The Blue Collar comedian gets raw for his first feature film

For the past 10 years, I used to be entertained in the morning driving to work or school listening to a rock station in Baltimore, Maryland. Every now and then, a guy would call up with the intro from The Dukes of Hazzard - 'Just a good old boy, never meaning no harm...' - you know the rest. Anyway, I just assumed it was some local caller who was a friend of the show.

About three or four years ago, I started hearing a lot more nationally from this Larry The Cable Guy. That's when I knew he wasn't just some ordinary caller - he was a true comedian. His catch phrase of Get 'R Done is now used in every day life, he's toured the country by himself and with the Blue Collar Comedy Group, and now, he's getting his own movie - Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

I was on location in Vancouver, Canada and had the pleasure of speaking with Larry by phone while taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel. Truly, this was one of my favorite interviews I've ever done; Larry's wit and humor comes across as just plain funny - he really is just a genuinely funny guy.

Check out what we talked about:

How did you get involved in doing your own movie?

Larry The Cable Guy: You know, I never planned on doing a movie, pretty much everything that's ever happened to me so far is unbelievable. All I ever wanted to do was dance; I tried out for Riverdance and didn't make it. I said 'you know what, I'm going to do comedy. No, they approached me with this movie; I never thought about doing it, but I know your fans like to see you do other things. So far, everything I've done, my fans have been behind me 110% - they sold out comedy clubs when I did comedy clubs, when I was on Blue Collar they saw it and bought the DVD, the show had tremendous ratings, they buy my CD's. I credit it to all my fans, they like what I do, they've given me tremendous success, very friendly with them, I'm not stand-offish. When I was doing this movie, I wanted to make sure that my movie was just like my stand up act. I always wanted to see a comedian in a movie be like he was; you know you were disappointed when you saw his movie and it was nothing like what you thought. My all-time favorite is Steve Martin; I bought his first album back in 1978. I love Steve Martin's act, it was funny, there was no nonsense and it was just like his stand up act. So, these two people (Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer) wrote me a script, they got a hold of my DVD's - they were fans, they got a hold of my DVD's. They wrote this story and I loved it; there were one-liners. My ass was on the floor. There were one-liners, weird twists, goofy stuff; man, they nailed it to a tee. It's a good movie, and I wanted to make sure that when people went to go see it in the theaters, they laughed throughout the movie. Of course, it's hard to belly laugh at every joke, but I wanted them to be laughing at something. I didn't want it to be a lecture (he belly laughs), and I think that accomplished that. After I read the script, I said 'let's do the movie.' It's great! I love it, I'm not going to apologize for it, it's a funny movie.

This is a big year for you, you've got this movie and Cars coming up; are you worried you're going to become a sex symbol?

Larry The Cable Guy: Oh yeah, you always worry about stuff like that. I'm taking the proper precautions; I've put on 30 pounds just for that.

If you tried out for Riverdance, then you know Michael Flatley is a sex symbol.

Larry The Cable Guy: Yeah, he is. Let's just say my ass isn't setting off any alarms at the airport.

Most of the script is written, but how much of it was improv?

Larry The Cable Guy: You know what, we re-wrote on the spot about 40% of it. Not all of it, but a big portion of it was adlibbed. As you're taping, you think of things that you want to pop in and so about 40%. Now here's something, the trailer - you'll see a lot of trailers and it's hilarious and then you go to the movies and the only things you laugh at were the same things in the trailer. Well, I'm happy to say that the trailer is hilarious, but that's not the only part; the rest of the movie is hilarious. I do have to say one of my favorite lines is in the trailer; it's where I tell my partner 'Hey Bubba, there's a snow cone out there not wearing a bra.' And she says 'Is that a violation?' And I say 'No, but it makes me want to get a snow cone.' You're talking about adlibbing; that's a line that made the trailer and was completely adlib. That was off the cuff; what we had written was ok, I didn't feel it had a good enough punch to it. I was just thinking about what we could do to change it and I was just thinking about that while they were resetting the lights getting ready to tape it. I didn't tell them I was going to do it; I just went completely off the book. First thing I said was that and Trent (Cooper) loved it and we kept it. Yeah, we adlibbed like that all the time, about 40% of it.

