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Ron White Biography

They Call Me "Tater Salad"

Ron 'Tater Salad' White (December 18, 1956) is a Grammy Award-nominated American stand-up comedian from Fritch, Texas. He was a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which helped elevate him to star status following the original Blue Collar tour and DVD release.

He claims to have been in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, where he developed a drug addiction.

Comedy releases

Besides the Blue Collar Comedy Tour CDs and movies, White has released five solo projects to date:

Tater Salad aka. Busted in Des Moines: 1990 audio CD, recording of an early stand-up gig.
Drunk in Public: 2003 audio CD, solo stand-up .
They Call Me "Tater Salad": 2004 DVD release, recording of one of his stand-up concerts. Much the same material as Drunk in Public.
You Can't Fix Stupid: 2006 release on audio CD and) DVD of new material, and some from his first album.
The Ron White Show: 2006 release on DVD, a mix of standup, sketch comedy, animated segments and music.
Behavioral Problems: 2009 Release in April on Comedy Central.

He has appeared on the following compilation albums:

Redneck Comedy Roundup: 2005 release on DVD, also starring Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Blake Clark.
Comedy Central Presents Southern Gents of Comedy: 2006 release on DVD, also starring Otis Lee Crenshaw, Vic Henley, and Steve McGrew.
Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy & Bill Engvall: Live From Las Vegas: 2004 release on DVD.
Redneck Kings Of Comedy: 2005 Release of DVD, also starring Jeff Foxworthy, and Larry the Cable Guy .

White also wrote a book called I Had the Right to Remain Silent... But I Didn't Have the Ability (Dutton 2006, ISBN 978-0525949619) which mixes material from his stand-up act with stories from his youth.

White is the only member of the Blue Collar crew not to star in the Blue Collar TV series because he didn't want to be typecast as "blue collar," although he says in his performances he simply doesn't have the work ethic for a television show. He did make seven guest appearances on the show, however. In 2005, The WB Television Network aired the pilot for The Ron White Show, an ill-fated variety show that combined a number of celebrity cameos, cartoons, and sketches. He recently taped several episodes of The Gong Show with Dave Attell as one of the celebrity judges.

Discography

1990 Tater Salad aka. Busted in Des Moines DVD/Video
2003 Drunk in Public DVD/Video
2006 You Can't Fix Stupid DVD/Video
2009 Behavioral Problems DVD/Video

Ron White Biography From Comedy Central

Comedian Ron "Tater Salad" White is best known as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the "Blue Collar Comedy" phenomenon. But with two Grammy nominations, a gold record, two of the top-rated one-hour specials in Comedy Central history, a book that appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, and CD and DVD sales of over 10 million units, Ron has established himself as a star in his own right. Ron's new special, "Behavioral Problems," premieres Sunday April 19 at 9pm / 8c.

Ron has always been a storyteller; from the time he was a boy growing up in a small town in the middle of Texas oil country to selling windows for a living in Arlington to performing in sold-out theaters and arenas as a headlining comedian all across the country. For two decades he lived the life of a struggling comedian bouncing around to comedy clubs and driving to gigs in his beat-up Nissan pickup truck. In short, he paid his dues.

Then it happened. From January 2000 through March 2003, Ron performed with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy in the highly acclaimed "Blue Collar Comedy Tour," a show that played to sold out audiences in over 90 cities and grossed over $15 million dollars. Warner Bros filmed the tour and "Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie" was released as a major motion picture in theaters in March 2003, later premiering on Comedy Central as the highest-rated movie in the channel's history.

Ron's first solo comedy CD, "Drunk In Public," was released in November 2003, showcasing the insightful and hilarious White, who manages to be both razorsharp and blunt. The CD has now sold over 500,000 copies and has been certified "gold." Also that year, his first one-hour comedy special, "They Call Me Tater Salad," earned Comedy Central the highest-rated Sunday in its history. The companion DVD has sold 1.4 million copies to date and has been certified "multi-platinum."

Next White filmed "The Ron White Show," a comedy special for the WB network that was filmed in Las Vegas. It aired in April 2005 to four million viewers. The show helped propel the network to one of its best Thursday nights of the season. Ron's second one-hour special, "You Can't Fix Stupid," was filmed in January 2006 at the Majestic Theater in Dallas, TX. The special aired on Comedy Central to 4.5 million viewers to make it the 3rd largest audience in Comedy Central's history and the #1 show in prime time on basic cable. The comedy CD of the same name was released on February 7, 2006 and premiered at #14 on Billboard's Top 200, ranked #1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts for nine consecutive weeks and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Ron also received a second Grammy nomination that year for the CD "Blue Collar Comedy Tour - One for The Road."

In June 2006, Penguin Books released "Ron 'Tater Salad' White: I Had The Right To Remain SilentÂ…But I Didn't Have the Ability." The book debuted at #15 on the New York Times Best Seller List. It perfectly sums up Ron's life and his comedy and is filled with over 80 illustrations by acclaimed artist Matthew Shultz. In 2007 Ron worked on a pilot for HBO featuring the writing talents of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ("Designing Women," "Evening Shade"), and most recently in the independent film "Demoted" scheduled for release in 2009. Ron has appeared on late-night talk shows such as "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

Ron White Trivia and Quotes

Date of Birth
18 December 1956, Fritch, Texas, USA

Nickname
Tater Salad

Height
6' 2" (1.88 m)

Spouse
Barbara Dobbs (June 2004 - present)
Barbra White (? - ?) (divorced) 1 child

Trade Mark

Always smoking and drinking while doing his stand-up act.

Trivia

Has a son named Marshall

His nickname, Tater Salad, came from when he was in the Navy. A fellow sailor, Hoskins, was supposed to relieve him of his post when a picnic was occurring. He hollered down to Hoskins, "Hey Hoskins, get up here and relieve me before somebody eats all that Tater Salad." From then on, Hoskins called him Tater Salad.

