In his doomed 2006 film Idiocracy, director Mike Judge painted a terrifying portrait of America 500 years into the future, where reverse Darwinism has led to the dumbing down of society: The president is a moron. Sports drinks have replaced water. Everybody speaks in a dialect that is part-hillbilly/part-fake gangsta, and popular entertainment is dominated by shows like Ow! My Balls!
Judge's most frightening and depressing realization: Idiocracy isn't about America's future, it's about its present. For evidence, one needs to look no further than the success of the Blue Collar Comedy phenomenon, whose members have just released Delta Farce. As if it matters, here's the premise: Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and DJ Qualls accidentally join the army, accidentally get shipped off to Iraq, and accidentally get dropped in Mexico—which they accidentally mistake for Iraq. (From there, it appears to be a journey through Mexican stereotypes, gay jokes, and hackneyed catchphrases.)
Shockingly, Delta Farce wasn't screened for critics, but in lieu of a screening, we were given the opportunity to interview Dan Whitney (AKA Larry the Cable Guy), who—blessedly—ditched his deep-south bubba schtick for the phone call.
"One thing I always get frustrated at is people always try to find the politics in everything—but it's just funny," Whitney says. "That's all it is. It's funny stuff. And it's stuff that not a lot of comedians are doing. A lot of comedians like to talk to the back of the room and be real edgy and, you know, 'I'm smarter than you,' and 'You should have laughed at that joke.' You know what I mean? We just got up and talked about shit that we thought was funny.
"We'd always get the rap that we're lowbrow or that we were pandering to this or that, but we didn't care," he adds. "The material I do? I believe in it, and I laugh at it. It's funny shit to me. We were just regular guys. We weren't talking over anybody's heads. We were playing to the audience—the front of the room and not the back of the room."