Bill Engvall

Here's Your Sign: Reloaded

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"Here's your sign" has been Bill Engvall's signature bit since his hit debut in 1996. He's retooled it again for Here's Your Sign Reloaded. The Matrix riff is neither here nor there; it's just a wacky way to sell the record. Inside, you'll find Engvall running through his normal set of mildly amusing regular-guy humor. It's the sort of thing many people find funny not because it actually is, but because each observation fits seamlessly into the collective everyday world of middle-class American life. "I've Been Married for Twenty Years" and "Getting Old Sucks" are self-explanatory, while "Jolly Roger Party Boat" relates the events of a family theme cruise gone absurdly awry. Before too long it's time for the other shoe to finally drop. It's been hanging over Reloaded since track one, the audience straining on every laugh, waiting for the comic to drift into his most famous joke. "One of my pet peeves is I just hate stupid people," he says. "I think they should have to wear signs." Naturally, the crowd goes wild. Engvall then launches into a string of instances about peoples' tendency to state the obvious -- it's sort of a Darwin Awards for everyday stupidity. There's the lost luggage attendant who asks Engvall, "Has you plane landed yet?"; the passerby stopping to ask whether his new car -- complete with price tags -- is new; and a few more digs at the comedian's eventful family life. Each setup ends with a drawl of the "Here's your sign" punchline. Each time, it's met with raucous, out of control laughter. The second half of Reloaded kicks the other side of the horse, and puts "Here's your sign" to music. "Here's Your Sign (Don't' Mess With Us)" -- a duet with Neal McCoy -- moves into jingoistic territory, handing out "signs" to the Dixie Chicks (for slights against President Bush and Texas) and a host of international evildoers. (McCoy and Engvall get a big kick out of Jacques Chirac's name -- "A 'jock' is what an athlete wears, you moron.") The album is rounded out by "Here's Your Sign Christmas," previously released on his 1999 yuletide album. Longtime Engvall fans should get a kick out of Here's Your Sign Reloaded, since it's no different than any of the comic's past releases.

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