Last Updated on 08/19/2021 by Inside Tailgating
With Ohio State and Nebraska—two of college football’s most stories programs—meeting this weekend for the first time in more than 55 years, it seemed to be an ideal time to catch up with the Huskers’ most famous fan, Larry the Cable Guy. His comedy special Tailgate Party premiered last year on Comedy Central and is the largest recorded comedy show in history.
Do you remember the first time you learned about Nebraska football?
I grew up in a town called Pawnee City, NE. My earliest memories were from when Bob Devaney was coaching back in 1970. I was seven years old, listening on the radio, and I especially remember them running the commercial, “Nebraska Furniture Mart is No. 1. And so are the Nebraska Cornhuskers.” I always remember that commercial, because to me Nebraska football was just always No. 1. Every time I listened, they won every game. So I grew up conditioned that Nebraska always wins. I just figured that’s how it was.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done to ensure you didn’t miss a game?
That’s easy. Back before you could get the games on the Internet, I used to call a comedy club in Omaha called the Funny Bone every Saturday, and they’d set the phone by the radio. I would sit on a couch in whatever piece of crap condo I was staying at, and listen to the entire pregame and game on the phone. About every 20 minutes, the owner would pick up the phone and go, “Are you still there?” And I’d go, “Oh yeah, I’m still here. Put the phone down! Put the phone down! It’s third down!” So she’d put the phone down, then come back to check on me in another 20 minutes. I did that for every single game I couldn’t get on television for three or four years straight.
Now you’ve got a box at the stadium.
I sure do. When I was a kid growing up, it was always my dream to go to Nebraska games, but we never even left our small town. So I always said that if I ever got a chance, that’s the one thing that I’d get. And by god, I got me a box. It seats 24 people, and we have the same people every year: my buddies and my family, plus I invite any former Nebraska players who ain’t got a seat to come on in. We have a blast.
Word is you sometimes toss hot dogs to the crowd.
If we’re winning at the end of the game, I throw hot dogs out to the adoring fans below me. They know that if we’re winning, I’m gonna yell, “Who wants some hot dogs?” One time, I was fired up from the Texas game and I fired this weiner dog to a guy, and the bun went flying one way, the wrapper went the other way and the weenie hit some other guy right in the head. It was frickin’ awesome.
That’s hysterical. And you have a second box at Memorial Stadium too, right?
My wife and I also have a box on the 45-yard line, and we give that to the National Guard. Anyone who fought in Iraq can go to the game. I’ll go over at halftime and hang out with the guys. It’s just fun. Saturday game day in Lincoln, there ain’t nothing like it.