Getting her done


By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

You know Larry the Cable Guy, the jovial, sleeveless sensation, widely recognized for hollering his supportive catchphrase “Git-r-done!” For this you likely also know Mater, the loveable tow truck sidekick from Cars, the third installment of which is currently in production with a release date set for June 2017. But how well do you know Dan Whitney, the man behind the dramatis personae? During his more than 20 years in the entertainment industry, the Nebraska-born father of two has recorded multiplatinum-selling albums, forayed into both film and television and, with wife Cara, donated more than $7 million to charities through his Git-R-Done Foundation. All this while maintaining a healthy balance amongst work, life and faith. Git-r-done indeed.

Currently on tour with fellow Blue Collar Comedy alum Jeff Foxworthy, Whitney recently took the time to talk to Dayton City Paper, mostly in his regular voice, but with the occasional aside as one of his beloved characters (your star-struck reporter was absolutely beside herself upon hearing Mater say, “Jennifer, we’s best friends!”). The following are highlights from that conversation.

You do seem to have this really incredible work/life/faith balance. I read that your father was a preacher, and I was wondering if maintaining that balance was an important part of your upbringing, if you ever find that you have too much of one thing and not enough of another, and just how you maintain the balance.

Dan Whitney: Well, you know, I don’t take myself that seriously. I’m a comedian. My job is to make people laugh and fortunately I’ve been successful at it, but I know that the main thing in my life—I mean, comedy’s great, and it’s awesome—but the most important things in my life are my family. … I try to have everything even. Make sure that I’m spending enough time with my family, make sure that I’m doing just enough stand-up that… yeah, just kind of keep everything on an even keel there.

How would your kids describe you?

DW: I think they would—well, I hope they would say that I’m funny. [laughs] I think they would say that I’m funny and well, look, at night, it’s like, there’s a routine. I’ll tell my little girl a story, and then my little boy wants to tell me about his day and he wants me to scratch his back and rub his head and his ears. But the last thing my kids always say to me at night is that they love me and that I’m a good dad. So, I mean that’s really cool.

Why does your brand of comedy translate so well into all areas of the country?

DW: It’s just regular stuff. I’m a one-liner comedian. You don’t find a lot of one-liner comedians any more. There’s a few of us out there, not a lot. … But my comedy is just fun, goofy stuff. I mean, if you grew up at any time in your life liking Hee-Haw, liking Monty Python’s Flying Circus, liking Benny Hill, liking that kind of stuff, Jerry Clower, then you like what we do, because it’s just goofy, funny stuff. That’s why I’ve always wondered why Jeff [Foxworthy] has never won a Mark Twain award; Jeff is probably the most Americana comedian there is. I think he relates to every part of the country, he relates to the everyman, he relates to the working guy, he relates to the white collar guy, … either you have people in your family that Jeff talks about or you’re that person Jeff talks about. … He’s not dirty, so everybody can listen to it. I’m not really dirty, I step over the line on a few things.

It is such a relief to listen to your comedy. When I need to feel better, I listen to you, I listen to my old CDs of Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

DW: Everybody knows a person like I’m portraying, everybody has one in the family. It’s hilarious. It’s funny stuff. I think that’s another thing about us: we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We understand what our role is. Our role is to let people come and enjoy a laugh. They’re paying good money, they want to laugh. They just worked through the week 9-5, it sucks, they don’t like where they’re working, some may but it still sucks to go to work. At night they’re watching the political situation, they’re worried about this, they’re worried about that—it’s nice to go out on a Friday night, kick back and listen to two goofballs and get your money’s worth and belly-laugh for two hours. It’s good for the soul. So we know our role. That’s our role, we’re happy with our role. And like I said, we just want to bring the funny, we could care less about the rest of it.
RFD-TV presents Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy Saturday, March 12, at the Taft Theatre 317 E. Fifth St. in Cincinnati. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the show starts at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $42.50 to $199 and can be purchased at For more about Larry the Cable Guy, visit

Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and served as the 2015 Chair. She can be reached at or through her website at

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About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at or through her website at

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