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Center Stage

Ron White assaults the senses in ‘A Little Unprofessional’ comedy tour


Center Stage 100313How fitting that the video sneak peek of Ron White’s “A Little Unprofessional” comedy tour malfunctioned after just 36 seconds during online research in preparation for an interview with the Blue Collar Comedy co-founder last week. One joke. That’s all the website’s clip would allow before experienced “technical difficulties.” But the recording made it through to the first of what is probably a series of punch lines about airport security: “I like to take two Viagra and demand a pat down.”

But that’s White — inappropriate in every way, a little unprofessional, even. Hence the name of his latest tour scheduled to make a one-night-only stop at the Civic Center of Des Moines on Oct. 5. “A Little Unprofessional” is a another installment of White’s universal comedy that has been splitting seams for almost 30 years, as White brings his quips about alcoholics and hard-ons to Des Moines audiences for the… well, frankly, White can’t remember how many times he’s been to Iowa’s capital city, but he’ll never forget his first time.

“I went to jail for possession of marijuana,” he confessed by phone from his home in Montecito, Calif. “The hotel maid turned me in for a joint I had left in the ashtray. Luckily, they didn’t find the rest.”

But the then 31-year-old stand-up comic didn’t hold a grudge, as evident by the photo of him at the Funny Bone Comedy Club signed, “Next year I want $1,500 and bail.”

“It turned out to be a great, fun week,” he said. “I had great press coverage, was on the front page of the paper, and a big crowd turned out.”

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A big crowd is expected to turn out yet again, as the tour builds momentum from its Peoria, Ill., kick-off on Oct. 3, stops in Cedar Rapids the following night and arrives in Des Moines on Saturday, where the 56-year-old wag plans to bludgeon all in attendance.

“I’m there to beat up 2,500 people. I’m there to gut them,” he promised. “I want them leaving holding their faces.”

In true form, White offers nothing for audiences to leave thinking about, nothing for them to be offended by or outraged over. What he offers, instead, is simply a brief but painful comedic relief from life.

“You don’t learn anything from me. It’s a physical experience,” White said. “My goal is to make you laugh as hard as you can, and I will. For an hour, I will. I don’t care. Just about laughter, that’s all I care about. That’s what people need. They need to get it out. It’s healing.”

And it’s healing for all, he said. It doesn’t matter if your collar is blue or white or if you don’t wear a collar at all. Comedy is universal and regionally immune, he said. You don’t have to be a Texan to understand why a man likes smoking cigars and drinking scotch, which amounts to “a $700 piss every morning,” he said.

“The human condition is the same for everyone,” White said. “Everybody wakes up and deals with life. It doesn’t even really matter whether you’re wealthy or poor.” CV

Ron White: A Little Unprofessional
Civic Center of Des Moines
Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.

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