The group was originally formed by Jeff to break the public's assumption that stand-up comedy is meant for big-city audiences and demonstrate that everyone, including those from small towns and rural areas, enjoys a good laugh.
His idea turned out to be a smash hit. The troupe toured constantly from 2000 to 2006 to sell-out crowds and released three theatrical concert films under the Blue Collar Comedy Tour title.
The troupe's humor is largely self-deprecating jokes about the South, "rednecks", and themselves as bumbling husbands/fathers/men in general. They proudly run with Southern stereotypes that the rest of America has been cracking wise about for decades (and sometimes still is). For instance, rather than refuting the concept of "The Redneck", Jeff Foxworthy defines him as someone with "a glorious absence of sophistication", and he means that as a good thing.
The touring and films attracted the attention of Hollywood and The WB commissioned a sketch series, titled Blue Collar TV. Only Jeff, Bill, and Larry were involved in this series with Ron bowing out as he didn't want to be pigeonholed as a "southern" comicnote . It was a huge hit (by the now-defunct WB network standards, anyway) for about a month, then it fell to the basement of the ratings. The show's humor was fairly standard, the big differentiator being the cast's accents, and featured material recycled from Jeff, Bill, and Larry's old acts so there wasn't anything new for their fans to enjoy. It is notable, however, for launching Gary Anthony Williams' carer.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Quite a few of these pop up. Bill Engvall has a bit about drinking a Bahama Mama while high on Vicodin which lead to him wandering off and agreeing to go parasailing with some strangers, and there's also Ron White's infamous "thrown out of a bar in New York" routine (which has him admit to a previous arrest where he decided to screw with the officer by giving "Tator Salad" as an alias, which went on his record).
- Be a Whore to Get Your Man: In the second movie, Jeff Foxworthy refers to this after explaining Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, noting that the premise could not be flipped so that men could send their girlfriend to five hookers and tell them to "slut her up, just a little bit."
- Beer Goggles: In The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Larry the Cable Guy says he once knew a girl who looked like Michelle Pfeiffer, "only a little shorter, and the face were different."Larry: I was drinkin', she looked like Michelle Pheiffer. Next morning Barney Pfeiffer's waking up in bed next to me.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: The first performance of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour ends with all four comedians on stage riffing on each other's jokes. When Bill Engvall is doing his "Here's Your Sign" bit (giving "I'm Stupid" signs to people who say stupid things), Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy do their own "Here's Your Sign" stories. Later, when Jeff is doing his "You Might Be A Redneck" jokes, Bill contributes one of his own.
- Brick Joke: The first movie has Jeff Foxworthy recounting a story told to him about a man who, upon hitting a beaver with his car, picked up said beaver upon mistaking it for dead, and managed to have it bite his nipple off. On a signature redneck joke to close the movie: "If you've ever had your nipple bitten off by a beaver, you might be a redneck."
- Bring My Brown Pants: Bill Engvall told the trope-naming joke during an exchange of them in the tail end of one of the movies. Engvall having the captain deliver the punchline with the same authoritative tone as "Bring My Red Jacket!" is what really sells it.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: A sketch on Blue Collar TV had Larry the Cable Guy calling Information for the number to 911 and, not having a pen, bit the tip off a strawberry to write it on the wall.
- Death Glare: In the first film, Bill Engvall recalls how he met Lucy, a goth friend of his daughter. He accidentally called her "Lucy...fer", and was promptly given one of these.She looked at me like, "I will set you ablaze right now."
- Discriminate and Switch: Used on Blue Collar TV in the "Fat Family" sketch, when the daughter brings home her boyfriend: "It's not that we don't like you because you're Jewish... it's because you're— [look of disgust] —skinny."
- Dude, Not Funny!: During the question segment of Them Idiots: Whirled Tour, a senility joke causes the host, Reno, to crack a euthanasia joke. While the audience laughs, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy all stare daggers at Reno (though Larry starts visibly chuckling after a minute). Jeff then tells Reno to go stand in the corner and think about what he just said.
- Even The Rats Won't Touch It: In the Blue Collar Comedy Tour stand-up comedy movie, comedian Ron White says his wife was such a bad cook that he tried to feed it to his dog and it started licking its butt. His wife asks "What's he doing?" and he responded, "It looks like he's trying to get the taste out of his mouth!"
- Gasshole: The opening scene from Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again features Bill Engvall going to and using the tour bus's bathroom. Jeff Foxworthy follows, immediately reacts, "Good granny!" and chews out Bill for not saving it for the truck stop. Ron White is next and reacts similarly, but the real punchline comes when Larry the Cable Guy goes in without smelling it at all, proving who the real Gasshole is in the group.note Ron White: He must've worked in a zoo.
Jeff Foxworthy: I cannot believe he can stay in there!
Larry: (emerges) Hey, I'm still hungry; there any more a' that Frito pie left?
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Bill Engvall's segment of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, to a hypothetical boy who has come to take out his daughter, after being woken up out of a sound sleep in the dead of night by a phone call from a non-hypothetical boy.Bill Engvall: Boy? Look at me. See that girl over there? She's my only only little girl. She's my life. And if you have any thoughts about huggin' or kissin'… you remember these words. I got no problem going back to prison.
