Jeff Foxworthy picks Ron White’s brain at Punchline for SiriusXM Channel 97

Jeff Foxworthy (right) interviews Ron White at the Punchline for his Comedy Roundup channel 97 on Sirius XM set to air on October 4, 2017. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This was posted on Monday, October 2, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Jeff Foxworthy, who hosts a weekly show “A Comic Mind” on his SiriusXM Comedy Roundup channel 97, taped his first live radio show with an audience at the Punchline Comedy Club in Buckhead recently featuring his buddy Ron White.

It’s set to air on SiriusXM Wednesday, October 4 at 6 p.m. with repeats on Saturday, October 7 (4 p.m.) and Sunday, October 8 (7 p.m.) and on demand on the SiriusXM app and online.

Foxworthy, the veteran 59-year-old comic, has known 60-year-old White since White’s debut performance on stage 31 years ago. In 2000, the Alpharetta resident started what would become the wildly successful Blue Collar Comedy Tour, propelling both White and Larry the Cable Guy (Daniel Whitney) into big-time stardom.

Over an hour and 20 minutes, White traced his career in comedy and gave full credit to Foxworthy for helping him get to this point in his life 17 years later with lush homes in Beverly Hills and Suwanee. And Foxworthy recalled his first bit of advice to White after his first four minutes of material.

“Man, you’re really funny but you need to say the punchline at the end of the joke!”

Indeed, Foxworthy is known for helping other comics structure jokes all the time. Sure, he can’t make them naturally funny but he can help make them funnier. And White praised Foxworthy’s basic generosity because White had no idea what career path would work for him.

“I have attention deficit disorder,” White said. “Muscle control issues with my eyes that kept me from reading. I didn’t know what else I was doing to do.”

“You were installing windows when I met you,” Foxworthy said. “You had windows in your pick-up truck!”

My interview with Ron White earlier this year about ‘Roadies,’ tequila

Here are a few highlights gleaned from the hour about White:

As a child: “I was a funny kid, a really cutting edge sense of humor for a four year old. The teachers were not amused by it.”

Who inspired White: “My Uncle Charlie was a Southern Baptist preacher. He would always get laughs. You can hear his pace and my pace are very similar. All my relatives bring it up. I learned a lot watching him. But I never thought of comedy as a career in Texas. They don’t talk a lot about the arts on career day… As a young adult, I couldn’t figure out how to make a living out of it. I didn’t have any illusion I’d ever be a famous comedian.”

Opening for the now late comic Sam Kinison: White recounted after having a good opening set, Kinison offered him a bump of cocaine before going on stage. “Then he fakes a heart attack. Nobody believes it but me. I was about to stick my tongue down his throat, then he came alive. He hops up, goes out and bam, bam, bam, murders the crowd.”

Ron White with his new French bulldog Mustard. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

A line White uttered that Foxworthy liked so much, he wrote it down: “Some of my worst moments in life were gold!”

Huge fan: Foxworthy supported White from day one. He’d have White open for him and he’d talk him up every chance he could get. “He always believed in my talent,” White said. “But not my work ethic.” Then he added, “It was his goal to make me a famous comedian but it truly sucked for him. It took him f**king forever!” Foxworthy retorted: “You didn’t make it easy. You lived in Mexico at one point and got into the pottery business. You had to come across the border and I had to pick you up!” But he was honest when he said,” I knew for a long time how funny he was. America didn’t know how funny he was.”

Practice, practice, practice: White loves to practice his craft on comedy stages almost ever night. Beverly Hills is more convenient and he often hits three clubs in one night. In Atlanta, he will have a driver take him from his home in Suwanee to Midtown and Little Five Points. There, he likes to come test jokes at the Star Bar and Laughing Skull Lounge. In L.A., his favorite is the Comedy Factory. “I feel like it’s important for me to be part of the comedy community,” he said. “When I’m in town, nobody goes with me. I go by myself. I just hang out with other comedians and be a comedian.”

DVD sales: After the first Blue Collar Comedy tour ended, he said he had only used a 10 minutes of material on the tour, plus his infamous Tater Salad story. “Now that is a perfect storm. I had just gotten famous without burning material! I’ve got a whole booming hour and a half act nobody had ever seen before. My [Fox] sitcom didn’t get picked up. I was back in Omaha making $3,500 a week [after the tour ended.] I had a bigger name. I had been making $1,800 a week. That was a big step.” Then the DVD of the tour came out and it began selling. He booked an 800-seater by Gwinnett Arena and his manager thought that was too large, saying he’d be lucky to sell out one show. He sold out nine shows. Instead of making $3,500, he pocketed $91,000. And his bank account was never the same – in a good way.

No tolerance for hecklers at big shows: “If I have, 2,700 people who are out there to be entertained and paid a bunch of money, what’s the point of outsmarting a heckler? It’s like playing ping pong with a chicken!”

His estrangement with his (supposed) wife Margo Rey: A fan asked him about his break up and he kept it brief: “I’m separated.” And he noted, it’s “not overly pretty.” Indeed, TMZ has been all over it. The website a few days ago noted that he believes they never were legally married because she refused to sign a pre-nup. She said it was a “common law” marriage.

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 20: Comdians Ron White and Jeff Foxworthy onstage during the ‘A Comic Mind’ event at The Punchline Comedy Club on September 20, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

COMEDY PREVIEW

“A Comic Mind” with Jeff Foxworthy interviewing Ron White

Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup, Channel 97, SiriusXM

October 4, 6 p.m.

October 7, 4 p.m.

October 8, 7 p.m.

Will also be available on the SiriusXM app and online on demand

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