Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:33 pm Post subject: Billy Bob Neck
The Gospel according to Billy Bob Neck, aka Watertown's Paul Day
By Jillian Fennimore, staff writer
Watertown TAB & Press
Billy Bob Neck says he was sent to Watertown to save sinners. Clad in head-to-toe denim, a John Deere hat, and with chaw under his lip, Neck is brimming with pride about his mission from God to “keep America American.” “I am helping people to understand the world around us in a Christian perspective, to get you through the day,” Neck said. “Get your cup of Jesus, that’s what I start out with every morning.”
But the man underneath the character does not share those political or religious views.
In fact, he couldn’t be further from them. Watertown resident and comedian Paul Day said he created Billy Bob during the 2004 presidential election to rile up a reaction with what some may say are outrageous videos and controversial commentaries. And it looks like he’s doing a good job. Day has accrued both an interesting fan base and a slew of debunkers on many satirical Web sites, including his own.
“People are either left in stitches or are aghast,” Day said inside his Parker Street home, looking nothing like his rednecked alter-ego from Jekyll Island, Ga. “I enjoy that.” The father of two is self-employed in the computer business, but says his comedy keeps him on his toes. He can be found doing stand up at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square or at local benefits around town.
Billy Bob is intended to make people angry and aware, Day said. “If I get someone to say I would never vote Republican again because of [Billy Bob Neck], that’s a win,” he said. But what Day believes is a blatant parody on liberal-loathing and stereotypes, he notes that many of his viewers are not instant fans. “They just see the trucker hat and the denim jacket and make the assumption,” he said. “I have gotten comments asking if it’s real, that it’s funny, or that it’s disrespectful to God.”
In his personal life, Day is a Unitarian and said he wrote in Democrat Dennis Kucinich for president on Super Tuesday. Billy Bob, on the other hand, is a devout Christian who threw his support behind Alan Keyes, and believes President George has been “the greatest president we’ve ever had since Winston Churchill.” “I get e-mails from Christians saying ‘we are not all like this’,” Day said. “[Billy Bob] is the gift that keeps on giving.”
When it comes to his two daughters — Molly, 11, and Emma, 14 — Day said it took them a while to realize what was going on. In the basement of their East End home, Day sets up a camera in front of a portion of wood paneling to frame the barn-like background for his Billy Bob act. His character confronts head-on issues like the War on Terror, Christmas, homosexuality and conspiracy theories.
Whether or not his kids decide to share their father’s views or those of Billy Bob is up to them. “As long as they have a basis for what they believe,” he said. “People shouldn’t think all the same … Vote your heart. That’s why we are here in America.”
Day knows that Billy Bob shoves many “thorny issues” into people’s faces — whether it’s scoffing at global warming, insisting on gun ownership, removing presidential term limits or being “raptured” to Heaven — but says his humor is meant for an intelligent crowd with an open mind. “It’s just comedy,” he said. “The more you know, the more you know. “It’s the lack of information that is troubling to me.”
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You can attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum