Larry the Cable Guy: 'Brad Pitt is Intimidated By My Muscular Jaw'
Tell me about this year's Hula-palooza and why we should watch.
"The Hula-palooza I can honestly say is the funniest Christmas special of all time. Bing Crosby actually sent me a note from the grave that said "I'm glad I've passed on, because there's no way I could ever be funnier than that." It was creepy when I got the message. You know what, I love those variety shows. I remember telling my manager a long time ago I met Tony Orlando down in Missouri and we got to be really good friends. He's the king, he's the last of the old school entertainers, he's awesome. I remember his variety show and just as a shot in the dark I told my manager, "I would love to do a Christmas special, a variety show and I want Tony Orlando to be my co-host" and three weeks later, "Hey, we got you a Christmas show, Tony Orlando is your co-host." So it's been doing good. This is my third one, it gets funnier every year and everybody I work with, I keep it completely stress free. When we're taping live, don't worry about it. Go out have fun, if you screw up we'll throw in a joke. It's completely no-stress and it made for a great Christmas special. Instead of taking the bloopers out, we kept the bloopers in. It was a lot of fun. Honestly when we got done filming, people wished it could have gone on a couple more days."
Can you tease what some of your guests like Kenan Thompson and Caroline Rhea do in the show?
"Kenan was awesome. He was in my opening sketch that takes place in an airport, where he played the ticket agent, the rental car agent, the airplane agent, but he just had a different uniform on so I'd give him this look - 'Wait a second, were you just...' and he was also in the sketch where I was at a shop like Wal-Mart. He was in there trying to buy a doll for his girl. Caroline Rhea was hilarious, she plays my mom in one sketch and she was also in the Wal-Mart sketch. She knocked it out of the park. I've known Caroline for a long time, when I was just doing comedy clubs she and I hit it off, she became a really good friend of mine. We hadn't seen each other in five years but right when she walked in the studio, we picked up like it was yesterday. I've always admired Caroline, she's a great girl. So it was a lot of fun, everybody got along and when it was all over with we ordered eight crates of Crystal burgers. "
How early do you put out feelers for people to be guests on the show, since you tape a few months in advance?
"Not too early. The only problem about when I do my Christmas special is that you have to tape it in the summertime. By the time you get it packaged and ready to go, it's always almost Christmas. And of course they want to put them in the stores, so you have to do it a little earlier. I don't ever fret about the guests, the only thing about the show is you have people who want to do it - I've got a lot of friends in the country music world. Toby Keith always helps me out a lot, Kid Rock, he does stuff for me - those guys would easily come on and do it but at that time of year, everybody's out touring. Don't get me wrong, I have huge acts, I was fortunate that my guests had that week off. It's just a tough time of year to get talent, but everybody we get is awesome. Plus they get to work with me and people are flailing to come and work with me. You know how many times I've turned down Brad Pitt?"
"I think he's intimidated by my muscular jaw and firm buttocks."
Obviously. He doesn't want to be embarrassed.
"That's exactly right."
This means that you should do some sort of spring holiday special, to get those other folks involved.
"You know I had that idea. I told Tony we should do a special on a holiday that nobody gets into. I think it would be funny to have a Larry the Cable Guy First Annual Arbor Day Special. We can do an Arbor Day show, a President's Day show, I could make a living on CMT doing 17 specials a year and they're all for holidays."
How do you do Christmas shopping?
"We do everything online. Parking lots are just a mess, so I kinda stay away from that. I like shopping online and that's how I do it. The last time I went to Wal-Mart I wasn't paying attention, I had my little boy with me. He loves the shopping cart. His legs always cramp up when we get home though, from pushing me around in the cart. But I was pushing my cart and I heard this thud and I look and I hit a little person. I said, 'Oh my gosh, are you okay?' and he said 'I'm not happy.' And I said, 'Which one are you?' [Laughs] So that's my shopping experience."
Ah, so you're not allowed in Wal-Mart now, that's what you're saying?
"No. Wal-Mart loves me. I get all my shirts at Wal-Mart because I'm a size Medium there. They have some big clothes at Wal-Mart. The baby department has a 'husky' section... but I love Wal-Mart. It gets a lot of flack, but I love shopping there. I do jokes about them but it's because I grew up around Wal-Mart, so I know everything about it and there's a lot of funny stuff that goes on there. They know I love them."
Can you tell me anything about what you're doing in "Cars 2?"
"My lips are sealed! All I can tell you is that we're doing 'Cars 2' and that movie is a blast. The people at Pixar are amazing- and I'm not just saying that because I'm in the movie. Before I started the first one they treated me unbelievable well. They're a blast to work with. They told me we were doing a sequel and now we've already done about four scenes. I'm going back in December for two six-hour sessions so I think in 12 hours we can get about 15 more scenes out. It's just a blast. It's going to be good. I know that much."
Do you go to Pixar to record?
"I do. If they had to, they would fly out to where you are but Pixar's been good to me and I like going out there because I like meeting the people working on it. I feel more comfortable when I know everybody that's working on it. Where they do their work is unbelievable, that campus. I will say this, it almost killed me because I like to get into character and the last time I filmed I put on over 1,700 pounds [Laughs]."
A couple of the "Blue Collar" crew (Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy) have done TV shows. Have you ever thought about doing your own TV show?
"I like that kind of stuff. I love the touring part. I don't think I can say it yet, but I have two projects in the works that I can't announce right now, but I will be doing something here shortly. I'm kind of like Jeff. I don't like being away from my kids. I've only been away from my kids for maybe a month since they were born. My little boy is 3, my little girl is 2 and they travel with me on the bus. If I had to do a show where I was on all the time, I wouldn't do it. The road has been really good to me, my fans have been good to me. I've already done things I never ever dreamed in a million years I'd ever do. The fact I can make the decision to stay home is really a blessing. There's been some projects I've turned down because I didn't want to be gone too long, but there are these two upcoming projects I did take because it allows me to be home while I'm doing it. You'll find out what they are probably in about two months. I got to tell you I love being with my wife and kids. My wife is my best friend and I'm not just saying that. She really is, I love hanging out with her. My kids are great and that's why what I do right now is perfect. I could do a Christmas special once a year, I can do the Disney stuff because I can fly out and come home, and the touring, they get to come with me so right now I'm at a place where everything is perfect. Life is good."
Well, we're looking forward to the Christmas special.
"You're going to love it."
And even more so the Arbor Day Special. Don't forget about that.
"The Arbor Day Special is going to be the greatest thing you've ever seen. Wait 'til I do the Columbus Day stuff... that's even better. Thanks to all my fans and Git-R-Done!"
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