You might be a redneck if ... you're planning to be at Harry Grove Stadium Saturday night

October 02, 1997

You might be a redneck if ...

you're planning to be at Harry Grove Stadium Saturday night


Staff Writer

Is Jeff Foxworthy a redneck?

You bet your boots and the coffee table they're propped up on - and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think we enjoy life more, because we don't take ourselves so seriously," Foxworthy said in a telephone interview from his home in Atlanta.


The comedian and author defines a redneck as a person who has "a glorious absence of sophistication."

"It can be temporary or permanent, and every one of us is guilty," he said.

Foxworthy said that at all his book signings there are people who claim they're not rednecks, but say they have friends who are. A few pages into the book, the truth hits them and they start to recognize themselves, he said.

"We all like to think we're unique, but we're not," he said.

Foxworthy, 39, will bring his stand-up routine to Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Md., Saturday, Oct. 4.

He said his favorite thing is to see a couple sitting in the audience, poking each other in the ribs as they acknowledge that the situation he's describing applies to them.

Foxworthy, known for a long series of redneck jokes, said his success lies in the fact that folks can identify with him.

"Nobody ever comes up and says `Excuse me, Mr. Foxworthy.' They'll strike me on the back and say `Hey Jeff, guess what my brother did last week,' " he said.

He doesn't mind at all.

"I really love talking to people, unless they've got a mouthful of food," he said.

Foxworthy's perspectives on life and relationships have earned him millions of fans in the 12 years since he left his job as a computer engineer to hit the comedy club circuit.

His three albums have sold more than 7 million copies, making him the best-selling comedy recording artist in history.

He has written nine books - including "You Might Be a Redneck If ..." and "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem" - and more than 3.8 million copies have been sold. Fans have snapped up more than 1.5 million copies of his annual calendar.

The star of the former television series "The Jeff Foxworthy Show" won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Newcomer for his work on the show, and he has been named TNN's Comedian of the Year for three years in a row. He has done two stand-up specials for Showtime, and in 1990 he was named Best Stand-Up Comic at the American Comedy Awards.

But success hasn't changed him.

He drives a Dodge Ram pickup, and whenever he goes out, people ask if he left the Porsche or Mercedes at home.

Nope - he'd just rather drive a truck.

"It's got a CD player and country CDs, and that's what I like," he said.

Foxworthy said he enjoys his ties to country music because those performers have their priorities in order.

"For the most part, they remember where they came from and treat people decently," he said.

That means a lot to Foxworthy. He and his wife, Gregg, and their two daughters, Jordan, 5, and Juliane, 3, recently moved back to his native Atlanta after living in California for several years.

"I wanted my kids to have a normal life," he said. "I wanted a normal life. I take the kids to school, go to the grocery store, maybe sign a couple of autographs."

Foxworthy will be taping a stand-up special for HBO in February, and he's working on a new comedy CD that will be out next summer.

Foxworthy, who gives about 150 performances a year, said his act has chronicled his life. His humor has touched on topics such as being newly married, living with a pregnant woman, having a new baby and watching that baby grow up.

"The closer I've kept to the truth, the better it has worked for me," he said.

He said he's not mean-spirited, and he'd probably stop doing a joke if it hurt someone's feelings.

"I don't like laughing at the expense of someone else. At the expense of myself, it's OK," he said.

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