He was one of the members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a comedy troupe which included Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Jeff Foxworthy (with whom he has starred on Blue Collar TV).
Larry has released seven comedy albums, of which three have been certified gold by the RIAA for shipments of 500,000 copies and in addition has starred in three Blue Collar Comedy Tour–related films, as well as in Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Delta Farce, and Witless Protection, as well as voicing Mater in the Cars franchise. Whitney's catchphrase "Git-R-Done!" is also the title of his book.
On January 26, 2010, the TV channel History announced that it was ordering a series starring Whitney called Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, in which he would explore the country and immerse himself in different lifestyles, jobs, and hobbies. The first episode of the series aired on February 8, 2011. The series finale aired August 28, 2013.
Whitney was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska on February 17, 1963, where he was raised on a pig farm. He is the son of Tom Whitney, a guitarist, entertainer, and Christian minister, and Shirley Whitney. Whitney attended high school at The King's Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, in the late 1970s through 1980 where his father was The King's Academy's elementary school principal.
Whitney graduated from Berean Christian School in West Palm Beach in 1982. He went to college at Baptist University of America in Georgia, and the University of Nebraska. He majored in drama and speech. He credits his roommates from Texas and Georgia for inspiring his imitation Southern accent. He dropped out after his junior year after trying his hand at comedy.
Whitney started his career in radio in the early 1990s when he made regular radio appearances on the nationally syndicated program, The Ron and Ron Show, as well as other radio shows such as "The Bob and Tom show" The Chris Baker Show on KDGE and KEZO's The Todd and Tyler Show in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as the Kirk, Mark, and Lopez morning show on WIYY in Baltimore, Maryland. He was also a frequent guest on The Johnny Dare Morning Show on 98.9/KQRC, Kansas City.
He also appeared on WJRR in Orlando, Florida. He was brought to New England on Greg and the Morning Buzz on WHEB 100.3 and WGIR-FM 101.1 in Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire, respectively, doing two commentaries a week.
Initially performing stand-up under his real name with limited success, he became famous after developing the Larry character, a personality that he now maintains throughout his stage act. The Larry character has a stereotypical redneck appearance and a thick Southern accent, recounts stories about his "family", and uses, among other common expressions, his own catchphrase "Git-R-Done!".
He says in interviews and in his autobiographical book GIT-R-DONE that he deliberately "turns on" the accent both on and off stage, because he may forget it if he kept his normal accent intact. He uses catchphrase humor, including "Lord, I apologize, and be with the starvin' Pygmies in New Guinea. Amen" after telling jokes of questionable taste; and, "I don't care who ya are, that's funny right there" after jokes that evoke raucous laughter.
His first two comedy albums, Lord, I Apologize (2001) and The Right to Bare Arms (2005), have both been certified gold by the RIAA. A third album, Morning Constitutions, and its accompanying TV special were released in 2007.
Whitney was roasted in a Comedy Central special on March 15, 2009.
On February 8, 2011, the première of his newest travelogue series, Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, was broadcast on the History Channel. A total of 4.1 million viewers, 1.7 million adults 25–54, tuned in, nearly doubling the total for the "Top Shot" season 2 opener. During season two in the episode "Larry Goes To Washington", Whitney was the first on-air talent from a non-news crew allowed in the War Room, also known as the Command Center, as he explained during the program.
In June 2012, Disneyland's California Adventure theme park's "Cars Land" features a ride called "Mater's Junkyard Jamboree" that features Whitney's voice as his character Mater from the Disney/Pixar Cars movies.
Bektrom Foods of North Dakota developed a line of Larry the Cable Guy food products, such as boxed hamburger dinners, with some of the proceeds from its sales benefiting the "Git-R-Done Foundation".
Whitney resides in Lincoln, Nebraska, on a 180-acre (73 ha) farm. On July 3, 2005, he married his wife, Cara. They have two children together: a son (born August 2, 2006) and a daughter (born October 29, 2007). His hometown of Pawnee City, Nebraska has a street named after him. Whitney also donated money to buy new theatrical equipment for the local high school.
Whitney is an avid Nebraska Cornhuskers football fan. His signature camouflage hat has the University of Nebraska-Lincoln nickname "HUSKERS" emblazoned on it which can be seen in the 2007 film Delta Farce. He is also frequently seen with a gold Nebraska "N" on a chain around his neck.
Whitney is also an avid REO Speedwagon fan, briefly appearing with them on stage during one of their concerts at the Centurylink Center Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
In September 2010, Whitney donated $5 million to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida. The gift was for further development of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute at the Orlando hospital. After Dr. Chad Price at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children helped cure their son, Wyatt, of his dysplasia when he was an infant, Whitney and his wife, Cara, made private donations to the hospital and Whitney raised money through appearances on Family Feud and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.
The hospital opened a new wing called the "Wyatt Whitney Wing" in May 2012.
Whitney is a close friend of contemporary comedian Lewis Black, despite dissimilar political views, background, and material they perform in their stand-up routines.
Whitney was a radio personality on Blue Collar Radio on Sirius XM Radio.A Box set consisting of The Right to Bare Arms, Christmastime in Larryland, and Morning Constitutions.