I've never been a huge fan of Jeff Foxworthy's stand-up act. He seemed like a devoted family man who appreciates his fans, but the Southern-fried redneck routine isn't my style of comedy. Yet when that comedian persona was transferred to a new stage-FOX's game show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?-Foxworthy won over one more admirer.
It's not just that as a host he displays the common touch of a regular Joe, it's that he seems to display a love of regular Joes. He jokes with them, asks questions as if genuinely interested in their personal stories, and appears truly to root for them. His latest venture, an hour-long Bible knowledge competition on the Game Show Network, may reveal the source of that affection for his fellow man.
American Bible Challenge is nothing like the Sunday school quizzes you may have endured as a child. It's more like the sort of free-spirited fellowship event your church might put on some special Saturday night-if, that is, your church could get one of the most popular comedians in the world to host it. The show is as much fun as 5th Grader, and perhaps more so for Christian viewers who suddenly get to use that daily Bible study time not only to grow spiritually, but also to lord fact-retention capabilities over your significant other (or maybe that's just me.)
Foxworthy and contestants who compete for money for their favorite charities are what give the show heart. A professing Christian, he doesn't shy away from asking fellow believers about their testimonies: Their background videos present the love of Christ's church with an authenticity all but alien to television. Likewise, Foxworthy doesn't betray even a whiff of what would be death to a show like this-reticence to talk freely and casually about his own faith.