Cable of how self-defeating they are, how ill-conceived are their politics and morals? My only goal in life is to accumulate enough wealth to insulate myself from the consequences of their stupidity.
posted by hincandenza at 11:32 AM on December 3, 2005


What? He doesn't wear them, I've never heard him talk about them, and if he did, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be positive.
posted by Optimus Chyme


I might have hallucinated the trucker hats.
posted by papakwanz at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2005


Yeah, don't get me started. Just the other day the asshole was complaining about having to drop the kids off at the pool again. So the left nut puts on this trucker hat, don't ask me where he found it, and says to the asshole "Git-R-Done, you anti-intellectual piece of shit."
posted by marcus singer at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2005


(I don't care who you are, that's funny.)

I didn't laugh. The whole screwing-the-grandma line went on too long and tried too hard. It was actually funny, until it tripped over itself. The above line killed it utterly.

Anyhoo, I'm going to see Mr. Cross on New Year's Eve. Woohoo!
posted by scarabic at 11:36 AM on December 3, 2005




I wouldn't care that Dan Whitey is a fake, but he makes "regular Americans" look bad by showing them on camera at his concerts lapping up this stupid Git-R-Done philosophy, which just reeks of bigotry and fear-mongering.
posted by meh at 11:36 AM on December 3, 2005


I think they're both douchebags.
posted by keswick at 11:38 AM on December 3, 2005


Would someone explain what this "Git-R-Done" is all about?
posted by Wolfdog at 11:43 AM on December 3, 2005


Whereas a white collar person might Get Things Done, blue collar Southerners must Git-R-Done. Organizationally, it's a quite complex time-management system covering all axes (from tallboy purchases to bed-liner installation). In an astute way, the modern redneck can accomplish more in less time.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2005


Whitney explains Git-R-done in this interview. Personally, I prefer Yipper Dipper Stripper. Although I'd rather here the cries of a dying baby than anything that comes out of Larry's mouth.
posted by BigFatWhale at 12:03 PM on December 3, 2005


Elvis was too a black belt!

The King could have beaten the stuffing out of both of these clowns. TCB.
posted by Haruspex at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2005


Optimus Chyme: Wow, I never knew that about the production of Run, Ronnie, Run. Now I don't feel so bad about never having watched it, though. Poor Bob and David.
posted by jenovus at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2005


Who the hell is David Cross? Seriously, I've never heard of him.

Never heard of google either, fuckwit?

Fuck David Cross. That letter was elitist and bitchy and precisely why regular people in this country think liberals are annoying.

So you've never heard of him but that won't stop you from attacking him and generalizing. Ok.
posted by puke & cry at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


Am I a REGULAR PERSON or an INTELLECTUAL? Please help. I need to get dressed...
posted by Kloryne at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2005


Or, wait -- am I a regular person or a "liberal?" Jeez... Some sad shit goin' down on Metafilter today.
posted by Kloryne at 1:13 PM on December 3, 2005


In all the hoopla, nearly every one of you ignored David Cross' main point, so I'll underline it:

Since I was a kid I've always been a little over sensitive to the glorification and rewarding of dumb.

Dan "Larry" Whitney's humor is a reflection of the racist, anti-intellectual political and cultural atmosphere being pushed on everyone in the US.

The last part of tvjunkie's comment is exactly what is wrong about this situation and why Cross is completely on the mark.

And jonmc, I know you don't like condescension, but at some point the obvious needs to be said before it's too late. It can happen here, if we're too afraid to speak the truth.
posted by Rothko at 1:24 PM on December 3, 2005


scarabic, I found that strangely out of character for Cross, but in the interview BigFatWhale posted, it appears that "I don't care who you are, that's funny" is something that Larry says. So it looks like he was actually taking a jab at Larry by making a not-really-funny joke that is simply offensive to certain people, like Larry's queer/rag-head stuff, and saying it's universally funny.

As for some of the other comments about why Cross is feuding with the guy or attacking a stand-up character, or attacking blue collar workers, or whatever you think this is about; it's right in the article. Cross was asked what he thought about Larry, and he said:

He's good at what he does. It's a lot of anti-gay, racist humor -- which people like in America - all couched in 'I'm telling it like it is.' He's in the right place at the right time for that gee-shucks, proud-to-be-a-redneck, I'm-just-a-straight-shooter-multimillionaire-in-cutoff-flannel, selling-ring tones-act. That's where we are as a nation now. We're in a state of vague American values and anti-intellectual pride.

