Rodney Carrington wears jeans and a cowboy hat and adorns his stage with jaunty inflatable penises. In his rolling East Texas vernacular, the 44-year-old jokes about his mother-in-law, (soon to be) ex-wife and diminutive dick as if the audience were several thousand of his closest bar buddies. Despite having four songs break into the top 20 on the country charts, co-starring with Toby Keith in Beer for My Horses, singing ditties urging women to display their word-that-rhymes-with-ditties and hosting CMT’s Biggest Laughs in 2012, Carrington refuses to be buttoned into a blue-collared shirt. He prefers to be thought of as the beleaguered dad in his short-lived 2004 sitcom, Rodney.
Do you self-identify as a redneck comedian?
I’ve done a few things with CMT, but my humor isn’t about rednecks; it’s about life. If you’ve lived life and had a family or know somebody who’s lived life and had a family you can identify with what I talk about.
You and Louis C.K. cover much of the same ground.
There are certainly a lot of parallels. I mean, I’ve been married for 18 years, and now I’m not. I’m 44 years old, and the idea of starting over is just a fucking nightmare. I don’t want to go meet somebody else’s family all over again. … It’s like a big, cruel joke.
Pissed off much?
It’s really tough in the beginning. You’re completely lost for the first 90 to 100 days, then you start seeing that maybe there’s life after all this shit. Then you start meeting other girls and realize that, no, there’s not. My dick and balls are such a fucking hindrance in my life. I wish I didn’t care about pussy, but I do.
Are people offended by your act?
How could you be offended with all the shit that’s on the news nowadays? Like this Sandy Hook thing, it is so awful. I mean, those are the things you should be upset about, not a dick joke.
You don’t like President Obama or organized religion, but don’t make a big deal of it onstage. Why?
I use the stage to speak my mind, but I don’t necessarily talk about everything. I just answer life’s questions in as funny a way as possible. But … I’m not a fan of either one of them. I wasn’t raised to expect anything for nothing. And as far as religion goes, God almighty, how many you got? How can I tell you you’re wrong for what you believe and try to impose what I believe on you?
Do you have a larger message?
I have no agenda. I don’t give a fuck. I’m real close to growing my beard and hair out and moving into the woods and writing a manifesto.
What about a Vegas residency?
I love Las Vegas, and yeah, I’ve thought about it. But the Strip is a lot to take. You can shit on the floor of your hotel room and call the front desk and say, “I just shit on the floor.” And they go, “Just don’t worry about it.” … I stayed for 17 days one time and worked every night. When I got into the car after the last show, I started crying just like a little kid. I felt so unwholesome; I just felt like I needed a fucking children’s book and goddamn Christmas sweater and fireplace and Grandma’s cooking.