|The country bumpkin meets the city slicker|
In part as a result of this, the American stage developed a long tradition of comic skits involving a "city slicker" from the urban north being taken to town (or away from it, rather) by a seemingly bumpkinish rural denizen. Many of these skits, and lines from them, still ring a distant bell today: "How far to Little Rock?" or "You can't get there from here." To the city slicker's "Have you lived here all your life" came the rube's reply: Not yet!" The practitioners of the comic "southern" accent today, from Jeff Foxworthy to Larry the Cable Guy, draw upon this same old story. These identical skits were just as popular on early recordings, such as this one.
It can be traced in cartoons and television shows as well, within which there is -- perhaps -- a gradual transition from more comic to more respectful depictions of southern speech and life. From the comic "Beverly Hillbillies" or "Hee-Haw," we moved on to comedy-dramas such as "Designing Women" or "Evening Shade," with even a purely dramatic show ("In the Heat of the Night") now and then. And, as with AAVE, the comedy on stage and screen belies potential prejudice in social life; a "southern" accent can still be read as the speech of a less intelligent, less well-educated person. It's something that's been found in children as young as five years of age, due no doubt in part to their exposure to stereotyped accents in cartoons.