Bill Engvall

Born in Galveston, Texas, Bill Engvall was a nightclub DJ in Dallas until the call to comedy became too strong to deny. After startling amateur-night audiences at several local clubs and a brief stint in St. Louis, Engvall arrived in Los Angeles in 1990. He hosted the Pair of Jokers cable special with Rosie O'Donnell and also appeared on Evening at the Improv and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 1992, he was awarded Best Male Standup at the American Comedy Awards, and moved into sitcom TV with an appearance on Designing Women and a regular role on the short-lived Delta. Signed to Warner Bros. in 1996, Engvall released his countrified debut album, Here's Your Sign -- also the title of his most famed bit -- in 1996. A tour with like-minded everyman comic Jeff Foxworthy was next; that in turn led to a part on Foxworthy's sitcom that was as brief as the show itself. The Dorkfish LP followed in 1998, and Engvall saw both it and his debut achieve gold record status. His seasonal effort, Here's Your Christmas Album, appeared that same year. In mid-2000, Engvall released Now That's Awesome and embarked on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, again with Foxworthy, and also with two other comics they'd recruited, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White. The quartet's act proved to be very popular, and the tour continued over the next several years, spawning several albums, a movie, and a cable television show along the way. Despite Blue Collar's collective success, Engvall continued releasing material on his own as well. Cheap Drunk: An Autobiography appeared in 2002, followed a year later by album number six, Here's Your Sign Reloaded. A roundup of some of Engvall's best material was released in the fall of 2004, entitled A Decade of Laughs, before his next all-new album, 15° Off Cool, surfaced in February 2007. Aged and Confused followed in 2009. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour wound down after the departure of Ron White, but in 2012 Engvall joined Foxworthy and Larry for the tour and album Them Idiots Whirled Tour. In 2013 the comedian became a contestant on the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars, while 2014 saw the release of the career retrospective Ultimate Laughs. ~ Johnny Loftus

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