Ronald Dee "Tater Salad" White (born December 18, 1956) is a stand-up comedian. He first gained fame in the early 2000s as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, in association with fellow comedians Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. He is easily the most vulgar of the four, with his albums regularly carrying "explicit content" warnings. He's arguably the least "blue collar" of the four as well, as partially evidenced by love of fine whiskey and tequila, his explicit snarky humour (especially in recent years), and frequent appearances in stand-up events and films without the rest of his tourmates.
White's first major comedy album, Drunk in Public, was a commercial success, going gold in the wake of the Blue Collar tour's peak of success. One of his most notable jokes is a long "Shaggy Dog" Story wherein he is arrested for public intoxication.
Ron and his comedy provide examples of the following:
- The Alcoholic: The Sophisticated as Hell variant (see below). He always performs with a glass in his hand and gets increasingly inebriated as the show goes on, even making a joke of it when he had a large number of the water bottles most comedians used... and then got rid of them in favor of his decanter. He used to drink whiskey on stage, but has since started drinking his own brand of tequila. This habit makes nights when he has to perform multiple shows interesting, to say the least, for later audiences.
Ron: I've drunk so much in my life that now, on the back of my driver's license, I have a list of organs I need.
- He hosted the Jeff Foxworthy Roast, but became more and more visibly drunk as it went on, to the point that Larry finally had to take over for him.
- His book, "I Had the Right to Remain Silent, But Didn't Have the Ability", chronicles how one incident of him drinking resulted in him not being invited back to stay at the Engvalls' house.
- The drinking on stage isn't just a shtick he uses for an on-stage persona. He really does drink, smoke, and toke constantly throughout the day. He fully acknowledges that he has a problem and that his habits have gotten him into severe trouble, but dislikes being sober so much that being near-permanently inebriated and high is preferable.
- All of Them: This was the implication that kept him from getting into a fight with the bouncers when he was thrown out of a bar in New York.Then they squared off with me in the parking lot, and I backed down from the fight; cuz I didn't know how many of 'em it would've taken to whoop my ass, but... I knew how many they were gonna use.
- The Alleged Car: One story involved a... botched tire-change job at Sears Auto, which ended with him driving out of the parking lot and one wheel falling right off his van. He should've known something was up when "it took three hours to change four tires."
- All Men Are Perverts: "Guys, you know how it is. You've seen one woman naked... you wanna see the rest of them naked!"
- This bit him on the ass, too, as that quote was in reference to an elderly woman offering to flash him.
- Berserk Button: Ron discovered a whole new world of pissed off when, after having the tires on his van replaced, one fell off.It falls off. It falls off. It falls the fuck off! Turning my van into a tripod, spinning me into dimensions of pissed off I've never been in before in my life!
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted and averted. First, he describes his own member as extremely short, but extremely wide - "cheese wheel" is the term he uses. (Interestingly, being more endowed in that dimension is what women prefer, according to studies.) He averts the trope when talking about "Squirrel Man", who actually seemed insecure about his massive endowment - more or less shoving it in Ron's face while telling him how his wife cheated on him with his friends. Certainly didn't seem like having a gigantic penis helped there...
- Book Dumb: By his own admission.I'm smart, but you can't prove it on paper. I do have a GED, and if you don't know what GED stands for...you probably got one too.
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: He and everyone else used Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" in the first Blue Collar movie:Airport Clerk: (in regards to putting his young son on a plane, wherein he will be received by Ron's parents upon arrival) Is there gonna be anyone there in Dallas when he gets off the plane?
(Ron pauses, and taps himself in the back of his head with his mic)
Ron: No; I'm just gonna pin a $20 bill to his collar and wish him the best of luck.
- Brainless Beauty: Ron explains the downside to dating these types in his "You Can't Fix Stupid" routine.
- Brick Joke: The "Tater Salad" story. Short version: he was arrested for DUI when he was young. Since it was a small town, he had known the cop personally for a long time. When the cop — who of course had to follow procedure asked him if he had any aliases, Ron sarcastically responded "Yeah. They call me...'Tater Salad.'" Twenty years later, while being arrested for being drunk in public in New York City, the officer ran his record and asked him "Are you Ron 'Tater Salad' White?"
- The guy who didn't put the lug nuts back on his van.
- The below mentioned old man with the Gag Penis.
- The "KOO-pins" joke mentioned lower down actually managed to show up, completely without preparation or explanation, in a different routine he did years laternote .
- Garth Brooks Concerts: With him later describing coming home to a bunch of paper towel piles of poop, resembling a miniature Garth Brooks concert after previously making a joke about Garth Brooks earlier.
