This 1995 ABC-TV sitcom stars "You might be a redneck if..." comedian Jeff Foxworthy as an Indiana family man and owner of a heating and air-conditioning business. A pre-SIXTH SENSE Haley Joel Osment co-stars. For the show's second and final season, the setting was moved to Georgia and the show jumped networks, from ABC to NBC. Includes all 18 episodes from the first season.
Personable comedian Jeff Foxworthy seemed a likely candidate in the 1990s to get his own situation comedy on television; thus was born The Jeff Foxworthy Show
in '95, lasting two years. The Complete First Season
includes the series' initial 18 episodes, which have much to recommend them despite obvious signs the program never quite figured out what is was about. Year 1 can easily be divided between pre-Jay Mohr episodes and everything after actor-comedian Mohr (Saturday Night Live
) joined the cast as Wayne, a younger, wilder redneck brother of Jeff. (Foxworthy's character, like Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld
, is named after the star.) The pre-Mohr episodes are simple domestic comedies focusing on Foxworthy's nuclear family: wife Karen (Anita Barone), a wry and insightful nurse, and son Matt (a very young Haley Joel Osment), a gifted student. Jeff, who owns a heating business but is too nice to his deadbeat customers, discovers in the show's premiere that Karen is pregnant, a happy event that culminates (of course) in a season-ending birth.
Long before that, however, Foxworthy tries to settle into a comfortable groove that finds Jeff a dutiful family man with a penchant (much like Gabe Kaplan on Welcome Back Kotter) for stopping Karen in her tracks and pelting her with anecdotes and jokes. Outside the house, Jeff spends most of his time at a diner with two repairmen (Matt Borlenghi and familiar character actor Matt Clark) who work for him, a refrain that quickly runs out of steam and leaves a comic vacuum for half the season. Episode 13 sees an infusion of energy with the arrival of Mohr--sometimes too much energy--and the addition of a couple other characters. Foxworthy suddenly seems a bit more urbane, though still muddled, at this point, and with Jeff's business going down the tubes, the stories take on a certain comic urgency. (A highlight is "Shootout at the Comedy Corral," in which Jeff and Wayne's sibling rivalry heats up via dueling performances at a comedy club.) More changes in Foxworthy would occur in season 2 (including a replacement for the departing Barone), but The Complete First Season has plenty of virtues to recommend it. --Tom Keogh