It has not always gone the way they expected, but it’s gone well nevertheless.
When Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy (né Daniel Whitney), Bill Engvall and Ron White teamed as the Blue Collar Comedy Tour in 2000, their success was practically instantaneous. All of a sudden these comedians seemed to have all of middle America doubled over laughing.
The tour became a franchise, siring movies (both theatrical and straight-to-DVD) as well as television and a branded satellite radio show.
The comedians toured together for six years before calling it quits. And here is where the surprises came. Afterward, all four continued to have a notable pop-culture presence, often in unexpected ways. Who would have predicted Foxworthy hosting a game show called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” or Larry voicing a tow truck for Pixar’s “Cars,” or Engvall appearing on “Dancing With the Stars”?
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As for White, who appears Saturday at Cache Creek, he continues to be a large draw on the live stage, puffing cigars and drinking scotch, both of which he uses as comic props (although those in the up-front seats should be aware there is no escaping the fumes).
He has a new DVD called “A Little Unprofessional,” has a following he calls his “Rontourage,” and posts a daily joke and sometimes advice on his tatersalad.com website. On Derby Day last week, for instance, he warned of the dangers of juleps, calling the drink “diabetes in a tall glass with muddled mint leaves.”
Anything but unprofessional, and one of the most vibrant comedians on stage, White will do two shows. (7:30 and 10 p.m.; $65; www.cachecreek.com)
Also at Cache Creek, the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan playing tonight at 9 p.m.($65, $75, $85); and Amy Ho joining Johnny Yip for a Chinese concert Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m. ($58, $78, $108)
Boomtown spruces up
Anyone who drives to Reno from Sacramento on Interstate 80 knows Boomtown. Once a popular truck stop and casino, first opening as Bill and Effie’s, it had declined in recent years.
Now, however, its owner of two years has invested $20 million in upgrades for the casino and hotel, abandoning the former “cowboy” atmosphere, turning its steakhouse into a spot called Bistro 2100, while adding a Market Fresh Deli and Baja Mexican restaurant.
Boomtown has also added monthly concerts with an emphasis on classic rock and country. Former lead singer of Bad Company, Brian Howe, performs May 25 at an enticingly low price ($19.99 general admission; boomtownreno.com).