You Might Be A Redneck If...

Jeff Foxworthy

Warner Brothers Records, 1994

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Leave it to Jeff Foxworthy to make "redneck" a buzzword, and not a red flag of the politically-tightassed '90s. Instead of shunning the negative stereotypes that he and his fellow Southerners have been burdened with by some people, he chose to revel in that ignorance and use humor as the best weapon.

After several successful appearances on "The Tonight Show," Foxworthy seemed to burst forth into the mass media when his CD You Might Be A Redneck If... was released in 1993. While the disc doesn't break too much new ground regarding his material from around that time, it's still a funny disc to listen to, even after you've heard it 50 times.

It would have been far too easy for Foxworthy to have used this entire disc to spout his test on how to tell if you're a redneck - and it also would have gotten real old, real quick. Wisely, he touches on the subject briefly - and returns to it for the encore - then moves on to remind you he's more than a one-joke act.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Likewise, it would have been easy for Foxworthy to have relied on material poking good-natured fun at Southerners. (It's like George Carlin said when he joked about the Irish, "It's your gang; you can pick on your own gang.") Instead, Foxworthy expands his routine to include humor about fatherhood ("Did you know that babies are nauseated by the smell of a clean shirt?"), single life (including a pretty accurate description of my first single-man apartment, though he left out the roaches) and marriage. In turn, he does what comedians like Jerry Clower and Lewis Grizzard were not totally able to do: gain mainstream acceptance and success.

Problems? Well, there are a few. Foxworthy had a few of his routines released on a small comedy-club label, and if you purchased any of these, you'll notice some of the jokes on those tapes appear on You Might Be A Redneck If.... Granted, they all came from around the same time span, and a comedian does need to hone their act somewhere, so I'm not too bothered by that. Second, this disc seems to be rather short - if you can call 45 minutes short. Bt somehow, I expected - or, maybe the better word is hoped - that Foxworthy would have stretched out his routine longer. I guess you don't want to wear out your welcome the first time around, but it's hard to keep track of time when you're laughing so hard.

While Foxworthy is tame in comparison to some comics, you still might want to keep this one out of the hands of the small kiddies. Still, besides a minor curse here and there, this is a disc that you can listen to without worrying about being offended. And to the uptight militants out there who take offense at every little thing someone says that could offend, two words: chill out. Foxworthy, a Georgia native, knows it's better to laugh with people at the joke, even if it's about your own heritage. He's not offended; why should you be?

You Might Be A Redneck If... is a nice major-label debut for a comic who was about to hit a brick wall in his career over the mismanagement of his own television show by the networks. Until that was to happen, though, all there was to do was laugh - and Foxworthy knows how to share that gift.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.