NEW ORLEANS - Funny man Dan Whitney, the Blue Collar Comedy crew member known as "Larry the Cable Guy," says Louisiana and Alaska are among the states that gave him great fodder for the second season of his History Channel show "Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy," which premieres Jan. 11.
The show takes quirky and humorous approaches to interesting people and places across the country. Season two opens with Whitney's venture to the Alaska frontier, where he goes on a stakeout with authorities to catch illegal moose hunters, learns some moose calls and helps one of the state's top moose scientists with an experiment.
Whitney said he also made an unannounced visit to the home of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
"She was a good sport," Whitney said with a laugh. "She didn't shoot me or anything."
Whitney said he made repeat visits to Louisiana to tape segments for his show because "there are so many interesting things to do there."
During a trip to New Orleans a few months ago, he met with a voodoo priest, ate beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter, helped decorate a Mardi Gras float and marched in a street parade. He returned to Louisiana in December for a nutria hunting expedition in a south Louisiana swamp.
"I didn't even know what a nutria was," said the Kentucky native who now lives in Florida. "My show tries to be funny but informative too. We talk about why it's important to get rid of the nutria, how they're doing a lot of damage down there."
The nutria is a rodent native to South America that is believed to have been accidentally introduced into coastal Louisiana in the 1930s. It wreaks havoc on the state's fragile wetlands by devouring the roots of erosion-stopping marsh plants. They also damage banks and levees by burrowing. Louisiana holds periodic nutria hunts in which hunters turn in tails as proof of a kill.
Whitney said he addresses those subjects in his show and even gets a taste of some fried nutria meat.
"It was kind of like eating rabbit," he said. "It's a little gamey, but it's not that bad."
Whitney has been to about 65 cities for the taping of the show's two seasons. Season two premieres Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel and includes stops in more than a dozen states, among them Florida, New York, Maryland, Colorado, Virginia, Georgia and Ohio.
The Blue Collar Comedy troupe - formed more than a decade ago - includes comedians Whitney, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Ron White.