A successful comedian from the state of Texas, Bill Engvall is best known for his "here's your sign" jokes, in which he states that people who ask stupid questions should be given signs so that you know they're stupid. Of course, he has a snappy rejoinder to the stupid questions asked of him.
Engvall rose to prominence in the 1990s alongside fellow comedian, close friend and labelmate Jeff Foxworthy. The two experienced a second wind of popularity when they partnered with Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White to form the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He had his own sitcom, The Bill Engvall Show, which aired on TBS for three seasons. The show co-starred Nancy Travers and Jennifer Lawrence.
Tropes present in Engvall's work:
- Album Title Drop: Inverted; most of his albums are named for punchlines appearing on them.
- Anti-Christmas Song: "Here's Your Sign Christmas," set to the tune of "Jingle Bells" and interspersed with Christmas-themed "Here's your sign" jokes.
- Ask a Stupid Question: Here's Your Sign is a redirect, and one of the primary examples of the trope.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Referenced in a sketch about parent-teacher conferences. The teacher asks if there's a history of ADD in the family, and Bill says "Yes, we add, subtract, multiply... why are you spelling it?" His wife then says, "M-O-R-O-N. She means attention deficit disorder." And by that point, Bill is looking out the window at birds.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: One of the Blue Collar Comedy albums has the other three comedians each telling a "here's your sign" joke of their own.
- Catch Phrase: "Here's your sign."
- Drives Like Crazy: "I got a 16-year-old daughter who just got her driver's license. So you should all drop to your knees and thank the good Lord above that you live here and not where we live."
- Epic Fail: He asked for a motorcycle for his birthday. His wife gave him a scooter.
- The Eponymous Show: Just like Foxworthy, Engvall had a self-titled sitcom.
- Fetish Retardant: Invoked in one skit, where he questions why anyone would consider spanking a turn-on. he then mentions that he knows he could never seriously ask his wife to spank him, because being a mom, she would say, "what did you do wrong?"
- Fun with Acronyms: According to one skit, he thinks Spam stands for "Stuff Posing As Meat". He also says that RV doesn't mean "recreational vehicle", it stands for "ruins vacations".
- Heroic BSOD: A few. One of the more notable ones, from the "Here's Your Sign" album is when his wife asks him on the way home from his son's baseball practice to pick up 'feminine products' for his daughter.
Bill: . . . I'm not in right now . . . if you'll leave your name and number . . .
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- At least twice, he has given himself a sign: once, when confronting someone with a coat hanger in his window ("Did you lock your keys in your car?" "No, I just washed it, I'm gonna hang it out to dry.") and another time when talking to his son ("Dad, I'm gonna play you a song from Harry Potter." "The movie?" "No, the book.")
- Another time he gave it to himself was when he and his wife noticed a woman wearing a coconut bra. ("Oh, my god! Do you think those are real?" "The way they're jiggling around, probably." "The coconuts!" "Well, here's my sign!").
- Hypocritical Humor: To his son: "Hey!" *smack* "We don't hit."
- I'm a Man, I Can't Help It
- Intoxication Ensues: His trip to "Vicodinland," caused by taking Vicodin, forgetting about it, and then imbibing a rum drink. Which leads to him randomly going parasailing with a stranger. The sudden coming-down led Bill to have a massive Freak-Out.
Bill: That sounds superb, my friend! I've never seen Vicodinland from 300 feet in the air before! So I'm up there, the wind's blowing, the Vicodin wears off. I'm 300 feet in the air. I'm scared of heights. I literally walked on water, ran back to my hotel room, ate the other half of the Vicodin and watched Animal Planet.
- Naked in Mink: When he was discussing the proper meaning of "awesome" he brought up what would truly be awesome to him.
And I started thinking about what would be awesome for Bill Engvall? What would leave me in awe and wonder? And it would have to be if I left this stage tonight and went back to my hotel room. And Shania Twain met me at my door, wearing nothing but a fur coat, holding a note from my wife that said "have a good time." That would be awesome!
It ain't gonna happen; but that would be awesome.
- No Indoor Voice: In the aforementioned skit about feminine hygeine products, his son demonstrates this, screaming "HERE'S THE LITTLE GIRL NARROW PADS, DADDY!" in the middle of the pharmacy. Bill then responds, "I appreciate that, son. Listen, I don't believe they heard you IN SCOTLAND!"
- Noodle Incident: The time he rode an electric floor buffer. Apparently tequila was involved.
- Once an Episode: His "Here's your sign" jokes appear on every album.
- Overprotective Dad: "Boy, look at me. You see that little girl right there? She's my only little girl, man. She's my life. So if you have any thoughts about hugging, or kissing, you remember these words: I got no problem goin' back to prison." Cue creepy smile.
- Parental Hypocrisy: See Hypocritical Humor.
- Playing Against Type: He plays the villain in the Leverage episode "The Boost Job".
- Refuge in Audacity: After failing his motorcycle test on his scooter, Bill decides he's not gonna retake the test. He's banking on the idea that no cop is gonna stop some guy on a scooter and ask him if he has his license.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Several instances, most notably when he's para-sailing in the Bahamas while on Vicodin.
- Seashell Bra: In one skit, he recalls seeing a woman with a coconut bra on the beach. His wife asks, "I wonder if those are real." His answer? "The way they're jiggling, yeah." "The coconuts, Bill." "Here's my sign!"
- Self-Deprecation: A staple of Engvall's routines, frequently calling himself a "dork" or an "idiot." He best described himself as "that guy who's always fifteen degrees off cool."
- Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: He talks about what a great day it was when you discovered you could do this as a kid ("You got to be God!"). Then he goes on to talk about when he was doing this and saw an ant on his arm...
Let me tell you something: you burn your arm with a magnifying glass, you're on your own. You can't even tell your mom, because she gives that face like, "Oh...he is that stupid."
- The Ditz: One sign-winner he brings up once asked him, on the first floor of a building, if the elevator he was waiting on went up; he jokingly informs her that this one goes sideways, and that the "up" elevators are down the hall...as Bill put it:
SHE WALKED AWAY!!
- Through His Stomach: He believes it's "a little further south."
- Twerp Sweating: One of his skits involves him confronting a teenager who wants to date his daughter, telling him, "I got no problem going back to prison."
- Vocal Evolution: He was a Motor Mouth on the first two albums, but markedly slowed down his delivery and became a lot more of a Large Ham over time.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Is terrified of snakes. "They move, but they don't have legs. That ain't natural."
- In one skit, he recalls a camping trip right after reading a story about a man who was attacked by a snake in his toilet. Bill recalls sitting down on a toilet that had a small crack in the seat that managed to Groin Attack him and make him freak out about a snake in the toilet.
- In another one he tells a story about an Australian women finding a six-foot snake in her toilet.
If I found a six-inch worm in my toilet . . . I don't need a toilet anymore. I need a new set of underwear . . . 'cause I just hit a deer . . .