REVIEW: Larry leaves 'em laughing at the Alerus

First thing that came to mind at the start of Larry the Cable Guy's show Friday night at the Alerus Center: Does it hurt or help attendance at his concerts that he's on TV so much?...

Larry the Cable Guy
Larry the Cable Guy performed Friday night at the Alerus Center.

First thing that came to mind at the start of Larry the Cable Guy's show Friday night at the Alerus Center: Does it hurt or help attendance at his concerts that he's on TV so much?

Do his fans say, "Let's go see Larry! We love him on TV!" Or do they say, "Why should we pay to see Larry? We just saw him on TV."

Turned out to be a fleeting thought because when Larry gets going, he is pretty dang funny. A lot of people were laughing really hard.

Sure, he tells way too many bathroom jokes and the anti-Al Gore rant was lame, but speaking as a liberal, even I thought the "I meet all these famous people and I even met Hillary Clinton" bit was funny. Even when he said he met her at the urinal in the men's room.

Larry the Cable guy came on stage, typically attired in shirttail-out, sleeves-ripped-off blue-checkered shirt and faded jeans and a ratty baseball cap. He got off to a good start by acknowledging his audience ("Wal-Mart must be empty right now") and uttering his trademark "git-r-done" catch phrase within the first two minutes.


He has to say "git-r-done" at least once in his show, he said. If he didn't, it would be like a Lynyrd Skynyrd show without "Free Bird."

Larry the Cable Guy can make jokes about anything, from family reunions to becoming a father to Oreo cookies. (Or, as he called them, "Or-o" cookies.) His humor runs from the totally tame -- "I used to be a chick magnet. Now I'm a refrigerator magnet." -- to the stuff I can't repeat here.

He also seems unafraid -- too dense? -- to avoid subjects that really aren't funny. On Friday night, Larry took pokes at incest, Puerto Ricans, sexual assault, infertility and kids in wheelchairs. (Do I need to officially say here that sexual assault is not now and never has been funny?)

Not everyone found all his humor knee-slapping funny. There were some groans from the audience at times (whether from offense or they just didn't find it funny, who knows?), and at least once, Larry said: "I should have tried that one out at home first."

There also were plenty of jokes about fishing, Hooters, Nascar, Dodge vs. Ford trucks and people who live in mobile homes.

Larry, whose real name is Daniel Whitney, also loves to rip on himself. Some of his funniest one-liners were about his appearance, intellect and sexual prowess, as in the story about a former girlfriend:

"I came over to her house, and she said, 'Take off my bra and panties right now.' ... So, now I'm naked."

One thing Larry definitely needs is a better camera operator for his big-screen simulcasts. Even though Larry was slowly strolling back and forth on the stage throughout his act, the camera managed to totally miss him at times. (Did this guy fall asleep behind the lens, like those two pilots who overshot Minneapolis?) Also, where were the close-ups of Larry's face?


Comedian Josh Wolf opened the show with 20 minutes of bright and raunchy humor, especially about raising teenagers and the story of his first date with his now-wife. But I can safely say Mothers Against Drunk Driving will not be asking him to entertain at any of their conferences anytime soon. To check out Wolf, tune into "Chelsea Lately" on Tuesday.

Numbers for ticket sales were not immediately available.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to .

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