Jeff Foxworthy: ‘Smoltz is A Horrible Comedian’

You probably know Jeff Foxworthy as the hilarious comedian who hosts “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

Well, he’s also a diehard baseball fan and was on hand for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown this past weekend.

“Cooperstown is not on the way to anything,” Foxworthy said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It’s not like you can say, ‘Hey, let’s run over to Cooperstown.’ It’s in the middle of nowhere, and driving out there, I was thinking, ‘Why would they put this out here?’ And by the end of the weekend, you’re like, ‘It’s in the perfect place. It’s the perfect place.’ Anybody that loves baseball, you need to go see it.”

Foxworthy is good friends with John Smoltz, who was inducted this year and is one of the best all-around athletes to ever play baseball. In fact, Foxworthy once asked Chipper Jones for the best athlete he ever played against. Not only did Jones say Smoltz, but he also said it wasn’t even close. Smoltz is good at basketball, golf, and, as is turns out, bowling.

Foxworthy once went bowling with a bunch of people, including Smoltz, who had a staph infection on his pitching hand. So Smoltz bowled lefty that day – and rolled a 171.

“So he’s great at everything, but he wants to be a comedian more than anything and he’s horrible at it,” Foxworthy said, prompting laughter from Tiki and Tierney. “Horrible at it. And so he tells these jokes when he’s on the air, and when they bomb, he always says, ‘Foxworhty gave me that joke.’ No, I did not. I wouldn’t have a career if I told those kind of jokes.”

Foxworthy, 56, rose to prominence with his “You Might Be a Redneck If…” album and has had quite the career.

“It’s not hard when you love what you’re doing,” Foxworthy said. “It’s probably like playing ball. Somebody’s paying you a ton of money to do something you would have done for free. I love doing the TV shows and it’s something different, but if you ever put a gun to my head and said you couldn’t do but one thing, it would always be standup comedy. Because in my mind, there’s a ton of musicians; there’s a ton of actors. There’s few people that make standup comedy their life’s work.

“I remember when I quit my job to go be a comic, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll get away with this for a couple years and then I’ll come back with my hat in my hand and beg for my job back.’ And I’ve been doing it for 32 years now. I just wrote a new hour-and-a-half (routine) and still love doing it.”

And he still loves “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” As Brandon Tierney observed, the show puts participants in a lose-lose situation: if you get the question right, you should have; if you get the question wrong, you’re a moron.

It’s the perfect recipe for laughter.

“The premise is beautiful because everybody thinks they can do it – and you can’t,” Foxworthy said. “It’s impossible.”

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