Getting to know Larry the Cable Guy

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

You know him by his flannel shirts (with or without sleeves), by his Nebraska Huskers baseball cap and his chaw of tobacco. You know him from his film credits (works like "Witless Protection" and "Delta Farce") And you know him, of course, from his time with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. But Larry the Cable Guy's world is much more complicated than this. During a recent interview with Cue, Larry the Cable guy threw his inhibitions out with his sleeves and let Cue in on the intimate details of his life.

1. His name's not really Larry. It's actually Daniel Whitney. But he really is a farm boy, growing up in Nebraska. He became Larry after calling in to a friend's radio show pretending to be a cable worker disgruntled by local politics.

2. He was the voice of Mater in the Disney/Pixar film "Cars." And the gig landed him smack across a dinner table from the late, great Paul Newman. What was his first impression?

"I was like, 'Wow, Cool Hand Luke. He's so awesome, and he's sitting right across from me eating a steak.' That was my first thought. And then my second thought was, 'I hope he pays for my steak.'

"We all went out to eat, everybody who was in the movie. And then I get to the elevators, I look over and there's Paul Newman with his wife. And I'm like, (whispers) 'Paul Newman's right next to me at the elevator.' And he just kind of gave me a look and smiled and he goes, 'I'll race you to the top.' And I said, 'We're on the same elevator.' And he said, 'Good point.' I think he said he enjoyed my work, so that was nice."

3. He's no dimwit. On Forbes' 2007 list of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood, Larry the Cable Guy came in at No. 81. Forbes pegged his income at $20 million a year and noted that he nets $3 million annually from his "Git 'R Done" merchandise alone. But he says he's still a farm boy at heart: "I live the same life that I had, I just have more money. You have the same problems, you just have your rent licked."

4. He hates to fly. "I'll do it if I have to, but I'm just not a fan of it. I'm just nervous being up in the air. Any time I hit turbulence, even if it's small, it's like 'oh, god.' Every now and then I will fly to a show because I want to stay home longer and get (to the show) quick. Generally, 80 percent of my travel is done on a bus."

 5. He loves Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween - and he already has his costume picked out. "This year I'm wearing one of those full-body suits with the skeleton on it and one of those emaciated masks and I'm going as Al Davis (laughs). My mom does the same costume every year, she goes as Merle Haggard."

Peoria Journal Star 

If you go

 - What: Larry the Cable Guy's "Eat, Drink and Be Larry Tour 2008."

- When: 8 p.m. Oct. 24

- Where: Peoria Civic Center Arena

- Tickets: $43.25, available at the Civic Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at 676-8700. Additional fees will apply.

 - Lookin' for more Larry? "Larry the Cable Guy's Star-Studded Christmas Extravaganza," will air Nov. 21 on CMT. The variety-style show was filmed in Nashville and features Charlie Callas, Fred Willard, Jay Leno, Toby Keith, Jenna Elfman, Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall, Lewis Black, Montgomery Gentry, Rodney Atkins, the Nashville Syphony, Joey Fatone and Terry Fator.