By now, even the casual comedy fan knows a thing or two about Ron White. For those who don’t, let’s review: He’s the guy with the Texas drawl and a tumbler of Macallan scotch and a Cuban cigar affixed to his hands; he’s the one they call Tater Salad; and he’s been a part of all three hugely profitable Blue Collar Comedy tours and subsequent DVDs.
With the success of his latest CD and DVD, You Can’t Fix Stupid barely behind him, White strikes while the iron is hot by dropping his first book. Titled after a line he delivers in his most famous joke, I Had the Right is an entertaining read, and, at times, disturbingly hilarious. At 304 pages — liberal line spacing and wide margins make it a breeze to read — this collection of his extended-story-style jokes and real-life anecdotes recounting his highs (but mostly lows) off stage gives the reader an excellent look into White’s world.
White goes into great detail about a great many things, including the years he lived in Mexico, where he and his wife ran a failing pottery business. He also goes into why he was forever banned from the Punch Line chain of comedy clubs — hint: some surprisingly strong acid and White’s poor judgment had something to do with it. Ten years and one call from Jeff Foxworthy later, however, and White was allowed back. White is also surprisingly candid about his failed relationships, bedding comedy club waitresses and his former nasty drug habit.
But it’s not all bad history. White reflects on the good times as well, like the time he opened for the late Sam Kinison, the night he met Foxworthy and the day The Funny Bone chain signed him up as one of its main headliners. For added punch, artist Matthew Shultz provides readers with about 100 light-hearted black-and-white illustrations depicting most of White’s anecdotes and jokes.
At times, White runs together two or three subjects in the same chapter without decent segues, making some of the stream-of-consciousnesses of it all seem a bit confusing. And obviously there are a lot jokes White fans will recognize — but recycling material never stopped George Carlin from selling millions of copies of his books.