Thanks to his trademark (and, at times, constricting) redneck material, a hugely successful book (No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!) and high-profile but unsuccessful stabs at TV sitcoms, Foxworthy is the star here with his gentle but all-too-true observations on white-trash culture. Listen to most any of his depictions of Denny's-eatin' folk, and you'll probably know at least one person who fits the description. But despite the aw-shucks persona and authentic Southern drawl, Foxworthy is no idjit; he is a skilled stand-up with a keen sense of timing. Although he'd rather follow the career course of ex-stand-ups Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld than the narrow-shtick route that imprisoned Andrew "Dice" Clay, the supremely disciplined Georgia boy has managed to expand his one joke into a miniature multimedia empire.
With his ubiquitous presence on CMT and TNN, Galveston native Bill Engvall taps into the same humorous vein, albeit more the country music/NASCAR race-fan set than the beer-can-shooting/porch-squatting faction. (Yes, there is a fine distinction.) He scored a huge hit with the song "Here's Your Sign," which spent ten weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1996. On TV he had supporting roles on the sitcoms Designing Women and Delta, as well as on Foxworthy's show.
Anticipating a huge audience for laughing with -- and at -- the trailer-park crowd, the producers have booked the tour for a two-night stand at the Aerial Theater. If they stock the concession stands with any of them fancy imported suds, let's hope they have plenty of single-packet portions of Red Man on hand to placate the crowd.
The Blue Collar Comedy Tour is Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 25, at 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Aerial Theater. Tickets are $29.50 and $37.50. Call (713)629-3700 for more information.