Is a member of The Blue Collar Gang along with his friends with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and 'Larry the Cable Guy'.

Graduated from Deer Park High School, near Houston, Texas in 1976.

Personal Quotes

"I believe that a bad Super Bowl halftime show is still better than a soccer game."

"I believe that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Then find someone whose life gives them vodka and have a party."

How Ron White Got His Nickname

Ron White is often asked why he is referred to as 'Tater Salad.', and tells this story. In his small hometown of Fritch, Texas, when he was seventeen years old, after being pulled over for driving down the sidewalk, and arrested for driving under the influence ("There seems to be some kind of pattern," he says) White was asked by the arresting officer (whom he had known all his life) if he had any aliases.

"Yes," replied in a joking manner. "They call me 'tater salad.'"

Seventeen years later, White was arrested for public drunkeness after being ejected from a New York City bar. When in lockup, an officer came to him with a copy of his arrest record, and asked "Are you Ron "Tater Salad" White?", to which White responded "You caught me! You caught the tater!" The name has since stuck. White jokes that he sometimes calls his son Tater tot (a proprietary brand of potato cake).

Ron White Profile

Ron White's comedy is as subtle as a nine-car pileup on the freeway. From Texas (and proud of it), Ron's commentaries come from a decidedly testosterone-laden, good ol' boy point of view. Not afraid to be blunt, he attacks conventional comedy themes with a feisty attitude and a razor-sharp tongue.

He may be obnoxious and warped at times, but his comedy always seems to make perfect sense in the end. Ron White has been headlining comedy clubs all over the country. "He is just gall-durn funny," has been the collective cry.

No one looks at life quite like Ron. His simple observations are insightful and hilarious. He is not for the "under 21" crowd or the chaste of heart. However, for a good time no one does it better than Ron.

Marc Nelson of the Richard De La Font Agency with Ron White

"He's just too funny. I'd headline him in any club in the country."
Mitch Kutash, owner, Improvisations and FunnyBone Comedy Clubs

"He's the hope for the future."
Mark Anderson, owner, Improvisations

"No one makes me laugh harder than Ron."
Jeff Foxworthy, Club Comic of the Year

Ron White Interview

I’ve heard you say you got labeled Southern early on because of your accent. Did you struggle against being a redneck on stage at first?

Ron White: I was never specifically Southern. Because of the voice that’s what they call me and they still do. And the show is not very Southern at all. But those are my roots, so I guess things are flavored that way. But I have no problem with it at all, it’s just who I am.

But originally when you performed you had a cowboy hat.

Ron White: Oh yeah, I still do have it. I just don’t wear it on the stage.

So when did you transition into your sorta-Dean Martin look, all in black with your scotch.

Ron White: Well, there was always a drink even when the cowboy hat was there. And there was always a cigarette. And the cowboy hat, usually I was dressed up, but back where I’m from, the hat is from a very famous hat maker, the same guy who used to make Stevie Ray Vaughn’s hats. He made all the hats for Lynard Skynard. This guy named Manny Gammage who’s dead now. So in places like Austin, the hat’s got a felt brim but a straw top, so anybody that would see it would know exactly where it came from. It’s a very expensive hat.

So you guys - Foxworthy, Engvall and Larry - were very big in what a lot of people on the coast dismiss as flyover states for a long time and then Blue Collar played on Comedy Central and kind of woke people up. Was it satisfying to have the mainstream industry finally get you?

Ron White: I’m not even sure they still do. I’ve been a club headliner for 17 years almost. So I always considered myself successful, even though how things are going now I wasn’t. I’ve never been one to look up the ladder. I’ve always looked down the ladder. As long as there’s one guy down there, I’m fine.

So I would see me compared to the other guys I knew. And I didn’t know guys like Seinfeld or whatever. I just knew the other club headliners. I made as much money as they did or more. And I had a good foothold in clubs. I was considered by my peers to be a good comedian. So that’s all I ever strived to do was get some recognition from my peers.

So fame or whatever. That wasn’t an obsession of yours?

Ron White: No never was. Of course it is now. (laughs) I really considered myself successful then, even though I was broke. But before the second Blue Collar came out or “Drunk in Public” where I really started making money, I lived in an OK house. I ate really good food. I didn’t drink the kind of scotch I drink now, but I drank decent scotch. Now three years before that I was living in somebody’s attic. But I was still happy. I didn’t see it as anything bad. It’s just where I ended up.

You joke about your work ethic keeping you from doing “Blue Collar TV” but you have a lot of stuff coming up. You got an animated show, you got a book, you got the new CD that just came out.

Ron White: But really that’s the only thing I work on. Yeah, I do write the stories. I sit down with a writer and tell them a bunch of stories and then they’re adding some of my bits. That’s the book. The animation deal is with TBS. When I did the Ron White show last year, which was a special, we did some animated vignettes on it. And TBS was interested in those vignettes, but they were owned by Sony, so who is the studio. They went to Sony and said they would like to talk about doing more animation. So we went into development. So Donick Cary is the head writer and he was with “The Simpsons.” And the director was the creator of Family Guy so it’s got some really great blood in it. So as long as I stay out of the way (laughs), they can get all this stuff done with minimal (involvement from me). I do the voicework basically and if they have something in the dialogue that I just don’t think is funny or if it’s something I won’t say, I
just won’t say it. They’ll have to write around it or if I can figure out a way I would rather say it, I write it. But what I spend my time on is the live show.

And everything else kind of falls where it falls.