- I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: The boys make note of this from time to time:
- Ron White stated this, though he went on to admit after-the-fact feelings of deep guilt and owned up to his infidelity, so might mix in just a smidge of The Unfair Sex.Ron White: My wife hadn't let me touch her in three months. You can't just keep a dog under the porch for three months without petting it occasionally. If you deny me sex for three months, I'll go sleep with someone else. I know, I've seen me do it.
- Bill Engvall has stated, "Sorry, I'm just a guy!" in his act as an excuse for all sorts of situations. Surprisingly few of these involve sex—he uses it as an excuse for everything from insensitive remarks to crowning achievements in stupidity (90% of his "I'm just a guy" jokes fit under this), but from Bill, sex usually gets more than just a clever catchphrase.
- Ron White stated this, though he went on to admit after-the-fact feelings of deep guilt and owned up to his infidelity, so might mix in just a smidge of The Unfair Sex.
- Inappropriate Hunger: In the opening of Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again, Larry the Cable Guy is hungry after coming out of a restroom someone had recently sat down and gone in, while the others had all reacted with disgust to the smell.
- Last Disrespects:
- Bill Engvall and Jeff Foxworthy offer the following "You might be a redneck" jokes:Jeff: If you've ever worn a tube top to a funeral home, you might be a— [realizes Bill is cracking up] What, did you see that?
Bill: No, I got one better. "If you've ever opened a beer during a eulogy, you might be a redneck."
- And after Bill finished explaining this one (it was his uncle Jack), Larry, Ron, and Jeff improv'ed the following:Jeff: Mama looks good, don't she? [mimes drinking]
Ron: That ain't Mama. [drinks]
Larry: Naw, that's her, they just shaved her beard off!
- Bill Engvall and Jeff Foxworthy offer the following "You might be a redneck" jokes:
- Rental Car Abuse: In Jeff Foxworthy's Comedy Central special Have Your Loved Ones Spayed and Neutered (reused in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour) he goes into a monologue at one point about how the economy's gotten so bad that rental car agencies are starting to sell off their old cars. Foxworthy compares going to a rental car agency to buy a car to "going to a house of ill-repute looking for a wife.""Anything that's been driven that hard by that many people, you really don't want to put your key in it!"
- Replacement Goldfish: Ron White of Blue Collar Comedy makes reference to this when his girlfriend's dog died, but after she proved inconsolable he took her to a pet store and she found a new dog to love. Then..."A few weeks ago her father passed away, and I'm thinking "I think I see a way out of this." We get in the car, and she doesn't know we're going to the old folks home..."
- Side Effects Include...: Jeff Foxworthy talked about this in his stand-up routines.
- From Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered, repeated in Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again:"Try new Floraflor. For itchy, watery eyes, it's Floraflor. Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, water weight gain, lower back pain, receding hairline, eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, itchy chafing clothing, liver spots, blood clots, ringworm, excessive body odor, uneven tire wear, pyorrhea, gonorrhea, diarrhea, halitosis, scoliosis, loss of bladder control, hammertoe, the shanks, low sperm count, warped floors, cluttered drawers, hunchback, heart attack, low resale value on your home, feline leukemia, athlete's foot, head lice, clubfoot, MS, MD, VD, fleas, anxiety, sleeplessness, drowsiness, poor gas mileage, tooth decay, split ends, parvo, warts, unibrow, lazy eye, fruit flies, chest pains, clogged drains, hemorrhoids, dry heaving, and sexual dysfunction." (Beat) You know what? I think I'll just have itchy, watery eyes.
- Another bit was about a weight-loss drug with the side effect of anal seepage.Look, ladies, I don't care how much weight you lose. If this side effect kicks in, you ain't looking good in them jeans! ..."anal seepage"... That's not even fun to say! Much less write on an insurance report. And not medical insurance: homeowner's, to explain why your sofa's sitting at the end of the driveway.
- From Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered, repeated in Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again:
- Slower Than a Snail: Ron White's segment in The Blue Collar Comedy Tour opens with him complaining about the charter jet flight his manager arranged to get him to Phoenix, AZ from Flagstaff (two hours by car). It's a nine-minute flight, and he complains the plane is going half the speed of smell and got passed by a kite, and a goose. And then they developed engine trouble and had to return to the airport halfway.
- Snipe Hunt: In one episode of Blue Collar TV, an attractive model tells Jeff Foxworthy she's been invited on a snipe hunt, and that she hopes she can catch one. He's about to warn her about the ruse when she reveals they told her she needs to wear a bikini, after which he responds "y'know, those snipe are good eating, I think I'll join you".
- Spit Take: In the album Big Funny (repeated in The Blue Collar Comedy Tour), Jeff Foxworthy relates an anecdote from when the family women were trying on swimsuits.Jeff's daughter: "Gamma, you shouldn't draw on your legs with a blue magic marker."
Jeff: Needless to say, I had to mop up the milk I had been drinking... [audience laughs] ... 'cause it was on the other side of the room... [more laughter] ... which is pretty good distance through your nose! [yet more laughter]
- Through His Stomach: Bill Engvall references this in Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again during the "I Believe..." closing act. He says, "The way to a man's heart is not through his stomach... it's a little further south."