Comedian and best-selling author Jeff Foxworthy will speak at the 57 th Annual Freed-Hardeman University Benefit Dinner Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, according to FHU President David R. Shannon. The annual dinner raises funds for scholarships at the university.
Foxworthy is the best-selling comedy-recording artist in history. A multiple Grammy Award nominee, he is also a best-selling author whose books have sold more than a million copies.
A self-proclaimed college dropout, Foxworthy had intended to follow in his dad’s footsteps and pursue a career at IBM. However, following encouragement and a dare by friends, he tried his hand at an Atlanta comedy club. He soon quit his day job and began a career in stand-up comedy.
Foxworthy found his comedic voice in Detroit, when he noticed a bowling alley offering valet parking. Struck by the irony, he compiled a list of characteristics that might make one a redneck, a term he defines as having “a glorious lack of sophistication.” His list includes such gems as “You might be a redneck, if you’ve ever mowed your lawn and found a car,” or “if you stare at a can of orange juice because it says ‘concentrate.’”
Although Wikipedia defines redneck as “a derogatory slang term to refer to poor white Southern farmers,” Foxworthy almost has made it a badge of honor. “Rednecks don’t want to be anybody else,” he said, “which is a lot cooler than people pretending to be something they are not.”
In 1995, he starred on a sitcom, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show.” He then hosted television shows including “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?”, “The American Baking Competition” and “The American Bible Challenge.”
Foxworthy is devoted to his family, which includes his wife, Pamela Gregg, who attended his very first performance as a stand-up comedian; daughters, Jordan and Julianne, and most recently, a grandson born this year. “Being a father,” Foxworthy told Atlanta Parent, “is the most important job you have in life. One hundred years from now, nobody will care what kind of job you had, what awards you’ve won — none of that matters — but they will care about what kind of kids you left behind.”
The comedian recounts reading to the girls at night and driving them to school each day. “When they were school age, I would lease a plane and fly home after a club date so I could be there the next morning — it gave me 100 days more a year with my kids. The other job I had was I wanted to show them in the way I treated their Mom how they should expect to be treated by a guy,” Foxworthy said.
The FHU Annual Benefit Dinner is typically the state’s largest single-night fundraiser. For the past 21 years, it has generated more than $1 million annually to help students attend FHU. Forever Communications is the premier media sponsor for the event.
Tickets and sponsorships are available now. General admission tickets, which include dinner and Foxworthy’s appearance, are $150. Sponsorships begin at $600. Tickets may be purchased at fhu.edu/Foxworthy.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson, Memphis and Dickson, FHU offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. More information is available at fhu.edu.