In my last review of Red Green, I said I would do a review of comedian Ron White. I saw Ron White Friday, April 22, and this was one wild show. Once again, it was held at C. Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames, and I sat in row five, seat 26, toward the left.
I decided to buy a Ron White ticket when I went to Iowa State last February to purchase my Red Green ticket. I saved so much by buying the Red Green ticket at the venue compared to buying online that I had saved enough to pay for most of the price of the Ron White ticket. So goes impulse buying and thinking.
I had first seen Ron White a little more than 10 years ago on television. He was then working with Jeff Foxworthy, who became famous for his “You might be a Redneck if . . .” stories. I saw Ron on TV on Comedy Central in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and Blue Collar TV, and more recently Comedy Central frequently played one of his performances.
These TV appearances, of course, were tamer or edited for content compared to Ron’s live performances. In fact, I do not think that you could have edited this performance for TV. You would have been left with about 10 minutes tops.
I rode to Ames with a couple I know who were also going to the show. We left at 6:20 p.m. for the show, which began at 8 pm.
If it were up to me, I would have stopped somewhere to eat before we went to the performance. Ames has a lot of fast food places that we do not have in Perry. Not so with this couple. I guess that everyone has different traditions. My family likes to eat. This couple did not even stop on the way home at Dairy Queen. I also noticed that a lot of people are always in a hurry for some reason. I like to take my time and enjoy the surroundings and other people.
We arrived just after 7 p.m. Again, everyone has different ideas about things. I usually just park somewhere and walk. This couple drove around for about 10 minutes, looking for something closer. They found a spot that they liked not really much closer from where I would have parked, but they were happy.
I personally like C. Y. Stephens as a venue. You can get in there easily, and you can leave pretty quickly. I detest leaving Wells Fargo Arena. I know that Wells Fargo Arena holds a lot more people than C. Y. Stephens, but I think that someone has designed the stop lights so that you have to stop at every single light on the way out of Wells Fargo Arena on purpose. This I do not consider as enjoying the surroundings.
The only thing odd about CY Stephens Auditorium is all the steps, but of course this is because of how the levels for the seating were made. Also they could turn the lights up a bit. Maybe this is because I am getting older, but I dislike dimly lit places. I can stumble around in the dark at home for free when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I don’t like to pay to go somewhere to do this.
So we arrived just after 7 p.m. and got parked. We went into the auditorium. There was a booth selling merchandise, which included DVDs, t-shirts, buttons, Ron White bobble heads and other things. Some of the shirts and buttons had joke slogans, stating that Ron was running for President of the United States.
The lady that I was with likes to buy things, so she found this booth in an instant and made a purchase of a t-shirt. She later went back to the booth for another t-shirt and seriously considered a Ron White bobble head.
The couple sat in row 25 while I was in row five. I found my seat. And wouldn’t you know it, right off the bat there was a couple in their 20s in seats 24 and 25 and another young couple in seats 27 and 28 already in place by 7:30. I walked around a bit and then went up to row 25 to visit. At 7:40 I went down to my area row and sat in an empty area. No one came to this area until the very start of the show, and I moved into my assigned place.
It is funny because one of the people to come in just before the show began left for a beer run. Why someone would walk through all of those people to their seat, then walk all the way back 30 seconds later, and then come back with beer 10 minutes later confuses me. Why not get your beer initially?
I was concerned all night with the people continually coming in with beer that some would get spilled on me. For Red Green they had bottled beer. For this show it was keg beer, and a lot more people drank. I had beer spilled on me at a Chicago Cubs game, and it made me stink all day. Thankfully, there is a two-drink limit, so no one got out of hand, and no beer was spilled on me.
As they say, “You do not own beer. You just rent it.” All night, people were running to the restroom not long after finishing their beers.
I asked an attendant about how many people C. Y. Stephens held. She said 2,700 people, and they had an attendance of 2,300 for this night. For Red Green there were a lot more open seats.
This crowd drank a lot more beer than did the Red Green crowd. This crowd consisted of a lot couples, mostly in their middle 20s to early 40s.
The show started at 8:10 p.m. There was a warm-up act. His name was Josh Blue, a 37-year-old comedian who was voted Last Comic Standing in 2006. He has cerebral palsy.
A lot of his humor involves his living with cerebral palsy and how other people see him. He also talked about his son and daughter, who are small children. He said that his son climbs like a monkey, and his 5-year-old daughter is the cutest little person that you will ever be afraid of. She likes to be in charge of everything.
