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Jeff Foxworthy explains how he coined the term 'blue-collar' comedy and why he loves Minnesota

Neal Justin, Star Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

MINNEAPOLIS — Jeff Foxworthy spent a recent Tuesday morning sitting in a tree with a bow and arrow.

"That's kind of who I am," said the 64-year-old comic a few hours later, climbing up a hill from his home in west-central Georgia so he could get phone reception. "I'm very blessed and thankful to be successful at doing this. But I don't have an aircraft hangar with 50 Porsches in it. I have a farm. That's what I did with my money."

Foxworthy's passion for hunting and choice of living off the grid are just a couple of reasons why he remains one of the country's all-time most successful comics.

Ahead of a planned stop in the Twin Cities, he took time to chat about his career as he and his wife prepared to host 31 people for a Thanksgiving dinner.

Q: You taped your last TV special, "The Good Old Days," at the Pantages Theatre about a year ago. Why did you pick Minneapolis?

A: In all transparency, I should say that I originally wanted to do it at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta because that's where I'm from. That was my favorite theater as a kid. But it's just too big. Because of all the COVID stuff, we knew we couldn't do it there. There's just a few cities in the country that are known among comics as good comic towns and Minneapolis is one of them. I've always had fun there.

 

Q: I've heard lots of comics say that about Minneapolis. What makes a good comedy town?

A: That's a great question. I don't know if anyone has ever asked me that. I think it's an attitude, the ability to laugh at yourself. In places like Los Angeles and New York, people can take themselves a little too seriously, especially in this environment. They've lost the ability to laugh at themselves.

Q: In the special, you didn't tell any of the "You know you're a redneck" jokes. Have you officially retired those?

A: I probably haven't done them onstage in 10 years. It's funny, that's what everybody remembers me for. I never thought about it until a buddy of mine pointed out that they were one-liners that were easy to remember. People could tell three of them at the water cooler the next day and get laughs. But even at the height of their popularity, I only did them during the last five minutes of a two-hour show. I'm more of a storyteller. If you look at the body of my work, it's mostly about family and my wife.

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