Having gone from a pig farm in Nebraska to become one of the most popular and successful comedians in the country, Larry the Cable Guy (born Dan Whitney) knows all about the potential and power of the American dream.
“This is the greatest country in the world,” he says during our interview. And that passion he has for our nation and its possibilities is what he hopes people will get out of his new History series Only in America. Well, that and a few laughs along the way, of course.
“It’s a comedy show,” says Larry. “I want it to be funny, first and foremost. But I’ve got to tell you — there’s a lot of [episodes] where it’s pretty touching.”
Larry encounters these humorous and touching moments throughout his travels in the series, which finds the host crossing America to find the people, places and things that define our unique history.
“I met so many cool people,” Larry says, “and they were all a lot of fun. All good Americans. … We went to the smallest town in the United States — Monowi, Neb., population one — all the way up to New York City. … I think we finished up with 69 cities in 29 different states.”
Each episode features three different locations. Larry’s encounters in the first season, which he had just finished filming the week before our discussion, range from helping to launch aircraft aboard the USS Nimitz to panning for gold in California to aiding a “Secret Santa” in Kansas City in handing out $100 bills to the less fortunate to being goaded into sparring with a female Golden Gloves winner at a Brooklyn gym (“She beat the living @#$% out of me,” Larry admits).
“[The series] is historic; you get a lot of good information you may not have known about a city or a state,” Larry explains. “But more than ever it’s a lighthearted view of people who love the country, how great the country is, how great our culture is. … I hope this show makes people proud to be American.”
Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy premieres Feb. 8 on History.