Ron White: I’m set up right now to not really worry about anything except new material. I’m off this week, which means I’m not doing any big theaters. But my wife and I are going to Austin and I’ll do Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday two shows a night in a 70-seat comedy club just to develop new stuff. Just to work and I have a lot of friends there who are comedians who will come out and write with me. That’s really the stuff that keeps me grounded is just to continue to work. I have a job.

One of the things I’ve noticed about comics is that as they get bigger, they lose touch with the experiences that got them there. Their act becomes about their act and being famous. Is that one of those things that you struggle now with?

Ron White: I tell you, you get wake-up calls. And this is just keep your fighting weight. You got to do stand-up everyday. If you want to be as sharp as you need to be, you should be on stage every single time you can get on stage. I don’t live in LA or New York and never will. And there are several clubs there that you can go to if you’re popular and have a big name, and I do, you can get on stage three or four times a night and develop stuff. I can’t do that. And I don’t like to perform in LA or New York anyway, so I just go back to comedy clubs and do it that way.

I watched… not to dis Dennis Miller, I’ve been a huge fan of Dennis all these years – but I watched his last HBO special. You can tell that that’s a guy who’s sitting on his butt in Santa Barbara, wealthy as he could be and then somebody offered him a bunch of money to come out of semi-retirement and do a show. And it looked very awkward. And he did a comb-over joke and I’m like, “C’mon Dennis you used to be the man.” And I’m like, “I better get off this couch and start doing sets or it’s going to happen to me.”

I watched that myself and it surprised me how uncomfortable he looked.

Ron White: It had me squirming.

Really? I’ve heard some comics say that they actually enjoy watching people bomb, because…

Ron White: (laughs) On some level you do. I’ve never been one of those guys. I think bad comedy – not that Dennis stuff is bad – I don’t want this to get back to him. Actually, I don’t care if it does or not. He knows it’s true. But there’s nothing more painful than comedy that’s not working, especially when I’m doing it. (laughs) And that happens.

I went out the other day to an open mike night in Atlanta. And I go to open mike nights.

You go to the Punchline down there?

Ron White: Yeah. I’m off next week and I’m doing shows at the Punchline. All week long. But I went out to open mike night, there was a couple of young guys right in front of me, both of them real funny and I wish I could remember their names. But I was laughing. And I forgot that I’m about to walk up there and try brand new jokes. And these kids are doing their thirty minutes – they’re probably feature acts on the road, they’re doing eight or nine shows a week. This is the thirty minutes they do or twenty minutes of their best stuff. So I’m going to try and follow that, even with my name recognition, with jokes I’ve never even tried.

So out of the three of us, I had the weakest set. But I also know that that work that I was doing will pay off, so I don’t really care. I also like to acknowledge these young kids, because I don’t see a ton of them that I’m really laughing at. And these two guys were just killing me. Real simple and basic stuff with punchlines. So I was just having a good time watching them.

I know Foxworthy saw you early on and worked with you on material. Do you try and pass that along?

Ron White: Actually those two guys, I wanted to ask ‘em some questions. If somebody asks me… Foxworthy did that. He genuinely did. Foxworthy is a gracious, very patient man. And I may fall short in some of those categories. If I think somebody’s funny, I’ll certainly will give them the time of day. And if they ask me a question, I’ll give them the best answer I can. But in this business there are no answers and there is no book on how to get to where I am. I don’t even know how I got here.

The biggest piece of advice that I give young comedians is: If it’s your goal to get where I’m at, go do something else. Because you’ll never get here. Never. The odds are so bad. Because not only do you have to be a really, really strong comedian but you also have to be lucky. And most people don’t get that combination. And it didn’t look like I was either. So unless you really love doing it for the sake of doing it. I never thought I’d make a nickel at this. But I thought it’d be a very cool hobby to have.

So twenty years ago I’d sell windows during the day and I would get out on stage where I could. I would invent gigs. At a Holiday Inn, I’d call two other people and call it a comedy show. Perform for six people.

Some people would argue that’s making your own luck.

Ron White: At that point of my career, I was so in love with being on stage that money had nothing to do with it. If I could do it, literary, for a meal, I thought I was beating them up. $25 worth of food.

Does you act change very much when you’re performing for a 17,000 seat theater as opposed to an intimate comedy club?

Ron White: Well right now, I’m doing those two things for two different reasons, so they’re a lot different. The 17,000 I did one time a couple of days ago with the boys, I was just trying to get the set down for Blue Collar 3. Which I already have and we’re going to film that next month. And when I’m doing a comedy club, I’m developing new stuff. So now no two sets are ever alike.

I have too much stuff in development. For the first fifteen years, I would write three jokes a year. But they were good. So all I would do is get better at telling those jokes. So that show developed and it was great and it got me where I am today. But now I got to work. Because I don’t got fifteen years to write the next one.

I’ve heard you describe yourself as just a really funny storyteller.

Ron White: Even as a kid, if I told a story, it would be a funny story. And that’s the gift. Whether it’s a big gift or a little gift. At first, it seemed like a little gift, now it seems like a big gift. But that’s also something that can’t be taught at a comedy class or anything. So that’s something I can tell somebody how to do. And it’s not that rare. Most people know somebody that whenever they tell a story, it’s funny. Everybody knows funny people. Well I was just a funny person. And then I had the drive to do this. You might be really funny but you might be scared to death of the stage. And I was just drawn to it. That’s where I wanted to be.

With you selling windows… my father was a traveling salesman and I know part of that is being able to tell a story.

Ron White: Absolutely. That was why I was a good point-of-contact salesman. My last show is almost worded like I’m talking to one person. Almost. Not exactly. I just heard another reviewer say that and I went back and listened to it, and it is kind of like that.

So no matter what the size audience your performing for, it’s like you’re trying to just please that one person you’re telling the story to.

Ron White: It does kind of listen that way.

Did you have a favorite comedy album that you listened to growing up?

