REDNECK MASTERPIECE THEATER: Episode 2: Cuyler Family Tree

There are plenty of family legacies in redneck culture.  The Williams dynasty.  The Jenningses.  The aforementioned Whites.  Those abominable Cyruses.  But perhaps the most legendary clan on the scene is the Cuylers, the stars of hit reality cartoon Squidbillies.  That’s right, anthropomorphic redneck cephalopods, known better by scientists and cellmates as the Appalachian Mud Squid.  In this installment of Redneck Masterpiece Theater, we will attempt to trace the lineage of these inbred, tentacled plebeians from their humble beginnings to the highly evolved navel-gazers inhabiting the North Georgia Mountains today…


The first squid born with both gills and lungs crawled out of the North Georgia mud and into the annals of post-Confederate zoological history.  She went on to buy a wig, drop out of high school, and spread her genetic traits all across Dougal County.  This first squid, known only to genealogists as Mammy, would give birth to countless offspring that would set loose an infestation of mud squids in the North Georgia Mountains.


Mammy, Ga Ga Pee Pap, and Ruby Jean Cuyler

The alpha male of Mammy’s brood was the infamous Ga Ga Pee Pap “12 Gun” Cuyler.  A bank-robber-slash-aggressive-sexual-predator by trade, he was legendary for “getting them again” and had even trained bees to do his evil bidding.  Ga Ga’s wild antics drove him to rob and steal from anything with a pulse, repeating “I got you again,” like a religious mantra.  He would go on to have a strained marriage to his cousin/sister Ruby Jean Cuyler, a former-slave-slash-aggressive-sexual-predator.  Their coupling would produce the next and perhaps most famous breed of mud squids, but Ga Ga Pee Pap left the family to pursue new opportunities in getting them again.  Ruby Jean was left to raise-slash-flush the next generation of Cuylers…


Many more squid were birthed.  Most were eaten, or died on a mythical strip of road known as the Cuyler Killer Curve (one of Dougal County’s major landmarks).  The only squid brave-slash-dumb enough to carry on the family name would be the raging alcohol-fueled sumbitch known as Early Cuyler, the Booty Hunter himself.  Early would find his calling as an artist, destroying vehicles, property, and those closest to him in apocalyptic displays of the existentuational turmoil raging within his own spiritual identinality.  He’s done hard time, inks on his territory, and brews his own Party Liquor.  Early is the present patriarch of the Cuyler Clan, though challenges to his leadership and manhood remain at large, including threats of aliens, corrupt corporate schemes, and younger squids whose badassery may outstrip his own.

Out of Early’s brethren, only a few are known to have survived, much less thrive.  And of those, only the pot-and-meth-dealing prostitute-slash-hairstylist Lil survived the Cuyler lifestyle.  For the most part, Lil escapes much of Early’s wrath by maintaining a near-constant state of drugged unconsciousness, but like all white trash, her various chemical dependencies and sexual diseases bear no hindrance on her ability to produce litters upon litters of crack-addicted young.

The mortality rate of Early and Lil’s siblings was higher than Early and Lil.  Cousin/brother Shannon was a seemingly valued member of the family until the Cuylers went underground for three years to escape Y2K.  With few provisions, Early Cuyler had to resort to eating cousin Shannon.  The cause of death was ruled as a deep-frying, and Early was kind enough not to share any of the cousin-meat.

But there were worse fates than what befell Shannon.  Cousin Derwood is the prime example.  Slightly smarter than his siblings, Derwood escaped the squids’ natural habitat of Dougal County and took refuge in urban society.  He married a drunken manipulative Chalkie and birthed a pair of ungrateful and modernized douchesquids.  He disguises himself as a human, speaks in a civilized tone, and feels genuine pity for the rest of the Cuylers.  The poor bastard.


Loving Chalkies runs in the Cuyler family, and even Early himself fell victim to their pasty tasty forbidden fruit.  Thusly, Early begat a son, whom he named Russell-Jesse-James-Kenny-the-Gambler-Rogers-#3-The-Intimidator-Dale-Earnhardt-Kenny-the-Gambler-Rogers-America’s-Number-One-Cuyler.  Rusty grew into an awkward and ignorant young squid with a love of books that cost him his sanity and a passion for guitar that nearly cost him his soul.  And perhaps most important of all, Rusty is the breadwinner of the Cuyler family, helping Early to benefit from his own inability to provide basic living conditions for a minor.

Unbeknownst to most of the Cuylers, Rusty had a brother.  Known only as Bug, he was accidentally flushed down a toilet by Ruby Jean.  And while Rusty spent his days watching Patrick Swayze flicks and failing to live up to his family’s backwards traditions, Bug found the time to go to medical school, become a doctor, and engineer a prosthetic arm to better fit into human society.  Bug steers clear of the Cuylers, though he saved Granny’s life at one time.

The youngest—and perhaps greatest—member of the Cuyler clan is Herschel-Walker-Cuyler-Them-Dawgs-Is-Hell-Don’t-They, who was dubbed by Early himself to be the greatest Gator Hater of them all.  Herschel was born amongst one of Lil’s clutches of crack-addled young.  But while the others were weak and perished, Herschel excelled in drinking, shooting, criminal activity, and a general absence of empathy for anyone or anything.  Herschel is perhaps the perfect example of the Appalachian Mud Squid, and he abandoned the rest of the Cuylers to pursue a life of wandering hardcore redneckery.  Will he ever return?  Who knows.

If you’d like to learn more about the Cuyler Clan and the scores of dead fetuses left in the wake of their evolution, head to and purchase their extensive DVD collection.  As a Georgian and a connoisseur of hillbilly society, I highly recommend it.  And while you’re at Amazon, it really wouldn’t hurt to grab a copy of A Town Called Suckhole.  Hell, grab a dozen.



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