...which is a pretty accurate assessment of Larry's success. Larry got pissed at being outed, and attacked him in his book with the standard "He's just a PC intellectual liberal who doesn't get us blue collar types". Cross is refuting that. And his higher point is that he just doesn't like the anti-intellectual tone of America at the moment, or the brazen exploitation of that anti-intellectualism by Larry.
posted by team lowkey at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2005


The worst thing about the comedy world is that Sara Silverman is dating Jimmy Kimmel.
posted by delmoi at 1:35 PM on December 3, 2005


Man I wish Bill Hicks were still alive. He would have probably had a running fued with Larry the Cable Guy and would have done a much better job of explaining exactly what was wrong with Larry and his fans.
-Justin Case


Yeah, Bill Hicks would've pwned hard on Larry the Cable Guy. Probably on David Cross, too. Ironically, with that leftist-intellectual-slash-rebellious-cowboy persona of his he could perform either of their acts better than they can.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 1:35 PM on December 3, 2005


The worst thing about the comedy world is that Sara Silverman is dating Jimmy Kimmel.

Hopefully Jimmy is into pegging or coprophilia.
posted by Rothko at 1:38 PM on December 3, 2005


I like Larry the Cable Guy and have enjoyed David Cross's work, but that whole diatribe is almost like Elitist Liberal Stereotype 101. It's comedy, git of yer high horse.
posted by owillis at 2:04 PM on December 3, 2005


Thank you puke & cry, you said what I was going to say.


And David Cross thinks your favorite band sucks.
posted by birdherder at 2:06 PM on December 3, 2005


You see, I don't know how disagreeing with someone can be considered cliche. Now that we've blown it up into a diatribe one might call it 'elitist liberal stereotype 101,' but anyone could have written about how awful and racist Larry the Cable Guy is. And I don't think Cross is in it for the money, but maybe I'm too naive.
posted by farishta at 2:07 PM on December 3, 2005


Larry the Cable guy likes Lewis Black? Heh. And he writes in all caps too...
posted by delmoi at 2:18 PM on December 3, 2005


And jonmc, I know you don't like condescension, but at some point the obvious needs to be said before it's too late. It can happen here, if we're too afraid to speak the truth.

Agreed, but let's speak the truth and at the same time make the folks in Larry the Cable Guy's potential audience feel like they are a part of our multiculti jamboree, too. I heartily advise you to read John Sayles' Union Dues, probably the best analysis of American politics in literature ever written. It's set in the late 60's but it could just as easily be today (which sadly, seems to be the aim of Bush & his crew), I guarantee you wont walk away unmoved or unthinking.

Larry the Cable guy likes Lewis Black?

Screw Larry, I like Lewis Black, he's frank and honest without being snotty. And he's genuinely funny. His "soy milk" line never fails to make me crack up.
posted by jonmc at 2:43 PM on December 3, 2005


Relay,
Oh, so Larry The Cable Guy is about as authentic as Carlos Mencia, AKA Ned Holness.

Except Ned's name appears to have been changed by his adopted family when he was still a kid.
posted by Opposite George at 2:45 PM on December 3, 2005


By which I mean, It's easy to forget that it's the ancestors of Larry's audience, back during the West Virginia coal mining wars and during the Dust Bowl and the union fights in the Northeast who got the left wing ball rolling in this country. Somewhere the American left lost touch with this constituencey (and to be fair vice versa). If we can figure out a way to bridge that gap, we have the battle won.

but hasn't that been shown to be false- that there isn't, after all, a disproportionate number of rednecks/poor/Southerners in the military, that the numbers may be the opposite?

you have something to back that up besides your good looks?
posted by jonmc at 2:48 PM on December 3, 2005


Dan "Larry" Whitney's humor is a reflection of the racist, anti-intellectual political and cultural atmosphere being pushed on everyone in the US.

This is important. For a while now, clas conciousness among whites has been equated with racism, homophobia, and jingoism by popular culture. The mainstream media isn;t going to fight that false equivalency, so I think it falls on us to, somehow.
posted by jonmc at 2:52 PM on December 3, 2005


Oh, so Larry The Cable Guy is about as authentic as Carlos Mencia, AKA Ned Holness.

Claming That Mencia isn't 'authentic' because his real name is "Ned Holness" is a little stupid, I mean, he obviously really grew up in the Latino community.

On the other hand he makes fun of people for having 'ethnic' names (He made fun of a white guy for being named 'blake' or something on his show). So if anyone deserves to be judged by his name it's him...
posted by delmoi at 3:10 PM on December 3, 2005


Claming That Mencia isn't 'authentic' because his real name is "Ned Holness" is a little stupid, I mean, he obviously really grew up in the Latino community.

Carlos grew up most of his life in the Maravilla Projects of East L.A..

indeed, and maybe his life experience has led him to conclude that the whole "I'm offended," game, (especially when it comes to comedy where all the gloves are spposed to come off) is a bit of bullshit.
posted by jonmc at 3:16 PM on December 3, 2005


The worst thing about the comedy world is that Sara Silverman is dating Jimmy Kimmel.

Sara Silverman is dating whomever gets her perky tits more airtime.












