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'Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie'

'Blue Collar' not for rednecks only

Friday, May 23, 2003

By Ron Weiskind, Post-Gazette Movie Editor

If you go to your family reunion looking for a date, you might be a redneck -- especially if the night out involves going to see "Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie."

 
 
'BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR'

RATING: PG-13 for some crude and sex-related humor.

STARRING: Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Ron White, Larry the Cable Guy.

DIRECTOR: C.B. Harding.

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But even if you know that "Gentlemen, start your engines" are not the last four words of the National Anthem, you might enjoy this concert film featuring Jeff Foxworthy and three other chicken-fried comics.

Foxworthy, an Atlanta native, has been telling these jokes on his fellow Southerners long enough to have sold 13 million albums and to get his own sitcom. The movie was shot at the Phoenix stop of a two-year tour that came to Pittsburgh in February.

Other stand-up guys in the film are Bill Engvall, whose shtick includes handing out imaginary "I'm stupid" signs to the obviously deserving, like the neighbor who sees a U-Haul in your driveway and your stuff in boxes and asks, "Are you moving?"; Ron White, a Texan who tells his jokes with a glint in his eye, a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other; and Larry the Cable Guy, who looks like a refugee from "Hee-Haw." His drawl is not so indecipherable that you can't make out the Victoria's Secret jokes, the bodily function jokes, the "my daughter has moles all over her face" jokes.

As you might guess, some of this material is as crude, sexually and otherwise, as a "Jerry Springer" episode. But the best of the "Blue Collar" humor extends beyond the good-natured stereotyping to indulge in the kind of observational humor that even Yankees can identify with. Foxworthy and Engvall in particular use the foibles of their families in their routines to very funny effect, and they don't forget to make fun of themselves once in a while.

White comes off as a smart aleck who likes his alcohol and usually ends up making a fool of himself as a result. Politically incorrect, you say? Wait until he proudly proclaims he comes from a state "that has the death penalty and uses it."

Director C.B. Harding tries to open the film up between acts by taking the quartet on the road. Larry actually visits a Victoria's Secret, where supermodel Heidi Klum pretends to be a clerk. The guys go to a sporting-goods store. They go to a novelty store, where Larry buys a gadget that makes flatulence sounds and goes around the mall using it.

Listening to them talk about such stuff in their monologues is funnier than watching them do it. Harding also has an annoying tendency to film the comics from every conceivable angle in the auditorium.

Still, "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" is more entertaining than a bug-zapper and a six-pack.


Ron Weiskind can be reached at rweiskind@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1581.

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