- Cigar Chomper: He moved on from smoking cigarettes to puffing on cigars while performing on stage. He'll sometimes pause shows to relight his cigar if it's gone out.
- Comically Missing the Point: When recapping the documentary Grizzly Man to his audience, he gets to the part where Timothy Treadwell is eaten by a bear.Funniest movie I've ever seen in my life!
- Cool Car: Thought the van he owned was one. His relatives disagreed.I bought this big two-story custom van back when I was married. I forgot to tell you this, it was getting kinda cool, it had the James Bond couch in the back, when you push a button, the couch automatically turns into a bed, and I was like, "Well, that's cool." I finally got something over those Mercedes-Benz-driving in-laws of mine, you know what I mean? When I first bought the van, I was real proud of it. I took it straight over to my brother-in-law's house to show it off, 'cause he's such a prick. He takes one look at my new van and he goes [in snobbish accent] "I can't believe you didn't buy a Mercedes-Benz." "They don't make a van." "Ron, I don't think you fully understand the intricacies of Mercedes-Benz engineering. Why, I got the three-inch windshield wiper that keeps my headlight clean in a rainstorm." "I got a place to fuck your sister." I don't know why they didn't like me.
- Cool Old Guy: 61 years old and still smoking, drinking, and cursing like Lemmy Kilmister.
- Corpsing: In his special If You Quit Listening, I'll Shut Up, Ron repeatedly struggles to get out the punchline of a joke without laughing at it. When he finally does, the audience cheers instead of laughs.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: According to himself, he smokes only to keep his hands off his penis. One of his routines references him being caught doing it by his very religious grandmother when he was a kid.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, so much.
- When referring to a man who planned to ride out a hurricane by tying himself to a pole, on the grounds that he was in great physical shape and could withstand the wind:Okay, uh, let's get something straight. It's not that the wind is blowing, it's what the wind is blowing. If you get hit by a Volvo, it doesn't matter how many sit-ups you did that day.
- One time while flying on a small jump jet flight, the pilot announces that one of the engines has lost some oil pressure. Ron is drunk enough to not care, but the guy next to him is in a complete panic.Guy next to Ron: Hey man, hey man, if one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?
Ron: All the way to the scene of the crash...which is pretty handy because that's where we're headed. I bet we beat the paramedics there by a half hour. We're haulin' ass.
- When referring to a man who planned to ride out a hurricane by tying himself to a pole, on the grounds that he was in great physical shape and could withstand the wind:
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: In one bit, he laments the income he's lost from people illegally downloading his albums, and thinks back to his youth, when he would go down to the record store and stuff records down his pants. "Now THAT'S stealin' music!"
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: His plans for the Sears Tower after he wins his lawsuit: "Ron White's Big Old Goddamn Building!"
- Exact Words: When informed that he was being arrested for "drunk in public", he responded with "I didn't wanna be drunk in public, I wanted to be drunk in a bar! They threw me into public, arrest them!"
- He took his two dogs to go pee in front of a bank, next to a sign that said "No Dogs". When he was approached by an angry employee and told "The sign says "No Dogs"!", his response was "The sign's wrong. It should say "Two Dogs"!"
- Functional Addict: He used to drink, pop, snort, shoot, and smoke pretty much anything he could get his hands on and was well on his way to an early grave. He's since gotten his usage down to a level where his name won't pop up in a headline associated with an overdose.
- Gag Penis: During a cruise to Santorini, Greece, he encounters a man that must have had a fully grown squirrel stuffed into his speedo. He meets him again, this time at a nude beach...
- Apparently the squirrel was eaten by an anaconda.
- Not So Different: If he were in his position, he would've had a frame around it.
- Apparently the squirrel was eaten by an anaconda.
- Gay Aesop: "The most useless thing you can be is homophobic"/"We're all gay, it's just to what extent are you gay." (The latter is a possibly unintentional reference to the Kinsey sliding scale of human sexuality developed by sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.)Ron: Do ya like porn?
Homophobe: Yeah, I like porn. You know that.
Ron: Do you only watch scenes with two women?
Homophobe: Naw, I like to watch a man and a women making love.
Ron: Oh. Do you care if the man has a half-flaccid penis?
Homophobe: Naw, man, I like big, hard, throbbing co—! *gets a horrified face, stops to think about what he said* I did not know that about myself.
Ron: Do you like chocolate?