Is that ok to say if I'm "in character?'
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:18 PM on December 3, 2005


It's OK to say whatever the hell you want. Mainly because it would be impossible for most of us to think less of you.
posted by jonmc at 3:42 PM on December 3, 2005


I want to believe in Sara Silverman's and Jimmy Kimmel's love for one another. Please don't take that away from me.
posted by mullacc at 3:44 PM on December 3, 2005


I liked the rant. But if Cross wanted to point out the guy's bad spelling and grammar, he should have made sure his own writing didn't contain any such mistakes (which it did). /anal
posted by Devils Slide at 3:58 PM on December 3, 2005


"Seriously- why is it my responsibility to communicate with or convince the fans of Guy de Cable"
posted by hincandenza


I'm a fan of Guy LeDouche
posted by Bistle at 4:52 PM on December 3, 2005


yeah he's great
posted by Bistle at 4:57 PM on December 3, 2005


I just saw "Mr. Show" for the first time last night. It was the episode with "Marilin Monster" (sp?). It struck me as a little grating, sometimes deeply offensive, but really, really funny. That's kind of how Cross' comments struck me, too.
posted by jiawen at 5:11 PM on December 3, 2005


The funny thing is, this kind of ethos (of Mr. Cross) seems to be a hallmark of plenty of people I grew up with in Georgia or who I have met from Georgia. That raw delivery moderated by something intellectual seems to come out of that state. I don't know what it is, but I like it and revel in it.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:30 PM on December 3, 2005


I can't be the only one to want Sarah Silverman and Sacha Baron Cohen to have the perfect Jewish comedian babies ever. In Kazhakstan, we, how do you say, often hijack the threads. I like you do you like me?

A duet on "Throw the Jew down the well" would bring tears to my heart.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:55 PM on December 3, 2005


I'm with you allen.spaulding. Yakshemesh.
posted by farishta at 6:06 PM on December 3, 2005


"On Al Qaeda:

I don't think bin Laden sent those planes over to attack us because he hates freedom. I think he did it because of our support for Israel and our ties to the Saudi royal family, and all the military bases we have over there. You know why I think that? Because that's what he fucking said! What are we, a nation of six-year-olds? Answer, yes.


i think david cross is the funniest comedian alive.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:38 PM on December 3, 2005


I've known my share of cable installers and none of them were that dumb.

Careful, Jon. Venturing dangerously close to self-parody territory again.

David Cross is a twat, and Larry TCG is an asshole. That they both feel they represent some kind of constituencies is laughable. But they both make me laugh, occasionally.

Good enough for me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:50 PM on December 3, 2005


Fair enough, stav. I think all of us owe it to ourselves to realize that ultimately, we are all constituencies of one.
posted by jonmc at 7:38 PM on December 3, 2005


JOIN THE COMEDY: A CONSTITUENCY OF ONE
posted by jenovus at 8:04 PM on December 3, 2005


I think a lot of people fail to realize that a ton of we intellectual left-wing douchebags are also poor or middle-class. I have nothing against blue-collar jobs or the people who hold them; shit, I sold fucking shoes at one point in my life: that's the poor / humilating / backbreaking trifecta right there.

What we ILWDBs hate is the glorification of stupid shit, and that's why "Larry" is such a worthless, unfunny hack. His entire act is based on a catchphrase, he makes racist jokes not to demean racists but rather to make racism acceptable, and finally: you can buy shotglasses with his catchphrase at the gas station. No thanks.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:08 PM on December 3, 2005


Optimus Chyme == Al Bundy?
posted by jenovus at 8:41 PM on December 3, 2005


This letter was helpful in that I didn't know anything about Larry the Cable Guy's political humor. I thought his comedy was all schtick and caricature. Not great but not as obnoxious as some of those quotes posted.

Man, that guy's a dick!
posted by destro at 10:01 PM on December 3, 2005


By which I mean, It's easy to forget that it's the ancestors of Larry's audience, back during the West Virginia coal mining wars and during the Dust Bowl and the union fights in the Northeast who got the left wing ball rolling in this country.

rednecks are called Red Necks because of their commie-colored scarves.

gives a whole new twist to those jeff foxworthy jokes, doesn't it?
posted by eustatic at 11:39 PM on December 3, 2005


I noticed earlier some took offense to the idea of Cross "taking swipes at rednecks and trailer trash" and not attempting to actually talk to people like them.

As the writer of the Interview with Larry (reference earlier and which Cross used in part of his open letter), I can tell you that I attempt to ask my questions with the upmost respect for what he's achieved, sincerely interested in his ideas on comedy and our culture, even if I wasn't going to agree with them.

But, later in the same chapter of "Git-R-Done" where he slams David Cross, Larry calls me an idiot (not by name) for asking some of the questions I did (My response which is not nearly as funny as Cross's post), particularly because I'm "out to change the world" and questions that look deeper into Christianity and comedy are "a retarded blast of crap."

