Ron White is unquestionably the “rebel” figure of the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe - and undoubtedly its edgiest member, too. This is evident based on his body of work starting from his first ever release in 1990, “Tater Salad aka. Busted in Des Moines”, up until his latest offering in 2012, entitled “A Little Unprofessional”. His star peaked following the critically acclaimed and commecially successful Blue Collar Comedy Troupe tour with fellow comics Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy, but it continues to burn brightly thanks to his stellar performances in his recent releases.
The notoriety he has gained from his edgy humor has in fact gotten him into a smattering of appearances on TV and the silver screen, and is recognized as one of Texas’ greatest comic heroes - just ask Rep. Joe Driver who in 2009 declared a day in celebration of Ron White himself. You can’t get any bigger than that, can you? But White forges on with his trademark humor seeking to do just that and in his own impeccable and unmistakable way: with a glass of Scotch on the side and a cigarette on the other hand.
Foxworthy, Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy continued their partnership without White and remain commercially successful as “Them Idiots Whirled Tour”, while Ron White flourishes on his own as a solo act, telling about his hilarious anecdotes on the road as much as his classic routines that still enthrall and amaze audiences all over the world. Though the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe may no longer exist, it will be of solace to their fans that they have left on good and mature terms, and as the old saying goes, time will tell if they should ever reunite again.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss the ways why Ron White left the group in the first place and examine his reasons why.
1. Differing Tastes, Differing Styles
It was evident from the get go that Ron White’s style and tastes in humor is different in terms of flavor and edge towards Engvall, Foxworthy, and Larry’s - it just seemed that his provocative humor was not a fit for the image that the Blue Collar gang was trying to project. Needless to say, the show goes on for the three remaining members touring under a different name, while White happily goes his own way content in the fact that his friends make good money while he does something more fulfilling to his career as a comic. After all, his rowdy image and his persona seemed the least in line with the clean, good old Southern humor of the three, and thus they all came to a decision to agree to break up without White for him to get the leeway to do his own thing. And as fans, all the better for us. You just can’t compare, for instance, the humor of Larry the Cable Guy and his now famous skit at the St. Paul International Airport where he finds out that the TSA usually prefer wheeled baggage to check for, acting like a yokel, and Ron White’s more mature, raunchy, and dare I say it - sophisticated humor from his latest release. Not even close.
2. Seeking More Fulfillment As An Artist
White’s tastes in humor has simply just moved towards other things and away from bathroom humor and semen jokes - his humor was always tailored towards the R-18 crowd, so he was always better off going his own way than watering down his act just to project that same image that he never was about anyway. It is a common lament and has been the cause of why bands break up, and we can’t really blame someone who wants to do that.
3. No To Rehashing Old Stuff
White sees every performance as a proving ground for his new material - he barely scratches the surface of his latest release when he does shows. And when you’re in a group like the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe, many fans will be expecting you to do all the old stuff you used to do, because that’s what many people pay for - no one wants to see the Rolling Stones reform to hear “Anybody Seen My Baby”….what people want is for them to hear “Satisfaction”. Unfortunate as it is, that’s the reality, so White did himself a favor by catering to his true audience who knows his style on stage.
4. Touring Takes A Strain On The Body
Yes, there are plenty of creature comforts now in travel than there ever was - hell, nowadays people have different sorts of baggages depending on where they are going, compared to the old days. White is 53 and not getting any younger, and as we all know, once you hit a certain age, you start to tire more easily. Leaving the rigors of a tour will allow White to focus on his material and his core audience, who will turn out to see him regardless of where he goes.
The Blue Collar Comedy Troupe may be done for now, but its leading lights still shine brightly - their fans should count their blessings and enjoy the plethora of new material and appearances they are doing.