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Popular comic comes to Rochester

By Tom Weber

weber@postbulletin.com

Blue collars and red necks. That combination has made Larry the Cable guy one of the nation's most popular comics.

And apparently what's funny in South Carolina also appeals to audiences in southeast Minnesota; Larry's April 19 show at Mayo Civic Center's Taylor Arena is nearing a sellout.

"We'll have 5,000 people here," said Linda Willihnganz, box office manager at the civic center. "We normally work with a 20-foot stage, and he's going down to a 16-foot stage to make room for more seats."

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So who is Larry (not his real name) the Cable Guy, and why do all these people think he's funny?

His self-penned Web site biography provides a clue or two:

"To make a long story short, I was born in the back of an El Camino during a Foghat concert many years ago. My mother was a normal mother like anybodys. She cooked, cleaned, kissed us goodnight and was an Elvis impersonator on weekends."

As for his father, Larry claims "He lost a leg in a car accident in 1986. He rolled over three times and wound up in a ditch, and that was just walking to the car."

Larry also says, "I ran for the state senate in Florida, but ran outa money at a strip club in Daytona Beach."

If you now have to pick yourself off the floor from laughing, you're Larry's target audience. For those who don't care for his insults about "queers," Rosie O'Donnell, Janet Reno and cheerleaders, aw shucks, he's just a good ol' boy having some fun.

Clearly, based on Internet chat sites, Larry is a love-him-or-leave-him kind of comedian. Those who get him think he walks on water. Those who don't get Larry find him sophomoric and unfunny. There appears to be no middle ground.

His signature statement, "Git-R-Done," was also the title of his first DVD in 2003. He joined Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which sold out from coast to coast. His latest CD is "The Right to Bear Arms." And when it comes to selling tickets, Larry is ready to flex his muscles.

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What: Larry the Cable Guy.

When: 7:30 p.m. April 19.

Where: Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena, 30 Civic Center Drive S.E.

Tickets: $38.75 at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

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