Some may argue that Ron White is a “comedian’s comedian,” based solely on the fact that he is a beloved standup comic among his peers, including his friends Lewis Black, Joe Rogan, Kathleen Madigan and Dave Attell.
But a “comedian’s comedian” usually doesn’t translate into success that White has been successful, a success for which White is absolutely non-apologetic.
“I do my tours in my own jet and my own tour bus, and I don’t apologize for that — my fans paid for that and that’s how I get back out to see them,” White said in an interview with the Sun Herald.
White, whose iconic stage presence is that of cigar smoking and booze sipping, sets himself apart from the rest of the comedy pack in other ways, as well.
He’s a published author, an actor in both film and television productions including a film directed by Billy Bob Thornton, sold more than 14 million albums and been part of one of the biggest comedy tours in history. And he owns a boutique tequila line, Number Juan, with his brother-in-law and fellow comic Alex Reymundo.
Any comic of my generation will tell you that Bill Hicks was the best there ever was. He’s the one comic who told me to stay true to myself and do my own comedy.
But, he also plays more than 100 cities a year doing what he loves the most — performing his honest brand of stand up comedy. White will bring his signature standup act to the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on Friday for two shows — one at 7 p.m. and one at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $44 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.
“I love doing standup comedy,” White said. “When I’m staying at my place in LA, I’ll do three sets a night at the comedy clubs.”
White has been doing his comedy for more than 30 years, opening for the likes of Sam Kinison and Jeff Foxworthy. But it was the legendary Bill Hicks who White said was his greatest influence.
“Any comic of my generation will tell you that Bill Hicks was the best there ever was,” he said. “He’s the one comic who told me to stay true to myself and do my own comedy.”
He said he recently did a gig with another legendary comic — Dave Chapelle.
“The one thing I learned from Chapelle is that he’s a better comic than I am,” White said. “We had a blast — he’s totally on his game.”
Although doing comedy is his true love, White was also one of the stars of the acclaimed Showtime series “Roadies,” which was created by director Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”) and executive produced by Crow and JJ Abrams (“Lost”). He played the tour manager, Phil, a character with a pivotal role in the series.
“Cameron made me a much better actor than I really am,” he said. “I enjoyed doing it because I got to work with a lot of people I would not have otherwise worked with — and I love music, all kinds of music, from jazz piano to the Allman Brothers.”
And right behind doing standup comedy is White’s passion for his tequila company, Number Juan Tequila.
“It’s the best tequila in the world — it’s an amazing drink of liquor,” he said. “We make it in small batches so that everything is perfect.”
Occasionally, White said his two passions meet on the road.
“I’m doing a tequila thing in Florida and I decided to book a last-minute set at a comedy club,” White said.
While White’s options are wide open for the future, he said he plans to keep his show on the road — literally.
“I don’t go out looking for movies and things like that, they come to me and if I want to do them, I do them,” he said. “But I love doing comedy and I plan to keep on touring and doing my shows — and selling my tequila, you should try it — it’s the best tequila in the world.”
If you go
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino at 875 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi
7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, July 14
Tickets start at $44 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.