Because Bill Engvall was one of the stars of the popular "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" films, people sometimes get the wrong impression about him.
"People think I'm more of a redneck than I am," the Texas native said in a recent phone interview. "I love to go to our ranch and drive the tractor, hunt and fish. But I also enjoy a good bottle of cabernet, I like a good dinner, I like sushi. I'm the guy right in the middle.
"Of all four of us (the other stars are Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White), I'm the least redneck."
Still, Engvall, 55, has worked hard to make his comedy appealing to a mass audience. He will perform two shows of his family-friendly material Sunday at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. He last performed in the area in 2010 when he headlined at the Stanislaus County Fair.
At an Engvall show, you can expect to hear jokes about marriage, children and ordinary life. "I don't do political or religious stuff because automatically you've alienated 50 percent of your audience."
He starred in the TBS sitcom "The Bill Engvall Show" for three seasons beginning in 2007 and has appeared in numerous Comedy Central specials, including 2004's "Here's Your Sign," in which he lampooned people who say stupid things, and 2009's "Aged and Confused."
Now that his children are grown, he has been talking more about how it feels to be an empty-nester.
"We're dealing with issues about me getting older, my wife and I spending time together and readjusting to that -- especially the getting older part," he said. "My brain still thinks I'm in my 20s. My body says no, you're not 20 anymore."
Engvall mentioned one reality check he had not long ago. He and a friend were getting dinner when he got some smiles from a young, attractive hostess. He was starting to feel proud when she said, "My dad loves you."
He said he likes doing clean comedy because he thinks it's becoming a lost art.
"A lot of times, young comedians feel they have to be edgy and push the envelope," he said. "You really don't. I look at guys like Bill Cosby and Bob Newhart when they first started -- they worked clean and they did relatable humor and they worked a long time. I've been working a long time and I guess the equation works."
Engvall says it's not that he's a prude. He enjoys a dirty joke every now and then -- he just doesn't want to build a whole show around it. "I'm not Disney on ice," he said. "I'm not saying that."
He said those who come out to his Gallo Center shows can expect to be entertained and get good value for their money.
"I tell people to come out and have a great time," Engvall said. "You're not going to be out late, which is awesome. Come back, sit and relax and have a good laugh."
WHEN: 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100