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: In a skit where he recalls committing an act of infidelity:You know that little guy that sits on your shoulders that reminds you of your prior commitments and your moral fortitude? I didn't hear a peep out of that guy! He hadn't been laid in three months, either! He was speechless for like 20 minutes, then he went, "Suck her titties!" "I was gonna!" Soon as the whole thing's over, he's back at his post: "That was wrong, mister!" I'm like, "20 minutes ago, you were beatin' off on my shoulder, monkey boy!" I fuckin' hate him, man. He smokes pot. He burned a hole in my other jacket. (beat) Right before the show.
- His aforementioned book illustrates this with Devil!Ron egging him on while Angel!Ron conspicuously does nothing.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: If You Quit Listening, I'll Shut Up has Ron assert that he's a "gold star hetero" in that he's never taken any dick. However, he counters this by admitting that it's very likely he got oral sex from a transvestite when he was in the Navy, since he only found out years later that the station near Pearl Harbor has a lot of transvestite prostitutes.
- The Hedonist: He used to be one: he had a time where he would consume any manner of intoxicant within reach. A stint in rehab helped to mellow him to a point where he still enjoys the sauce and a few substances, but to a level that won't kill him.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: In the third Blue Collar movie, when Larry starts telling "'joke' jokes", Ron gets up and goes to the bar on stage and fixes himself a drink. Jeff asks him if the show was running a little long for him.
- Insistent Terminology: The "Tater Salad" story involved the cops charging him with "Drunk. In. Pub-lic." He saw it differently:I was not 'Drunk. In. Pub-lic.' I was drunk in a bar. They threw me into pub-lic. Arrest them!
- Kavorka Man: Despite definitely not being blessed in terms of looks, Ron has somehow managed to sleep around a lot in his life.
- Know When To Fold Them: When talking about getting thrown out of a bar:Ron: They hurled me out of that night club, and then they decided to square off with me in the parking lot. But I backed down 'cause I didn't know how many of them it was going to take to whip my ass, but I knew how many they were going to use. That's a handy piece of information to have, right there.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He regularly notes that he enjoys the finer things, such as expensive cigars, liquors, and even his private plane, which he jokes that he'll be "flying right into bankruptcy."
- Must Have Nicotine: One of his trademarks is that he smokes while performing. He used to smoke so much that he wouldn't measure his cigarette usage by how many packs he went through a day, but by how many disposable lighters he'd empty. He's since moved onto smoking cigars, which don't take as much of a toll on his respiration.
- Off with His Head!: Ron's solution to people who purposely shake their babies. Even those who can't find their car keys and have looked everywhere else.
- Ron: Yeah, even then.
- Is also enthusiastic about Texas having the death penalty. One skit refers to a proposed law in the state that would see murderers with at least two credible witnesses to the act fast-tracked to the front of the line instead of sitting on death row for decades.Other states are trying to get rid of the death penalty, my state is putting in an express lane.
- Overly Long Gag: The "Tater Salad" story again. He spends nearly 45 seconds imitating a telegraph, lampshading the length by saying, "This part takes a while."Brbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrp. (beat) Shorthand.
- [Popular Saying], But...: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, then find someone whose life has given him vodka and have a party."
- Precision F-Strike: Imagine Ron on the debate team.Ron: I actually got kicked off the high school debate team for saying, "Yeah? Well FUCK YOU!" I thought I had won. The other guy was speechless. I thought that's what we were supposed to do.
- Product Placement: Once averted, now played straight. Nowadays he drinks his own brand of tequila on stage, but in earlier routines, he admitted that he pours his scotch out of one of his own bottles instead of a bottle with a label (e.g. The Glenlivet or Johnnie Walker) because he's not getting sponsored by any particular manufacturer. Considering he goes on to describe it as "the kind [of whiskey] you drink if you're gonna die penniless", the manufacturer's probably glad about it. Those with a keen eye can see that (at least during the third Blue Collar film One For The Road) that he is drinking Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which is a high-class and expensive scotch, costing, on average, $200 a bottle here in the U.S....it's good, though!
- Real Men Eat Meat: He has a low opinion of vegetarianism. Witness this conversation between him and a vegetarian friend:Friend: I feel nauseous and I have a headache. I think that vegetable soup I had for lunch must've had beef broth in it.
Ron: Your system's kickin' back...broth? You're a manly man, aren't you?
- Refuge in Audacity: His story about going across a "rickety-freaking-bridge" with a 5 MPH speed limit...wherein he got a ticket.Cop: Do you have any idea how fast you were going?
Ron: I dunno, eight? Nine? My foot slipped off the brake.
Cop: I clocked you going eleven miles an hour; that's over twice the legal limit.
Ron: (holds hands out in "cuff me" gesture) Take me to jail. I'm begging you. I'll make a million bucks telling this story if you take me to jail for going 11 miles an hour.
