This nice guy will finish last

September 12, 1995|By Tom Jicha | Tom Jicha,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Jeff Foxworthy has turned redneck jokes into his signature. ("You know you're a redneck if you take your dog for a walk and you both use the tree at the corner.") It's a warmly funny, inoffensive act (even to rednecks) and is suitable for all ages. But his reputation for clean humor could be his downfall.

ABC is giving audiences a sneak peek at "The Jeff Foxworthy Show" tonight at 8:30, between "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement." It's otherwise scheduled for Saturday nights.

The vanilla Mr. Foxworthy plays a father of one son with another child on the way. The show's Mrs. Foxworthy, Karen, is played by Anita Barone.

Jeff runs his own heating and air conditioning company. He has two employees, an old philosopher without a clue (Matt Clark) and a young womanizing dolt (Matt Borlenghi). Clark and Borlenghi are the designated colorful foils.

"The problem we had was with Jeff being a really nice guy. There's no conflict," executive producer Tom Anderson said. "So what we've done is surround him with people who are going to bring stories to him. . . . Seinfeld kind of makes fun of people in New York and we like him because he's so nice. Jeff really is kind of like Seinfeld for the rest of the country."

Foxworthy personally and professionally might be as likable as Seinfeld, but even a redneck knows the difference between being on NBC on Thursday and ABC on Saturday.

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