Comedian Bill Engvall ’79 shares his Southwestern memories
This Homecoming, Bill Engvall ’79 will perform in the Alma Thomas Theater with 100% of proceeds supporting Southwestern University’s lifelong learning initiatives. We called Bill to ask about his Southwestern Experience and why he decided to perform at this year’s Homecoming.
Why did you decide to attend Southwestern?
Bill: Southwestern was the only school that I applied to. My dad went there. He was a Sig and had a great time. So, I ended up here as well. There really was no other choice for me.
What are some of your fondest memories of Southwestern?
Bill: We could be here all day! I remember attending the basketball games, and wish that we had football back then. The fraternity intramurals were awesome. Fall and spring were the best seasons in Georgetown. We’d go down to the Booties and Adeline’s in Round Rock. Southwestern has the East Coast feel but located in the middle of Texas. It’s a great, old institution. I always had in my mind whatever the college experience was supposed to be like and Southwestern was it. Professors knew us all by our first names. Oh, and the cinnamon buns, every morning!
What was your favorite Georgetown hangout?
Bill: The L&M Café. There was an old movie theatre too. We would go to Blue Hole. And of course, there was Walburg, to get a beer.
Your wife Gail (Gail Watson Engvall ’83) also attended Southwestern. How did you first meet?
Bill: It was after winter break and we were having a party at the KA house. I came roller skating over to Gail where she was sitting on the arm of the couch. I told her we should go roller skating. Apparently, she thought I meant right then and gave me a “move along” look. We never dated at SU, but met again a couple years later at a comedy club in Dallas. If I had not met her at SU, we wouldn’t be together today.
Who was your funniest professor?
Bill: I would say Dr. Deeds in anatomy. Tex Kasson always made me laugh too. He was like the granddad of SU. He gave me a job at the pool. I was the lifeguard, but no one ever swam. Tex told me to study instead.
What inspired your interest to give a performance at Homecoming this year?
Bill: A group of my Kappa Alpha Fraternity brothers and I get together once a year. We are lifelong friends and always joked about my giving a show at Southwestern. One of my first shows was in the SUB at a talent show. My early standup was at Southwestern and it was there when I started wanting to do comedy. It’s like coming full circle. I have so many great memories. This will be like putting a bow on the entire experience.
What does Southwestern mean to you today?
Bill: It’s a pot full of memories that I will take with me to my grave. Every time I need a smile, I think back to SU. It’s woven into my soul.
Bill will give an Alumni Performance at Homecoming, on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 8:00-9:30pm in the Alma Thomas Theater. One hundred percent of the ticket sales will benefit Southwestern. With these funds, the University will purchase new audiovisual equipment to livestream visiting speakers so that alumni, prospective students, parents, and friends can view campus programming from their home.
Tickets to Bill’s performance are nearly sold out. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at www.southwestern.edu/homecoming.