Bill Engvall to bring new material, comedy hits to IP


Comedian Bill Engvall said he would like to do one thing when he hits the Coast for a show at the IP Casino Resort tonight: play some golf. But the recent spate of bad weather could prevent him from hitting the greens.

"You guys have been inundated with some bad weather," Engvall said in a phone interview with the Sun Herald. "I thought I might bring my golf clubs because there's some great golf courses down there, but I imagine they are under water."

Engvall, who has been performing comedy since the early '90s, said he feels a unique bond with his crowds in Biloxi.

"They know that they are going to get a clean, relatable show and that it's going to be funny and I don't step on a lot of toes -- I've never done that," he said. "If people are going to pay money to come out and see me, I don't want to be offensive."

And not being offensive, Engvall said, includes not doing political jokes, even during an election cycle.

"If you do political humor, you lose 50 percent of your audience and there's no reason to do that," he said.

Although Engvall has been on "Dancing with the Stars" and has made numerous TV appearances, he is probably best known for a 2000 tour he launched with his friend Jeff Foxworthy.

The "Blue Collar Comedy Tour," which featured Engvall, Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy, was a wildly successful comedy tour that spawned five subsequent tours, three films, a TV show and radio show.

"I'm still blown away by that

to this day, dude," he said. "We all thought it would be successful, but we had no idea. It was the perfect storm and it just hit at the right time. I'll be able to tell my grandkids that I was part of one of the biggest comedy tours to ever happen."

Engvall said he still plays comedy clubs and writes new material, both for his audience and for himself.

"When I go to a place like Biloxi, where I've been several times, I always try to have two to three new pieces of material so that people don't go, 'Oh, he's not writing anymore,' and it keeps me from getting bored," he said. "But I still give them some of the stuff they expect at the end. It's like when Foreigner plays one of the casinos, people want to hear the hits. It's kind of the same for me. People expect Foreigner to play 'Urgent,' and people want to hear me do 'Here's your sign.'"