Bill Engvall
15? Off Cool
Comedy CD
Produced by J.P. Williams
Warner Brothers Nashville 2007
48 minutes


The comics in the Blue Collar Comedy gang can be very uneven when it comes their stand-up comedy CDs. This is not a problem for the latest Bill Engvall CD 15 Degrees Off Cool from is Comedy Central Special. This Bill Engvall release is 49 minutes of great fun. He relies on his forte of relationship and autobiographical comedy to get the laughs his audience is more than willing to give.

Not a single Here’s Your Sign joke here but he does poke fun at people’s obsession with the latest health craze line free range chickens and ionizers. This is fairly clean stuff though not quite appropriate for someone living in a “good Christian home” as there is some adult innuendo here and there.

I generally enjoy Bill Engvall but some of his CDs are much better than others. 15° Off Cool is his best in a while. His material on the Blue Collar Comedy CDs had started to get a bit stale for me as I believe Engvall was basically relying on his typecast to get laughs.

He has not dramatically changed on this 15 Degrees Off Cool -if it ain’t broke don’t fix it- but he is closer to the kind of character on his first release, Here’s Your Sign than the more … negative? Weirdly aggressive? Pompous? comic of Autobiography Of A Cheap Drunk for example.

Perhaps the difference is Engvall is more self-deprecating and less specifically pointed when he comments on other people’s foibles. There is also a more down to earth and believable quality to his relationship comedy that there has been recently.

You can actually believe some of his material about his wife and his relationship with her, something that I could not quite manage to do with the stuff on recent Blue Collar CDs or Cheap Drunk which felt scripted more than lived in.

I hope this is something Bill Engvall will continue to do as it really works best for him. He’s never going to get a sign for leaving the blue collar gigs but taking what seems to be a step back from that turns out to have been a step forward.

15 Degrees Off Cool is a lot of fun and definitely the best CD so far (though the first one is still right next to it).


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