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Worthy of Your Attention | Arts & Entertainment

You might be a redneck if…Your dad walks you to school because you’re in the same grade…You’ve ever been too drunk to fish…Someone asks to see your ID and you show ’em your belt buckle…You’ve ever had to haul a can of paint to the top of a water tower to defend your sister’s honor…Your dog and your wallet are both on a chain…Everyday somebody comes to your door mistakenly thinking you’re having a yard sale…You’ve ever financed a tattoo…You’ve ever made change  in the offering plate…You go to a family reunion to meet women…You see a sign that says, “say no to crack” and it reminds you to pull your jeans up…You take your dog for a walk and you both use the tree at the corner…Your panty lines can be seen from aerial photographs…You’ve ever been accused of lying through your tooth…Your dog passes gas and you claim it…You’ve ever used your ironing board as a buffet table.Just about every person in America fits the description of having a “glorious absence of sophistication,” no matter what side of the Mason-Dixon line or Mississippi River they live on.

Even if some refuse to admit redneck tendencies, they know people, probably family members, who do.

But as Americans have found out, being a redneck isn’t something to be ashamed of — it’s the common denominator that makes us human and makes us laugh — sometimes at ourselves — thanks to veteran comedian Jeff Foxworthy for pointing it out. 

Foxworthy makes it OK to laugh at those ridiculous observations all around us. We’ve traveled along those dirt roads, and those neighborhoods. We’ve seen the stick-built addition to the mobile home or the house with all the dead appliances and cars in the front yard, and Foxworthy’s redneck analogies immediately pop into mind. Many of us have that uncle who brings a six-pack to a funeral.

Foxworthy has opened America’s eyes with the message: Laughter is the one element that unites us all. He makes us remember life is filled with so many of those little moments that are simply funny, and a sense of humor can get us through the most trying of times. But then Foxworthy has opened America’s eyes to a lot of commonalities, that no matter what we do in life, we’re all human at the end of the day. We have more similarities than differences and we’re just all trying to make our way in life, so why not laugh a little bit more?

His humor goes far beyond his redneck shtick. Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country.  He is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and best selling author of more than 26 books, Foxworthy has written several books based on his redneck jokes as well as an autobiography entitled “No Shirt, No Shoes…No Problem!”

But being a humorist wasn’t exactly something he planned to do with his life.Foxworthy attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, but left just before graduating. He worked for five years in mainframe computer maintenance at IBM, where his father also worked. At the urging of IBM co-workers, Foxworthy entered and won the Great Southeastern Laugh-Off at Atlanta’s Punchline Comedy Club in 1984. That contest set the wheels in motion, becoming all the encouragement he needed to give this whole comedy thing a try.

Not everybody was willing to give this southern gentleman with the “regular-guy” demeanor and clean content a chance. He had to prove to a lot of people a southern accent didn’t equate to a low IQ. To gain attention, he started touring the country and releasing comedy albums.

He released “You Might be a Redneck If …” in 1993, which started the whole fad, topping the comedy album charts and selling more than 3 million copies. 

Foxworthy’s July 1995 release “Games Rednecks Play” received a 1996 Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Comedy Album. Totally Committed was released in May 1998. In conjunction with the CD was a one-hour HBO stand-up special by the same name. The CD reached gold status and received a 1999 Grammy nomination. The video of the song, “Totally Committed” featured frequent references to then-Atlanta Braves Greg Maddux, as well as an appearance at the very end by Maddux himself, along with teammate John Smoltz. In 2001, he received his third Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Comedy Album.

July 2004 marked the release of Foxworthy’s final solo comedy CD titled “Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered.” The album contains all new material. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts and was Foxworthy’s second-highest selling album debut.

In the midst of recording albums, Foxworthy also tried his hand at television, starring in the sitcom, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” created out of his stand-up comedy persona. It aired on ABC and NBC but was cancelled after one season on each network, with the thinking his routine was “too Southern.”

While the networks may not have “gotten” his humor, his legions of fans most certainly did. 

“The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, The Movie” and the concert tour of the same name were monstrously successful. With the lineup including Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy, the movie premiered on Comedy Central and was the highest rated movie in the channel’s history. To date the movie has sold more than 4 million units. The soundtrack has been certified gold.

Foxworthy executive produced and starred in, “Foxworthy’s Big Night Out,” and the television series, “Blue Collar TV,” which he created for the WB network due to the success of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

“Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again,” the sequel to the first film, has sold more than 3 million units since its release in December 2004.  It premiered on Comedy Central in February 2005 and was the third most-watched telecast ever, leading the channel to its most watched day, weekend, and week in network history.

In March of 2006, the Blue Collar boys reunited to shoot “Blue Collar Comedy Tour — One For The Road” in Washington, D.C., at the Warner Theater.  The movie had its world premiere on Comedy Central in June 2006 and was one of the highest rated shows on Comedy Central for that year.  The soundtrack was released in June 2006 and was nominated for a 2006 Grammy award.

Foxworthy also filmed a comedy special for CMT in 2012 with Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy titled “Them Idiots Whirled Tour.”

Foxworthy’s book “The Redneck Dictionary” was released in October 2005. The book is based on the popular words of the South Foxworthy recounts in his stand-up act. Due to their popularity, the redneck words became a regular sketch on “Blue Collar TV.”  The book went as high as No. 2 on the New York Times Bestseller List. “The Redneck Dictionary II” was released in 2006 and was also a New York Times Bestseller.  “The Redneck Dictionary III” was released in October of 2007. 

Foxworthy also released the New York Times Best Seller, “How to Really Stink at Golf ”  which shares his invaluable tips for a lifetime of horrible drives and putts. The follow-up to that book “How to Really Stink at Work” was released in May of 2009.

Foxworthy also has an HBO special and two Showtime specials to his credit. With critical acclaim and rave reviews from the first special, Foxworthy landed his second Showtime special, which earned a Cable ACE Award nomination. Foxworthy has been bestowed with a People’s Choice Award as “Favorite Male Newcomer” for “The Jeff Foxworthy Show.”

He hosted the FOX television game show “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader” for several seasons, including its return to primetime this past fall. He hosted three seasons of “The American Bible Challenge” for GSN, had an animated series “Bounty Hunters” on CMT, hosted the reality series “The American Baking Competition” for CBS Television Network, and narrated the Lifetime reality show “The Week the Women Left.”  

In 2014, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. 

These days, Foxworthy has his own comedy channel “Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup” on SIRIUSXM, which showcases the best in great American comedy. He has a comedy special with Larry the Cable Guy, “We’ve Been Thinking” which is available on Netflix and most recently Foxworthy released a game called “Relative Insanity” which uses bits of his material for lots of game time fun. In addition to all of this he continues his live performances across the country.

Foxworthy started his own outdoor company, Foxworthy Outdoors, which has a line of products related to outdoor living, which should come as no surprise. Because if you have a singing fish in more than three rooms in your home…you might be Jeff Foxworthy.

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