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'Only in America'

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He’s made millions laugh with his jokes and Southern accent, but the funny man known as Larry the Cable Guy was born Daniel Whitney in Pawnee, Neb. (Photo by Eric Weingrad / History Channel)
The Blue Collar Comedy crew member who goes by the name of Larry the Cable Guy begins a new coast to coast road trip finding fascinating people and places in the U.S.A. as he begins season two of “Only in America!”

This go round, the Cable Guy, who was born Daniel Whitney in Pawnee, Neb., first hits Alaska during moose season and helps troopers to catch illegal hunters, learns some sexy moose calls and chats with Sarah Palin’s father, who shows him an eye-popping collection of hunting memorabilia.

The new season begins at 8 p.m. CST Wednesday on the History Channel, and the episodes this series explore more than 60 cities and a dozen states, including a half dozen in the South.

Among other jaunts, Larry previously took in a Florida gator farm.

“I almost got my fingers bit off and almost lost a leg, but good thing about that, Wal-mart sells gloves for four fingers,” he says laughing. “After it was done, I told History (Channel) no more alligator shows.”

New adventures this season include a walk in the woods at night with the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Group, squirrel hunting in the Ozarks and shooting targets at Army sniper school.

“It’s a fun show. I like the spontaneity of the comedy. I know where I’m going. They give me a little download of what will be happening, but I never meet anybody or have any activity (planned) until I get there. I want it to happen when it happens. I really love the improv nature of the show,” he says.

When asked if his TV series is sort of a comedy version of the old “On the Road With Charles Kuralt,” he answers, “It could be kind of like that, but it’s a combination of a lot of things really. I’m way more sexier than Charles Kuralt.”

Larry says going squatching in Kentucky did not convince him that the tall, hairy creature some call Bigfoot exists.

“I didn’t see him. If it makes them happy to hunt for Bigfoot, I’m glad. That’s what this show is about: these guys go out on weekends . . . and at some point they think they’ll find Bigfoot. Do I think there’s a Bigfoot? No. The only thing people ever see is the tracks. They see the tracks and hear him howl, but nobody has ever seen a picture of a Bigfoot.

“I went out with these guys, and it makes for a big night. They were awesome.

"We had somebody go out (as a practical joke) and howl, and they howled back and thought it was a Bigfoot. They were fun guys,” said the funny guy.

"As for squirrel hunting with a father and his teenage son in Arkansas, Larry said there were “just a lot of funny moments.”

“The son ate squirrel poop right out of a dead squirrel for $300. (Later) The father said, ‘I didn’t know you were serious about the $300 or I would have done it.’”

While Larry seems to be having a ball on his whirlwind tour of America, the only thing suffering may be his waistline.

“Doing this show the only thing that stunk, I started in at 235 pounds and now I’m back to 285 pounds. I’m on a diet because that’s all I do is eat. I’m always looking for a barbecue joint.”

Many of the people he meets and places he goes this series came from suggestions that viewers mailed into the show. “I think that’s coolest way. People are proud of their state,” he says mentioning a town in Wisconsin that claims to have invented the hamburger and where they cooked the world’s largest hamburger.

As for his stage accent, Larry moved to Florida when he was 16. While attending Baptist University of America in Decatur, Ga., he began to imitate the Southern drawl of his roommates who were from Georgia and Texas.   

Larry, his wife and two children have been living in Florida, but they recently moved back to his home state, which he is proud of.

“People say Nebraska is just flat and ugly and the only thing that comes out of Nebraska is I-80, but Nebraska has the 11th best golf course in the world. . . . The cool thing about this show, it kind of cuts off the misconceptions,” says the Cornhusker, who when it comes to making folks laugh, knows exactly how to “Git-R-done.”
Tagged under  Entertainment, History, History Channel, Larry the Cable Guy, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Television, Tennessee

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