A successful comedian from the state of Texas, Bill Engvall is best known for his "here's your sign" jokes, in which he states that people who ask stupid questions should be given signs so that you know they're stupid. Of course, he has a snappy rejoinder to the stupid questions asked of him.Engvall rose to prominence in the 1990s alongside fellow comedian, close friend and labelmate Jeff Foxworthy. The two experienced a second wind of popularity when they partnered with Larry The Cable Guy and Ron White to form the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He had his own sitcom, The Bill Engvall Show, which aired on TBS for three seasons. The show co-starred Nancy Travis and Jennifer Lawrence.Also like Foxworthy, Engvall has added game show host to résumé: he took over as the host of GSN's Lingo on June 6, 2011.
Tropes present in Engvall's work:
Album Title Drop: Inverted; most of his albums are named for punchlines appearing on them.
Anti Christmas Song: "Here's Your Sign Christmas," set to the tune of "Jingle Bells" and interspersed with Christmas-themed "Here's your sign" jokes. His Christmas album zig-zags this, as it contains a few truly sentimental songs interspersed with the likes of "A Gift That She Don't Want" and "Fruitcake Makes Me Puke". (Despite his name being on the album, the songs are largely sung by studio vocalists, with Bill's comedy bits mixed in.)
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Referenced in a sketch about parent-teacher conferences. The teacher asks if there's a history of ADD in the family, and Bill says "Yes, we add, subtract, multiply... why are you spelling it?" His wife then says, "M-O-R-O-N. She means attention deficit disorder." And by that point, Bill is looking out the window at birds.
Borrowed Catch Phrase: One of the Blue Collar Comedy albums has the other three comedians each telling a "here's your sign" joke of their own.
Similarly, in one of the shows, Bill tells one of Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck..." jokes. Specifically, "If you've ever opened a beer at a funeral, you might be a redneck." When someone asks if that actually happened, he claimed his Uncle Jack did it. However, he later said that his Uncle Jack told him to take it back because it wasn't at the funeral, it was at the benediction.
Brick Joke: On the Dorkfish album, he laughs at the fact that some places sequestered smokers to their own rooms. Later, he said that he always wondered how lions know which is the weakest zebra. He figured that there's a snitch in the herd who always tells the lion who's the weakest. Cue him imagining that said zebra singles out the smoker as the weakest.
Butt Monkey: Bill's wife, Gail, is the butt of many of his jokes almost as much as... well as Bill himself.
His kids, particularly his son, are not exempt from the trope, either.
Call Back: A feature of his longer routines. Frequently takes the form of an Unusual Euphemism introduced early in the show which becomes the go-to term in later stories.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Bill himself, by his own admission. Which explains how he went to "Vicodinland" on half a pill and a 'Bahama Mama.'
Fetish Retardant: invoked Invoked in one skit, where he questions why anyone would consider spanking a turn-on. he then mentions that he knows he could never seriously ask his wife to spank him, because being a mom, she would say, "what did you do wrong?"
Fun with Acronyms: According to one skit, he thinks Spam stands for "Stuff Posing As Meat". He also says that RV doesn't mean "recreational vehicle", it stands for "ruins vacations".
Gargle Blaster: Apparently, Bahama Mama + Vicodin = drunk parasailing.
Heroic BSOD: A few. One of the more notable one is when his wife asks him on the way home from his son's baseball practice to pick up 'feminine products' for his daughter.
Bill: I'm not in right now… If you'll leave your name and number — Bill's wife: Bill?! Bill:Please don't make me do this.
Hidden Track: On Here's Your Christmas Album, a rock version of the earlier song "Fruitcake Makes Me Puke" appears, preceded by a narration from Bill.
At least twice, he has given himself a sign: once, when confronting someone with a coat hanger in his window ("Did you lock your keys in your car?" "No, I just washed it, I'm gonna hang it out to dry.") and another time when talking to his son ("Dad, I'm gonna play you a song from Harry Potter." "The movie?" "No, the book.")
Another time he gave it to himself was when he and his wife noticed a woman wearing a coconut bra. ("Oh, my god! Do you think those are real?" "The way they're jiggling around, probably." "The coconuts!" "Well, here's my sign!").
Idealized Sex: Referenced in a skit on his first album, where he points out that he learned from experience the differences between idealized and real sex. For instance, apparently you can't rip a woman's panties off unless there's already a hole in them.
