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Bill Engvall

'Blue Collar' comedian finds success on TBS

This Galveston, Texas-born “Blue Collar” comedy guy was gearing up for a career as a character actor — especially after two incarnations of his own half-hour laffer were passed over by ABC and Fox. However, TBS responded to Engvall’s down-home sensibility in “The Bill Engvall Show,” a sitcom in which the comedian plays a therapist who can’t practice with his family what he preaches to his patients. In its first season this summer, the show drew 3 million viewers, outstripping “Everybody Loves Raymond” reruns. TBS has ordered a second season of the show.

Point of view

“When this sitcom was coming together, I told my wife, ‘This has got to work because it’s the first thing I’ve ever done on my own,’ ” Engvall says. “Being part of ‘Blue Collar’ was like being married to a rich woman: You want to show people you can earn your own living.”

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