Ron White knew he was funny; he just wasn’t expecting to make a living at it. It was 1986, and a comedy club had just opened down the street from where he worked. “My friend went to open mic night and came back and said, ‘You are funnier than these guys. You’ve got to get onstage,’” said White. And he did. It just so happened Jeff Foxworthy was headlining that week. “He saw me perform and he came up to me and said, ‘You are funny, but you need to put the punchline at the end of the joke.’ That is just how generous he is. He didn’t know me, but he still gave me good advice” said White, who took Foxworthy’s words to heart and got serious about what it takes toto deliver a joke. Later, White toured with Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable guy on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. According to White it was an act of kindness on Foxworthy’s part. Now, White is an actor, an author and owner of a tequila company, but his favorite job by far is still making people laugh. He’ll be onstage at the Crown March 4. For an entire evening of fun. Anstead’s Tobacco will make a night of it with a pre-show party, the live Ron White performance and an after-party. The Pre-Show Party runs from 5-6:30 p.m. and includes drink specials, door prizes and more. The after-party starts at 9 p.m. and runs until midnight.
Even though he’s been at it for three decades, White says it’s not too hard to find things to laugh about. “Sometimes, it just falls in your lap. Other times you have to go out and find it … then you have to get onstage,” he said. “Get in front of as many crowds as you can and start developing it.” And that’s not too hard for him to do, either — at least when he isn’t touring. When he is home in L.A., it’s not unusual for White to perform three shows a night several nights a week. It keeps him sharp, and it’s what he loves. “Well, if you are going to be a painter, you’d better paint. I am a better comedian when I am a comedian every day,” he said. “Besides, my wife will tell you I am way less grouchy when I am doing stand up.”
As a comic, connecting with an audience can be the deciding factor in whether a night is a success. North to South and from Europe to Canada, White finds that people have more in common than you might expect. “Most people think you would have to fine tune your act, but I talk about the human condition,” said White. “And that doesn’t vary. We aren’t all that different. We all have to get up and do things we don’t want to do. We all have to feed ourselves and often other people, too. We face the same issues every day no matter where we live. We just aren’t that different.”
At 60 years old, White jokes that his brain is a combination of a lazy Susan and a colander — always spinning and leaky, but he has no intention of stopping any time soon.
“I am a comedian. As long as people stay interested in what I have to say, I will keep doing this. It has been a wonderful run. I love my fans, and I will work hard for them if they keep showing up.”
Tickets to Anstead’s Ron White Night cost $69 and include the preshow party at Ansteads, the Ron White show at the Crown and the after-party at Anstead’s. Call (910) 391-3859 for more information about this event. To purchase ticket to just the Ron White show at the Crown, visit http://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/ron-white.