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Ron White on love, marriage and helping Sarasota charity: interview

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Ron White with Margo and Frenchies

Newlyweds Ron White and Margo Rey with their French Bulldogs. Ron is holding Gurdie and Margo is holding Pearl. COURTESY PHOTO

Three days after marrying singer Margo Rey, Ron White sounds downright euphoric and madly in love and, yes, still capable of talking dirty right in front of her. Really, how else would they get along if she didn’t adore his famously filthy mouth?

See, the way Ron tells it, he met Margo through her older brother, comedian Alex Reymundo, who dragged Ron to see his little sister's band perform. Ron really did not want to go. But he did and he had a few drinks and he took a look at what was happening on stage and he could not look away.

“Margo got down on her knees in a mini skirt and was just belting out this rock song,” Ron says, “it was the sexiest thing I ever saw.”

Laughter and then a pause.

“I’m the kind of guy when I want something, I wait 20 years and ask her brother for her phone number,” Ron says, already laughing at his own hilarious punch line and the reaction it gets from his wife.

Ron White to headline Halloween event for Brides Against Breast Cancer

And what about Alex? How did he react when his hard-drinking, comedian pal Ron told him about how sexy his little sister looked?

“He threatened to stab me that night,” Ron says. “He’s Mexican. That’s what they do.”

It’s just before noon on a Tuesday and Ron and Margo are sitting together on the back porch of their home in Montecito. The home is in one of the most affluent communities in the celebrity-filled Santa Barbara County of Southern California. The home, just like Ron’s other house in Atlanta, is the result of all those Blue Collar television specials and tours and his many nights headlining in Vegas.

Ron White Margo Rey AP 2012

Comedian Ron White arrives with singer Margo Rey for the 138th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

A Texan as famous for his hilarious anecdotes about behaving badly as he is for constantly clutching a glass of Scotch and a cigar on stage, Ron might already have a post-breakfast buzz or, more likely, he’s simply still intoxicated, figuratively speaking, from the wedding. Yes, we need to talk about the wedding. The celebrity gossip site TMZ reported Ron served guests Frito pie.

“We had other things, too,” the comedian snaps. “It’s not just like we put out these little bowls of Frito pie. We also had barbecue from Cooper’s, one of the finest barbecue joints in the country.”

Turns out, 300 guests - in addition to Ron and Margo’s French bulldogs, Gurdie and Margo, dressed in black sequined dresses - attended the big event held at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. Dr. Phil and wife Robin McGraw attended and their son, Jay McGraw, performed the ceremony. Ron and Margo wrote their own vows.

“I kept this short,” Ron tells the crowd. “So we could tweet it.”

Ron took a break from the Scotch and enjoyed a steady stream of tequila, opting, occasionally, for Champagne or red wine during the six hours of open bar. Margo and her pal John Oates (of Hall & Oates), performed and, oh, yeah, John Paul DeJoria, the Paul Mitchell guy who also co-founded The Patron Spirits Company, was there, too, hence the huge other bar set up with all the top-shelf tequila.

So, how exactly did blue collar comic Ron White become pals with billionaire John Paul DeJoria?

Ron White scotch

Ron White / COURTESY PHOTO

“Years ago, he came out to a show in Austin and I recognized him from the crowd, noticed he was laughing,” Ron says. “Afterwards, he comes backstage and asks for a snort of my Scotch. He takes a big, old gulp of Scotch. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s really, really supportive of my wife and her battle with breast cancer.”

Ron’s excited. He’s talking fast and laughing hard and cracking killer jokes and all that jazz; but he sounds completely sober about performing with his wife and Alex at an intimate venue in St. Petersburg on Halloween. It’s a benefit show for the Sarasota-based charity Brides Against Breast Cancer.

“We’ve had quite a weekend and we are honeymooning right now,” Ron says. “But this Brides Against Breast Cancer organization and gala are very important to us.”

Amy Paulishak, senior vice president of Brides Against Breast Cancer, explains that Margo, a two-time breast cancer survivor, was first introduced to the organization earlier this summer.

“We were able to sign her up as our national ambassador,” Paulishak says from the Brides Against Breast Cancer office in Lakewood Ranch. “She’s provided us with a tremendous opportunity to help educate and empower women that have survived breast cancer or who are going through breast cancer treatment.”

Margo spearheaded the Halloween concert that also features stand-up performances by her husband and her brother.

“This is really new to us and we are very excited,” Paulishak says.

Ron White with Alex Reymundo comedy show and Margo Rey concert
5 p.m. Thursday, October 31; Party bus leaves Linksters Tap Room, 8201 Cooper Creek Blvd, University Park; 6 p.m. doors open at Nova 535, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $75, $99 (includes party bus transportation), $200 (includes meet and greet with Ron White and Margo Rey); 1-877-721-4673; bridesagainstbreastcancer.org.

Ron White with Alex Reymundo comedy show and Margo Rey concert
5 p.m. Thursday, October 31; Party bus leaves Linksters Tap Room, 8201 Cooper Creek Blvd, University Park; 6 p.m. doors open at Nova 535, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $75, $99 (includes party bus transportation), $200 (includes meet and greet with Ron White and Margo Rey); 1-877-721-4673; bridesagainstbreastcancer.org

Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013 Wade Tatangelo has been an entertainment reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: October 23, 2013
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