STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
Comedian Bill Engvall performs at the Lorain County Fair.
WELLINGTON — Billed as a clean and family-friendly funnyman, comedian Bill Engvall lived up to his reputation Monday night, when roughly 3,000 wet and brave souls defied the rain to see his 80-minute-plus set at the Lorain County Fair.
Engvall, who stars in the new “The Bill Engvall Show,” which debuted last month on TBS, spent the evening talking about middle-aged, middleclass, Midwestern life. Even more so, his material was precisely targeted at empty-nester baby boomers looking to laugh.
“I think he was good,” said Henrietta Township resident Ann Buchs. “I’ve always liked him. They wanted to try something new at the fair this year, aside from just music. And he kind of fits the bill because he is popular in the country arena and people can relate to him.”
Engvall didn’t disappoint, throwing out plenty of jokes.
“I saw a medication for constipation,” Engvall said. “One of the side effects is diarrhea. Doesn’t that mean it’s working?
“Everything I love is bad for me,” Engvall complained. “Liquor … nicotine … liquor.”
He even had an idea for a Slim Jim meat straw you can use for drinking a beer.
Dressed in denim as if he had just come home from working in the shop, Engvall even threw a shout-out to Larry the Cable Guy by borrowing his catchphrase “Git-R-Done!” to end a joke.
He quickly added, “Don’t you tell him I said that,” to the crowd’s loud approval.
Today at the fair
• 7:30 a.m. — Gates open
Tip of the day
If you don’t want your car to get stuck in the mud at the fairgrounds, you might want to park on paved lots at St. Patrick’s, Wellington High School, Wellington Middle School, Westwood Elementary or City Hall and take the bus shuttle.
“We’ll all be lucky to be around in 10 years,” Engvall said. “We’re all hypochondriacs. They said kids today are starting to suffer from cell phone elbow. You can’t even make that up. I called my doctor and said, ‘Hey man, I think I’m getting road rage finger.’ ”
Nothing was off limits for the 50-year-old veteran comedian, who discussed cramps during sex, AARP eligibility, flatulence and, of course, Viagra. In fact, he spent a good five minutes detailing the downside of 36-hour arousal.
Good-natured fun between men and women was the majority of his material, which ranges from straight storytelling to a few set-up jokes. However, no matter what he was doing, his easy-natured delivery and down-home vibe explained why he’s at the top of his game.
Whether his latest foray into mainstream television pans out or not doesn’t seem to matter for Engvall, whose packed turnout at the fair proved this funnyman will have a loyal and true audience wherever and whenever he performs.