- Retired Badass: He was formerly in the US Navynote , and was also a rodeo bronco rider in his younger days.
- Running Gag Talking about the stuff his fans bought him....that you guys (addressing the audience about one of his cool toys) bought me.
- Seashell Bra: "I didn't know this. If you find a girl wearing a seashell bra, and you pick her up, and put her to your ear, you can hear her scream. I thought I'd hear the ocean, but not over that bitch."
- Sharp-Dressed Man: It's generally a standard that Ron White will appear on stage wearing, at the very least, a nice suit.
- Sophisticated as Hell: One skit involved him shopping for sunglasses and asking a salesman very politely, "How do you sleep at night, you fucking prick?"
- Another involved an inattentive valet getting pissed off when Ron tried to park his car himself. The valet got in Ron's way, and...I rolled down the window and, very politely, said, "Get out of my fucking way!"
- Another involved two women talking nonstop behind him in a theatre line in Vegas. After one tells him to fuck off when he (actually very politely) complains to them...I turn around and, very politely... [the audience laughs] Don't start with me. I turn around and, very politely, say, "Lady, as far as social skills go, talking during live theatre is the equivalent of shitting in the street."
- Ramps up to Precision F-Strike when the women won't shut up, and he turns around and yells at them...If you don't stop flapping your FUCKING COCK HOLSTER...!
- Needless to say, no one's watching the show anymore at that point.
- Another involved an inattentive valet getting pissed off when Ron tried to park his car himself. The valet got in Ron's way, and...
- The Stoner: Smokes cigarettes and cigars on stage, but openly talks about how he likes to toke. He made the news when he was arrested over trace amounts of marijuana found on his plane."They found 7/8 of a gram of marijuana on my plane. Now, when I have 7/8 of a gram of marijuana, I consider myself to be out of pot."
- Stunned Silence: "I got kicked off the high school debate team for saying 'Yeah?! Well, fuck you!' I thought I had won. The other kid was speechless."
- Another time, months after holding his tongue when his snooty sister-in-law insulted his career choice at his mother-in-law's birthday party, he was having dinner in a restaurant with his wife, who was already in a foul mood, and when she said there were some things about his family she just couldn't stand, he blurted out loud "like Tourette's and vomit"...YOUR SISTER'S A BIG FAT CUNT!
- And every head in the restaurant just instinctively turned towards him in this trope.
- Another time, months after holding his tongue when his snooty sister-in-law insulted his career choice at his mother-in-law's birthday party, he was having dinner in a restaurant with his wife, who was already in a foul mood, and when she said there were some things about his family she just couldn't stand, he blurted out loud "like Tourette's and vomit"...
- Southern-Fried Genius: Ron could easily qualify for this himself, albeit in an unorthodox manner. While he acknowledges that he is a high-school dropout from the most rural parts of rural Texas (hailing from a town of 400), he is also very eloquent and well-spoken, and is quite progressive on various social issues such as gay marriage and marijuana. He also enjoys fine arts, such as musicals.
- This Is Gonna Suck: "It was at this time that I had the right to remain silent... but I did not have the ability..."
- Ticket-Line Campout: Comments on people who camped out for three days to get Garth Brooks tickets."I wouldn't camp out for three days if I was...camping."
- Toilet Humor: "Ever take a crap so big, your pants fit better?"
- A different form of toilet humor comes from his album/performance Behavioral Problems, where he talks about staying in a local hotel that has great toilets, with heated seats and a cleaning function that shoots water at your nether regions (leading to Ron claiming he fell in love with the toilet for its pinpoint accuracy).
- And another example, where he tells the story of going innertubing with friends on a river and notices that despite all the beer everyone was drinking, nobody had to stop to pee. He figured they were all peeing through their trunks in the water, so he decided he'd do the same. Unfortunately for some of his friends, he was in the canoe.
- Typecasting: Part of the reason he eventually left the Blue Collar Comedy group was to avoid being treated this way. While he did so on good terms, White himself, and not a few of his fans, felt like he didn't fit, as he had to water his style down considerably to fit with the other guys on tour. He also wanted to avoid being called a "redneck comedian", since the redneck lifestyle isn't really something he talks about much. Southern ≠ redneck.
- You Do NOT Want to Know: If You Quit Listening, I'll Shut Up features an argument between him and his wife where Ron got extremely angry over his wife spending thousands of dollars to turn a room of their house into a recording studio. Ron doesn't give many details of the actual argument except how it ended.Ron's Wife: Listen Ron, I'm not trying to be an asshole.
Ron: Really? You're not even trying?
- You Say Tomato: One of his bits is making fun of a person pronouncing "coupons" as "coupins".