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.
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.
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.”
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.”