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Potbelly Laughs For the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy gets plugged in to a sold-out Patriot Center audience with his crude gags.
Larry the Cable Guy gets plugged in to a sold-out Patriot Center audience with his crude gags. (By Bill O'leary -- The Washington Post)

With belly laughs cascading from the rafters, it doesn't matter that Whitney's deep-fried Southern accent is an affectation (he grew up in rural Nebraska and West Palm). It doesn't matter that he never worked as a cable guy (the Palm Beach Post noted last year that he majored in speech and drama at Baptist University in Decatur, Ga., a place now shuttered).

What matters is that he does humor for a segment of conservative white America -- not a brown face could be spotted in the crowd at the Patriot Center -- that often feels overlooked, talked down to and lampooned by those darned East Coast liberals.

Whitney's routine is good-natured and rarely profane, but he loves crude gags about gay men, Arabs, Mexicans, Cubans, amputees, the mentally retarded, genitalia, farcical sex, flatulence and "pooping." Add those categories together, and you've got 90 percent of the show.

He wanders the stage, left hand in front pocket, right hand holding the microphone. There's just a stool, a guitar and him. He's wearing about $23.17 of clothes -- old jeans, flannel shirt with the sleeves cut out, camouflage baseball cap.

He says "political correctness" is killing the country. Applause. Asks if they've all heard about an airline not letting an infant fly because the child's name matched a suspected terrorist. Madness, he says.

"You know the difference between a toddler and a terrorist?"

The crowd waits, tittering.

"On a terrorist, the diaper is on the head!"

Biggest laugh of the night.

Well, there was another foot-stomper about Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton and things they've both shot, but, you know, some jokes you just have to hear.


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