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UPDATED 07/15/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/15/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT

>Jeff Foxworthy


PLACE: Barnes & Noble, NYC BOOKS SIGNED: 80 in one hour

A RITZY BOOKSTORE ON NEW YORK CITY'S Fifth Avenue may not be the natural habitat of a self-described redneck, but there was Jeff Foxworthy, 37, heralded over the loudspeaker as "America's favorite southern-fried comedian," posing for pictures, hugging his fans, even autographing Holly Hughes's arm cast ("I was at track practice and fell over a hurdle," said Hughes, 15. "He's the most famous person to sign it.") Folks from all over—a Virginia accountant, a couple from Texas and a cop from Queens, N.Y.—greeted the eight-time author (his latest book is a bestseller) more like a next-door neighbor than the star of his own NBC sitcom, The Jeff Foxworthy Show. "Nobody ever comes up and says, 'Excuse me, Mr. Foxworthy' " says the affable Georgian. "They come up and slap me on the back and say, 'Hey, Jeff, let me tell you what my wife did last night.' "

Known for his "You might be a redneck if..." routine, Foxworthy has spent time in New York City before—when he was an unknown, nearly starving standup comic. "I never had any money so I lived on slices of pizza and hot dogs," he says. "Now it's hard for me to pass a hot-dog guy on the' street and not get one." Does that mean you can be rich and a redneck? "Oh yeah, 'cause it's an attitude," says Foxworthy. "I mean, think about it. Who had more money than Elvis?"

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