Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldrdge
Known for his redneck jokes, Jeff Foxworthy has become one of the most successful and respected comedians in the country and is the highest selling comedy-recording artist in history. Many may know the Atlanta, Georgia native from The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, alongside fellow comedians Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy. Foxworthy also starred and executive produced the series Foxworthy’s Big Night Out and Blue Collar TV. As a host of one of the biggest shows on primetime television, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader and as a New York Times bestselling author, the Grammy Award nominee proves that he is a well-recognized icon and sophisticated artist.
Mr. Foxworthy set some time aside to speak with Consciousness Magazine about his latest happenings, new children’s book “Hide!!!” and his passion for children.
Tocarra Eldridge: What inspired you to write the children’s book “Hide”?
Jeff Foxworthy: Well, I guess it had always been in the back of my mind to do a children’s book. When my girls were growing up, I would always make up stories. When I started hosting Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, suddenly every kid knew who I was. My daughters said, “You know dad, if you are ever going to do it, you should do it now because every kid knows you.” So I did it, and I realized it’s harder than I thought it would be. [Laugh] It’s almost like a musical rhythm to it. The early responses to my book were exactly what I wanted…a book that kids would love.
TE: As a bestseller’s author, you add humor in your book writing. Is it a challenge for you to separate being a comedian from being an author?
JF: No, you know I’m very blessed in that. What I do for a living is kind of who I am. With a comedian, you think about what’s my audience, who are you talking to…when you write children’s books, you have to put adults out of your mind. You go back to when you were five or six years old. To me, that’s the challenge of it.
TE: Can we expect more children’s books released in the future?
JF: Yeh, probably. [Laugh] I’ve kind of got addicted to it. [Laugh] To me that’s when you develop a love of books at an early age. My grandma had a love for reading and she kind of passed that along to me. And I kind of passed that along to my daughters. My oldest daughter is in college. She is always reading, not for school…just for pleasure.
TE: You have a passion for children and dedicate a large portion of your time to charity for disadvantaged and critically-ill children. What is the motivation behind this?
JF: I don’t know. I’ve always said, “humor is always released valves that keep the boiler from overflowing.” When I’d go to children’s hospitals and see one of my DVDs or books…and you think that for 5 to 10 minutes you make somebody laugh at a hospital, it feels good. I’ve always had a heart for kids; especially, for kids with cancer.
TE: What words of inspiration would you give to a young or inspiring comic that wants to go into the comedy field?
JF: It’s been a wonderful way to make a living. Even after 26 years, I still feel that way. I think most people have the same thoughts that comedians have, but they just don’t grab ‘em. Comedians learn to grab it, polish it and show it to people. So you’re almost showing them themselves. That’s why you get a lot of people come up to you and say, “I thought that same thing!” My advice is when you have those thoughts write them down! You swear you will remember them, but you NEVER DO!!! I always keep note pads and note cards with me. I can’t stress it enough, when you have those thoughts WRITE THEM DOWN! [Laugh]
TE: Do you have any up-and-coming shows that your fans can look forward to?
JF: Well, I just finished taping another season of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. I’ve also started going back on the road with Bill Engvall and Larry The Cable Guy. So this is kind of fun, because we hadn’t been on stage in a while together. It’s cool that after 26 years, people still want to hear it (laughs).
TE: What’s the energy like working with Larry the Cable Guy?
JF: I always say that working with Larry is a lot like going to the State Fair (laughs). After 5minutes you will feel better about your family!!! [Laughs]
TE: Would you like to add anything else before we close?
JF: This has been a fun interview!
TE: It has been a pleasure speaking with you Mr. Foxworthy! Thanks so much.
JF: Its Jeff…my grandfather was Mr. Foxworthy. [Laugh]
Last modified: April 16, 2023