"You're going to get four comics in one show? That's dumb, what are we going to do that for?" White remembers saying.
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As White admits today, he was wrong. Dead wrong.
"I didn't see it coming," he said.
The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which included White, Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, played for six years beginning in 2000. It spurred DVD sales and three movies. Eventually, it became one of the biggest-selling comedy tours of all time.
Dumbfounded by the immediate success, White laughed the whole way to the bank as he saw an explosion to his career and also to his paycheck.
"What it did to my career personally was that it took me from complete obscurity to complete unobscuirty and that's great," he said. "I never saw this kind of success coming for me. I didn't even care. I saw it happen to Jeff and I still didn't think it would happen to me, even though Jeff was standing right next to me. We exploded."
Even though the tour ended in 2006, White continues to tour where he tells his jokes to his audience, but at his heart, he's a storyteller.
"All my best stuff is stories. I'm a storyteller," he said. "I can structure-write a little bit, but my big thing is that I'm a storyteller, so usually my really big bits come from my life. And thank God."
White said he's constantly taking in what's going on around him for his material.
"As long as I'm out living life and mingling with everybody else and doing what everybody else is doing, then the comedy is always there," he said. "But when I get reclusive where I don't want to go out and I want to set back and sit on my hands for whatever reason, then I have a tendency to get blocked. But as long as I'm out participating in life there's too much fodder for comedy. I have buckets of stuff that I don't even work out because I don't even have time."
He said one reason he believes he connects with his fans so much is that his comedy is really about the truth.
"I think because I'm true to my nature. I don't have any corporate affiliates so I don't have to make anybody happy. I just accept my fans. I think they appreciate the honesty that's in my comedy," he said.
And White said, he also understands his own faults and flaws, which also makes for good laughs.
"I'm not perfect and I know it. I have many, many flaws but every one of them are mine," he said. "And most guys that are really popular in this industry are true to their nature, they're not trying to be somebody else. That doesn't matter if you're Richard Pryor or Jeff Foxworthy, they're both completely true to their nature, even though they're completely different, they're just hugely successful because of that, I think."
And keeping to that truth-telling and self-truth is what White believes helps him keep his fan base.
"My fan base is just a wonderful bunch of people, just like me. I guess what's great, I'm a baby boomer, majority of people in this country are my demographic, which is 46 to 66 or older," he said. "And I'm aging at the same rate as they are and they may continue to be interested in what I have to say or they may lose interest, I don't know. As long as they're coming out."
He said someone asked him the other day when he was going to retire.
"Man, my fans will tell me," he said.