Comedian Bill Engvall Returns to Texas for Show at Texan Theater

Comedian Bill Engvall Texan

Dinner with Bill Engvall

Alongside Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White, Bill Engvall was part of the enormously successful Blue Collar Comedy Tour concert films, which have sold more than 9 million units and are some of the most watched movies and specials in Comedy Central history.

This Saturday, Comedian Bil Engvall is appearing at the Texan Theater in Greenville, TX, and will entertain audiences at two dinner shows.

At Home in Utah

We spoke to Bill from his home in Park City, Utah, where he and his wife Gail (a native of Midland, Texas) have settled down to be near grandchildren and the mountains. Bill and Gail love animals and volunteer for Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation, a 24 hour/7 day a week facility. He and Gail rescued an owl that they recently released back to the wild. Bill said, “Doing this just makes you feel better about being a human. I have a soft spot for animals, even snakes.”

Growing Up in Texas

Bill Engvall grew up in Georgetown, Texas. He said, “Being from Texas is a great honor. No matter where I am, someone walks up to me and says ‘I’m from Texas too.’ You never hear anyone say I’m from Rhode Island.  Texans have a real pride about them and I’m a glad to be a part of that.” He added, “I hope that somewhere when my name comes up somebody says ‘he’s from Texas you know.’ I want to make ‘em proud and feel at home.”

The Engvall family lived in Richardson where Bill attended Richardson High School and was a lifeguard at a local pool. Bill said, “It was the best job I ever had next to this one [comedy]. I was a lifeguard for 5 years and fell in love with it. Greatest job on the planet.”

When asked, “Were you a funny lifeguard?” Bill replied, “I’m a big fan of kids even when reprimanding them I made it fun. I’d hang out and swim and play games. They’re all grown now, maybe with kids – I hope that somewhere in the recesses of their memory they’re thinking ‘that Bill Engvall made that fun.’”

Bill shared a story about being taught a lesson: “Every Friday after the pool closed we would have guard parties and go to the Gemini Drive In on 75 in Dallas – it’s probably a parking lot now. One Friday my dad let me use his El Camino, I just loved that car. My friend knew of a liquor store that would sell beer to an 8-year-old. So we bought a six pack of Coors beer. Later, I drove home and like an idiot, I left the card board wrapping in the back on the floorboard of the car. It was Dallas in August. My dad never said a word. He just got me up at 7 o’clock the next morning and said you need to mow the yard. Of course these are Texas yards which are huge and we didn’t have have riding lawn mowers. I’m pushing that thing, it’s 95 degrees and 100% humidity and I’m sweating out beer, I’m mowing… I finish mowing and he says that looks good, you better edge it now. We had these little grass scissors, no electric edgers… so finally at about 4 in the afternoon I’m drenched with sweat and hung over, probably finished being hung over because I’d sweat it all out, I finally finished edging and my dad came out and says it looks good. Then he said, ‘Next time don’t leave the container of beer in my car.’ He was very good at getting his point across.”

The Stupid Sign

Engvall started his career in Dallas at The Comedy Corner. The “stupid” bit was originally built around, “I thought stupid people should be slapped. One day my wife said, ‘You know, you just don’t look like the kind of guy that walks around slapping people.‘ Later, while working in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a comedy club, I came up with the idea of a sign that said I’m Stupid. It got really popular really fast, to the point I used to sell signs after the show that said I’m Stupid. I’d sell them for a $1 a piece or 2 for $5.”

Bill stated, “Young comedians ask how to get a good hook phrase, like: Get er done — Here’s your sign — or You might be a redneck. I tell them you don’t really choose a line, the audience determines what they get hooked into. I’m glad they did, I don’t know where I’d be without ‘Here’s your sign.’ That was the bit that got me known and the blue collar thing just put it over the top.”

The Blue Collar Network was the perfect storm – Four guys at the top of our game. It hit an audience that related to people in the middle – not an east coast or west coast thing. Bill said, “If you didn’t know me I could be your next door neighbor. I’m glad I didn’t create a character. The guy you see at the Texan Theater is the same guy you’d see at grocery store. My comedy is clean, no politics or religion. My job is to make you feel better when you leave then we you got there.”

For the first time in 40+ years, Bill’s show will reflect “the life of comedian through the eyes of my wife. She puts up with so much. It takes a special woman to be married to a comedian. Your life is kind of just out there.”

Bill shared that he is looking forward to the shows at the Texan Theater, and that the smaller intimate theaters are his favorite places to connect with his fans. He stated, “it’s like being in a living room with friends and telling stories. With my style of humor it plays better in setting where audience can be a part of the story.”

Dinner with Bill Engvall |Two Shows
Texan Theater – September 14
TICKETS
3:30PM & 7PM

Interview & Article by Sharon Lewis – Planet Rockwall
Photo: Courtesy