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Larry The Cable Guy - Christmastime In Larryland
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Yo ho ho. Tis the season to be jolly. Almost. With a CD aimed squarely at the Xmas stocking stuffer crowd, Cable Guy Larry has released his offering to the masses, Christmastime In Larryland. The album is out on Warner Bros.

Now to be sure, Larry ain’t for everyone. The blue collar redneck has a certain style, a certain way, a certain turn of phrase that’ll win some and anger others. But then as the wise say: comedy is a fine line between tragedy and humor. Someone here at CSO was a little nearer the mark when speaking of the album “… it’s kinda odd, funny and disturbing all at the same time”. It’s a little like riding a runaway elevator – you hang, you nervously laugh, all the while hoping it’ll end, but it’s no real fun. 

With his “Git-R-Done” attitude, the Cable Guy revisits the dated but popular radio special as his backdrop to circumstances, events, and situations all linked to Xmas. Branded as classic Christmas cheer, the 20 tracks follow a formula that has worked for this former DJ and video star of Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up”. In that clip Larry played himself and a transvestite, a not too hard stretch for a guy who readily admits through his comedy that his “family” is at best, odd.

Larry tries hard here. Maybe that’s the problem. He’s a seasoned pro, a guy who’s crammed his mantelpiece with awards and has also gathered some gold sales for his earlier recorded work. But, it’ll be a big ask if this follows the same path.

A farting rendition of Jingle Bells (what else?), a choir, the Tobacco Company Choir whose humorous injection to this is a vocal arrangement through voice boxes, the shame and scandal of the “dysfunctional family”, and a stream of other forgettable throwaways make up the seldom funny 53 plus minutes.

Don’t get me wrong. Larry the Cable Guy can be funny. Some of the time. But in these times of world terrorist unease do we really need Larry’s comedic character Mohammed sprouting, “What's fat, red, and flops around? Your American Santa Claus getting beheaded for Jihad!" I think not!

Larry will no doubt pull the faithful to his yuletide festivities. But it’ll only be the devoted and those who would laugh at a funeral. Maybe I’ve missed the point, but I didn’t get this and even the scripted laugh track failed to get me chortling. In a bemused way, I’ve readily enjoyed some of Larry’s previous outings, but this release didn’t push any buttons for me. 

Shocking listeners with boys’ humor, the locker room kind, is a cheap laugh. Larry’s hopefully capable of a better performance; sadly we didn’t get it here. Maybe a backward glance in comedy history holds the answer; a return to the content of older comedians, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, Abbot and Costello, Jack Benny and, for modern times, Seinfeld – a breed who claimed wide audiences, and wider and longer laughs, with material that didn’t rattle and shake majority sensibilities. 

The album also features cameo appearances from Trace Adkins, Cowboy Troy and TG Shepard, among others. As an added bonus, the enhanced CD comes with a trailer of Witless Protection, Larry’s new movie.

Christmastime In Larryland. Yo ho ho. Tis the season to be jolly. Almost.

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