My point: The lack of desire for dialogue is happening on both sides, and it is frustrating that we yell at each other. Most of the time it doesn't even seem like we're speaking the same language. One side refuses to believe that things are more complex than they appear, making it impossible for logic to penetrate and causing people like Cross to explode in the caustic way they do. I don't like being elitist, but how can you be anything else if you argue against the simple "truths" everyone else seems to accept.
posted by deadfrog at 12:24 AM on December 4, 2005


Did you interview him on caps lock day?

I can't believe one of our own was the interviewer. Reason #174 why Metafilter's cool.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:40 AM on December 4, 2005


As I say in the Interview, I got the answers back exactly the way they appear on site, all caps and spelling mistakes intact. I wasn't sure if it was part of the character of "Larry the Cable Guy" or if they were real mistakes, so I figured I'd leave it up to the readers to decide. I still don't know.

And thank you for the praise, but just joined. I have lurked for quite some time however and hope to be a good part of the community (at least the humor/comedy/funny posts).
posted by deadfrog at 1:10 AM on December 4, 2005


Welcome aboard :)
posted by Devils Slide at 1:48 AM on December 4, 2005


Here's a question from AskMeFi a while ago where I asked about funny right wing comedians - it's good to see jonmc change his attitude about David Cross since he said some pretty nasty stuff about him back then.

Just some feedback on Carlos Mencia - the guy is not only unfunny but is also exactly the sort of blow-hard I hate - mouthing off about Muslims and then talking about how they deserve to get their asses beaten by the mighty military of 'Merikuh and then he goes off on a five minute flag-waving spree which is enough to make you vomit.

I am still waiting for a genuinely funny right-wing comedian who can laugh at him or herself without resorting to jokes about "libruls" and Clinton but I don't hold out a lot of hope. Just one more thing - I quoted it in that AskMe question but I'll do it here again - the best thing an American comedian ever said -

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. 'I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.' 'Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!' 'Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons.'"

- Bill Hicks.
posted by longbaugh at 3:10 AM on December 4, 2005


upmost respect

Paging Pot. You have a call from Mr. Kettle.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:50 AM on December 4, 2005


it's good to see jonmc change his attitude about David Cross since he said some pretty nasty stuff about him back then.

well, I'm still not a huge fan of his comedy, but that's a matter of taste. But the letter shows me that his perceptions aren't as simplistic as I once thought.

As for Larry. I consider myself something of a historian of pop culture (plus cataloguing it is what I do for a living) and self-parodied bumpkins are pretty much a standard idea, but people like Homer & Jethro, Minnie Pearl and even people like Grandpa Jones & Stringbean from Hee Haw did waht Larry thinks he's doing with much more subtlety and sophistication. I'm not kidding, watch 'em. The key was that all of the above's characters maintained some dignity, whereas Larry's just plays the buffoon.
posted by jonmc at 7:06 AM on December 4, 2005


It's people like David Cross that make Larry the Cable guy funny.
posted by StarForce5 at 8:01 AM on December 4, 2005


It's people like StarForce5 that make ParisParamus bearable.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:16 AM on December 4, 2005


upmost respect

hey yeah, typo - misspelling - whatever - I know it's utmost - but also not in all caps and also not every fifth word.

a typo or grammar mistake every paragraph or so is going to happen online (particularly if you don't notice the spell check button). It doesn't invalidate what people have to say. I don't think we should damn people for their mistakes. I didn't with Larry. He could very well be Mr. Spells Nebraska and choosing to spell badly as "Larry"
posted by deadfrog at 8:33 AM on December 4, 2005


"Lawrence the Telegraph Guy" was pretty funny, though.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2005


If hating ignorance makes me elitist, count me in. And oh yeah, I grew up and still live in the South.
posted by malaprohibita at 10:58 AM on December 4, 2005


Come on now stavros, it was obviously a minor mistake/typo. And deadfrog said (and I believe him) he approached the interview with an open mind, and was willing to give LTC the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:37 PM on December 4, 2005


I know this thread is dead now... but i just got back from the Bears game and saw a down-stater carpenter dad wearing coveralls and a "Git-R-Done" cap who was so drunk he couldn't figure out how to work an ATM machine. That is the kid of fan that Larry is championing.
posted by cusack at 2:44 PM on December 4, 2005


Btw, I know it sounds hypocritical of me (to be a Homo sapiens is to be a hypocrite to some degree) to take David Cross to task for making spelling or grammar mistakes, and defend deadfrog for his typo, but Cross extensively criticized LTC for being a dumb illiterate fuck (or perhaps faking it), and he posted an open letter on his site which gave him plenty of time to proofread it, but deadfrog was making a comment on a website in the small hours and made one minor mistake.
posted by Devils Slide at 3:06 PM on December 4, 2005


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