Larry the Cable Guy (best known for his comedy stand up, being part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, and his voice on the movie, Cars) hosts a new show on HISTORY, called Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy. He recently spoke to the press about what drew him to the project and more on the show itself.
Larry the Cable Guy believes the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the earth, and he’s out to prove it. In this new series, Larry crisscrosses the nation, going totally off the beaten path to find the people, places and things that define this nation’s unique history. From panning for gold in the hills of California to leading a cavalry charge in a Civil War reenactment in Virginia, Larry gives history a fun, down-home twist in the new one-hour series. Each episode uncovers surprising information about America’s history from the story of how moonshine-making during Prohibition gave rise to one of America’s most celebrated past times – NASCAR racing – to the history of etiquette from Emily Post’s heirs in Vermont, complete with a lesson in good manners.
Check out the great answers from Larry below!
On how he came to host
Well, you know, they had called – they had this show, they called my manager, he called me and I said, “Man, that sounds good. I’m about as American as it comes.” You know, I grew up on a pig farm in southeast Nebraska and been living in Florida for 34 years so I said, “This is a show I think I’d like to do.”
I think it’s kind of cool too because I actually have a bit in my act where I talk about how I quit watching the news because the news makes me depressed and it kind of takes away my pride in America. And – because I travel all around the country and I perform in front of thousands of people and there’s good – there’s great people out there. This is a great country and (fans).
So this is a great opportunity for me to go out and do stuff with just regular Americans and just show that there are – that this is still a great country and we have the greatest culture in the world and the greatest country in the world. So it puts me in a great element. I love talking to people. I love hanging out with people and it was a perfect show for me so that’s why I decided to do it.
Not only that, but it gives me a chance as well to do what I do but yet also be myself. So, you know, they’re not all funny. There’s some moments where, you know, there’s some people that explaining stuff and telling me stuff and so proud of something that they start tearing up and crying and I’m able to be myself in certain situations and tone it down a little bit and just enjoy the moment. So I like it for various reasons, but this is a great show for me.
Jump with us to see what else Larry had to say.
On his favorite places to visit across the country
You know what; honestly every place I went to was awesome. I met great people and they were all fun to do and be at, but I would say probably the places that I would love to go back where I really learned a lot was I’d like to go back to do Houston and do NASA. I mean I really enjoyed that. I got to do a space shuttle – I got to do the simulator on the space shuttle. I got to do so many things that I never thought I’d ever get to do in my entire life. But that’s one place that I’d definitely like to go back and do.
I would have to say the most memorable fun would have to be the Nimitz, when I was on the USS Nimitz and I got to fly on – and we – I flew on the plane that caught you with the hooks and we’d go from doing 135 miles an hour to stopped in two seconds. That was a lot of fun. And I got to launch a plane off the Nimitz. I’m standing out in the middle of the ocean on nothing by a 4-1/2 acre blacktop runway. I mean it was amazing. So that was a lot of fun.
I’d like to do the USS Nimitz again and hang out with all them kids. I mean they’re only 17 or 18, 19, 20, 21 years old and they’re in charge of millions and millions of dollars of equipment and just doing a great job and launching planes off ships. I’d like to go back and do that.
I’ll tell you another one that I would do again in a minute was Secret Santa down in Kansas City, Missouri. The Secret Santa went out and we went to Goodwills and stuff where people were shopping for Christmas and handed out money and, oh, it was just awesome. It was really cool to do something like that. So those were two really fun things that I did.
But like I said, they were all fun. I would do them all again just to go back and say hi to everybody. I learned a lot in every episode and I met a lot of great people. And one of the main themes to what I saw with people was a lot of the family involvement, a lot of families started things and they passed it down to their family.
And I learned that almost – that a lot of things that we brought over from other countries, we developed and made better and that was the cool thing about America. That’s why we’re such a great country. We borrow stuff from other countries and we take what they did and we perfect it and we make it even better.
Everywhere I went I had a blast. Honestly I’m a people person. I love visiting. That’s what I do. I love it. But everywhere I went was fun.
On playing a character (such as a Borat-type) versus being himself on the show
Well, you know, the cool thing about this show is, I can – it’s the one show that I’ve done where I can be Larry the Cable Guy and I can be myself because I’m out with people and I’m just hanging out basically. So I thought it would be funny – the Emily Post thing, I thought it was funny to go some full-on character because it’s so opposite of what they’re trying to do.
So just for the sake of the humor part of it, that’s what I did. But when it was time to get serious, like when she was talking about her grandma and (the book that she) – you know, that was a time to be serious and I kind of dropped the accent a little and I was a little more normal in the serious situations.
But that’s the cool thing about this show. It shows me in two different kinds of lights. It shows me in full-on character. It shows what I do for a living. It shows that. But yet it also shows myself. That’s why there’s a lot of shows that are touching. You know, like when we go give out – well we do Secret Santa and we give people money and people start breaking down and crying. I mean there’s a time to be funny and a time not to be funny.
As far as the Borat thing goes with that I definitely don’t want to insult anybody. That’s not why I’m there. I love – everybody that I did shows with, I really like them and I really like people and I enjoy – there wasn’t anybody that I did a show with that I didn’t like. I did a lot of the etiquette thing. It’s just called – that was a situation that called for, “Oh man, this is a good Larry the Cable Guy situation to try and rattle them a little bit, you know, because they’re so proper.” And I’m not – even in real life I’m not that proper, you know.
But the thing I wanted to get across is – and I told that guy too, I said, “Look, a lot of people might think this is really corny and really goofy because a lot of people don’t give a – they could care less what side of the plate the fork is on.” I mean it’s not something that they concentrate on. But to him and his family and his grandmother that was a very important thing. Now there are a lot of people that are really into that.
And my point to him is, I may not buy into that, I may not think – I may not care that the fork is on one side or the other but I’m glad he’s there. He’s part of American history. His grandmother was part of American history. And, yes, some people need a lesson in etiquette. There’s no doubt about it. So I am glad they’re there. I am glad they’re doing what they do. I definitely learned a lot.
The part where I was ((inaudible)) of the Larry the Cable Guy and trying to do some shocking stuff to them was because it was just a situation called for it because it was a proper situation and I’m not proper and, you know, I wanted to get some laughs out of the whole deal. I mean if it was just me going and taking an etiquette class, I mean who’s going to watch that? But if I can balance the two and I can make some good points and I can be funny but yet I can learn a few things and we all have a good time doing it, then that’s what it’s about. So I think I got all of that in that whole etiquette episode.
The moonshine episode I felt like I was right at home. Those moonshine guys, I’ve grown up with guys like those guys. I felt like – when I worked with the moonshine guys, I felt like I was hanging out with an uncle or something. They were big fans of mine. I liked them. You know, it gave me a chance to cut loose and really, you know, get down into what I do. So that was – they were both fun, both completely different.
Don’t miss the series premiere of Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy tonight on HISTORY at 9/8c!
**Thanks to Kyle Christy & HISTORY for the photos.