Ron White brings laughs to the Palace in Stamford

Comedian Ron White will perform at the Palace in Stamford on Feb. 13.

Comedian Ron White will perform at the Palace in Stamford on Feb. 13.

Contributed photo

Comedian Ron White rose to fame as part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour in 2000, telling his jokes with cigar in hand and never too far away from a scotch glass.

Since finding success, the gifted storyteller from Texas has been nominated for two Grammys, appeared in several films and has a critically-acclaimed Netflix special to his name. He’s also seen all four of his comedy albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts.

The 63-year-old is also a passionate supporter of the U.S. military and in 2008, created an annual charity show called Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops that continues raising funds today.

On Feb. 13, White will perform at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, promising plenty of laughs to start off the Valentine’s Day weekend.

Keith Loria: You’ll be coming to the Palace Theatre the night before Valentine’s Day. Does this mean we’ll be hearing some stories for the holiday thrown into your routine?

Ron White: I’ll probably mention it, though I am an odd act to have for Valentine’s Day, but it will work out just fine. I can tell you they will laugh until their face hurts.

KL: I know you’re from Texas, but do you have any ties to our area?

RW: Nothing other than I have a lot of fans in the area and enjoy doing shows in Connecticut. I still live in Texas, but I do tour extensively and I know it’s beautiful there so I’m looking forward to it.

KL: You have a busy touring schedule in 2020. What else do you have planned for the year ahead? Any exciting plans?

RW: I’m going to Hawaii soon. Nicholas Cage wants me in a movie that films next month, and I’m not sure if I can do it, but if he can film it without me cancelling any dates, I’ll do it. I’ve sold every single ticket I have put on sale this year.

KL: How often do you tour a year?

RW: I do 110 cities a year. But that’s not it. I also live in Beverly Hills and when I’m there, I do three sets a night, every night at The Improv, The Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store. I try to do stand-up almost every night.

KL: You’ve been doing comedy for 34 years professionally. What was it that you hoped to achieve when you were first starting out?

RW: My goal was to find something that fit my brain and that was harder than it sounds. The first time I did stand-up comedy was Sept. 17, 1986, and half-way through my four-minute set, I realized I was a comedian. I knew that was what my brain did. I’m an actor too, but I am a much more accomplished comedian, and that night set me on a path that I knew I would do for the rest of my life. I never thought anything like the success I had would really happen.

KL: What was that journey like?

RW: I started doing it professionally six months after I started, then I was an opening act on the road for two and a half years, then started headlining clubs. It was all fun, fun, fun for me. I worked hard at it but no real dreams of [Jeff] Foxworthy success. When he blew up, I was standing right next to him and I never thought it would happen to me. It turned into a big career.

KL: Do you still get the same enjoyment out of performing live than you did in the beginning?

RW: I still love to walk on stage and perform for my fans. I was just in a 5,000-seat venue and they cheered like I was The Beatles. That is fun stuff. To have the privilege to walk on stage and make people laugh is amazing.

KL: Your Netflix special received a lot of buzz. Why is that platform important to a comedian today?

RW: Netflix gives you a world audience. If you sell something to Comedy Central or HBO, it won’t get outside the United States. The Netflix special has given me an audience in all English-speaking countries and I’ve already had offers to go to India, London and New Zealand, among others. That’s what makes it a big deal.