Three of the four members of the original members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour have reunited for a 10th anniversary retrospective and concert to air in March on CMT.
A one-hour retrospective “True Blue: Ten Years of Blue Collar Comedy” will be followed by the live interview/comedy show, “Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny” on March 13, hosted by Jaime Pressly (”My Name is Earl”). Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy will recall their favorite Blue Collar comedy moments and play memorable clips from the tours. And they’ll do a little improv at the end, like they used to do on the original tour.
A decade ago, Alpharetta’s own Foxworthy, already a huge comic, was inspired to start the Blue Collar Comedy Tour after seeing the success of the Kings of Comedy. That tour featured the late Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Steve Harvey.
Foxworthy brought in three lesser-known comics and the tour became a phenomenon, selling out theaters across the country. The humor was mostly genial and observational, with a Southern drawl that appealed to a broad between-the-coasts audience.
In some ways, Blue Collar became even bigger than the Kings of Comedy, generating a multi-year concert run, a movie, nearly 10 million in DVD sales and a TV show. Larry the Cable Guy became a massive arena act. Engvall nabbed his own TV show on TBS, which lasted three seasons. Foxworthy became host of the now syndicated CMT show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” White wrote a best-selling book and has continued to be a headlining comic in theaters.
Why is White, a part-time Suwanee resident, not part of the reunion concert? His manager Kathy Nelson today told me he opted because because “his comedy has gone in a different direction.” White has always been the edgiest of the four comics and it sounds like it’s only gotten bluer over time. White didn’t want to water down his material for the Blue Collar audiences expecting the more PG/PG-13 stylings of the other three.
White did do interviews for the retrospective. “He’s still friends with the guys,” Nelson said. “He had lunch with Foxworthy two weeks ago.” She said he hopes to be at the Fox Theatre this fall.
I reviewed the original “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” movie a few years back and the DVD actually used a segment of my review as a blurb on the cover. (You might be able to barely discern my name on the cover on the top left corner of this blog entry.)
I’ll write more about the specials when I get the screeners closer to the day of the airing.