What were some of your favorite scenes?

Larry The Cable Guy: Oh man, I love the part where I've got diarrhea at my girlfriend's house and I'm trying to impress her. I run to the bathroom and it's a major struggle; you're trying not to be couth, you're a nice guy. But I'm in there struggling with some brown growlers from Hell. It was just hilarious, the scene is just hilarious; I come back to the table in a full on sweat. She asks me how everything is and I tell her 'Oh, it's ok.' But it looks like I just got out of a rainstorm.

How many takes did you have to do that?

Larry The Cable Guy: Uh, twice; believe me I have a lot of funny experience in the bathroom, so I was just going off experience (laughing). So that one wasn't that hard to re-create. That's one of my favorite scenes. Another one of my favorite scenes I was when I walked into Miss Macelli's restaurant and I'm trying to eat brussel sprouts; I have no idea how to do it. That's a pretty good scene right there.

Where did your catch phrase 'Get 'R Done' has been used everywhere; where did that come from?

Larry The Cable Guy: That came from radio; I was signing off and I said Get 'R Done. Believe it or not, I was on a really popular radio station in Tampa Bay and I called in and then I called in the next week; I would always sign off with Get 'R Done. And it was just something I made up on the spot and so I would sign off like that all the time. Well, the next thing you know, there's people saying Get 'R Done from hearing it on the radio. From there, I got syndicated and was doing this in about 20 radio stations across the country and it just caught on; I think it's pretty cool. I was actually in New York City this morning doing some press for the movie and I was pre-taping the Regis show, Regis and Kelly and Denzel Washington was in the room next to me. He walked by me and said 'Larry The Cable Guy - Get 'R Done!' I'm like 'What? That's Denzel Washington!' There's a part in the movie when I try to make a reservation under the name Denzel Washington, trying to get a good table; obviously, I don't look like Denzel Washington.

Maybe you're a bit more handsome.

Larry The Cable Guy: Well, he told me in his movie Inside Man, he tried to do the same thing; he tried to tell people he was Larry The Cable Guy.

Well, I'm from Baltimore and used to listen to you on 98 Rock and Kirk, Mark, and Lopez. I used to look forward to hearing you on that show.

Larry The Cable Guy: Oh man, I got to tell you, that was the cool thing about those radio shows; I used to be good friends with all those guys. And as much as I used to make fun of Lopez, we were all great friends. I miss Lopez, I think it's horrible that he passed away; it's still a great show, but it'll never be the same.

How is Cars coming along?

Larry The Cable Guy: That was really cool; I started doing that in February, 2003. Man, it seems like I've been doing that forever; I've made 7 or 8 trips to Oakland to the studios for Pixar over there. They're all great, John Lasseter, the other producers, they're all really nice and they treated me great. The character of Mater - people just love Mater, they're all over him. Out of all the Pixar characters, he's my favorite - of course, I'm doing it, so I'm going to say that. I know they've screen tested it with some of the kids; they ask 'who's your favorite character' and they're all like Mater, the Tow Truck.

Was there a lot of improv while doing that movie?

Larry The Cable Guy: You know the cool thing about that was I had never done any voice over work and I really didn't know what to do. They coached me and made me comfortable; I started doing that first day and had done about 4 or 5 lines. I came across a line, and I started doing the line, and it didn't sound right with me saying like that. I told John Lasseter, I asked him 'Is it ok if I change this line and do this with my own voice reflections on it?' 'Sure, that's why I hired you; make it your own. As long as what you're saying pertains to what's on that script, you can say whatever you want.' So there was this line - 'Hey, where'd that dog go?' - that's the line. Instead of saying that, I'd say something like 'Hey, hey, did anyone see that critter?' You know, that's what I would say and he loved it and so I did that, as long as I stayed true to what they were talking about.

If you thought this interview was good, wait till you see Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector when it opens in theaters March 24th; it's rated PG-13. Cars drives into theaters in May.{FIHtdHKLyQq3LJ|+|Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector}

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