Editor’s note: The first episode of CMT’s Bounty Hunters premieres Saturday (July 13) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
In CMT’s new animated series Bounty Hunters , comedian Jeff Foxworthy stars as one of three small-town bail bondsmen out to lay down the law. His Blue Collar buddies Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall round out their highly-specialized squad.
“Larry’s the idiot brother,” Foxworthy explained. “Bill’s the guy who’s a little bit anxious … and I’m the one who is supposed to be the adult within the group. And if I’m the adult, the group is in trouble.”
Foxworthy spoke with CMT Hot 20 Countdown producer Terry Bumgarner about the show, and the “You Might Be a Redneck” creator looks forward to a side-splitting season for country fans and Blue Collar comedy crowds alike.
CMT: Let’s talk about what would make you want to be in an animated show.
Foxworthy: The appeal of Bounty Hunters to me was doing something with Larry and Bill and that whole thing. The success of Blue Collar really was the fact that we had been friends since 1984 or ’85. People could tell we liked each other and that we liked hanging out. And quite honestly, we did three Blue Collar movies, then that went away, and we just missed working with each other. Everybody had their own things: I was doing [Are You Smarter Than a] 5th Grader and Larry was doing Only in America and Bill had a sitcom, but we just missed that interaction. So when we had the chance to do something animated, I don’t think anybody hesitated. It was like, “With those guys, let’s do it.”
I had an actor tell me he worked on an animated series and felt like he was stealing because there is no memorization and you can record it in your sweats. Is it freeing to do?
It is freeing because you do get to look at the script, as opposed to a sketch show like Blue Collar TV where you had to memorize it. With this you go, “Wait a minute, I can actually just stand here and read it?” I usually go in jeans and a T-shirt. I’m kind of a laid-back guy, so I have to amp my energy up to do it.
But this thing has been fun. It’s so well-written, and they let us say, “This is the way I would say this.” They really did a great job of capturing all of our personalities. … Larry will do anything. From the first Blue Collar movie, through the years, I have people ask me, “How did you get Larry to go to the food court with a remote control fart machine in his pants?” And I say, “It was really difficult. I said, ’Hey Larry, will you go down in the food court with a fart machine in your pants?’ And he said, ’Yeah, I’ll do it.'” So Larry is that guy in Bounty Hunters.
How was it the first time you saw the animated version of yourself?
It’s a little weird when you get the drawings, and they’re like, “OK, this is what you’re gonna look like.” But now I’m kinda used to it. I’m always known for the mustache, I guess, so the mustache is the predominant thing. I’ve had it since the 11th grade, but I’m about to have a whole month off, and I said to my wife, “How long does it take to grow a mustache back?” I kinda want to shave just to see if I have a lip. I mean, it’s been a lot of years. She’s like “You can’t shave it off.” And I’m like “Why not?”
Nobody would recognize you.
I had somebody tell me, “If you didn’t have the mustache, you could go anywhere.” I thought maybe I’ll get one made just to tape on when I do a show. It wouldn’t have much gray in it if I had one made.
In future episodes, you’ve got a number of country artists coming in. Will you all be in different studios or face to face?
Probably a little bit of both. When we did Blue Collar TV and Foxworthy’s Big Night Out on CMT, I always wanted the country music people to come be a part of the sketches. And most of them were really funny and really comfortable in doing that. I mean, Blake [Shelton] is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. So a chance to have people like that do it is just fun for us. It’s kind of like, “Let me take you out of your comfort zone a little bit and get you to do something different.” The results are usually pretty good. Nobody’s inviting me to sing. That’s the problem, though.
You don’t think it’s gonna happen? They’ve had their chances!
Nah, I mean, how many years has The Voice been on — and nobody’s asked me to come on The Voice. When I sing, people pledge money to find a cure. It’s really not good.
Let’s say you go to Blake Shelton’s show — and he asks you to sing onstage. Would you do it?
In a heartbeat! In a heartbeat! Nobody’s gonna. I can’t sing a lick. You know, they say when you get to heaven, you get a new body. I really hope we get a new voice, too.