Many of y’all may not know the history of Yall.com. But, it originally was a magazine launched in 2003. A quite successful magazine with over 100,000 in circulation and contributors like Jeff Foxworthy, Lewis Grizzard, and more!
As times changed, so did the publishing scene, but, Y’all ‘s core beliefs did not. Supported by a strong radio network and now the re-birth of Yall.com, the Y’all that Jon Rawl founded continues to, in his words from 2003, “cover the South’s 15 states and its 103 million people, just like kudzu.”
TBT ( Throw Back Thursday) will be bringing various interviews, editorials, and more from our past magazines. We hope you enjoy this one from June 2005:
The Origin of Here’s Your Sign
by Bill Engvall
I used to do this bit in clubs all the time that stupid people should be slapped. One night, my wife said, ‘Bill you just don’t look like the kind of guy that walks around slapping people.’
So, I was in the clubs and we were working six days a week so I had time to mess around with it and come up with this idea about the signs. This was back in the ‘80s. I used to sell those little signs that read “I’m Stupid” after the show for $1 a piece or two for $5. You’d be amazed the people who would buy two for $5 thinking it were a good deal. It’s always been there, people always liked it. I had seen what Jeff Foxworthy did with You Might Be A Redneck, and I was just waiting, whoa, we’re going to pop now. The first week the Here’s Your Sign comedy album came out in 1996, it sold 100 copies across the country. I said, ‘No, this isn’t what it was supposed to do.’ Then we did the music video and it shot into the 10,000 a week because of the mass exposure there on CMT, which was great. The album would ultimately go Gold.
Now, people ask if I mind being known as the Here’s Your Sign guy and I go, no, not at all because if that’s what brings people to the party, then they’ll see that there’s other material. It’s just like Jeff with the redneck stuff. That’s only a little part of his act but if they come and then they see that there’s more to you than just that, it’s a bonus.
And like redneck jokes, the sign ones keep coming. A buddy of mine recently told me one. He said he spilt beer on his cell phone and lost all his phone numbers and you know, you spill beer on something, you can smell it for a week after. He took the phone in and the repair guy said, ‘You spill any beer on it?’ And he said, ‘Nope, I was calling Budweiser.’
I’ll tell you a here’s your sign thing that happened last October and it just made me laugh out loud. My brother-in-law and I went deer hunting and he got a deer in the morning. We were taking it to the processor and he wanted me to pull into this little convenience store so he could get some Copenhagen or something and we walked out and there was a woman looking in the back at that deer and I thought, ‘Oh Lord, here it comes.’ She looked up and she said, ‘Did y’all shoot this deer?’ And my brother-in-law, who I love to death – you want to talk about a redneck – without missing a lick, said, ‘No ma’am. We were at that intersection down there and this deer hopped into the back of the truck, handed us a suicide note and shot himself.’ I said man, that’s pretty hip; I’m using that one.
Rednecks and stupid people are everywhere. You know what, you go outside of New York for 20 minutes and you’re going to find a redneck. I forget who said it, it may have been Larry the Cable guy, who said, ‘everybody hates rednecks… until their truck breaks down.”
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