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Cigar Culture

Ron White & Cigars

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

My favorite Ron White joke involves his being on a very small plane flying from Flagstaff, Arizona, to Phoenix. White relates that his manager didn’t opt to have him drive the short distance because “he doesn’t own a globe.” White shares that engine trouble developed quickly on the “9-minute flight.”

“Everyone else started freaking out, but I had been drinking since lunchtime, so I was like, ‘Take it down! I don’t care! Make sure you hit something hard, ‘cause I don’t want to limp away from this!’ The guy next to me is LOSING HIS MIND. I guess he must have had something to ‘live for.’ He says, ‘Hey man, if one of the engines goes out, how far will the other one take us?’ I look at him. ‘All the way to the scene of the crash! Which is pretty lucky, because that’s where we’re headed! I bet we beat the paramedics by a good half hour! We’re haulin’ ass!’”

RON WHITE IS A CIGAR-SMOKING COMEDIAN

Today, Ron White is a famous comedian who is never without a cigar onstage. What cigars does Ron White smoke? In 2011, White made a deal with Davidoff to be an ambassador for the then-new Zino Platinum Z-Class Series cigar. He has a deal with Davidoff to smoke the company’s cigars and he does so onstage. And off-stage.

While he had stepped up to sipping Macallan onstage, a scotch White has said would make most people die penniless, he now hawks his own Tequila brand, “Number Juan,” on his website and has a bottle on a stool in live performances.

STARTING OUT

White was discovered in 1986 at a comedy club by Jeff Foxworthy while White was, by his own admission, a very lazy seller of storm windows from the back of his pickup truck in Arlington, Texas. Long-story-short, White, encouraged by friends, got up on the stage at that comedy club and Foxworthy encouraged him to pursue the standup craft. So he did.

FROM CIGARETTES TO CIGARS ONSTAGE

White spent the next 13 years playing small comedy clubs, making little money. He studied and became friends with other comedians. He kept getting better. While onstage, White would smoke cigarettes and drink Scotch. As he became more successful, White moved to cigars, often a Cuban Montecristo, and good scotch, Talisker or Macallan, while he told funny stories that were crafted precisely, with the aim of making his audiences laugh, laugh some more, then laugh until it hurt.

“I want to make them laugh as hard as they physically can,” White has said, “to where they literally hurt the next day. This isn’t a chucklefest. I beat these people to death. And some of it’s thought-provoking, but some of it’s completely un-thought-provoking. I’m trying to write jokes, not treaties.”

THE BIG TIME

In 1999, White got a call from Foxworthy telling him that if he played his cards right, White could be part of something really big. White’s response?

“Why don’t I just give you my cards and let you play them?” Smart move.

The “something really big” turned out to be the “Blue Collar” comedy tour. Four comedians, Foxworthy, White, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy formed a package that mimicked the “Original Kings of Comedy,” four Black comedians (Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer). The Blue Collar tour was an instant hit when it opened in 2000.

THE BIGGER TIME

Fast forward again and White is a huge success on his own. Since 2013, White has been one of the country’s three top-grossing comedians. As of 2021, White’s net worth is estimated at $40 million.

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