Blue had a segment that I found particularly amusing. He talked about how he goes to a lot of screen tests but never gets hired. He said that if the part does not call for someone with cerebral palsy, he is out of luck (the real term is omitted for appropriateness here). He said that you just cannot turn off cerebral palsy.
He imagined Spider Man with cerebral palsy. Blue’s right hand is turned in toward his body because of his condition. He put up his right hand to imitate Spider Man shooting out a web and then pretended that he shot a web all over his face because of how his hand is permanently turned. After about 20 minutes, Blue finished his performance, and Ron White came on stage.
Ron came in smoking a cigar and holding his trademark bottle and glass of liquor. I was surprised at the smoking because in 2008, during the Chester Culver gubernatorial administration, smoking in public buildings in Iowa was outlawed. Ron only smoked on his way in. On his televised performances, he smokes cigars or cigarettes most of the way through. I first thought that it was a fake cigar, but I could smell it not long after Ron put it down.
Ron came out in his traditional black outfit and thick gray hair. He then called for applause for Blue and had him come out to the stage. Then he started in on stories. A lot of the stories were of a sexual nature. Ron is currently 59 years old.
Ron held a drink the entire time of his performance, but he did not drink all that much. He used to drink Scotch on stage but now drinks Tequila. He and his brother-in-law have started marketing Tequila, so that is what he uses now.
Ron went over a myriad of stories and situations. Most were of an adult nature. In fact, they reminded me a lot of the stories that the drill sergeants used to tell us at after evening chow during formations. That was a long time ago, so I am sure that drill sergeants now only tell clean and wholesome stories.
Ron poked fun at the .08 percent alcohol level. He says that he does not drive drunk anymore, but he would ride with someone who is testing at .08 percent because that is not drunk. He claims that this is not impaired bu just a fundraiser for the government.
Ron talked about one time being pulled over and the person said that he smelled like alcohol. Ron said, “If you’ve poured as much Scotch over this tongue as I have, it will eventually smell like liquor all of the time.”
He also seems to be pro-marijuana and stated that it should be legal. He says that four states allow recreational marijuana, but Nevada is not one of them. He stated that Nevada has gambling, prostitution and you can buy liquor 24 hours per day, but yet they do not allow recreational marijuana.
He stated that he has a marijuana medical card for California. He claims to be using medical marijuana to get off of regular marijuana. When legalized in California, he will use recreational marijuana to get off of medical marijuana.
He talked about running for president. He says that a fence on the Mexican border is a dumb idea when people can tunnel under the border. This is in reference to the myriad of tunnels that have been discovered leading between Mexico and the United States.
Ron talked about his third wife, Margo, who was born in Mexico. She has two little dogs that they use for watch dogs. They do not bark and are not threatening. They just chew and wet on everything in the house, so no one wants to steal anything. Ron and his wife are building a new house, and he talked about hating his builder and the arguments that he has with his wife about the house and its costs.
Ron’s wife is a professional singer, and her brother is a professional stand-up comedian.
Finally, Ron ended by talking about his mother and mother-in-law. His mother is 81, and his mother-in-law is 80. They are both 5 feet tall and are the best of friends. Ron says that his mother likes to gamble and get loaded, and his mother-in-law likes to talk.
Ron told a story about taking their mothers on a trip. Ron and his wife went to bed. When he got up in the morning, his mother-in-law was asleep and mumbling. Apparently, his mother put one her pills in his mother-in-law’s sandwich to make her go to sleep so she would quit talking. The story went on, saying to wake her up they gave her another of his mother’s prescription pills. Then when she started talking again, they started getting ready to slip another sleeping pill in her sandwich.
Ron gave a tribute to Jeff Foxworthy, who helped to make him a start. Ron said that Jeff liked his work but not his work ethic.
After the ending applause, Ron did an encore with two other stories. He said that Josh and he had to perform at Blames Whiskey Comedy Festival at 11 p.m. in Ames. The show ended around 9:30 p.m.
You could purchase Ron White VIP passes and then meet with Ron and get a picture taken with him. I think that these must have cost around $150, but a lot of people had them around where I sat. A man selling them at the souvenir booth said that they limited these to 65 people.
All in all, it was a very raunchy show. I should not have been surprised. Not my thing. Most of the other people in attendance were rolling in the aisles. Still, it is interesting for me to test out new things.
Now I am on my way to Branson, Mo., for three days. Look out for a review on this. Hopefully, I will meet Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady on “The Brandy Bunch.”