By Clint Parker
Nationally renowned comedian Bill Engvall is coming to town and hopes you won’t think of the event as if you’re coming to see a show. “I tell people I don’t want you to think like you’re coming to see a comedian. Think more like we’re sitting around your living room [and] I’m the funny guy doing the talking,” said Engvall in a recent interview with the Tribune about his upcoming local show.
Engvall, a native of Texas now living in southern California, will be appearing at the Thomas Wolfe on October 26th. Asked if he’d ever been to Asheville before, he said, “You know what, I was just looking at that and I think…you know what bud I’m like that Johnny Cash song ‘I’ve been everywhere.’ I think I have been to Asheville, but I wouldn’t put my family’s life on it.”
Asked what can the audience expect at his appearance, Engvall said, “My show is a clean, relatable show I think is the best way to describe it. They’re going to watch the show and go, ‘Oh, that happened to me’ or ‘This guy’s like me.’ I’ve been blessed to figure that out in my career and the show I’m bringing there to Asheville is, a lot of it, is looking at life through my wife’s eyes. You know being married to a comedian. I’m sure when I’m on the road, she drinks heavily,” he said with a slight laugh. “’Cause I basically create all these little tornadoes and then she has to make sure the farmhouse doesn’t blow away,” he added.
While Engvall said that his show would include new bits, he was also quick to add that old favorites like “Here’s your sign” will also be part of the show. “That little thing is just crazy. It’s funny cause I’ll have other comedians come up to me sometimes and say ‘How do I write a catchphrase’ and I’ll go you don’t…If you all hadn’t tuned into ‘here’s your sign,’ I doubt I’d be talking to you today.”
Engvall has numerous avenues of communicating his comedy, and he’s been recognized for all of them. From stand-up comedy to a Grammy nomination to multi-platinum recordings to films, television, and even a podcast. Asked which he prefers Engvall did not hesitate, “Stand-up!” he said quickly. “There’s an old, old saying that says you dance with who brung ya’, and stand-up got me to where I’m at.”
He explained with an example. “I’m not going to tell you its a bad thing when you drive up on the lot of a studio, and there’s your parking space and there’s someone standing there with coffee made the way you like it and your name is on the door, and that’s all great, but stand-up – I’m the boss. You know TV and movies I might have some 20-year-old telling me what they think is funny and I got to go along with it, but when you’re on stage like there in Asheville and the audience is in with you and your both just rolling, there is no better in the world. I mean that’s probably the best drug ever!”
Asked how the current political climate and political correctness has effected his stand-up, Engvall says, “That’s a great question. It has not because I don’t do any political or religious stuff in my show. And I’ll tell you why, because people just get inundated with it all day long, and so when people come to see my show, I want them to have an escape from something that just doesn’t go away.”