| Silly Street |
by Jeff Foxworthy
GLENN: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. You know, it's Monday and I just, you know, I wanted to start with some common sense and some laughs. So we got Jeff Foxworthy on the phone with us. Hello, Jeff, how are you, man?
FOXWORTHY: I'm great, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: Where are you? Are you still back at home or wandering, meandering around the country?
FOXWORTHY: No, I'm actually home in Atlanta today.
GLENN: We had you up here in New York, I don't know, a couple of weeks ago and you're writing -- you know, you got another book out. I swear to you, you're a machine. You are an absolute machine.
FOXWORTHY: I'm just trying to keep up with you. You're --
GLENN: Oh, stop it. Please, stop it. So you've got another children's book out, et cetera, et cetera, and we had a conversation on the air that -- actually we had it off the air. It actually airs tonight. I've been waiting to play it for the right moment. It was a conversation about our values, our principles and god and the ten commandments.
GLENN: And when we look at all of the things that are going on, Jeff. I mean, here you are writing children's books, you know, writing the family together. We have disconnected. I think most of our problems are because we have disconnected from family and from the principles that come from God.
FOXWORTHY: Well, and we weren't intended to live that way. You know, I say to people, you know, if you look at a microwave oven, well, somebody created that, and when they created it and planned it and designed it, they had a purpose in mind for it. And the same thing with a coffee mug. Somebody created it and planned it and designed it. Well, we're infinitely more complex than that and so it just seems foolish to me to think that we are just happenstance, you know, and so if we were created, then somebody created us with a purpose and a design in mind, and I think we've so gotten away from what that purpose is. I mean, you are right, we have disconnected from family and we spend every waking moment with a phone to our ear or a computer in front of us and we've lost any of that introspection time or that time to do critical thinking, and it's to our detriment.
GLENN: So in other words, what you're saying is if we're a microwave, we've been putting tinfoil in us?
FOXWORTHY: And that wasn't what we were designed to do and that's not how we function best.
GLENN: You know, it's really funny that you would say that. I was just talking to, who was it just the other day and we were talking about there's no time to think anymore.
GLENN: That is one of our biggest problems. Everything is happening at such a rapid pace and we are always distracted. Also no pondering time anymore.
FOXWORTHY: You know, well, it used to be if you got in your car, at least you had quiet time from one place to the other. But now, you know, we use that to catch up on phone calls or text messages, and it's -- you know, and I don't make any apologies for my faith, but I think there's something real big when it said "Be still and know I'm God." I mean, it's like you need to contemplate some things. You know, you can't have critical thinking when you're always occupied, and I just think that's one of the biggest problems in the world now. And you have to make a choice that that's what you're going to do. I mean, you know, I made a choice, I wasn't going to do e-mail because everybody I know that does it, it takes two or three hours of their day. And I'm like, I'm not giving up two or three more hours that I could spend with my family to sit there in front of a computer.
GLENN: You really are a -- I mean, you really are a family guy. How do you do what -- I mean, most people don't know. Jeff Foxworthy is the most successful comedian in the history of American comedy. You have produced and generated more revenue than any -- I mean, really Jerry Seinfeld is embarrassed when you compare the two of you. It's true. How do you, how do you maintain your family life? You know, it's probably easier -- maybe it's not. It's probably easier for you to do it now that you're successful, but how did you do it and hold it all together?
FOXWORTHY: Well, you know, to me life is about priorities, and I was probably influenced because my dad left when I was like 9 years old, I mean, and he was the most loving man I've ever known. He was married six times. He had a lot of love and he spread it around. But I think as a child when you have a parent that leaves, no matter how well adjusted you are, for the rest of your life you have this little thought in the back of your mind that something else was more important than you. Something else was more important than staying and raising you. And so -- and I think when you come from anything, you either end up being like it or you end up going 180 degrees from it. And I just decided, you know, from the moment I found out I was going to be a dad that my kids were never going to have that feeling that something was more important than them. And --
GLENN: So how did you -- wait, wait, wait. To break a cycle is extraordinarily difficult. How did you do it?
FOXWORTHY: You know what? I just made them the priority, and it was -- and I love this thing that I do. I'm so lucky because I've made a great living doing something I love to do. But it's like, you know, I would be offered movies and they would shoot for nine weeks in the summer and I thought, you know, if there's a finite number of summers that I have with these girls and I'm not giving one of them away. And so I would turn stuff like that down. And people thought I was crazy, but looking back I can't think of a single summer that I would say, oh, that one wasn't worth it. I'm glad, you know, I threw that one away. And so it wasn't being totally money-driven because there was something more important than money. Because I've been as broke as you can be. You know, the year my wife and I got married, I made $8300 for the year doing comedy. But we were happy as clams. We had nothing and we were happy as clams and so you realize, well, money's not the thing. Is it nice? You bet it is. But it's not the thing. And so I just, you know, kind of always made them the priority and then everything else fell behind that.
GLENN: Do you happen to -- do you know David Wilkerson?
GLENN: You do know him?
FOXWORTHY: I know who he is. We've not met, no.
GLENN: I'm only asking you because you are from the South and I think everybody in the South is Baptist, aren't you? Is he a rational, sane kind of guy? Because he was the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, was he not?
FOXWORTHY: Yes. Well, see, and I'm kind of weird in my faith in that I don't believe -- I don't believe in denominations because the word denominate means to divide. And again I don't think that's what we were created for, you know. I think we were -- we're not supposed to be divided. And, you know, and if you believe in God and you believe he's infinitely created, then we don't all have to look and act and sound the same.
