Jerry Clower, The Lying Dog

I had a friend, since passed away, with whom I spent a lot of time in the back country and on trails, and consequently, a lot of time on the highway. This was pre-Internet, and in Montana radio stations are few and there are lots of dead spaces between the towns. The primary means of entertainment while traveling was cassette tapes. This would be mid-90s.

One time Steve put in a tape by Jerry Clower, and we listened. He just howled at the jokes, and I didn’t get them, or maybe I thought Clower was just a rube making other rubes laugh. For whatever reason, we had a cultural impasse.

Last week I was listening to a Denver radio station that plays short comedy clips 24-7, and I recognized the voice and realized it was Jerry Clower, and what’s more, the station allowed the full five-minute presentation. This is a joke that could be told in thirty seconds, but Clower stretches it out and fills it with details, and at the end delivers the punch line with such skill that I thought to myself “Sorry, Steve. I should have listened better that day.”  I laughed as hard as my friend did that day.

I hope you have a little time and enjoy this as much as I did. If you don’t think it’s funny, well, then, I’m a rube, I guess.

13 thoughts on “Jerry Clower, The Lying Dog

  1. Maybe it’s because of my advanced age but I think Clower is funny. His jokes actually make me LOL.

    Most of the current “comedy” from Hollywood does not. It’s not even mildly amusing to me and much of it is downright annoying or even disgusting at times.

    Depicting males as stupid pigs constitutes much of it. We see it not only in TV sitcoms and theatrical movies but commercials too. The stupid male is always outdone in some way by the much smarter female. It’s like the same old joke over and over.

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    1. I could not agree more, but you gotta admit in his lying dog joke, which made me howl, the dad would have to be considered stupid, though not outsmarted by a female.

      Back when Steve was still around, I did not give Clower a fair shake. Telling this story the way he told it took real talent.

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      1. Yes, the father was a fool, you’re right, but the son (also a male) was the smartest one of all so the joke is really not a zinger aimed at males.

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  2. Clower was quite funny and talented. I had an aquaintance years ago who married the daughter of friends of Clower’s from Yazoo City. He told me that Clower would come over to visit when she was home from college and quiz her on Shakespeare, that he was quite a learned guy. (Clower came to speak at my church a few years later, and I asked him about this fellow, and he replied, “He married the prettiest girl in Yazoo City!”

    I drove through Yazoo City several years ago when I was passing nearby on the freeway just to see it because of the name and Clower, and it was like a little Detroit. Horrible. Another acquaintance (who reads Mathis and hails from south Mississippi) told me that since Katrina that area has been “run” by Blackwater or some similar group. He said guys in white cars are all over the place, and any sort of decision that would normally run through local government is instead handled by them.

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