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Blue Collar Comedy

Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road – 2006 (Warner)

Reviewed by Ken Burke

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Riding a wave of remarkable popularity, Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy, make their third - and best - concert disc/film in four years.

Appearing before a rapturous Washington, D.C. audience, Engvall bonds with the crowd instantly. A bit about testing out a trampoline he had bought for his kids dovetails neatly into observations about relationships. Yet Engvall's best shots are reserved for his own shopping habits and the family dog, who just happens to eat his own feces. "You can't teach that," he comments drily, "It's a gift." The material - sans "Here's Your Sign" references - is fresh and very funny.

White toys with bits about erectile dysfunction and "Brokeback Mountain" before providing amusing comments about Homeland Security, Texas Hold 'Em and pet hotels. The biggest laughs are provoked when he taps into his image as a hard drinker, i.e. "We have two Scottish terriers, because if you drink enough Johnny Walker products, they just eventually send you the dogs." More conversational and open than in past outings, White is at his most engaging here.

Foxworthy's star may have cooled a bit, but he is clearly the group's best joke-writer. Routines about discount Lasik surgery and potential slogans for sales on vasectomies you'd never want to hear ("Buy one, get one free.") score big. He varies his most sure-fire theme with the "Redneck Dictionary" which defines wisdom as: "My brother had two kidney stones, and he whizzed 'em both out." His further takes on redneck fashions and youth culture are deftly rendered and funny to the bone.

After comedically dismissing his catch-phrase, the Larry the Cable Guy garners continuous off-center laughs while talking about dating midgets, fishing, flatulence and embarrassing moments at Home Depot. Commenting on his new fame, the porky comic mentions that sex tapes he made many years ago may soon hit the market and concludes, "You finally make a little money, then you get relatives coming out of the woodwork."

The best moments from "Picture From Our Scrapbooks" are purely visual and the movie theme song is a bland throwaway. However, the reedy old gags uttered during "Our Favorite Jokes" are redeemed by the comic's interpersonal charm. Previously, only Engvall came within comedic hailing distance of Foxworthy. This time around, the lesser comics have risen closer to his level, which results in a highly entertaining finale for the Blue Collar concept.