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Bill Engvall

Dorkfish – 1998 (Warner)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Bill Engvall

Here's an easy, foolproof way to see if a comedian is getting desperate: Check how far he gets into his act or his album before he digs up those hoary bits about flying and the weather.

On Bill Engvall's second CD those two topics occupy the second and fourth tracks, respectively. There's your sign - and it's not a good one. Engvall's living in Hollywood now, which leads to the inevitably homosexual put-downs (his son's Indian Guide leader is named "Dances With Men"), but Bill seems to have absorbed that town's sequel mentality. If something sells, give the people more of the same - exactly the same. So we're treated to the imaginatively titled track "More Here's Your Sign" and even "Here's Your Sign Christmas." Another problem with the live set recorded here is that much of it - including the title track - is visual, i.e. Engvall says "The fish look like this..." and the audience cracks up, leaving you wondering just what you missed. For a guy who's made a career out of making fun of stupid people, Engvall leaves himself wide open for a hearty "Hey, Bill. Hello! We can't see you on an audio CD. Here's your sign."