When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Pikes Peak Center, 190 S Cascade Ave.
Price: $39-$99, pikespeakcenter.com
There is perhaps no better proof of Bill Engvall’s place in pop culture than an Urban Dictionary entry referring to the comedic phrase he coined. The website defines his “Here’s your sign” bit this way: “The ‘sign’ should be worn by stupid people bearing the warning that they are in fact stupid. When someone does something stupid, you can simply tell them ‘Here’s your sign...’”
As Engvall tells it though, “Here’s your sign” almost never happened.
“The bit used to be stupid people should be slapped,” the comedian said in a phone interview.
Early on, a friend told Engvall he didn’t look like someone who would go around slapping people. So he changed the joke.
“That’s what got me known,” he said. “If people didn’t like that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Engvall says people like “Here’s your sign” stories because, “We’ve all done it.”
“Everyone’s said something stupid or asked a dumb question,” he said.
Lately, Engvall’s shows have been about stupid things he has said or done in his marriage.
“I’m looking at life through my wife’s eyes and what it’s like to be married to a comedian,” he said. “We look at life differently. I get myself into situations I don’t mean to.”
Engvall and his wife, Gail, have been married for 37 years, which means they’ve been together for the entirety of his comedy career.
“She has been there since day one,” he says.
Day one looked like this: Engvall had dropped out of college and was spinning records at a nightclub in Dallas. A friend talked him into getting on stage at a nearby comedy club. He always liked comedy, but didn’t think he could make a living telling jokes.
He is now considered one of the country’s top comedians. Engvall was part of the widely popular “Blue Collar Comedy Tour,” with Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy. He starred in his TV sitcom, “The Bill Engvall Show.” In 2016, he released his latest comedy special, “Just Sell Him for Parts,” which shares a name with this stand-up tour.
At 62, Engvall isn’t performing as much as he used to. He did maybe 50 dates this year and that number will likely go down as his daughter, who lives in Denver, is expecting Engvall’s first grandchild. Engvall, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, wants to be free to spend time with his family, instead of traveling so much.
“My career is coming to an end, I just don’t know when,” he said. “Just because I have been doing it for so long. I’ve achieved every goal I ever wanted to.”
Still, he looks forward to being on stage, where he doesn’t typically talk about politics or current events. Engvall sees his show, which he calls relatable and clean, as an “escape from what’s surrounding us.”
“I don’t want you to think you’re going to see a comedian,” he said. “I want you to think we’re sitting in your living room and I’m the funny guy talking.”
As he talks, every now and then, he’ll throw out a “Here’s your sign” joke. How could he not?
“It’s like my ‘Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie,’” Engvall said. “I like doing them. And people would be disappointed if I didn’t do them.”
8th Annual Night Of Comedy
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Colorado Springs Marriott, 5580 Tech Center Drive
Price: $75 per person; pre-register at sksfcolorado.org/event/noc. Proceeds go toward Zach’s Place at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center, Special Kid Special Friend’s founding program.
For a look at Cash Levy’s style of jokes, you can read up on his made-up language. Levy, who is performing at Special Kids Special Families’ main fundraising event, hosts an improvised comedy podcast, “Cashing In” with T.J. Miller. Throughout their conversations, the pair have made up a long list of phrases, as catalogued on cashphrases.org. And there are listings from A to Z. Seriously. There’s “Abrooch,” meaning “To approach someone/something while wearing a decorative brooch.” “ZZ Over-the-top” can refer to an overly long beard. Along with Levy’s show, the event also includes a three-course dinner, a special “Can’t Stop the Feeling” performance by Zach’s Place youth and amazing silent auction packages.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N Academy Blvd.
Price: $10 general admission, $8 for military, $5 for students and kids under 13, oxymoronscomedy.net
“Say hello to a bunch of morons,” is how the comedy group Oxymorons introduces themselves online. The Pennsylvania-based troupe performs improv games in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” Comedian Allan Goodwin will also perform.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Saturday
Where: Comedy Works, 1226 15th St., Denver
Price: $25-$27, comedyworks.com
Maybe you know Janeane Garofalo from her roles in such movies as “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Ratatouille,” “Reality Bites” or “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.” The “Saturday Night Live” alum’s career has spanned nearly 30 years. Most recently, she starred in the TV show “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.”