You Might Be a Redneck.
“Anywhere there are flannel shirts, there are rednecks. It has gone from being an embarrassment to being a badge of honor.” Jeff Foxworthy
One of the most respected and triumphant comedians in America, actor and game host Jeff Foxworthy has made a reputations for himself as the biggest selling comedy recording artist in history. A multiple Grammy Award nominee as well as the best-selling author of 11 books, he is perhaps best recognized for his “You Might Be a Redneck” jokes, which has produced the massively successful book (1989) and album (1993) of the same name. His other popular albums include Games Rednecks Play (1995), Crank it Up: The Music Album (1996), Big Funny (2000) and Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered (2004). Book fans can enjoy his standout writing in “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem” (1996) and “Jeff Foxworthy's Redneck Dictionary: Words You Thought You Knew the Meaning Of” (2005), among others.
While his career was on the rise, Foxworthy found disappointment with the television world. His show, “Somewhere in America/The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” was canceled by ABC after only a season (from 1995-1996). Although NBC quickly picked up the show, the revamped series fared about the same and was pulled from the air in 1997. The recipient of the 1990 American Comedy's Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic award, Foxwothy rebounded in the new millennium following a three-year victorious performance with Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White and Bill Engvall, in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. It produced a movie in 2003 called “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie,” the intermediate hit TV series “Blue Collar TV” (WB, 2004-2006), as well as the TV films Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again (2004) and Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road (2006). The success also led to his voice-over gig for films like Racing Stripes (2005).
Presently, the highly appreciated stand-up comedian enjoys his new profession as a game show host for Fox's “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” (2007- current).
Outside of the spotlight, Foxworthy is happily married to wife Pamela Gregg, with whom he has two beautiful girls, Jordan and Juliane.
Childhood and Family:
Jeffrey M. Foxworthy, who would later be known as Jeff Foxworthy, was born on September 6, 1958, in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the first child of James Abstance Foxworthy, an IBM executive, and Carole Linda Camp, an employee of the Atlanta school board. His grandfather, James Marvin Camp, was a long term fireman in Hapeville, Georgia. After graduating from Hapeville High School, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a degree in engineering in 1979. He then spent the next five years working at IBM, following in his father's footsteps in the computer field.
Jeff married Pamela Gregg on September 18, 1985. Together they have two daughters, Jordan Lane Foxworthy (born on November 13, 1991) and Juliane Foxworthy (born in 1994). Jeff is the cousin of actor and director Eric Bruno Borgman.
Blue Collar Comedy
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jeff Foxworthy spent his youth listening to comedy albums by Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and George Carlin and discovered that he enjoyed making people laugh while his supportive parents frequently asked him to perform for family guests. In high school, the future comedian created a reputation as a practical joker, which enchanted classmates and often annoyed the school principal. It was while Foxworthy was working in mainframe maintenance at IBM, where his father also worked, that he was encouraged by his colleagues to enter a multi-night comedy competition at the Punchline Comedy Club. Shortly after winning the contest, he left his job and professionally pursued a career in comedy.
Foxworthy began performing at a Georgia Tech fraternity party and then at Punchline before taking a temporary filing job at a warehouse. Life was sometimes hard for the struggling comedian, but his hard work eventually paid off when his first book, “You Might Be a Redneck If…, which is a collection of jokes that was published in 1989. Also in 1989, he hit the small screen for the first time on the HBO special, “Rodney Dangerfield's' Opening Night at Rodney's Place.” Foxworthy's growing status was further confirmed the following year when he was handed a 1990 American Comedy for Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic. His second book, “Hick is Chic: A Guide to Etiquette,” for the Grossly Unsophisticated was released later that same year.
In search of true stardom, Foxworthy moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s after the suggestion of veteran comic Rodney Dangerfield. Thanks to his first book's success, he headlined his first special called “Jeff Foxworthy: You Might Be a Redneck” for Showtime in 1991, which he followed up with appearances on HBO's “The Larry Sanders Show” (1992-1998) and on another Showtime special, “Jeff Foxworthy: Check Your Neck” (1992), which concurred with his fourth book of the same name. In 1993, Foxworthy released his humor album from the 1989 You Might Be a Redneck If..., which topped the comedy album charts and went on to sell over three million copies. He continued to tour the country, collected his material into books, and performed on numerous specials, including the 1995 “30th Annual Country Music Awards,” where he served as a host.
In 1995, Foxworthy made his debut as a sitcom star with “The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” which focused on Foxworthy as a family man with a heating and air conditioning repair business. The show was broadcast on ABC, but was axed after a single season. NBC immediately picked up the show, but it again ended up in cancellation in 1997. Despite the show’s failure, Foxworthy scored victory with his sophomore album, Games Rednecks Play (1995), which earned double-platinum certification and a Grammy nomination. The follow-up, Crank it Up: The Music Album, which coincided with his autobiography “No Shirt, No Shoes… No Problem,” contained several singles that made the Hot Country Songs charts.
Back to his native city of Atlanta, Foxworthy could be seen returning to stand-up comedy in 1998 when he launched an album titled Jeff Foxworthy: Totally Committed. He also released Double Wide, Single Minded (1998) and Greatest Bits (1999) before he released the 2000 album Big Funny, for Dreamworks Records.
It was also in 2000 that Foxworthy headlined the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with comediennes Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, and Bill Engvall. The tour lasted three years and in 2003, it was made into a film called Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie. A new TV show called “Blue Collar TV” (2004-2006) for The WB Television Network and Comedy Central was launched a year later, where Foxworthy took on double duty as an executive producer and star. Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall also starred in the moderately successful series. The series also spawned the television films Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again (2004) and Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road (2006), where Foxworthy displayed material from his album, Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered, which was released in 2004. Meanwhile, he also provided his vocals for the animated film Racing Stripes (2005).
A comedy series, “Foxworthy's Big Night Out,” which he revived from the Blue Collar TV format, debuted on Country Music Television (CMT) in the summer of 2006, but was canceled after one season. Also in 2006, his voice could be heard as Lyle in the Disney movie The Fox and the Hound 2. Currently, Foxworthy hosts the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” which began airing on February 27, 2007.
People’s Choice: Best New Comic Actor, 1996
Academy of Country Music: Lifetime Achievement, 1996
American Comedy: Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic, 1990