Intoxication Ensues: His trip to "Vicodinland," caused by taking half a Vicodin, forgetting about it, and then imbibing a rum drink. Which leads to him randomly going parasailing with a stranger. The sudden coming-down led Bill to have a massive Freak Out.
Bill: "That sounds superb, my friend! I've never seen Vicodinland from 300 feet in the air before!" [...] At 300 feet, the rope jerked — and apparently, this was enough of a jerk to jerk me out of Vicodinland and into Realityland. I'm 300 feet in the air. I'm scared of heights. [...] I literally walked on water, ran back to my hotel room, ate the other half of the Vicodin and watched Animal Planet.
And I started thinking about what would be awesome for Bill Engvall? What would leave me in awe and wonder? And it would have to be if I left this stage tonight and went back to my hotel room. And Shania Twain met me at my door, wearing nothing but a fur coat, holding a note from my wife that said "have a good time." That would be awesome! (beat) It ain't gonna happen; but that would be awesome.
No Indoor Voice: In the aforementioned skit about feminine hygeine products, his son demonstrates this, screaming "HERE'S THE LITTLE GIRL NARROW PADS, DADDY!" in the middle of the pharmacy. Bill then responds, "I appreciate that, son. Listen, I don't believe they heard you IN SCOTLAND!"
Noodle Incident: The time he rode an electric floor buffer. Apparently tequila was involved.
Overprotective Dad / Twerp Sweating: "Boy, look at me. You see that little girl right there? She's my only little girl, man. She's my life. So if you have any thoughts about hugging, or kissing, you remember these words: I got no problem goin' back to prison." Cue creepy smile.
Refuge in Audacity: After failing his motorcycle test on his scooter, Bill decides he's not gonna retake the test. He's banking on the idea that no cop is gonna stop some guy on a scooter and ask him if he has his license. He may be right depending on the size of the motor and/or which city he's in. 49 cc engines are street-legal without license or registration, and at least the Durham, North Carolina police department doesn't bother pulling over scooters (not for registration checks, anyway).
Screams Like a Little Girl: Several instances, most notably when he's para-sailing in the Bahamas while on Vicodin and when he's invited on as a passenger in an F16.
And then he flips it over upside-down, we're flying upside-down! And you can hear me, a forty-nine-year-old man, on the cockpit tape going "MAMA! MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
Seashell Bra: In one skit, he recalls seeing a woman with a coconut bra on the beach. His wife asks, "I wonder if those are real." His answer? "The way they're jiggling, yeah." "The coconuts, Bill." "...Welp, here's my sign."
Self-Deprecation: A staple of Engvall's routines, frequently calling himself a "dork" or an "idiot." He best described himself as "that guy who's always fifteen degrees off cool."
Has finished some of his routines when he earns his own sign.
Serial Escalation: "I got off cigarettes by using the patches. I got off the patches by smoking cigars. Got off the patches by doing crack."
Solar Powered Magnifying Glass: He talks about what a great day it was when you discovered you could do this as a kid ("You got to be God!"). Then he goes on to talk about when he was doing this and saw an ant on his arm...
Let me tell you something: you burn your arm with a magnifying glass, you're on your own. You can't even tell your mom, because she gives that face like, "Oh...he is that stupid."
Teeny Weenie: In a segment about surfing, the instructor, a typical Surfer Dude, tells him "We'll have you hanging ten in no time." "Not without elective surgery. Because the word 'hung' has never been associated with Engvall men." Later on, he says that when he puts on the wet suit, it looks like he's trying to smuggle a Slim Jim and two cherries.
The Ditz: One sign-winner he brings up once asked him, on the first floor of a building, if the elevator he was waiting on went up; he jokingly informs her that this one goes sideways, and that the "up" elevators are down the hall...as Bill put it:
In one skit, he recalls a camping trip right after reading a story about a man who was attacked by a snake in his toilet. Bill recalls sitting down on a toilet that had a small crack in the seat that managed to Groin Attack him and make him freak out about a snake in the toilet.
In another one he tells a story about an Australian women finding a six-foot snake in her toilet.
If I found a six-inch worm in my toilet . . . I don't need a toilet anymore. I need a new set of underwear . . . 'cause I just hit a deer . . .