Jeff Foxworthy

Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered

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Ten years after becoming a superstar on the back of his "You Might Be a Redneck" routine, Jeff Foxworthy returns with Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered, his sixth major-label album. In the mid-'90s, Foxworthy might have seemed like a fad, a cultural phenomenon that would be forever tied to its time and place, fading into recesses of junk culture as time passes. As it turns out, that wasn't quite the case. With the exception of the brief hiccup in 2000 with his lone DreamWorks album, Big Funny, Foxworthy has never dipped in popularity, and by the mid-2000s, he and his Blue Collar Comedy Tour were more popular than ever and, on the basis of Have Your Loved Ones, Foxworthy is sharper than ever. He's confident enough to scale back the redneck jokes, but he doesn't leave behind that gleefully dumb humor, either -- there are still plenty of lowbrow routines about smells and aging, and as dumb as they are, they still work; after all, it's hard not to laugh at "Do you know why it's so hard to solve a redneck murder? Because the DNA's all the same and there's no dental records." What's better is that he builds on that, lacing in smarter-than-you'd-think barbs and observations to his routines about advertising, parenting, and airport security. This is the work of a real comedian, one who crafts his routines, works on new material, and relishes performing in front of a real audience. That's why the presence of Larry the Cable Guy, a fellow traveler on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, is so illuminating here. Foxworthy plays the straight man to Larry the Cable Guy's deliriously dumb, dumb, dumb redneck on the encore of "I Believe," which helps put the craft behind both of their characters in sharp relief; these are carefully considered, constructed personas, delivered by professional comedians at the top of their game. And that's why Have Your Loved Ones is one of Foxworthy's best -- he's now both relaxed and professional, and he makes it all seem easy while still seeming like a regular guy.

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