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Larry the Cable Guy brings comedy to outage

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Between filming segments, Larry jokes around with L-154 members.

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L-154 BM Ray Ventrone enjoys a light moment with Larry the Cable Guy.

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L-154 member Steve Fryer, left, cracks up over Larry the Cable Guy’s antics during the tube welding segment.

Star of “Only in America” tests boilermaker skills

BOILERMAKERS WORKING an outage at the Bruce Mansfield power plant near Pittsburgh got a rare opportunity September 19 to share their jobsite with America’s top blue-collar comedian, Larry the Cable Guy.

Larry arrived at the power plant with his film crew to shoot an episode of “Only in America,” a series that, according to the show’s website, explores “the things that make this country great.” Pittsburgh Local 154 BM Ray Ventrone coordinated the event with plant owner First Energy and outage contractor Enerfab.

“We really appreciate the support we got from both these companies in setting this up,” Ventrone said.

A shoot had been arranged initially at another site but fell through. First Energy approved Ventrone’s request to film at the Bruce Mansfield facility on short notice — and both companies made special arrangements to accommodate Larry and his group.

Larry tipped off his limited experience with power plant work when he stepped off his travel coach in shorts. The Boilermaker crew gave each other puzzled glances when they heard about his attire — not knowing if the casual dress code was part of the act — but they quickly responded by rounding up some spare celebrity coveralls.

Most members wore “Git-R-Done!” stickers on their hardhats, Larry’s signature catchphrase.

The comedian had his hands full with Boilermaker tasks. Among other things, he squeezed into an ash silo for some confined space experience and also worked with a couple of top hands to perform a mock tube weld (without much luck).

“Hey, I’ve never welded before!” he said, when questioned about his experience.

Members even set up a waterwall welding assignment for Larry, cutting an access point in the wall so camera crews could film his efforts from platforms placed inside the boiler. After a couple of nervous glimpses into the boiler, the Cable Guy made it clear that he was perfectly fine working on the outside.

Between segments, Larry was happy to pose with union and company staff for photos and engage in antics like pretending to do a swan dive from the ash silo.

At least one L-154 member had a tough time holding it together for the filming. Steve Fryer admitted after the tube welding segment, “I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time.”

The Boilermaker episode will air next year on the History Channel, on a date to be determined.

In addition to his television series, Larry tours the country doing stand-up comedy. He is also an actor, country music artist, and voice artist. He was the voice behind Mater (the tow truck) in the Disney Pixar movie “Cars.”

Tags  Local News
Locals  L-154
Reporter  V51N4
Published on the Web: November 13, 2012

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