Friday, 19 August 2016

Book Review--Just a Guy by Bill Engvall

I have always considered myself average.

Average height, average coloring, average upbringing... actually I'm probably the only "average" person on the bell curve which, in and of itself, makes me unique.

But I haven't achieved super stardom.  In fact, I get excited when one of my old students recognizes me in the store.  There's no way that someone with such a mundane existence could ever be a household name. It takes special circumstances from birth to achieve that... right?

Not according to Bill Engvall.  This fantastic comedian who has made so many people laugh and learn to take life as it comes and revel in the ridiculous, had just a childhood.  With just parents (and stepmom, who sounds great, by the way) and just sisters and was just a kid.  And a high school student and a "kind of" college student.  And, Just a Guy.

Just a Guy: Notes from a Blue Collar Life by [Engvall, Bill, Eisenstock, Alan]

I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mr. Engvall's routines over Pandora and on YouTube and through his DVD recordings but hearing this book (audio from OverDrive) I saw the stories behind those stories.  There are several incidents that I remember hearing from his show, embroidered for emphasis, but here is the backstory.  There are some episodes that he recounts from his childhood that make me laugh because I recognize things that my sons would do or have done.  There are some heart wrenching episodes such as his parents' divorce that hit home because of my own situation but gives me hope that my children can succeed even with that difficulty in their upbringing.  It really was a wonderful warm look at the real man behind the laughter.  I enjoyed it.

My only regret is that I wasn't able to see him when he came to the Inn of the Mountain Gods this summer.  The timing and finances weren't right but if he comes back, I'll be right up there, laughing and shaking my head and remembering that even though he's up on that stage he's still, just a guy.

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