Ron White: I had a lot. I was a big fan of comedy. When I was a little kid, we had “Football” which was an old Andy Griffith record. That was a great record. (Note: The actual record title was “What it was, was Football.” Released in 1953, it’s currently unavailable but you can hear some of “What it was, was Football” here and read an illustrated account of it from Mad Magazine) We had a Bob Newhart record that was very, very funny. And as a kid I would listen to these over and over. I wouldn’t say I was a collector, but I had every Bill Cosby, Cheech and Chong, Flip Wilson, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor – anything I could get my hands on. I would listen to over and over. And I’m sure that’s where I developed a sense of comedic timing. Maybe, unless I was born with it. And I’m sure all of those artists have influenced me in some ways. And even today, I’ll still plug in a Bill Hicks tape even though I know it and laugh like crazy.

I’ve heard Chris Rock say he carries an iPod of all comedy albums when he’s working on a new special.

Ron White: I always noticed when I was younger that if I was listening to a lot of comedy records I was funnier. Even though I wasn’t saying what they were saying. So I guess I get that. I would never think of that. But I got (Mitch) Hedberg in the DVD player in my car…

Did you ever work with Hedberg?

Ron White: Yeah.

Were you surprised when he died?

Ron White: It wasn’t surprising to me at all. What was surprising to me is the day before when he didn’t die. (laughs) Hedberg was never one that was long for this planet. And anybody who knew him, knew that. And I didn’t know him well, I just really, really liked him the times we did spend together. I was actually, and still am, really good friends with Doug Stanhope. Stanhope and he were best friends. So when I would see Doug I would also see Mitch and we would do a lot of sets at the same place. I always thought he was the most bizarre comedian that I’ve ever seen.

One time, they were in Nashville, him and Doug. And they were going to go do an audition for this thing, that if you do well, you can get booked into colleges. I forget what it’s called, because I never did it. And Mitch’s set was right behind Rodney Carrington’s set in Nashville and I was just thinking to myself, “that is just a horrible spot.” And it turned out that it wasn’t. It was a bunch of college students. And even though Rodney does very well – he’s a good friend of mine also. Mitch went up behind him and just slayed. Mitch wasn’t all that dependable an act, because some people didn’t think he was funny. So if he had a real high energy, hopping around act – kind of a Dane Cook thing – going on in front of him, he wouldn’t do well. You had to be careful who you booked him with.

When you are doing Blue Collar, is there a particular way that the comics have to flow to work?

Ron White: Larry’s impossible to follow now. He’s got the biggest fan base. He goes last, just ‘cause Jeff doesn’t want to do it. (laughs) Jeff goes third. I go before Jeff and Bill goes first. And there’s really no reason for that. I think it does flow good that way. I wouldn’t care if I was going first, last, doesn’t matter. We’re all making 25%. Just whatever it takes to get it done.

So to speak.

Ron White: Actually, I didn’t say that, did I?

Yes, you did. (laughs) That’s actually brings me to a question. I know you’re friends with Doug Stanhope. Doug had that letter on his site that he wrote to Larry about people shouting “Get-R-Done” during his set.

Ron White: Right, he doesn’t like it…

Does that happen when you’re performing? And do you not like it yourself?

Ron White: It doesn’t happen to be hardly at all, oddly enough. Although we have tons and tons of crossover fans, our basic fanbase is not the same, mine and Larry’s. But I only hear it once at a show, maybe none. I could only imagine how frustrating it would be, especially for a comic like Stanhope, to just listen to it over and over. And then if somebody yells it out, people laugh. So then they’re encouraged. “Well I’m going to do and I’m going to get me one of them damn laughs! Get-R-Done!” (laughs) I could only imagine. I know Dougie gets angry. Because I’ve read some letters I couldn’t even believe. But I think he’s precious.

You mentioned earlier that you don’t like doing clubs in Los Angeles or New York. Is it that the audiences are different? What is it about that?

Ron White: No. It’s really old animosity. I would go out there as a young comic and just try and get on stage. Even though if you do a set at the Improv on Melrose in Hollywood, I genuinely think they give you five dollars. I think you have to fill out paperwork. (laughs) Well I don’t need the five bucks. And if they had been kinder to me when I was coming up, I’d feel more obliged to do set when I was in town.

Now I do huge theaters all over Los Angeles. So I love to perform out there. Also I will be the first Blue Collar guy… I’m doing the Beacon in New York. And did the Warfield in San Francisco, which nobody else will go to. Sold out two shows in minutes. So I don’t mind those places. They were just never friendly to me. They didn’t want to participate and now I don’t need to participate.

I see a lot of people say that they don’t like Blue Collar comedy except for you. Do you have any idea why that is?

Ron White: No. These guys are the biggest comedians in the world. Most people do like them. I just have a little bit of a crossover audience. Larry and I used to do shows together after Blue Collar called the Rough Around the Collar tour, which would have been huge. We were acts people wanted to see, cause we were just 10 minutes on the first one. People were ready to rumble. And we would switch off closing them. And his fans are more rabid than mine are. His fans dress like him. They talk like him. And the nights I would close the shows, they would just pout. I mean, literally, pout the whole time that I was on stage that he was already gone. To the point, where I’m like, “Man, if you want to close all these shows, go right ahead.”

I’m not really a Larry the Cable Guy fan, so it’s fascinating to me how people have embraced it..

Ron White: The trick is with Larry, whether you love the content, don’t love the content, it really doesn’t matter. He is a great pace, rhythm and timing comedian. I don’t care who you are, you’re probably not better than he is. I don’t care if you’re David Cross, Dane whatever his name is – he’s probably a better pace, rhythm and timing comedian. And that’s fun to watch. It’s fun to watch somebody who’s done 10,000 shows, do their craft.

