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Published November 21 2010

Comedy Review: Comedy trio ‘Git-r-done’ at Fargodome

When you hear that three of the four comics from the wildly successful Blue Collar Comedy Tour are coming to town, you expect to hear something redneck and Southern-fried.

If you showed up at the Fargodome on Saturday night to see Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, you’d get some of that. But what might surprise those with only a cursory knowledge of the three comics is that much of the standup material was more in the tradition of the observational slice-of-life humor of Bill Cosby than that of classic Southern comic Jerry Clower.

From life after children to life after 50, there was a lot of talk about plain old life.

In discussing the cleansing for his colonoscopy, Foxworthy said, “My underwear tapped me on the shoulder and told me to run.

“I passed things I had only thought about eating,” he said.

He mused on being the bug killer in his home, saying his wife stands by like Caesar, deciding which bugs live and die based on how cute they are.

Engvall opined on the issues surrounding being an empty nester and all the things his wife now drags him to so that they can spend time together. Among those events was a Renaissance fair. Engvall described an encounter with one man at the fair who declined to recognize his request for beer, wanting him to refer to the beverage as mead. Then, says Engvall, “Mr. Authentic’s” cell phone starts ringing in his tights.

Even Larry the Cable Guy, whose on-stage persona is easily the most backwoods of the three, talked on such daily-life themes as going to the doctor and having his prostate examined. He said he enjoys buying clothes at Walmart because he’s a medium there, joking that Walmart has “husky” sizes in the baby department.

He even talked about how much he loves his children.

The biggest surprise of the night – and perhaps a disappointment to some fans – was the absence of the catchphrase jokes typically associated with the three. Foxworthy did only one or two “You might be a redneck” lines. Engvall was equally thrifty with his signature “Here’s your sign” jokes. And Larry the Cable Guy threw out only one or two “Git-r-dones,” joking that if he didn’t do that line, it would be like Lynyrd Skynyrd not performing “Freebird.”

But there were enough bit-style jokes to tickle one’s setup-punch-repeat funny bone. Foxworthy, whose solo standup segment was the comedic highlight of the evening, riffed on a series of things he doesn’t understand. He said he didn’t know how he was going to explain God to his children when he can’t even explain why, when you grab one Kleenex out of the box, another one pops up. And he said he doesn’t know who closes the door when the bus driver gets off the bus.

What the three demonstrated Saturday night was that a generous chunk of their appeal is their likability. It’s a little like hanging out with wisecracking friends. There are genuine laughs in the show, to be sure, as well as some spots that didn’t shine quite as much. But, either way, it’s a bit like those of us in the audience were kicking back with people who are a lot like us – even though one might do with fewer flatulence jokes.

Then, again, maybe that’s a little more like us that we like to admit.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734