Larry the Cable Guy | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Larry the Cable Guy

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The line between Dan Whitney and his hick alter ego, Larry the Cable Guy, is frustratingly fuzzy. Like Andrew Dice Clay, Larry spouts obnoxious jokes (on a "retarded" girlfriend: "I'd say tomatuh, she'd say bowling chairs"), and like Minnie Pearl, he's hyperbolic in his southern dress and dialect. Whitney, however, is far from poor, doesn't have an accent, and spent his first 16 years in Nebraska--though he did go to a Baptist college in Georgia and seems to share Larry's right-wing leanings. Now 43, Whitney did stand-up in khakis and button-downs for several years before he hit upon Larry, one of many characters he created for radio in the 90s. By the time he joined the Blue Collar Comedy crew in 2000 he'd masterfully fetishized the good ol' boy, neatly packaging redneck culture for both the that's-so-us and that's-so-them crowds. Larry the Cable Guy now has a lucrative brand, a hillbilly-fied version of Nike's "Just do it" slogan: "Git-R-Done." But beneath the stylized veneer is a very funny comedian with hard-hitting one-liners. "I was living with a girl for about eight months," he says, "until she found out I was there." a Sat 1/27, 5 and 8 PM, Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont, 312-559-1212, $42.75.

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