For veteran comedian Ron White, stand up has never been a stepping stone to the small (or big) screen.
Despite the occasional TV or movie appearance, White has kept his focus on what he loves most — his live act.
Christmas is all about giving. And Golden Nugget’s “Xmas in July” is no different. With the …
“I’m a stand-up comic,” says White, who appears 8 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Showroom at Tropicana Atlantic City. “I’m not doing it so I can get somewhere else. It’s who I’m supposed to be.”
Having scored his breakthrough nearly two decades ago as part of the hit Blue Collar Comedy Tour (which also featured Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy), White continues to enjoy headliner status.
In addition to appearing in several “Blue Collar” movies, he has released four solo DVDs, most recently “A Little Unprofessional” in 2012, and six recordings. He is also the author of the 2006 bestseller, “I Had the Right to Remain Silent, But I Didn’t Have the Ability.”
While he may be best known for his early work with The Hollies and blending his voice into t…
White talks about doing comedy in the age of Trump, whether he would ever reunite with his Blue Collar cohorts and his preference for stand up above all else.
Question: How do you prepare for a show?
Answer: I do a big shot of tequila, listen to some loud rock ’n’ roll, walk on the stage and keep talking.
Q: So you’re not the type of comedian who keeps a notebook full of material?
A: I don’t own a notebook and never have. But I also record everything I do. I rarely watch it, but I always record it. If I worked harder, I might pay attention to it.
Q: What’s it like doing comedy in the age of Trump?
A: It was my conscious decision to just do a performance and not get on a soapbox about my political views. I felt like I owed it to my fans who pay to see me in these very tumultuous times to make them laugh. My fans are dead-split in the middle, and I’m wrong all the time. I don’t pretend I know something you don’t know.
Q: So no Trump jokes for you?
A: I did a couple of things that were just funny — easy stuff — as far as Trump-bashing. That’s really low-hanging fruit, and I think my fans appreciate it. I can make them laugh as hard as they want and as long as I want to do it and that’s what they paid for.
Q: The Blue Collar Comedy Tour put you on the map. Is there any chance you would want to do another edition?
A: Never say never. I’m proud of it. We broke every record there was in comedy. It was easily the biggest tour anyone’s ever considered. The movie sold millions of copies, and made us all wealthy and famous.
Q: But you didn’t sign up to be a regular for the TV version?
A: It wasn’t my thing. I think they’re all amazing comics, and if they weren’t, it wouldn’t have been as big a deal as it was, and I wouldn’t be here.
Something has to happen to make you famous. My fame comes from stand up. I’m not as famous as those guys, but I have a huge fan base, and I can still sell tickets.
Q: Sounds like you won’t ever stray too far from the stage?
A: Right now, I’m having a blast doing stand up. I’m kind of an elder statesman. My peers respect me and like me. I can hold my head up high.
I’ve done the reps for literally 30 years and over 13,000 live shows — with no short cuts.
Comedian savors stint with the ‘Roadies’
It takes a special screen project to get Ron White off the road long enough to take part.
The role of Phil, a longtime road manager for a band, in the 2016 Showtime series, “Roadies,” fit the bill for him.
“What an amazing experience,” he says. “I loved the role — my road manager, who was one of my best friends, was dying of cancer at the time. It was a chance to be him in a role.
“(Creator) Cameron (Crowe) got things out of me as an actor that I didn’t think anyone would.”
Although the series didn’t get renewed, it didn’t really impact White.
“I was dead anyway, because they killed my character,” he says.