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When I told a story, it’d be funny. I could watch a car wreck and tell the story and it’d be funny. I’ve been like that all of my life so I just parlayed that into this career. I’m a one trick pony, my friend.”


One of the talents that White developed as he grew older was not only the ability to cuss, but to cuss properly, not gratuitously but with distinc- tion.


“I weave a tapestry of curse words when I’m onstage and I think I’m good at it,” says White. “I’m just true to my nature and naturally I cuss a lot. You got to be gifted.”


Back in the 1960s and 70s, other than a few country comedians seen on TV shows like “Hee Haw” or the funny guy or girl found in a traveling music group, there were not many touring standup comedians of a blue collar nature. Even so, White was influenced by all kinds of comedi- ans while growing up.


“Jerry Clower was pretty prominent, especially in the South,” says White. “I loved him. I had an uncle that had all of his albums and would let me listen to them. But I also listened to Andy Griffith. I had an Andy Griffith record when I was a kid called ‘What It Was, Was Football,’ a great record. And then, Bob Newhart and Cosby all of the way up to (Sam) Kenison and (Bill) Hicks with all of them in-between. I’ve been a fan of comedy for years.”


White worked hard to make it in the early part of his standup comedy career, and did find some success. But when he hooked up with the Blue Collar Comedy troupe, everything hit big. To his credit, he ran with his new-found fame and his solo work propelled him up to his own unique perch on the comedy circuit. Now that he is a certified star, White is appreciative of his accom- plishments.


“I never really considered success,” said White. “I thought I was already successful when I was headlining comedy clubs. Even though I was standing right next to Foxworthy when he blew up, I never really thought it would happen for me so it caught me with more surprise than it caught everybody.”


40


As one might expect, life changes quickly when fame and fortune strikes.


“If I’m not holding a cigar or wearing a suit, usually if I just keep walking, I’ll hear, ‘That’s Ron White,’” says White. “But if I stand still, then they’ll come pester me. But if I keep walking, it’s ok. I mean, it’s just what it is. You pray to the universe to make you a famous comedian and there are a lot of things that come with it. And those things are fine. I love it. I don’t mind when people ask me for autographs, as long as they don’t want to tell me a joke. You kind of give up on being anonymous. But where I live in California, I live in Mendocino, nobody there has any idea who I am. The working folks, they are like, ‘Hey man, we’re big fans.’ The other people out there are so rich that the only time they laugh is when somebody who fucked them over in the past dies. Southern California is 70 degrees every day, 365 days a year, so that’s the only reason to live there. The climate is fantastic and I play a lot of golf. If I have any significant time off, I go out to the other coast, especially in the winter. But it is no different. I travel and I write now more than I ever have.”


White is known for the axiom, “You can’t fix stupid,” although he isn’t tied to the line like some other comedians are joined at the hip with their particular slogan.


“That’s not really a catch phrase like ‘Get ‘er done’ or ‘You might be a redneck,’” says White.”It’s just a title to a record. But it’s just a funny line. I see it in print all of the time. People will use it and sometimes they quote me and sometimes they don’t.”


Part of being popular and famous is being able to hang out with other well-known artists who are making their mark. While White often runs around in country music circles these days, southern rock is his true love.


“When I was growing up, I really didn’t envi- sion myself hanging around famous musicians,” said White. “I get to meet a lot of people. I know the boys from Rascal Flatts really well. I know a lot of the guys that do country music. But I’m kind of a rock guy, myself. The only band that matters to me is the Allman Brothers. I have a theory that there are two kinds of music; the


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