"Sometimes you do things for the enjoyment of it, and not to follow the money." For comedian Dan Whitney, that is one saying that paid off for him big time. I'm sorry. Most of you may know Whitney by his stage name, Larry the Cable Guy.
Several years ago, Whitney returned to his home in Sanford, Fla., after six straight weeks on the road. That evening, he received a phone call from his agent that changed his life.
"I was sitting at my house with my friend Greg, and we were planning on going fishing all night. I got a call from the lady who was my agent at the time, and she told me that some people were doing a History of Country Comedy show, with Jeff Foxworthy, and even Andy Griffith was going to take part. The show was going to be the next night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville [Tennessee], and they needed one more comedian.
"My agent then told me that I was the only one on the show who was not getting paid, but that they would be paying for my room. Well, I figured that if nothing else I was going to get to appear on stage at the Ryman! I drove up to Nashville, and did the show. After the show, Jeff and I sat and talked. I had known Jeff for quite a while, but it had been a couple of years since I had talked with him. Anyway, a couple of days later, my agent called and told me that I was being asked to join the Blue Collar Comedy Tour."
Raised on a pig farm in a town of 1,200, Whitney moved with his family to Sanford, Fla., when he was a teen-ager. It was there that he picked up the Southern accent that would be a big part of his yet-to-be-created character.
"When I created Larry the Cable Guy, I based the stories on people that I grew up with, and just added the big Southern accent, because I thought it made the material even funnier."
Larry the Cable Guy will perform at the Murat Theatre Jan. 28 at 8 and 10 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Murat box office, or at Ticketmaster, 317-239-5151, www.ticketmaster.com.