Las Vegas Sun

August 27, 2014

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Q+A: Rodney Carrington

Who: Rodney Carrington

When: 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday , July 29-Aug. 1

Where: MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre

Tickets: $58.50; 891-7777

Country comedian Rodney Carrington is one of the hardest - working entertainers around, on or off the stage.

When his ABC TV series "Rodney" ended last year, Carrington didn't sit in a bar and cry in his beer. He went to work.

His fans are reaping the fruits of his labor this year. Already out: his seventh album, "King of the Mountains"; first Comedy Central special; and first DVD, "Rodney Carrington: Live at the Majestic." His first book, "Coming Clean," is due in September.

He's just started his first national tour in three years. He will perform Thursday to Wednesday at the MGM Grand.

Carrington, who lives near Tulsa, Okla., recently talked to the Sun about his activities, including a project with his friend Toby Keith, who lives in Norman, Okla.

I'm in my truck just leaving the breakfast place. Goin' over to the airport to get on the plane and fly down to Birmingham (Ala.) and start picking up some more money, since I've been off for seven weeks.

I'm working on a movie script with Toby Keith. The working title is "Beer for My Horses" (title of Keith's 2003 hit single). He's planning on shooting it in January and February because Toby Keith has more money than he's got sense, apparently.

We're going to shoot in Texas and Oklahoma.

We met in ' 97 when I signed with Mercury Records. He was on Mercury Records at the time. We met and hung out one evening and we got along real good. We played a round of golf together. Over the years I saw him a couple of times, then here three or four months ago I introduced him at the CMT (Country Music Television) awards (in Las Vegas) and it was like we'd never been apart. We started talking and he said : "I got a movie idea. Can you help me with it?" I said , "Yeah , " and he sent me the treatment. We got together and that's what we've been working on.

Oh yeah. It's a comedy.

I don't know that it's based on the actual song itself. But I know this about Toby Keith. I ain't never met anybody that works harder. I know why he's where he's at today. Toby's just flat-out dedicated. Songwritin' wise, I don't think anybody can touch him.

He wants me to play his sidekick in this deal. I hate to divulge too much information ' cause he's working on it. He sent it to me. Me and him have been working close together. The way Toby's thinkin', hell we'll just shoot this sonofabitch in the back yard if we have to.

It's really been fun working with him, but I told him I got to get back to my world. I can't keep living in this Toby Keith fantasy camp I've been living in.

I've been writing new material. I wrote six songs. That's really it. Oh yeah, I bought two houses I'm fixing up. They're near a piece of property that I already own. I'm just piddling.

Nah. I just bought some acreage a while back. I'm going to build a house on that. There was a couple of houses for sale beside the property and on a whim I bought one thinking I'd fix that thing up and at least try to clean up the neighborhood. Then after I started fixing that one up I got tired of looking at the one next to it and I went over and asked the guy if he wanted to sell his house. He said he never thought about it. I said, "Well, think about it ' cause I'd like to buy it." I didn't tell him it was because I wanted to knock that rock off his house ' cause I got tired of looking at it. So I bought that one, too. I'm in the fixing up and remodeling business by accident.

No. I got a group of guys that, over the years, have worked on houses I've owned. I had a ranch out there, 194 acres, and I had a bunch of guys that worked for me out there painting, doing masonry work, concrete work, dirt work. I've got a lot of people around town that I know that are good friends of mine that do all that stuff. So I just bring ' em in and let them do all the work. I just tell them what to do.

This is the first time I've done it without planning to move in. The other ones I owned with the intention of living in and using myself. These are two houses I ain't got no intention of living in. I tend to go overboard because I want them to be nice. I pretend I'm going to be living in them. I think somebody else might want something nice. Now I really need to get my ass back to work so I can quit all this stuff, but I always need a project to work on, it seems like.

That's true. And I have a book coming out in September.

It's a little bit of both. Stories about my life. It's not an autobiography or anything like that. It's a little bit of everything. The publishers asked me to write a book. I told them I don't write books. They said, "We'll just hire a guy you talk to a lot and he'll write the book," which is basically what happened. He did a really good job, at least that's what my wife said.

It's called "Rodney Carrington Comes Clean." I wanted to call it something like "Do You Want to Do Something That Rhymes With Duck." The cover shows me in a bathtub surrounded by rubber ducks. I think more people would be more interested in a book by that title than in "Rodney Carrington Comes Clean."

For the most part. I don't usually go anywhere for seven days straight. Usually I'm in one town and out the same night and on to the next one. But Vegas is different. If you're going to stay someplace for seven days, what a great place to be.

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