LINCOLN (Nebraska) -- After the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Larry the Cable Guy was everywhere in the 2000s.
He was the voice of Mater in both sequels to Pixar's 2006 hit "Cars". He was a constant tourer, selling out large arenas. His catchphrase, 'Git-R-Done,' has become part of American lexicon.
But Larry, whose real name is Dan Whitney, is also a family man and in recent years, the 60-year-old Floridian has cut his stand-up schedule by 90%, he said in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Whitney said that she still loves being on stage, but the traveling gets tiresome.
Whitney has two shows scheduled for Sept. 3, in Effingham, and Sept. 4, in DuQuoin.
Whitney stated that he spent an average of 287 working days per year on the road for 15 to 20 years. Since then, he has reduced his work to just 24 dates per year and spends most of his time on his Nebraska farm.
He said, "My children grew up on a tour bus." They got baths on board. From 2003 to 2015, we toured so much. Since then, I've started to slow down as my children get older. He has two teenagers, a son and a daughter.
Jeff Foxworthy, the man who launched his career in 2000 by placing him on The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, gave him some advice.
Whitney said, "He's always been a good teacher to me." He told me many years ago that one only gets to watch their children grow up. You shouldn't go anywhere if you don't need to. This is something I've taken to heart. Once they entered middle school, my schedule completely changed.
This may have reduced his income, but he was a wise saver during his prime years. He said, "I didn't purchase gold toilets." I have a wonderful wife [Cara] that is very good with money. We did everything right.
Whitney spends more time playing golf. He said, 'I enjoy playing golf.' At 60 years old, golf is one of the few activities that you can still enjoy. I used to play softball, but now I'm unable to throw or get down on the ground. Golf is still a sport I can play. Charity events are my favorite. 'I usually plan my dates around golf events.
Whitney created Larry in 1991 as a character who called into radio morning shows. He didn't use it on stage for nearly a decade, when his career was well underway. Whitney made Larry a drinking, partying divorced guy even though he was not married and wasn't a heavy drinker.
He said Larry combines elements of himself with country folk he grew up knowing.
Whitney was raised in Nebraska on a pig-farm before moving to Florida when she was 16 years old, wearing plaid sleeveless shirt. Later, he attended a small Baptist College in Decatur which closed in 1987. He said, 'That's how I got my Southern accent.'
He said that the character was so deeply ingrained in his being that he answered to either Dan, or Larry.
Whitney stated that the more she worked on the character, the more she felt like her. I began to incorporate more of my own experiences into the character. Only 20% of the things he says are true.
He said that his fan base may or may know about his real name and background. He said, 'I'm not sure most of them are interested'. They come out to have a laugh. I don't believe they really look into it.
His onstage humor hasn't altered: it's still a series of one-liners that are delivered with a laser focus: "I'm the same set up, punline comedian." I will have 25 jokes ready within the first five minute.
Only Foxworthy and he plan to continue touring. Bill Engvall, Ron White and other Blue Collar Comedy tour comics announced that their last road dates were in 2013.
Whitney replied, "I'm older." Sometime I will even bring up cards with jokes written on them to remind myself. It's a great excuse for me to tell five jokes about growing older.
Every Wednesday, he hosts a Sirius XM radio show entitled 'Larry the Cable Guy'. We didn't wish to further divide and create hatred. We just make up nonsense. We want people who tune in to laugh.
The last 'Cars film' was six years ago, but the franchise continues with animated shorts and toys. He said that he was always doing voice work for video games or talking toys. "We did 'Cars on the Road,' on Disney+ in the past year. It was like 'Cars 4'." Mater and Lightning McQueen are on a roadtrip. This could have been an entire movie, but it's actually nine 10-minute segments.
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