STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $21.99
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 276 Minutes
• “Banned from the Booth” deleted skits
• “Too Much for TV” unaired skits

The Pitch

"The stars of COPS do sketch comedy."

The Humans

Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie’s Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall

The Nutshell

The Blue Collar comedy trio brings their lackluster satire/celebration of America’s great unwashed to the Saturday Night Live sketch format, although in mercifully brief half hour portions. Each of the thirteen episodes contains an opening monologue from co-creator/producer Foxworthy, a couple SNL style skits, a “reality” segment on location, the “Redneck Yard of the Week,” and occasionally commercial spoofs, country music performances, and more standup.

Though Jeff and Larry never said anything, somehow Bill felt like a third wheel.

The Lowdown

I remember as a kid thinking that NASCAR was kind of cool, mostly because it was packed with spectacular crashes. Times change though, and with them the face of NASCAR from Tom Cruise to Ricky Bobby. Today it seems to have grown beyond mere sport to a rallying cry for an entire culture, which over the last decade has risen from the hinterland to infiltrate mainstream society and even the White House.

Not being much of a Toby Keith fan, I expected Blue Collar TV to be a truly loathsome experience. To my considerable relief, it isn’t so much painfully idiotic as simply unamusing, which is a common enough crime among comedies. I have to give the show credit for attempting to skewer stereotypes that its key viewer demographic probably fits to a T, although most of these efforts are too limp or obvious to generate much mirth or outrage.

To my perhaps unwarranted surprise political commentary is very minimal, and evenhanded when present. Larry does shoot his robot clone dead for promoting Hillary Clinton for president, but elsewhere the current president is portrayed as Dick Cheney’s dimwitted stooge. Though he advocates NASCAR be taught in school, Larry actually has a kind word for Al Jazeera, which he claims plays more videos than MTV.

Sometimes Jimmy regretted mocking Dad’s balloon giraffe, but then his foster father was usually too drunk to find his belt anyway.

Foxworthy seems to possess the lion’s share of what passes for the troop’s comedic talent. Though his standup material is flatter than Kate Bosworth, he shines in the occasional role, such as a demented purveyor of lethal fireworks. In general though he seems content to pander to the low standards of his fanbase.

Engvall and Larry are way ahead of him in that department. The former exhibits the rare blip of wit, but the latter is essentially a flatliner. They reach their nadir in a visit to a finishing school, where they giggle constantly at words such as “hickey” and “number two” like Special Ed cousins of Beavis and Butthead.

Still less inspired is regular guest star Ron White, who gives the impression that he only shows up on set because his paycheck is hidden somewhere on it. Some of the supporting players aren’t too shabby though, certainly on par with the current SNL average.

Maximilian was somewhat disappointed to discover that beyond space and time lies Georgia.

Among the few amusing moments is a sketch in which a baby is delivered by a NASCAR pit crew while announcers give the play by play, following which Foxworthy as driver Darrell Waltrip does a celebratory burnout with the baby’s gurney. In another solid skit Foxworthy in full S&M bondage gear lasciviously waits at home for his wife, who to his horror arrives accompanied by a pastor and TV reporters who have come to commend his charity work. In a moment that might almost be called Pythonesque were it performed better, he vainly attempts to hide under the living room carpet, protesting that the visitors are disturbing his nap. Also decent but decidedly underwritten is a commercial spoof for a body suit that contorts the figure to make grossly obese women appear pregnant, thus earning them admiration and empathy rather than derision from their peers.

Worth a watch for the Blue Collar faithful I suppose, or anyone wishing to explore why Al Queda never sends us Christmas cards.

Despite deep knowledge of the Dark Arts, the Rosie O’Donnell model was never a top seller.

The Package

The basic cover portrait of the stars gits r done more or less, and Larry’s crazed grimace serves as a litmus test for potential purchasers. Either you’re reminded of the smooth taste of Skoal, or your compulsive fear of hanging chads.

The extra “Banned From the Booth” contains apparently unused clips from the “What Burns Me” segment, in which the speaker lamely protests a supposed pet peeve. These clips feature a long line of tepid “celebrity” impersonations, including Star Jones, Anna Nicole Smith, and Clay Aiken.

“Too Much for TV” is a collection of random sketches more dull than edgy, although racial undertones are apparent in a weight loss program ad. It features a menacing black street tough who relentlessly chases white yuppie clients until they drop the pounds or he drops them.

4 out of 10