Channel 19

Todd Dills

‘I love Jerry Reed, man!’

| March 11, 2009

Such were the words of HBO’s Eastbound and Down comedy series’ cocreator Danny McBride when asked about the show title’s connection to the recently deceased singer in an interview with About Kenny Powers (played by McBride), an out-of-work MLB relief pitcher who becomes his hometown high school’s PE teacher, Eastbound and Down is set in Shelby County, N.C., due north and west of this blogger’s hometown south of the N.C./S.C. border, and traffics in certain humorous aspects of life in the region.

McBride, though, says that in creating the show’s concept he had equally in mind certain “>old southern comedies,” one of which is near and dear to the hearts and heads of truckers. He liked it so much its theme song’s title became the show’s. Here’s a selection from the interview:

“>IGN TV: Danny, where are you from? Are you from North Carolina?

“>Danny McBride: You know I’m from Virginia, but I went to college in North Carolina. That’s where I met up with Ben and Jody (Hill) and the other guys I created the show with.

“>IGN: Are you a Jerry Reed fan?

“>McBride: I love Jerry Reed, man.

“>IGN: What does it mean to be ‘Eastbound and Down?’

“>McBride: You know it’s a state of mind, man. It’s going back home, and probably not in the best place you could be in mentally to be going back home. Which I don’t know if that’s how Jerry Reed meant it to be in that song, but that’s how we’re using it. The title almost came about as a joke. You know, when we were going into production and HBO was like ‘you’ve gotta have a title for this show’ and we didn’t have one. We didn’t know what we wanted to call it. We wanted something that was sort of reminiscent of those old southern comedies like Smokey and the Bandit…”>

Full text is here.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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