Country comedian Cledus T. Judd has cracked up folks from coast-to-coast as host of Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus and Wild West Show. He’s also a CMT favorite with side-splitting parodies of “If Shania Were Mine” and “Breath.” Keep an eye out for a new video — “It’s a Great Day to Be a Guy” — as well as an upcoming Christmas album. Find out what the aspiring interior designer has to say about Garth Brooks, Bob Barker and his blueprint for the perfect human being.
1. How do you get through those hilarious videos without cracking up?
I don’t, usually. We don’t call them videos; we call them parties. A bunch of people come out, and we roll the camera and see what happens.
2. Have you made any songwriters mad with your comical rewrites?
The only one who ever said anything really was Garth Brooks. The song was “In Another’s Eyes” that he and Trisha did, and we did a parody called “You Need Another Size.” Garth said the song was up for a Grammy and he’d rather us not do anything to affect it. Of course, I replied, “Garth, if I can keep you from winning a Grammy, then I’m not making nearly enough money in this business.”
3. Of all the videos you’ve done, which was your favorite to make?
“Every Bulb in the House Is Blown” was one of my favorites, “How Do You Milk a Cow” and hopefully “Great Day to Be a Guy” is going to be a great one.
4. I remember watching the CMT show Hit Trip when you visited The Price Is Right. What was it like meeting Bob Barker?
Oh, it was like meeting the Pope. Bob is the man, and I just stood there for a minute and I didn’t know whether to say “Hello” or “Higher.”
5. Who is the best practical joker in country music?
Ira Dean [of Trick Pony] is definitely in the top two. Let’s see, who else plays practical jokes? Brooks & Dunn can, but I’m fortunate enough to not have any played on me yet.
6. What was the best part about the Brooks & Dunn tour last summer?
I’ve got to be honest with you. Just the friendships … the friendships that you make. They become family out there. It’s getting to be close friends with Kix and Ronnie [of Brooks & Dunn], and of course Toby [Keith] from the year before. Troy and Eddie [of Montgomery Gentry]. That’s the best part of the tour — hanging out with friends for the summer.
7. I heard you and Vince Gill are friends. What is he really like?
One of the kindest, kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. If I could create the perfect human being, I’d like to have Billy Ray Cyrus’ looks, Vince Gill’s heart and Elvis Presley’s money.
8. How did you get your first big break in country music?
Doing an amateur night at the Buckboard Comedy Club. My current business manager John Gallichio saw me on stage and pulled me under his wing — and the rest is history. Actually, when the “If Shania Was Mine” video came out. That’s when the sh– hit the fan.
9. With all the gorgeous women in country music, who would you like to go on a date with?
Sara Evans. No question, beyond a shadow of a doubt. If not Sara, not that they place second, it would have to be the Marie Sisters. Either one of them.
10. Has there ever been a time when you couldn’t make someone laugh?
There was a time in my life where I could make everybody laugh but me. I always have been able to make everyone else laugh, but there was a time where it was hard for me to laugh.
11. Who is your favorite country singer, other than yourself?
I would have to say Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts … not necessarily in that order.
12. When you do a parody, are the original singers pretty cool with it, or have you ever been turned down?
No, I’ve never been turned down. They trust me. They know I won’t do anything to jeopardize their well-being or their music.
13. What made you choose country music instead of pop music?
It’s all I know. Heck, I don’t have enough hair on my head to do pop music.
14. What can we expect from the Christmas album?
Absolutely the funniest record I’ve done to date. Cledus Navidad. That’s the title and the street date is Oct. 15.
15. Do you ever run out of ideas?
Never, as long as there’s country music there will always be a Cledus.
16. Do you know how to milk a cow?
I’ll never tell.
17. What was your favorite sport growing up?
Basketball. Which has now transcended into golf, because I’m older.
18. Were you the class cutup in high school?
Absolutely. All the way through school.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Golf, golf, and uh, interior design. You can put in parentheses, by the way, I’m an award-winning home interior designer. My house I did in Georgia won an award for “Best Home Renovation” in the state of Georgia, so that was cool.
20. Are you always this funny?
Pretty much. I’d say 90 percent of the time. Ten percent of the time I’m a pain in the butt. But 90 percent of the time, I’m usually pretty funny.