Now does he do a lot of fart jokes and whatever, sure he does. But it’s Larry the Cable Guy. (laugh) And it’s so well done with such great pace. It makes me laugh. I would never spend too much time trying to figure out why people like him.

He’s a genuinely gifted comic. Very good at what he does. And you can probably tell a very good friend of mine and I have no animosity that he’s a bigger comedian that me. What I’m surprised at is that I’m as big a comedian as I am. (laugh) I still don’t look up the food chain, I just look down.

I heard you mention Dane Cook there. What did he say about the Blue Collar Comedy tour?

Ron White: Oh I don’t know specifically. It upsets Larry when people say things about us. I, on the other hand, would never know because I play golf and drink, and I don’t have time to listen to the fidder fodder that goes around on the Internet. I just don’t participate. I don’t sit around reading reviews. I don’t care. I genuinely don’t care what other people think about my craft, because it doesn’t affect me.

But I realize that when Cook’s out there trashing the Blue Collar Tour, that he’s mainly trashing Larry but you’re also trashing me. This is probably going to go too far. If you’re going to start trashing another comedian, which there’s no call for in the first place (I know David Cross and Larry have a rift going too) but if you do, then we’re going to take a look at your material. And it better be great and it’s not. It’s punchline-less, he’s very very charming. My manager thinks he’s funny. If you are going to be throwing rocks, then we’re going to take a look, and it better be great. So if you’re not Bill Hicks, and he ain’t, then I would just shut-up. He also makes gillions of dollars.

He has one of those insane rabid fanbases too.

Ron White: Unbelievable. And I have no animosity against him (for being a bigger comedian). Don’t pay attention to it. Go get ‘em Dane.

I know you stay away from politics. But I know some in the media try and label the Blue Collar Guys as a right-wing phenomenon.

Ron White: That would be a mindless easy thing to do. And fairly accurate. (laughs) Actually more accurate with the other three guys than me. I’m kind of an asexual, libertarian kind of a guy. Then I also go out of my way – I did a USO tour at Thanksgiving, doing military bases in Belgium and Germany supporting the troups, because we do live in a country that has to have a military and those kids have to do what they’re told. So I went over there and did a bunch of a shows.

But I don’t care what people label us. It doesn’t matter. I don’t think about it. If somebody writes a story about it, I don’t read it. The whole world could be falling apart in this little country club community that I live in, and I wouldn’t know. When I’m not on the road, if I’m off, I’m just sitting here. If not, I’m working on my show. Who likes it. Who doesn’t like it. I wouldn’t know.

It’s sophomoric. It’s like the original open-mike night I was a part of. People would get caught up in who’s who in that little tiny community and it took ‘em forever to realize it doesn’t matter. There’s no line. You’re going to go where you’re going to go. And it’s not going to depend on who you slam or who you do anything else with, you’re just going to go where you’re going to go.

So you can get caught up in who likes you, who doesn’t like you. Are you popular or are you not popular? I don’t even read my own e-mail. My wife reads them just to monitor my own behavior on the road. The other day she said that somebody wrote me a rantingly evil note about the fact that they came to see me in Knoxville and I didn’t do anything off Blue Collar and I didn’t do anything off Drunk in Public and they were pissed. And she read it to me and I was, like, “Honey, I don’t give a shit. That’s one person’s opinion. They shouldn’t even be able to talk to me.” It wasn’t very long that you had to get out a pen and a piece of paper and stamp. Now all you got to do to blurt out your mindless opinion is to get on the keyboard.

What I care about people coming to the show. What’s the response of those people as a group. Well that particular Knoxville show, I just snotted that crowd. Doing all this great new stuff. Well, whether it’s great or not… but at one point I’m in the wilds of Alaska giving a grizzly bear a rimjob and a reach around. That’s fucking comedy right there. (laughs) I’m playing this bear like a trombone. People are dying. So who wants me to do Tater Salad again.

And you can hear it on the album. I think comedy can diminish sometimes the more you hear it.

Ron White: Absolutely, it doesn’t carry over like a song. But I can remember when I was 18 years old I went to go see Steve Martin when I was in San Deigo. And he didn’t do anything off of “Let’s Get Small” Steve Martin - Let's Get Small. And I was disappointed because I would have liked to see him do some of that stuff. So what I’m going to start doing at the end of my shows is take a little barrel with old bits in it, roll it around, pick one out. (laughs) “Here we go… oh, one off the bottom shelf. Oh well.”

Ron White Quotes

Anybody could say anything they want about me, and it literally never penetrates my skin.
Ron White

But I work harder now because I have so much more exposure. And actually the harder you work as a writer, the better you get at it. It's like anything else. It's a muscle you have to exercise. I write more now than ever. Ron White

Diamonds - that'll shut her up... for a minute! Ron White

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. Ron White

I didn't get where I am today by worryin' about how I'd feel tomorrow. Ron White

I do live like a rock star, but it's not as great as it sounds. It's a lot of traveling. Ron White

I had the right to remain silent... but I didn't have the ability. Ron White

I was considered by my peers to be a good comedian. So that's all I ever strived to do was get some recognition from my peers. Ron White

I'd rather do a really good small part than a really bad big part. Ron White

I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke every last one of 'em. Ron White

I've never been one to look up the ladder. I've always looked down the ladder. As long as there's one guy down there, I'm fine. Ron White

My goal is just to become a better comedian. Ron White

Other states are trying to abolish the death penalty... mine's putting in an express lane. Ron White

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic. Ron White

The hardest that I've laughed at a movie was probably Team America. I laughed 'til I thought I was just gonna throw up. I almost had to turn it off. Ron White

The next time you have a thought... let it go. Ron White

There have been times in my life that I've had a ton of vices, and my demons have run amok for years and years and years. Ron White

There were years when I was a beer and tequila guy, then I got real fat. And then I found that you could actually go on a diet and drink scotch. Then I got hooked on scotch, and if you get hooked on scotch, then everything else just tastes wrong. Ron White

You know, my first album, some of those jokes I'd done for twelve years because I couldn't throw 'em out. Ron White

You wanna get the truth out of me, get me hammered. Ron White

Ron White Interview

I have heard a lot of people say that you are the funniest one out of the Blue Collar Comedy bunch, and you're also the only member not to star in the TV show, so it seems like you've gone down your own path quite a bit. I guess you already began to answer my next question, which is: What are your further plans to separate yourself from the group?

