Ron "Tater Salad" White, best known as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the "Blue Collar Comedy" phenomenon, makes his return to Savannah with his new stand-up show.
The show at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre brings some laughs to the "mature" audience.
White has achieved three Grammy nominations, a Gold Record, two of the top-rated one-hour specials in Comedy Central history, a book that appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, and CD and DVD sales of over 10 million units.
Most recently, White was featured in music industry vet Cameron Crowe and renowned director JJ Abrams' new Showtime comedy-drama series"Roadies."
White played road-tested tour manager Phil, in a critically praised performance.
"'Roadies' was fun to do," White said. "It was a really good experience for me. I felt I did some really good work.
"It was so well directed by Cameron Crowe. I thought I would be in only two episodes and ended up in more."
Meanwhile, White's life is about stand-up comedy, which he likes best.
"I don't like to act," White said. "But if it is a good project with good people, it could be fun. One of my buddies has a production company and wants to do Judge Roy Bean as a series.
"I would do it, just because he's a dear friend. I know it would be fun to work with it. Most people have no idea how hard it is: 15 hours a day, five days to make one episode. It's a lot of sitting around and waiting. You better like the people you are sitting around waiting with."
When in Savannah
He is looking forward to coming to Savannah again.
"I feel like a hundred pesos," he said. "It's a perfect audience for me. Savannah crowds are smart. They're like me, natural-born drinkers, and I enjoy myself while I'm there.
"One of my favorite foods is the fried pork chop at the Pink House," he said, adding that it's something he thinks about when he wakes up at night."The first thing to do when I get there is get a fried pork chop."
This season his opening act is Mexican-American comedian and actor Alex Reymundo, who received an ALMA Award in 2008 for Outstanding Comedy Special.
Reymundo was part of the Latin Kings of Comedy Tour, which included Paul Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, George Lopez and Joey Medina.
"He's more like a brother to me," White said. He is, in fact, his brother-in-law. As in-laws go, they found a similar interest - in a tequila distillery. So they started Number Juan, now an award-winning tequila business.
All the extras
But it's scotch you can question White about if you choose one of two VIP experiences in Savannah. Is that what he's sipping on stage?
The "100 Proof" and "200 Proof" VIP experiences offer an opportunity to get up close and personal. Among the treasures: Bonus merchandise, premium seats, photos with White and "Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops" DVD with an autographed note.
Know thy self
White started out in sales, but a co-worker who went to comedy clubs said White was funnier than some of those on stage. He told White to get on that stage. "I did it. Literally, that was 16,000 shows ago."
White used to set up comedy contests all the time - in his favor, of course. "I only invited comedians I knew I was funnier than," he said.
"â€¦ Getting onstage and trying this art form is important," White said. "â€¦ Anything you pretend to be is not interesting at all. I tried to cowboy it up, but it wasn't until I realized the really big responses were coming off things that were me, my nature, my genuine self. I saw the energy of the show go up."
All that honesty lead to major success, too.
"â€¦ What are the odds of getting to where I am? The odds are so thin. I guarantee I knew that. I never thought all this fame and fortune would happen to me. I saw better comics than me not make it."
The show in Savannah was also filmed in Atlanta in January and will be a comedy special on Netflix, he said.
"It's been three years since I put out a special. I'm real picky. I've been doing stand-up 31 years. I haven't done 31 specials. It's going to be that show. I'm also adding new stuff I'm writing."
- Andria Segedy assisted with this article.
IF YOU GO
What: Ron White with Alex Reymundo
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: Johnny Mercer Theatre, Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Cost: $46-$56, VIP $131-$256
Info: savannahcivic.com, 912-651-6550, TaterSalad.com