Bubba and Friends
Rochelle Center Benefit - 2014
6 Great Questions From Fans!
Who were your influences in your comedy career?
I was influenced greatly by the late great Bro. Dave Garner. I was his driver for two summers as a young man and learned how to use current events to create humor and to never "apologize for being who I am". The late Jerry Clower, a fellow Mississippian, taught me the art of story telling and Bill Cosby inspired me to keep it clean and use my family to be funny with and not offend them. Erma Bombeck and Lewis Grizzard inspired me to write funny and showed me the subtle differences between how to write funny and act funny on stage. Lewis Grizzard influenced me more than anyone on the art of "Being Southern" !! I believe "a rising tide lifts all boats" and everyone that does what I do owes the great Jeff Foxworthy for opening doors for this generation.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Mississippi, all over "The Coast", as it is called. Fountainbleau, Ocean Springs, St. Martin, Gulfport, and graduated from Long Beach High School. I graduated from Perkinstion Jr. College and attended the University of Southern Mississippi. I moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1969 and now call it home. I live on Santa Rosa Island on Pensacola Beach, and intend to die here! The only time I ever lived away from the "Redneck Rivera" was for one year in Tulsa, Ok, while I served as President of the United States Jaycees. I also have a home in Nashville, TN.
Are you married?
I was married for nearly 20 years to a wonderful woman I met in college in Mississippi, one Sally Carter. We divorced in 1986. We had two sons, Terryl, Jr. and Carter, AKA,"Bubba, Jr. and Lil' Bubba." It is very hard to find a woman that can handle all the time "apart", the "on the road", be willing to accept being "my wife" when the fans are six deep trying to get an autograph, and be independent enough to have a life of her own when I am not there.
I was single for 17 years, and in 1999 I began to date a long time friend, Tarsha Ramich, born in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, raised in Lisbon, Maine. She was in the biz, a disc jockey, had more baseball caps than I did, had just built her own Boss Mustang, engine and all, loved both me and "Bubba", is one of the strongest women I had ever known, not to mention being "drop dead beautiful", and on August 10th, 2002, I married her. Bubba-Lishous, (her own creation), loves going on the road with me, everyone at the Grand Ole Opry is just crazy about her and we have learned to live together in a harmony that I did not know existed. I am a lucky man, to have had not just one, but two women in my life that have made me a better man for having loved them.
Do you write your own material?
This is a tough one. I tell people all the time, that "I just repeat what I hear and see." My type and style of comedy lends itself to telling others what I think is funny about current events, people and even other comedians. I don't get angry when I hear someone, even other comedians "using my material", I'm actually proud of it. That is uncommon among comedians. If I hear something funny that I think will make people laugh, I repeat it with my own twist of humor to make it new and interesting. I once did an entire show on why I thought a certain comedian was not funny, I would repeat his material and then tell it was not right or funny, it was a hoot! I believe that "there is nothing new under the sun" and we need to laugh more. Whatever that takes I will be willing to do it. I never take bits from other funny people on purpose, but sometimes I just have to comment on them. It is my style and so far has served me well.
How long have you been on the Grand Ole Opry?
We have to be careful here! I do the Grand Ole Opry regularly, but I am not a member yet, thus I am not "ON" the Opry. It is my dream to one day be invited to be a member, but that will happen when that great institution thinks I am worthy. The GOO, has only had three members in it's 75 year history that were straight stand up comedians, that did not sing or play a musical instrument. It is a small, unique group. I can only dream of being the fourth. However, I debuted on October 24th, 1998, and have done over 100 shows at this point. I will stay as long as they want me, I love the place!
Why did you choose Country Music as you stage for comedy. Your comedy is not all that "Country"?
Great question, and a simple one for me. I kept it clean and it just fit better there than in comedy clubs. I have never been paid by a comedy club in my life. I enjoy them, but I don't perform in them. I come from a different place, the National Speakers Association. I spent over 20 years honing my talents as an after dinner humor speaker and earned that organization's highest designation, the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). When the entertainment opportunity came, I wanted to see if I could "run with the big dogs" and thus far I am convinced that I can! My style and type of comedy was more in turn with "country music folks" than any other people. I am proud to be thought of as Country, as well. I love the music and the market. Country Music choose me, I did not choose it ! Crook and Chase, the great entertainment team, were the first to put me on television and I just took off from there!