Ron White: Yeah, you're right; I already answered your question. I do solo projects, and I opted not to participate in some things that they do. But I also get back together with them and make the movies. I love to do that, I just didn't think...I thought the TV show would be more work than it was worth. I really don't have much of a work ethic, and that kind of stuff is difficult to do. It takes a lot of time--I'd just rather...I'm a comedian, and I like to work on my live show, and if I'm doing television, you don't have time to work on your live show, and you can become a lame comic, and that sucks.

Yeah, that does suck. So your plan is to continue doing the live-comedy circuit rather than doing other TV appearances or trying your own TV show again?

Ron White: Yeah, Fox wants me to do a television show right now, and I won't do it. It's ridiculous, too--I would have to move to LA and listen to those nimrods for the next seven years of my life, and if it's successful, they can keep me under contract until I was 57. So, I don't want to do it, and I don't need to do it. There was one point in my life when I didn't have the resources that I have now. But right now, I certainly don't need Hollywood. I mean, I still love to walk on stage and make people laugh, and I work very, very hard at it, and I take it seriously. I write more, I'm on stage more now than I've ever been. If I'm not in the theatre, I'm in an open mic night or doing a guest set at the Comedy Club, or whatever, just trying to develop stuff. I'm a serious guy when it comes to this s***.

Yeah, I can tell. I noticed that you're really the only one of the group to let your current wealth and status show through during your act. You have your expensive suit on, and you talk about that and about your Scotch and everything. I really admire that, actually.

Ron White: Really? I wondered how people perceived it. I heard one girl say that she thought it was egocentric, and I certainly don't mean for it to be. I was afforded these things, and I'm not very apologetic for it, but I'm also not trying to rub it into anybody's nose.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I really do admire it, because this is where you're at right now, so it would be much less genuine to pretend that you weren't. Was it a conscious decision to incorporate that stuff into your act, or was it just more of a natural progression?

Ron White: I was desperate for new material, so anything I can write a joke about, that works, is in the act. No matter who it offends, or who it bothers, doesn't matter if its something my wife hates. Yeah, it was kind of a conscious thing because some people...Jeff's always said, you know, "Don't talk about the money." And I'm going, well, I don't think...I think people can do the math.

How could I possibly end up anything but filthy rich if we sold all these things? And we did. I mean, you can do the math, like I play the Warfield in San Francisco--the other guys don't play San Francisco--and I sell out two shows in one night. Well, it obviously costs nothing to produce. It's just me, and a stool, and a glass of Scotch. There's no 18-wheelers full of s*** out there. It doesn't cost me anything to produce. You keep all of it. So if you can get one of these careers to catch, which is very, very difficult to do, but if you can, where you're filling up the biggest theatres in town, then you make a ton of money. I decided that it's OK if the audience knows that.

Yeah, they definitely know.

Ron White: And I give them credit for it, too. They did it.

With all these sold-out shows and everything, pretty much every word that drops out of your mouth on stage seems like it's nearly causing the audience to wet themselves. So what I want to know is when you're writing your new material, how do you whittle it down and decide what's really funny? What's going to get those laughs, and what is maybe best left off the list?

Ron White: Right now in my live show, I do a bit about giving a grizzly bear a rim job and a reach around. Now, I'm unoffendable, and I forget that everybody's not like that. And some people, even though it's obviously a joke, I have really never done that and never would unless the circumstances were just unbelievably extreme. I can't see myself doing it. But I got an e-mail the other day saying that they had no idea I was that kind of person. And I'm like, well, you know, "you're a f****** idiot." Because I'm not that kind of person...I've never had sex with animals--ever!

I'm really glad to hear that.

Ron White: Yeah. And I feel strongly about it.

Especially a grizzly bear. I mean, that would be setting yourself up for a fall.

Ron White: There's a reason they call them grizzly bears, I think. The way I'm developing the act...I actually have two current things: The live show I'm doing on stage now and what of that has been in a movie or on my last DVD, You Can't Fix Stupid, and what is fresh. And then in my Comedy Club sets, I just work on what is fresh and try to build that show as long as I can. I don't like to do burnt material on stage. Even though my crowd loves to hear me do old stuff, I don't like to do old stuff. So I do very, very little of it.

Right now I'm just desperately trying to create, to keep from doing anything off of those two last records, because they want me to do it, but they don't respond the same way to it, because if you know the joke, you know the joke, and it's not like singing them a hit song. Some of these stories, because I'm a story teller, are long. So when I start it, they'll cheer like crazy, then I got to drag them through a long story they already know. And with the punch lines, they might applaud to them instead of laugh, but it doesn't get me off.

That's another thing I was kind of wondering. Often the things that I personally think are just the funniest in the world and make me laugh so hard, are the things that when I tell them to other people, they just don't get it. So what is the disparity between your favorite jokes, the ones that you really love and the ones that work best on an audience?

Ron White: I'll give you an example. This is something that I've been trying to force-feed crowds for four weeks. Not in the theatres but in the Comedy Club. This good friend of mine's neighbor on one side of him, her father is a preacher that lives four doors down from him on the other side, and they live on a lake. He drives really nice cars and has these pretty lake houses, so you don't really figure he's on the up-and-up. He's doing something besides talking about Jesus, in my opinion.

