Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie

Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie

The film version of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a four-man traveling show focusing on redneck jokes and country humor, might be more fun with less context. Comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Larry The Cable Guy open the film fishing together and swapping jokes, in one of Blue Collar Comedy Tour's best segments. But soon enough, they're whisked away to Phoenix, Arizona's Dodge Theater, where they take turns standing on a stage covered with kitschy junk and delivering their patented comedy routines to a howling fan base. The comedians themselves are hit-and-miss, but frequently funny. White, clutching a cigarette and a cocktail, flashes a toothy, infectious grin as he spouts bitter observational humor. Larry The Cable Guy plays up a hick accent and references to "fellers," "ideers," and "sammiches," as he plows through a series of gross-out jokes, heavily spiced with his annoying catchphrases "tha's funny, I don't care who you are" and "get 'er done" (or, as his web site spells it, Git-R-Done). Engvall's comedy routine pulls its punches considerably; he's the most energetic and charismatic of the group, but his material about his wife and 16-year-old daughter falls flat. Foxworthy's redneck routine is predictable by now, but his timing and material is well-honed and he knows his audience. Unfortunately, so does director C.B. Harding (The Osbournes), who packs the film with reaction shots of people in cowboy hats and Harley shirts screaming in delight at the NASCAR references and cheering enthusiastically when White sets up a joke by saying "In Texas, we have the death penalty, and we use it!" At times, Harding's approach seems to emphasize the audience's reaction over the actual material, as if to say, "If you didn't laugh at that bit, you're in the minority." But maybe that's intentional: Viewers who don't find redneck-sympathetic humor funny may still be able to laugh at those who do. Harding does try to open up the action with several dire between-set sequences, in which the comedians wander a mall, improvising gags at the expense of a Victoria's Secret employee and playing with a remote-control fart machine at Spencer Gifts. But in the end, the movie's best and most comfortable sequence is its most insular and removed one–at the end, the four sit down together and just tell stories. Foxworthy pulls out his trademark "You might be a redneck if..." one-liners, and Engvall falls into his "Here's your sign..." routine. But their best material, and the film's most authentically Southern humor, comes from their comfortable interactions, their funny tall tales, and their alternating shows of respect and good-natured teasing.

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