Bill Engvall to appear with Larry the Cable Guy on May 17 at the Big Sandy arena
In a 30-plus-year comedy career, Texas native Bill Engvall has just about done it all -- books, TV, movies, radio, animation and, of course, stand-up comedy.
While the multi-platinum recording artist and Grammy nominee will be voicing an animated character in a new summer show for CMT currently titled "Bounty Hunters," which also stars Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy, and is working on many other projects, he still is in love with the thrill of live stand-up comedy, especially with his fellow Blue Collar Comedy alum Larry the Cable Guy.
Armed with Larry's signature "Git R Done" and Bill's signature "Here's Your Sign" the two are out tag-teaming a tour that sets up shop at 7:30 p.m. May 17, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena
Tickets are $25, $49.75, $59.75. Very limited Gold Circle seats are also available for $75 (fees may apply) available at Big Sandy Superstore Arena box office, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 800-745-3000.
The comedian, who in addition to his work on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour (whose live DVDs have sold more than 9 million copies) starred in and executive produced his own sitcom for TBS, "The Bill Engvall Show," which ran for three seasons, said that he loves the tour because the two friends work so well together personally and professionally.
"It is two completely different styles of comedy as Larry is the rapid fire joke teller, and I am the story teller," Engvall said. "When we did the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Jeff and I are very similar, and in fact, there are hints on Wikipedia that we are cousins, but with this show, Larry really is different and I think that works well so it's two headliners who are very strong and who also have two completely different outlooks on life. I think that still makes it more interesting. I've been doing this for 30-plus years and I don't want to become that old grouchy comic. One of my deepest regrets was going to see George Carlin before he went out. George was never happy any way, but at the end, it became awful. I've always said when it stops being fun it's time to go home."
Engvall, who starred in and executive produced his own self-titled sitcom for TBS, which ran for three seasons and who has been in several films, said that moving to L.A. where he has been able to find steady work as an actor in TV and film, has really helped the stand-up routine.
"I think it's important to diversify and for me a prime example is that my acting has made my stand-up a lot better," said Engvall who in 1997, won the 'Best Selling Comedy album' award at the annual NARM convention, outselling albums by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. "Now I am much more aware of how to create this story and that we have a lot more layers as opposed to oh, my wife griped at me the other day. I've been really lucky and feel blessed to do this for this long and at this level."
In addition to the new animation series, Engvall just shot a pilot for a new comedy called "Home Team," about a bunch of quirky folks working a home improvement store. Other actors with Engvall include Cheech Marin, Ben Rappaport (from "Outsourced") and Melora Hardin from "The Office."
"The story line is neat with all of these people who work in a home improvement store and just dealing with what is going on with the world today," Engvall said.
For Engvall his storyline is one he finds hard to believe that some 30 years after starting his live comedy career he still finds himself alone on stage with a mic, a story and an audience.
"If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would still be doing this now I would be like 'I don't know what you're smoking but I'll have some of it'," Engvall said laughing.
He attributes his longevity in the business to staying steady, staying clean and giving people an escape, a chance to just laugh in a world consumed 24/7 by often bad news scrolling on the TV.
"I've lost a lot of HBO one-night stands and comedy specials because I'm clean but in the long run I have worked twice as long as a lot of those people who had specials," Engvall said. "I want my comedy to be like a release that people feel they can go and not be preached at about Obama and religion, they hear that all day long. What I try to tell young comics is that you can talk about whatever you want but you just don't have to be so graphic about it. I'm not Disney On Ice. I had a lady say 'is your show dirty?' I said 'you go to your kids playground and stand there for 20 minutes and if you hear anything worse than that at my show I will get you your money back.' You don't have to spell it out."
If You Go:
WHAT: Project Live LLC Presents Larry the Cable Guy & Bill Engvall Live in Concert. Reno Collier and Gary Brightwell are also on the bill.
WHERE: Big Sandy Superstore Arena
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. May 17
HOW MUCH: $25, $49.75, $59.75. Very limited Gold Circle seats also available for $75 (fees may apply).
GET TIX: Big Sandy Superstore Arena box office, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 800-745-3000.