January 20, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

On his top 10 comedy CD, You Might Be a Redneck If…, Jeff Foxworthy, 36, admits to having made change out of the church collection plate. But with his move from the South to Beverly Hills, Calif., the comedian claims that any other redneck behavior (like ”If you’ve ever cut your grass and found a car,” or ”if you see a sign that says ‘say no to crack’ and it reminds you to pull up your pants”) is confined to his routines. In fact, he’d like to downplay the Southern identification: ”Why is it when you’re from the South, they call you a Southern comedian, but if you’re from Seattle, nobody refers to you as a Northwest comedian?” Certainly, his biggest comedy influences span the map.

Bill Cosby ”My No. 1 influence, because he was able to do comedy clean. Part of the art of comedy is finding a way to say things without being dirty. I think it’s lazy, otherwise.”

Sam Kinison ”I’m certainly not a prude. There’s a lot of dirty people I like, like Kinison. But he had some thought behind it. That’s the difference between him and Andrew Dice Clay.”

Richard Pryor ”So many people thought, ‘I’ll use the language Pryor used.’ But Pryor’s language was always about characters, and it fit the character. It wasn’t just gratuitous ‘motherf—ers.”’

George Carlin ”Someone asked me, ‘Why is it comics aren’t funny when they get older?’ Once you get rich, you don’t go wait in line at the post office. That’s why Carlin’s still funny — he’s still in touch.”

Tim Allen ”Women and men like him, and that’s key. At my shows, women just sit there and elbow their husbands a lot.”

Jerry Seinfeld ”A comic has to be really efficient with what he uses. With Jerry it’s cut down to the bone. And he’s got such a definitive style; you could do Cosby and make it funny, but you can’t tell Jerry’s jokes and get a laugh.”

David Spade ”The crowd just kinda stares at him, but he kills other comics.”

Garry Shandling ”One of the best stand-ups. When he plays a club, every comic in the house goes out front to watch. That’s how you know somebody’s good.”

Bob Newhart ”He did that one-sided conversation bit better than anybody. And he made it look like it came off the top of his head. That’s great writing.”

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