Ron White used to be known as a cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman, but that description no longer holds true. Today Ron drinks his very own Number Juan tequila. If his drink of choice has changed, however, Ron’s ability to make people laugh has not. For 32 years “Tater” has been on the road telling jokes, culminating in his role as one of the charter members of the record-breaking Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Ron has written a New York Times best-seller, I Had the Right to Remain Silent…But I Didn’t Have the Ability, and made cameo appearances in multiple Hollywood hits, but in 2019 he’s splitting his time between being a wildly popular stand-up comic and a tequila mogul. The hilarious Mr. White recently took a break from headlining in Las Vegas to chill with HUSTLER, generously plying us with his extraordinary anejo and regaling us with tales of a life lived large.
HUSTLER: First things first, Ron. Are you now or have you ever been a HUSTLER reader?
RON WHITE: The first HUSTLER Magazine I ever saw I found in a ditch when I was 12 years old. I’d never seen pubic hair before. My dad had a couple of men’s magazines, some Playboys, and I knew where they were hidden. But we were walking by this ditch, and there was a magazine down there with what seemed to be pubic hair. It was a HUSTLER, and it was our prize. We cut the pictures out of it, showed ’em to people at school, like, “What about that right there, huh?”
The touching story of a boy’s first bush!
Exactly. And then that sort of goes to, I dunno, two or three years ago. I’ve always liked Larry, so I was sitting reading one of his books about being a patriot and a pornographer. It said Larry always returned his phone calls, so I was sitting beside the pool at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, and I called his office. They said he wasn’t in, and I said, “Okay.” Then 30 minutes later the phone rings, “It’s Larry!” [Laughs.] I didn’t really have a question; I just wanted to see if he was gonna call me back. I wished I’d had a question for him because I would have loved to talk to him. Now I live in Beverly Hills, so I see him a lot down there, just enough to say hi. We don’t have a relationship of any kind, but I’ll tell you, he is a man of his word, ’cause he called me back!
Of course he did! Back to your childhood: Is it true you always wanted to be a comedian?