Well, then one day after he had been keeping his grandson for two weeks, his daughter comes home to get the grandson and his a****** is bleeding and swollen, and she calls the police and accuses her father of child molestation. Now, you can see where it's not that funny of a setup, right? The humor that I see in it is that whether he f**** the kid, or under your supervision, he uncontrollably dug at his own a** until it appeared he'd been f*****--it's hard to pick one of those if you have to pick one. You might as well just say he f***** the kid. Well, nobody thinks this is funny but me. I just thought it was just hilarious that this kid had pinworms. That's what it turned out it was. He hadn't been f***** by his grandfather, he had pinworms. I mean, this kid had a case of angry-a** like nobody's business. So I thought there was serious fodder for humor in this, but so far, the crowd is not buying it.

I don't know...I agree with you, I think any kind of intestinal parasite is just hysterical.

Ron White: Absolutely. Pinworms? And besides that, who's doing pinworm humor?

I don't know, but...

Ron White: Nobody. This is going to come across fresh.

A friend of mine had a story about a three-year-old from Ecuador that his cousin adopted. One day, they were changing the baby's diaper, about a week after they got him, and took off the diaper and there were like three feet of white tapeworm flapping around in the air like something from a Cronenberg film. Mom screams and runs away from the kid and nobody would go near him--to pull the tapeworm out of him.

Ron White: Oh, that's got to be foul. So, was there more tapeworm in the kid's a**?

Yeah, they had to go and get it pulled out.

Ron White: (Laughter) That would do it for me. I would sell the kid!

I don't know what happened to that kid.

On David Cross's Web site, I read his letter to Larry the Cable Guy, which is obviously quite inflammatory, if you've read it. Now I think that, of course, he's entitled to say what he wants, especially in response to what Larry said about him. But it seems to me he's trying to start a feud and get some more attention. What do you think about that whole thing?

Ron White: I don't think Larry's taken the bait. It was Cross that said something first, and then Larry responded to him, and then he made a big response. That was actually the chronology of the events, the way I see it. It actually started with something Dave Cook said. Like somebody gives a f*** about that!

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be David Cross at this point. A very funny young man, but things aren't going quite as well for him as they are for Larry. If Larry wasn't a hugely successful comedian, of course David Cross wouldn't even have an opinion one way or the other. I would just worry about my own f****** career. That's what I would do. I wouldn't get caught up in some fevered high phony f****** debate about whether Larry's a good comedian or bad comedian. He f****** kills is what he does. He made more money than God last year, and Cross is frustrated by his inability to generate huge crowds and profits, I guess. I don't know him, and I'll also say I think he's funny.

When he's paying attention to actually telling jokes?

Ron White: Yeah. You're right. I see an act of desperation from a guy that's very frustrated, and it actually makes me smile and chuckle for no real reason.

[laugh] Alright. I noticed you dropping the "F" word a whole bunch during our conversation here, and I saw on your Web site that Wal-Mart is selling the censored version of your CD. What exactly is on that?

Ron White: Well, not much but a bunch of beeps. That was something the record company did that will assure they will not be my record company again. I did not want my record censored. My first one wasn't. Wal-Mart will put the DVD uncensored in their stores anyway. So, eventually, you're going to sell the same amount of stuff. It was ludicrous--they did it behind my back--and I'm livid mad about it. The people that buy them are also livid mad because when they see "censored," I guess they don't put together it's going to be a beep sound on it. It's ridiculous. There's no reason to do it. It was stupidity on their part.

Yeah, I would pretty much assume if I saw any comedy DVD with the word "censored" on it, that there would perhaps be about five minutes of actual material left on there.

Ron White: Right, it's just the "beep," and there's a "beep." It's ridiculous. It made me madder than anything that's ever happened in my career when they put out a censored version of my record when I explicitly told them not to. They did it out of pure greed and because they could. Because I didn't sign anything that said it had to go this way, you know, it was probably the one stone left unturned in the whole contract was they could do it if they wanted to. I just assumed because they were so interested in doing business with me that they would follow my wishes on it. They just didn't do it.

So you won't be doing business with them anymore?

Ron White: That I can assure you.

Well, good for you. I have to let you know, I will probably need to do a little bit of creative editing involving vocabulary on this interview.

Ron White: You do whatever you need to do, you've been adorable.

Well, thank you. You've been adorable, too, and it's been a real pleasure to talk to you. Is there anything else you want to say to the TV.com audience?

Ron White: Well, just that if you come see the live show, and I'm going to come back to San Francisco soon and play the Warfield again within the year, don't bring your kids!

I'm working, it's all out there, offensive or not. It's funny. Thanks very much for your time, and I hope to see you some day.

Ron White Biography

Rarely seen without a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other, comedian Ron White has had a career that has taken him from the cassette racks of truck stops to the world of stadiums and feature films -- but all the while they've called him "Tater Salad." The myth around the Fritch, TX, native's famous nickname has to do with a flippant remark made to an arresting police officer. He told the officer that he had once before broken the law under the sinister alias of "Tater Salad," the officer believed him, and it was forever on his arrest record. He later admitted that it was just something he picked up in the Navy, but he allows the myth to flourish since being a smart-ass has been central to his act since the mid-'90s, when he released a string of albums on Laughing Hyena, a label that catered to truck stops with their "Trucker Humor!"-labeled releases.

