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Sly Fox

by Stephanie Davis Smith | Men's Book Atlanta magazine | November 9, 2012

After three decades on stage, Hapeville, Ga.’s own Jeff Foxworthy has learned a thing or two about life, love, faith and what’s funny about all of them. Here, he shares his well-earned wisdom:

If I’m not in L.A. or filming something, I’m usually down on my farm—south of Atlanta—on a tractor.

In the early comedy days, I had some world-class mullets—just world-class. The Kentucky waterfall—oh my goodness! You’re looking back going, ‘I picked that as a headshot?!’ This is who I was telling the world I was.

My first stand-up routine was at the Punchline in Sandy Springs. A bunch of my friends signed me up for a contest, and I had never been on stage. And I won! That was 1984. The Punchline has not changed one bit. I don’t think they’ve mopped the floors since.

I didn’t know you could get paid for doing what I’ve been doing my whole life.

When it comes to black-tie events, I’ve learned that I don’t like to get dressed up.

I have a lot of faith, but I’m not real big on organized religion. If you look at the Bible, the only people Jesus ever got sideways with were the religious people that had all the head knowledge, but they didn’t have any heart knowledge.

You really don’t have to preach at people to make a difference. They see it in the way you live your life.

I have a job because everybody’s family is insane.
I just put mine out there. That being said, that’s the hand you’re dealt. Love them.

We moved to L.A. the year the Braves went to the World Series in 1991. A buddy of mine called and said, “I’ve got two tickets, five rows behind the Braves dugout for Game 3 with the Twins in Minneapolis.” I said, “I can’t come. My wife is two weeks over her due date with our first child.” My wife said, “You took it didn’t you?” And I said, “No. If you go into labor, there’s no way I can get back in time.” She looked at me and said, “We’ll have another kid! The Braves may never go to the World Series again!” And I thought, “God, I love this woman.”

I work at the Atlanta Mission with homeless guys every single week and have done it for years and years. Even when it’s been a tough day and I don’t want to go, at the end, it’s like, ‘Gosh, I am so glad I did that today.’ I get more out of it than they do.

We lived in L.A. for eight years. It’s kinda like the business trip that wouldn’t end.