Comedian and Texas-native Bill Engvall will perform Saturday, June 18, inside the Grand Event Center of the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, La. for ages 21 and older. Tickets for this one-night only event are $40-$55 each at all Ticketmaster outlets.

By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

One of the most recognizable comedians in the business is heading to Southwest Louisiana this weekend.

Comedian Bill Engvall will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 18, inside the Grand Event Center of the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, La. for ages 21 and older. Tickets are $40-$55 at all Ticketmaster outlets, including online at www.ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Engvall, a 58-year-old native of Galveston, Texas, is best known for his signature comedy bit, “Here’s Your Sign,” and his affiliation as a member of the “Blue Collar Comedy” group which includes Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. The Blue Collar group has sold more than 9 million units of its comedy specials.

He released his first album, “Here’s Your Sign,” in May 1996 and it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Chart and remained there for 15 consecutive weeks while reaching platinum status.

His most recent album, “Ultimate Laughs,” was released in March 2014, which features a collection of his best comedy routines such as “Here’s Your Sign,” “I’m a Cowboy,” “Dorkfish,” “Wives and NASCAR” and more.

Engvall knows fans are familiar with much of his older material, and even the casual fan may be familiar with material thanks to the digital age. Although this might pose a small problem, Engvall enjoys the challenge.

“With the internet, people definitely have access to almost anything they want immediately,” Engvall said in a telephone interview. “What that forces me to do is to keep writing new material. It keeps me busy. I could regurgitate the same old ‘Here’s Your Sign’ material, but that wouldn’t be fair to the audience. Plus, by having new material more often, it keeps the crowd interested and helps keep my interest as well.”

Engvall said he does not worry so much about a crowd being bored with his show or current routine because the audience is there to see him.

“It’s not like the old days when I worked in a comedy club,” he explained. “When people came to the club, they were coming to enjoy a night out. They didn’t know the comedian necessarily, so when a joke didn’t go over well, it was quiet and you knew. With the show this weekend at the Golden Nugget, they are coming to see me so it’s different now.

“Plus, I have a new bit that I am bringing to this show that I haven’t tried yet,” Engvall added with a laugh. “So, we will see how it goes.”

Some comedians take breaks from the tour trail to work on new material, but, for Engvall, creating new material comes from his observation of everyday life.

“I’m always looking for new material, but I don’t know if its a conscious thing or subconscious thing,” he said. “Like, the other day, I was driving the car with my wife and we saw a turtle crossing the road. She asked me why would a turtle want to cross a road. That one event gave a whole bunch of little ideas that I might not have thought about until then.”

Engvall enjoys his life as a comedian and performing for his fans across the country, but he enjoys the challenges of acting and live-action television as well, such as the 17th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” Engvall, a fan favorite and a talented dancer, surprised the judges and contestants as he made it to the finals of the competition.

He recently filmed two movies in which he will star and are due for release later this year. One movie, “Wish for Christmas,” is a role many of Engvall’s fans might expect, but the other role might just shock those who think they know him.

“I can’t wait for people to see this movie, so I can see their reactions,” Engvall said excitedly about his forthcoming role in the movie, “The Neighbor.” “This role is going to freak people out because I play a killer.”

According to IMDB.com, the movie, which is set in Cutter, Miss., is about a man who discovers the dark truth about his neighbor and the secrets he may be keeping in the cellar. It is written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the same two men credited with writing “Saw IV.”

“This isn’t a gore-fest kind of movie, it’s actually what I would call a thriller,” he explained. “It was a lot of fun to make, but I told my wife I didn’t want her being on the set while I was making this movie. On the first day on the set, I had to act like I was killing a guy with the butt of a shotgun. It’s definitely a different role, but I’m excited about it.”

In other news, Engvall is excited about another endeavor as he launches a podcast which will debut on iTunes on Wednesday, June 15.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “I can talk about anything and everything, and it should be a lot of fun.”

In the meantime, Engvall will be getting ready to make his trip to Lake Charles this coming weekend and giving his fans a good laugh or two.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been back in that area,” Engvall added. “But I’m definitely looking forward to it and having some fun in Lake Charles.”

Visit www.billengvall.com for more information on this comedian and actor.