Jeff Foxworthy on 'Glenn Beck'

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: You know, I was just sitting here with a little note card that says that Jeff Foxworthy is "one" of the most successful comedians in America. And I believe he is "the" most successful comedian in America: The largest-selling comedy recording artist in history, author of more than 20 books, star in the "Blue-Collar" comedy tour and the movies and host of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

Jeff Foxworthy, when do you sleep, man?

JEFF FOXWORTHY, COMEDIAN: I have a good life — nobody's caught on yet.

BECK: Holy cow. You don't do any of this crap yourself, do you? You've got a clone that looks exactly like you who do it all for you. You are just kicking back.

FOXWORTHY: No. You know what? I still enjoy it. I mean, I really feel blessed that I've gotten to do a lot of different things so creatively. You know, it's kind of always stimulating.

BECK: So I noticed — now, for a busy guy, it's interesting that you would write the book "How to Really Stink at Work."


Video: Watch Beck's interview

FOXWORTHY: Well, let me tell you how I got started. Brian Hartt, who I wrote it with — he was a writer of "Blue Collar TV" — and we were sitting around one day and he said, "Knowing you as a comedian, I cannot fathom you actually worked at IBM for five years."

And I said, "No, Brian. I was at IBM for five years. I don't know how much work I did." Because, you know, no matter what job I've ever had, we found ways to amuse ourselves.

And at IBM, we had a boss that loved to cruise the office and look over your shoulder. And so, every time he would come out of his office, we'd wait until he got 30 feet out of the office and we would dial his phone. And his phone would start ringing and he would run back in to answer and we would wait until he got to the desk and we would hang up. We would do this to the guy 20 times a day and he never caught on. So -

BECK: What did you do at IBM?

FOXWORTHY: I started out in dispatch, actually, answering customer phone calls. And then, for the last four years, I carried a tool bag and fixed machines, the hardware on the big mainframe computers.

BECK: Wow. You were good at that?

FOXWORTHY: No, no. They would have fired me.

BECK: OK. Good. Yes.


FOXWORTHY: It's a good thing I'm doing this.

BECK: So when did you get into comedy? Were you doing that at the same time you were fixing computers?

FOXWORTHY: Well, a bunch of guys I worked with would always go down to the comedy club, The Punchline in Atlanta, and they kept coming to work going, "Foxworthy, you're funnier than the people down there. You need to go try this."

So I actually did it on a dare. And they were having a contest and I went down. I had no idea what I was doing and entered the contest and I won it. And I knew — two minutes into it, I was like, "This is what I want to do."

BECK: So wait a minute. Hang on —

FOXWORTHY: I quit my job at IBM. My parents thought I had lost my mind.

BECK: Yes.

FOXWORTHY: My mother was like, "Are you on drugs?" And I'm like, "No, I just want to try this." And five years later, I was on Johnny Carson.

BECK: You know, here is the funny thing. You said you quit your job. You told me earlier that you didn't work there. You were a placeholder. You quit your place-holding position. You stopped collecting money from IBM.


FOXWORTHY: Exactly. I was getting a paycheck.

BECK: So hang on. You didn't always want to be a comedian.

FOXWORTHY: Well, you know, it's funny. When you talk to the people I grew up with, nobody is surprised that this is what I do. Because I think I was — I knew from an early age I could make people laugh. I just didn't know you could get paid for it.

BECK: So what did you —

FOXWORTHY: The best note I ever got backstage — the first time I played the Fox Theater in Atlanta, somebody brought me a note and it was from my high school principal. And it said, "I cannot believe I'm shelling out money to hear the same kind of stuff I used to try to put a stop to." I framed it. It's in my office.

BECK: That's great stuff. We'll be back with Jeff Foxworthy. The name of the book — great for Father's Day — is "How to Really Stink at Work." I mean, like I need to read it? Do you watch this show? Back with Jeff Foxworthy in a second.




FOXWORTHY: You're like a redneck "Idol" to me at this point.


BECK: That's Joey Chestnut from the FOX TV show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" It begins airing again Friday, July 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. An all-new half-hour version of the show is going to be syndicated five days a week starting this fall.

Jeff, you're a machine.

FOXWORTHY: Glenn, you're a machine. You do the daily thing. You do the weekend thing. And now you're trying to steal my job and you're out there doing stand-up comedy.

BECK: Oh, yes. That's me stealing your job.

Hey, I want to ask you since you brought that up. The reviews that came out — oh, they were good. They attacked my audience, just as much as me. They attacked the audience like they're just a bunch of stupid idiots that go and — you know, that went and watched me.

And you know, I don't know. I didn't talk to them. I'm sure you know I'm kidding. Do they attack your audience as well? Because I know you're just — you know, you're just a hick. You've got no talent, too.

FOXWORTHY: Oh, yes. Well, your first mistake was you read your reviews. But we caught the same thing on the "Blue Collar" tour. I mean, you know, for the few negative reviews we got, they were making fun of the people in the audience.

And you know, I guess the great thing about this country is you have — everybody can have an opinion, and you certainly don't have to agree with them.

BECK: Let me ask you this. Stay on comedy with me for a second.

FOXWORTHY: All right.

BECK: The David Letterman thing — I mean, I don't want a joke czar, you know. It was a bad joke. A stupid joke. He apologized for it. I think Sarah Palin won in this thing. And I think we need to stay off of people's families. I don't care if it is left, right — I don't care who the person is. We don't make fun of their families.

FOXWORTHY: Yes, I agree with you. And I think Letterman went back. I mean, the mistake was that Dave probably should have thrown that joke out in rehearsal that day. Because I'm a comedian but I have teenaged daughters. I joke about a 30-year-old guy having sex with a teenager — whether it is 14 or 15 or 18 — it's not funny.

But the bottom line or the key to it is forgiveness. When you apologize, people have to forgive you.

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