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The Villages
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Comedian Bill Engvall brings plenty of laughs to show at The Sharon

Bill Engvall is proof that you can’t judge a comedian by the color of his collar.

The man who came to fame on the Blue Collar Comedy tours and videos showed he is far more than just another regular guy Thursday during two sold out shows at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.

Engvall possesses an easy-going charm, soft Texas drawl and rapier wit. He works clean, avoids politics and, most of all, offers rare insight into the human condition.

Engvall is thoughtful and literate in a way that connects with real people, even though he lives in an alternate comic universe.

Bill Engvall

Comedians are like “aliens from a different planet,” Engvall said, wearing a light grey jacket to go with a dark shirt and slacks and pair of gray sneakers. “I look at life through a different lens. That’s how I get my material.”

That material included Engvall riffs on cell phones, dishwashers, cats, corndogs, veterinarians, Home Depot, Golden Corral, nose hairs, garage sales, building a house, his wife’s menopause and – yes – even The Villages.

“They should have a television show here and call it, ‘Pimp My Golf Cart,’” Engvall cracked early on.

Bill Engvall does his stand-up act at The Sharon.

Then it was on to cell phones, which he called, “the death of society. I hope you enjoyed your lives, because now they are over.

“My 85-year old mother just learned how to text. I heard in the middle of the night on my phone: Ding (and the message read): Is it working? Ding: It’s Mom. Ding: Is it working?”

Engvall went on to say Mom sent him 75 texts that night.

Then there is his wife Gail. The couple has been married 35 years. And everything was cool until menopause entered the picture.

“They call it menopause; I call it hell,” Engvall said.  “Fellas, look at that word: men and pause. And you better pause, because if you say something wrong, you’re going to pay for it.”

It happened when Engvall put the wrong dish in the wrong place in the dishwasher. He added that his wife was more than a little disturbed. He unleashed “the wrath of Satan. I almost got my eye gouged out with an icepick,” he said with laughing exaggeration.

Then, the couple saw a mouse in the barn. “I wanted to get a mouse trap. My wife wanted a kitten.” So, Engvall brought home four free kittens. Eventually, they made their way from the barn into the house and the bedroom.

“I had to have each of them fixed at the vet for $100 a piece,” Engvall said. Then, one got lost, and Engvall not only had to pay a $100 reward for its return, but he had to go out in a field and find it.

Villagers Josephine and Mike Lepore are fans of Bill Engvall.

Engvall told how his wife snores and breathes funny at night. “It sounds like the soundtrack from ‘The Walking Dead.’”

“It’s not me, you’re the one who snores,” his wife told him.

Such true life tales endear Engvall to his fans.

“I like his blue collar humor, but it’s more than that,” said Villager George Lucore. “Bill Engvall is not highbrow, but he’s not lowbrow. He makes you think.”

Shirley Lucore added: “He is clean and you aren’t embarrassed going to see him. He makes you laugh at life.”

These Villagers were part of a sell-out crowd that went to see Bill Engvall. From left, Shirley and John Iorio, George and Shirley Lucore, Dottie and Tery O’Brien.

Engvall, 60, has been a comedic force for nearly four decades. He has appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and the animated series “Bounty Hunters.” He had his own sitcom on TBS and has had several hit comedy albums.

But it was the Blue Collar Comedy Tour – along with Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy – that turned him into a star.

“I really liked all those guys; they were so special and so diverse,” said Villager Mike Lepore, who attended the show with his wife, Josephine.

“Bill Engvall is a consummate professional on stage,” Mike added. “He’s a big-time comic and it’s great to be able to see him in The Villages.”

Promoters Joe and Fatima Bamford brought Bill Engvall to The Villages.

It wasn’t easy to bring Engvall here.

“It took three years but tonight we got him,” said Joe Bamford. He and his wife, Fatima, run Get Off The Bus Concerts, which promotes shows here that raise money for charity. Engvall’s shows benefited Cornerstone Hospice in The Villages.

“We just feel good to be able to help them,” Fatima Bamford said. “It’s great that so many tickets were sold.”

“I knew he would be a hit here, because people love Bill Engvall,” Joe Bamford said.

He makes people laugh, as Engvall told about the time he had to make an emergency stop at Golden Corral so his wife could use the bathroom.

Engvall said his wife told him to ask a clerk for the menu, pretending to look for something to eat, then they could leave after she was done. Golden Corral has just about everything and Engvall wound up asking a 17-year old woman at the register for oysters.

“I have to get the manager,” she replied.

Next thing, the manager shows up and says, “You’re Bill Engvall!” So Engvall confessed he was just making a stop for his wife to use the bathroom. Apparently it happens a lot.

“Welcome to my world,” the manager replied.

So it goes for Bill Engvall, who – by the way – cherishes his wife, Gail. “I love her and I wouldn’t be on this stage tonight if it wasn’t for her,” he said. “She just lets me be me.”

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