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Bill Engvall Shares Shocking Truth Behind Retirement

Blue Collar Comedy alum opens up about today's woke comedy crowds

Bill Engvall is no Ricky Gervais, and that’s not an insult to either stand-up star.

The legendary comic, part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, doesn’t traffic in controversial material or serve up gags that might make audiences squirm.

His humor is Middle America-approved, a collection of heartfelt tales goosed by his wit and wisdom.

And, after 42 years on the road, Engvall has decided to call it a career.

Bill Engvall: Here’s Your Sign It’s Finally Time It’s My Last Show,” courtesy of Comedy Dynamics, lets the 66-year-old stand-up go out on his own terms.

One of those terms may surprise his biggest fans.

Bill Engvall: Here Is Your Sign It's Finally Time It's My Last Show (OFFICIAL TRAILER)

Engvall opened up about the reasons behind his retirement on the “Stand-Up World” podcast, hosted by former Hollywood in Toto guest Mike Binder.

The soft-spoken comic told Binder he feared he might suffer a similar fate as beloved comic Bob Saget did in 2022 at the age of 65.

“That was a big deal to me because Bobby was one of the first comics I ever worked with .. he took me under his wing. When we lost him, I thought, ‘This was not good,’ Engvall said. “I told my wife, one of my biggest fears was dying on the road.”

Engvall also wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, which is understandable given his relentless tour schedule over the decades.

Bill Engvall | EP 54 | Stand-Up World Podcast

Something else has been nagging at him, though, and it’s a topic that’s all too familiar to many modern comics.

Today’s audiences are too eager to be offended … even by a genial comic like Engvall.

Yes, even the famously clean comic has felt the sting of woke crowds, and it’s one reason he’s hanging up his microphone.

“If I had to start over today, I don’t think I’d make it,” Engvall told Binder. “The audiences are different now, society has changed … it used to be that stand-up was the release valve. People came to a show to have a great time after a bad day or whatever. Now, it seems like people go to shows just hoping you’re going to say something that offends them so they can be a part of the show and holler out. I just don’t wanna do that. I just wanna do my stand-up.”

RELATED: WHAT IS CANCEL CULTURE AND WHY SHOULD ARTISTS FEAR IT?

Binder countered that’s even more reason for Engvall to keep on going.

“There’s such a need for good comedians to tell stories about this era of life,” Binder said, paying his peer a profound compliment.

Engvall thanked Binder and noted that his retirement plans could come with an asterisk.

“If somebody comes up with stupid money, they’ll probably get a Bill Engvall show,” he said, smiling, before doubling down on his retirement thoughts.

“The road takes years off your life.”

9 Comments

  1. Dear Mr. Engvall,
    We are not promised a future. Life today in America is moving quickly down the garden path of chaos. Take the time to be all you can be as a man, a husband, father, grandfather, friend. We older citizens miss good comedy, but know people have become self-oriented. Perhaps you could consider mentoring younger comedians or getting together with the blue collar crew to talk; hate the word seminar, with up and coming comedians. Just a thought. May healing and health be yours, may grace and mercy guide you. Be well. Be safe. Smile.

    Sincerely,
    Jean Preble
    Minnesota
    (P.S. we share a birthday.)

    1. Wow. I think yours is the best comment I’ve read in ages. Thoughtful and constructive, and packed full of wisdom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Except Saget wasn’t cancelled. It’s okay not to want to tour anymore, but invoking “cancel culture” is getting so tired. Comedy has evolved to a place where you can indeed get away with so much, see: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My guess is that Bill has a few unfunny bits about trans kids he was working on and would rather die a martyr to the culture-war right.

    I say: good going Bill! Make room for some younger comics.

  3. Til this day I just dont understand why the lgbtq community feel like they should be off limits or different than any of the other marginalized groups he jokes about.There is absolutely, no data feom the FBI or DOJ linking comedic jokes directly to violence againts gay & trans people. Thats a fact. I dont see any of you calling him an idiot for joking about the violence perpretrated against Chris Rock. I didnt hear any of you complaining when he joked about mormons & quakers. Also no complaints when he joked about R. Kelly and Nichael Jackaon molesring kids. it really all just proves his & Chris Rocks point about selective outrage & the hypocrisy of it all.

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