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Bill Engvall was born in Galveston, Texas in 1957. Back in the day fame was never at the top of Bill Engvall's to do list. Nope. This Galveston, Texas native had every intention of becoming a teacher. Then one night while in a nightclub, Bill got the insane urge to get up in front of a crowd of strangers and try and make them laugh. Laugh they did, and, since that night, Engvall has been on a roll. In addition to starring in Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie with Jeff Foxworthy and special guests Larry The Cable Guy and Ron White, he has been racking up all kinds of gigs, from appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, to guest spots on sitcoms such as Designing Women. Back in the day fame was never at the top of Bill Engvall's to do list. Nope. This Galveston, Texas native had every intention of becoming a teacher. Then one night while in a nightclub, Bill got the insane urge to get up in front of a crowd of strangers and try and make them laugh. Laugh they did, and, since that night, Engvall has been on a roll. In addition to starring in Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie with Jeff Foxworthy and special guests Larry The Cable Guy and Ron White, he has been racking up all kinds of gigs, from appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, to guest spots on sitcoms such as Designing Women. His humor has also extended into the world of books and albums. Signed to Warner Bros. in 1996, Engvall released his countrified debut album, Here's Your Sign (also the title of his most famed bit) in 1996. Collaborating with musician Travis Tritt on the Here's Your Sign video made Engvall a fixture on the play lists of CMT and TNN. The single of the same name became the most requested single on country radio and was ranked #1 on Billboard's Country Singles Sales Chart for ten weeks. Since then, Engvall has gone on to release a total of six albums and was awarded the Best Selling Comedy Album award at the annual NARM convention, outselling albums by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler.
Engvall resides in Southern California with his wife and two children.
Bill Engvall performs in the special ''Last Laugh '04'' comedy show
From Janet Jackson to the presidential election to Paris Hilton, 2004 provided ample fodder for comics. Comedy Central thinks so, anyway.
The cable network has signed a half-dozen comedians to look back on the year in the special "Last Laugh '04," scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12. The 90-minute show will tape Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.
Kathy Griffin, D.L. Hughley, Norm Macdonald, Bill Engvall, Greg Giraldo and Colin Quinn will all perform stand-up routines touching on some of the significant, and not so important, events of the year. "Star-packed" short films and sketches will also be part of "Last Laugh '04," as will musical performances by Modest Mouse and Snoop Dogg and Pharrell.
Comedy Central's special will follow by one week "Big in '04," a year in review/awards show on Viacom sibling VH1. That show will feature the likes of host Nick Lachey, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes and William Shatner, who's also set to appear at "Last Laugh."
Joel Gallen, the producer and director of several MTV Movie Awards shows and Chris Rock's stand-up special "Never Scared," will executive produce "Last Laugh '04."
Bill Engvall's humor is therapeutic too
Laughter can be therapeutic, and the Ritz Theatre expects its audience to feel better after attending the show of comedian Bill Engvall. He will take the stage at 8 p.m. Nov. 19.
Engvall spoke to the Advertiser-Tribune in a phone call this week. He said fans can expect a fun show with humor that people can relate to. His own children are 13 and 18, and he said he aims his material at an age range of 13-84. Although "it's not Disney on Ice," Engvall said his humor is not offensive.
Engvall was born in Galveston, Texas. The family moved often, so Engvall made friends by becoming the class clown. He attended college at Southwestern University in Texas and worked as a gas station attendant and tour guide. Next came performing at the Dallas Comedy Corner, watching Garry Shandling, Robin Williams, Jay Leno and other talented comics. He worked in Dallas for two years. When the ownership of the club changed hands, he moved to St. Louis to work at the Funnybone Comedy Club before making the jump to Los Angeles.
"When I started doing road work, I realized how much I loved the job. I could work at night, sleep in late, and the drinks were free. It fitted all three of my job requirements," says Engvall's bio. Besides liking the work, Engvall's wife of 22 years has been supportive all along. She helps manage his business and even convinced him to take acting lessons early on. His first recording, "Here's Your Sign," became the top comedy album of 1997.
When asked how much stock he puts in signs, he retorted, "I love 'em. I saw a country sign in Arkansas that said 'Road dangerous underwater.' People are always sending them to me." Engvall said a sign can be "a smart-aleck answer to a dumb question." He said people enjoy that bit because everyone has made stupid remarks. His kids also provide material for his humor, which is mostly about relationships and growing older. Engvall said he's "just a guy" like everyone else and likes to focus on everyday humor.
He got to do just that while starring as part of Jeff Foxworthy's "Blue Collar Comedy Tour." A second album, "Dorkfish," was released in 1999, followed by "Now That's Awesome" in 2000. When he's not working, Engvall enjoys following Angels baseball and outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and skiing. "I love all sports and any outdoor stuff that gets me out out the house - as long as death - my death - isn't involved," said Engvall. "It's worked well so far."
On the subject of religion, Engvall said he goes to church and believes in God, like most people. "He or she has blessed me with a wonderful life and the ability to do something I love to do. ... Tell the people of Tiffin to get ready to have a good time."
Second ''Blue Collar Comedy Tour'' disc with Bill Engvall
Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and Ron White have been rolling in the dough ever since Blue Collar Comedy Tour swept the nation live then proceeded to infiltrate households on DVD. Since that release three of the backwoods four have gone on to star in Blue Collar Television in their effort to spread redneck humor.
Unlike the first Blue Collar Comedy Tour disc this second shot wastes little time getting to the goods. After a brief unfunny interlude involving their bus toilet and drawing straws for act order, Bill Engvall makes his way on stage in Denver, Colorado and jumps right into his routine. As each new act comes out the interludes from the Phoenix show are nowhere to be seen. This is more a straight-up comedy routine than the first and thankfully drops the “movie” designation.
Foxworthy, Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy were on-par with their past performances. Actually Larry the Cable Guy was a bit more entertaining by avoiding the mole talk and sticking with potty humor. It gets old but he knows how to deliver it in a way that is hilarious.
As with the first Tour all four comedians come out on stage and take up positions on stools to tell stories. Right? Wrong. They come out with the stools, however this time Larry the Cable Guy brandishes a guitar and they play a game called “I Believe”. Each comedian, after Larry the Cable Guy’s quick 5-second guitar introduction, starts a saying off with “I Believe”. A couple of the statements are funny but it gets old fast. I kept thinking to myself “I believe… this bit sucks so lets get on with some stories”. After only a couple minutes of “I Believe” that was it, the show was over. There was nothing remotely similar to Ron White’s brilliant story of Tater Salad. Nada. I feel robbed. I so wanted to love this show as I’ve grown to love the original over time. Like most sequels it falls short in almost every conceivable way. As such, I recommend a rent first and a fair amount of alcohol in the system to aid the laughs.