Ron White to serve up another helping of tater salad
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Ron White doesn’t like to be tied down — when it comes to comedy, that is.
White splits time between his homes in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Austin, Texas, when he’s not on the road touring.
“I just enjoy touring. I could do a residency in Vegas because they ask me every year. But I don’t want to, I just I like to go out and see where my fans are, and see where they live and perform in these great little theaters all over the country,” White said during a telephone interview while home in Beverly Hills.
And one of those times is Saturday, July 7, at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races when White has two shows — 6 and 9 p.m.
At 61 years old, White said he likes to come to this area — he’s performed in several times in the Tri-State — to not only do stand-up, but also play a little golf.
“We drive on a primo tour bus, so we drive at night and I usually wake up at a golf course,” he said.
And for those who are interested, his handicap is 12.
White has been in the business now for more than 30 years, and even for a veteran like himself, he’s always working on his set, writing jokes and forcing himself to do comedy specials like the Netflix special that he filmed nearly two months ago in Atlanta.
“I always wonder where the next bit’s coming from because I don’t know,” he said. “But it always does.”
The reason he still lives in Beverly Hills is that he hits the stage three sets a night every night when he’s not on the road “just to keep my chops tight and writing stuff.”
Writing, he said, comes in waves.
“I don’t write anything down. I think about it and I go do it,” he said. “That’s why I go out every night. At least six nights every week I’m doing stand-up whether it’s big theaters or small comedy clubs.”
Stand-up comedy is not for the faint of heart, the thinned skin or the lazy — and White is none of these, which continues to make him a comedy powerhouse. For him, it comes down to putting the work in to show his appreciation to his fans. White has been doing stand-up for so long that most people can’t see the work that goes on behind the jokes.
“My stand-up is long story stuff, which is harder to understand because it looks like I’m having a chat, but I’m not, I’m doing stand-up comedy,” he said. “And I think they would also be surprised to know how much fun it is for me to go out and do those sets a night. I get to walk on stage and be surprised and people enjoy what I do. And I still enjoy it at 61.”
That even includes those comedy specials he was “forced” into doing.
White’s Netflix special was shot at a small club in Atlanta. It’s set to be released in November.
“It should give me a world audience, it’s basically the show I’m doing right now basically with some new stuff in it,” he said.
To film a special, it’s time-consuming to get ready.
“It usually takes me about three years to write one (special), so it’s not something I look forward to,” he said. “I change my show one joke at a time, so I never sacrifice power. I don’t go out there to piddle. I go out there to crush. And that’s still why I have a career since I’ve been 32 years old because every audience I’ve been in front of I’ve beat the s*** out of. That’s fun to do. It changes very slowly, but it changes.
"Comedians really are designed to go see every six months because if you write something really good, you want to keep it in your act because no one’s going to see if you don’t. It also makes performance still fun because I know what’s going to happen and go out do what I’ve been doing for 30-some years for and I prepare for every night. It’s the only thing I’m really good at, and I’m lucky to have that skill — and I keep it sharp.”
Top photo: Comedian Ron White performs at The Maryland Theatre in an October 2016 Herald-Mail file photo. He will perform two shows at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on Saturday. (File photo)