In 2000 he joined his longtime friends and fellow comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy on tour. The tour would become known as the Blue Collar Comedy tour and would play to sold-out audiences in over 90 cities by 2003. It was in 2003 that Drunk in Public, White's first CD outside the world of truck stops, was released on the Hip-O label. Two feature films and two albums for the Blue Collar troupe would also appear, but White would be the only member of the group to not participate in the Blue Collar TV series. Instead, he kept a busy schedule as a solo act, switched his on-stage smoke from cigarettes to cigars, starred in the short-lived variety television series The Ron White Show in 2005, and released the CD You Can't Fix Stupid on the Image label in 2006. The album wound up being nominated for a Grammy (Best Comedy Album), alongside Blue Collar's One for the Road.

Ron White Biography

For the last three and one half years Ron White has been performing with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry The Cable Guy on "The Blue Collar Comedy Tour". The show has played to sold out audiences in over 90 cities and has grossed over $15 million dollars. The "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" was filmed as major motion picture by Warner Bros. and released in theaters March 2003 and on DVD June 2003.

"The gem of the group is Ron White…he's a natural storyteller with a wry observational skill." -- Rodney Ho THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

"White's inspired comic mind finds a dozen sources of humor where the average comic would find only one or two, while making a fine art of the deadpan style." -- Robert Koehler DAILY VARIETY

When not performing with Blue Collar Ron is a regular headliner at comedy clubs and concert halls across the United States. He has performed on "An Evening at The Improv" and "Caroline's Comedy Hour". During his career Ron has performed with a number of acts as varied as Sam Kinison and George Jones. Ray-O-Vac and Georgia Pacific are some of the corporations Ron has performed for in the past year.

Ron appeared at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in 2001. Ron was voted "Best Act of the Friday Night Gala" by Anne Sutherland, he also scored "Best Joke" and "Artistic Impression" by Bill Brownstein, both of "The Gazette".

"Ron White Comedy Video - sheer genius. I'm coming back tomorrow night. I hope Ron White is too." George Balcan "The Gazette" Montreal

Having earned rave reviews in Montreal in 2001 Ron returned for the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival 2002. The Hollywood Reporter noted Ron earned "strong reviews" for his performances in the "Masters Show" and "Nasty Show" where he was featured with the likes of Robert Schimmel and Dave Attell. Ron also appeared at the 2002 Chicago Comedy Festival.

Ron appeared on "Late Night With David Letterman" in October 2002 and he appeared as part of Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" which aired in December. Ron also taped his own half-hour stand up special for Comedy Central Presents which aired May 2003. In March Ron starred in and shot a pilot for the FOX Network titled "Senor White".

"White, employs witty descriptions and dips his toes into questionable subject matter that he shouldn't be able to pull off but does." – Robert W. Butler The Kansas City Star.

Ron White: Behavioral Problems DVD/Video Description

Coming soon.

Ron White Comedy Video - You Can't Fix Stupid DVD/Video Description

Irreverent bad boy Ron White will crack you up with a nonstop stream of hilarious jokes and clever observations. As described by Daily Variety, "White's inspired comic mind finds a dozen sources of humor where the average comic would find only one or two." In this brand-new stand-up performance, he explores the pitfalls of marriage, offers some hysterically funny advice on picking a spouse and introduces the unforgettable "Squirrel Man," plus much more. A well-loved Comedy Central favorite, star of the popular DVD They Call Me "Tater Salad" and the bestselling CD Drunk in Public, this extraordinary comedian will keep you laughing till your sides ache!

Ron White Comedy Video - They Call Me Tater Salad DVD/Video Description

The Texas comic and co-star of Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie ponders the absurdity of fashionable eyewear ("Why do sunglasses cost more than a 25-inch TV?") and much else in the live performance Ron White: They Call Me Tater Salad. Looking as if he just woke up from a nap (or is on his third beer), White contemplates eros with the inarguable "You see one woman nekkid... you want to see them all nekkid." A veteran of hurricane country, he contemplates those idiots who insist they're strong enough to sit out big storms: "If you're hit by a Volvo, it doesn't matter how many sit-ups you did that morning." On wedding anniversaries: "Diamonds--that'll shut her up." Some of White's material is unnecessarily crude for such a clever guy, but the best stuff, including a funny monologue about his half-mad, deer-hunting cousin, makes up for it.

Product Description
One of the stars of the hit film Blue Collar Comedy Tour, The Movie, Ron White is the razor-sharp Texan who earned his reputation with his hilarious smart-talking. Now for those hungry for more laughs and White's unique perspectives on life, don't miss this talented comedian in one of his funniest stand-up performances ever!

Ron White's I Had the Right to Remain Silent...But I Didn't Have the Ability Book Description and Quotes

After years working as a journeyman comic, struggling from one gig to the next, Ron White-now known by fans (and law enforcement officials) as "Tater Salad"-struck gold with the Blue Collar Comedy phenomenon.

Here, Ron brings his unique brand of humor to the page, accompanied by hilarious illustrations by acclaimed cartoonist Matthew Schultz. For hardcore "Tater" fans and first-timers, this is Ron White at his very best. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover
"Ron White’s comedy is about as understated as a chainsaw, and twice as sharp."
—STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)

"White’s inspired comic mind finds a dozen sources of humor where the average comic would find only one or two, while making a fine art of the deadpan style."
—DAILY VARIETY

Blue Collar Comedy Tour 3-Pack DVD/Video Description

Coming soon.

Ron White Live Tour/Show Schedule

Apr 17 8:00 pm Tucson, AZ
Apr 18 None Grand Ronde, OR
Apr 23 None Tulsa, OK 1 person
Apr 24 None Oklahoma City
Apr 27 None Great Falls, MT
Apr 28 None Helena, MT
Apr 29 None Billings, MT
Apr 30 None Bismarck, ND
May 1 None Fargo, ND
May 2 None Sioux Falls, SD
May 3 None Rapid City, SD
May 8 7:30 pm Portland
May 8 10:30 pm Portland
May 9 None Portland
May 15 None Shelton, WA

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