Billy Bob Neck
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Billy Bob Neck

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The best kept secret in music


"He gets the last laugh when it comes to right-wing politics"

Comedian Paul Day could have been any casual fan last Friday at the Comedy Studio. A 44-year-old father of two from Watertown, slight of build and nondescript in his white dress shirt and jeans, he tends to blend into a crowd. About halfway through the show, Day got up and sneaked quietly into the closet that serves as the club's dressing room.

He emerged as God-fearin', liberal-hatin' Billy Bob Neck, in a John Deere cap and denim jacket with leather collar, his bottom lip pouched with chewing tobacco and his eyes brimming with righteous anger, a guitar slung around his back. Neck faced the crowd, pausing as he looked around the room. "I'd like to start this off with a prayer, if you don't mind," he said with a definite twang, bringing uncomfortable laughter.

"Heavenly Father, welcome me into this den of liberal secularism and protect me from the evil that lies there within," said Neck before offering up his wish for a constitutional amendment allowing George W. Bush to serve indefinitely and asking God to make sure Barack Obama doesn't become president and that Al Gore is blamed for the Justice Department scandal. He finished up with a song about bringing Jesus to Iraq.

Day, a former actor, invented Neck for a John Kerry benefit in 2004, trying to break up the monotony of liberal comics indulging in Bush bashing. He's played him exclusively ever since, and does it so well some people don't realize it's a joke. People call in to his weekly radio show, "Billy Bob Neck's Hour of Bein' Good," on Tufts's WMFO-FM (91.5) or post to or his My Space page to complain. He's also gotten some national exposure from liberal pundit Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post and the political satire site

He has infuriated right wingers and liberals who think he's real, even when he posts a video of himself on a comedy club stage. "The best e-mail I ever got was from the Huffington Post, and it said, 'I hope you know they were laughing at you and not with you,' " says Day, laughing. "Well, I'm standing in front of a sign that says 'The Comedy Studio.' "

Derek Gerry, Day's friend and sometime collaborator, leans to the right politically but admires the character's authenticity and audacity. "Paul's a liberal thinker, and he knows his religion," he says. "That's fertile ground, but few have approached it as thoughtfully as Paul does."

To prepare for the character, Day feeds himself a steady diet of right wing and religious talk shows, usually a couple of hours a day. Neck's persona comes eas il y to him now, sometimes too eas il y. "To do it right, you have to really understand it, which is kind of where I'm coming from," he says. "I do find myself sometimes hearing myself and going, ' you have to throw a joke in here, because right now, you're just parroting. ' "

Though he can sympathize with those who may find his act offensive, Day feels the need to fight people like James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, people he sees as using the façade of religion to advance political ideas at odds with tolerance and forgiveness. "Billy Bob is meant to push it to the point where people go, that just can't be true," he says. "What he's saying is just factually inaccurate. I've heard other people talk like that, maybe they're factually inaccurate, too."

- Nick Zaino - Boston Globe

"The Gospel according to Billy Bob Neck, aka Watertown's Paul Day"

WATERTOWN - 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.”

- Jillian Fennimore - Watertown Tab


Songs to Stop People From Bein' Gay



Billy Bob Neck has spent the better part of 25 years fighting to keep America American. Standing on the front lines of the battle for the heart and soul of America, Mr. Neck fires musical mortar shells of untold power. Whether hes supporting the troops with songs like Killing Every Arab I Can See, wryly commenting on the blue states with Liberals (Let Em Burn) or providing a clear-eyed and heartbreaking critique of homosexuals with the haunting The Sodomites Lament, Mr. Neck never fails to bring a tap to your toe, a tear to your eye and a heart filled with American Pride.