GLENN: That's what -- I mean, our founding fathers were -- our founding fathers believed in nature's god. They believed in God. They believed in his force and the best way to praise him is to serve him. And, you know, it doesn't matter, you know, what your faith was. Do you worship God. But this isn't why I was asking you. What I was asking you is did you see what he said over the weekend?
FOXWORTHY: I did not.
GLENN: Okay, he said over the weekend that Christians should be aware, all people should be aware that this thing is about to melt down. He says, I can't tell you when, he said, but I see a time when the cities in America are on fire and it is chaos in this country. I mean, it's a pretty bleak outlook, but I was struck by it because I thought, gee, why is no one talking about it's -- everybody is saying that, look, for instance, Detroit, it's melting down. You're going to have, you know -- anybody who's saying that there's riots, they are saying this over in England as well that, you know, anywhere there's going to be riots, it's going to be in the cities. And I thought to myself, that's where people are less likely to take responsibility for their own actions. It's where they have -- it's the welfare centers of the country. It's where the people are the weakest. Where people are out, they are doing their own thing, they have to rely on themselves and their neighbors, there's not going to be riots in those towns.
FOXWORTHY: No, there's not. You're talking about the founding fathers. This country was based on everybody having an opportunity to succeed. And not a guarantee but an opportunity that if you worked hard enough, you know, that you had a chance. And somewhere along the line, it's become a sense of entitlement, and it can't sustain itself that way. And if you look historically, I mean, the Roman empire fell, you know, without a war. If you look historically, it can happen. And I think it's kind of a crossroads here in this country that you can't expect the machine, the top small portion of the machine to support the whole machine. It won't work.
GLENN: You know, I've been saying -- because I've been warning about this stuff for several years.
FOXWORTHY: Indeed you have.
GLENN: What does that mean is this is that a sign?
FOXWORTHY: No, I love listening to you and watching you.
FOXWORTHY: I sit there and go, there's somebody with some common sense!
GLENN: But I have to tell you, Jeff, I am coming to a place here, and I felt it for the last couple of weeks. I keep hearing in my head the paradigm is about to change, the paradigm is about to change. I'm not sure what that means, but at the same time I have been also feeling and hearing in my own head, "Prepare to witness miracles." I think, you know, as the dark grows stronger, it's only because that's a shadow. The light is growing brighter. I have a feeling that while there's great trouble ahead, there are great miracles to be witnessed soon.
FOXWORTHY: Well, light is always stronger than darkness, you know, and I mean it's a weird thing in that, you know, you bring up the fact that, oh, here's a guy that is a family man. And it's like, it's almost embarrassing going, well, should that be so weird that somebody goes, oh, isn't that cool. I mean, it should be the rule and not the exception. But --
GLENN: Do you think that -- because, you know, the media has so changed, the media has so disconnected from, you know, praising the family and getting away from the average person, they don't see it at all. When you are going around the country, has the population changed or is it just the image of what America is through the media's eyes and the big population centers that has changed?
FOXWORTHY: Well, I've always argued that the media is not an accurate representation of what this country really is. And I think I can say that with some confidence because as a comedian, I have been to all 50 states. I have been to all 50 states many, many times. And I've always argued that, you know, most of the media is controlled out of New York and L.A., well, there's 200 million people in between. But their viewpoints aren't often the ones that make the news or the newspapers. And, you know, we've been kind of the quiet majority, but I kind of get a sense now that they're starting to see this little feeling of discontent in that and people are like, no, no, no, you don't speak for us anymore, and I think that's what it's going to take.
GLENN: Can you elaborate on one thing? Because I'd like to see if you feel the same thing. This is not about Barack Obama or the Democrats.
FOXWORTHY: Not at all.
GLENN: This is about -- the discontent started during the Republicans.
GLENN: And I mean, it's all of them. It is just disconnecting from anything that's real in Washington.
FOXWORTHY: Yeah. And it's -- you know, and it's that sense of entitlement. And if you go out to the farm country of Kansas or Iowa, I don't think people are feeling entitled out there, you know, like somebody owes them something. It's like, "No, I've got to get up and get my kids off to school and go to work and help take care of my mom who's old and not doing well," and they're not looking for somebody to do it for them and --
GLENN: Have you thought, have you thought at all -- because I think of my grandparents all the time. Have you thought at all about your grandparents? And maybe they wouldn't with you, but looking at our lifestyles, looking at our society, how many times -- you know, your grandparents would have just looked at you and slapped you across the face and said, what the hell is wrong with you and your generation?
FOXWORTHY: I think they would have. I think they would have, and I think -- you know, because back when they grew up, you didn't have this mass exodus from the farm. So people lived close to their mothers and their sisters and their moms and their grandparents. And you have the advantage -- you know, and I find as I have gotten older -- because I used to kind of, like, blow old people off and think, oh, you don't know. There's a lot of wisdom in somebody that's been on this planet for 60 or 70 years. And now we're not -- you know, the way we live, we don't take advantage of that. Because they may not know all the technology, but they've learned a lot of life lessons walking down this road a lot longer than we have.
GLENN: Jeff Foxworthy has written a new book for your kids. I read his books to my kids. They absolutely love them. The latest is Silly Street. Spend some quality time as a dad or a mom and pick up a book. Silly Street by Jeff Foxworthy and read it tonight to your kids. Jeff, always great to talk to you.
FOXWORTHY: You, too, buddy. Keep fighting the good fight. See you.