NBC’s The Great American Road Trip stars road comic Reno Collier and airs Tuesday July 7, at 8:00 pm Pacific Time.
Reno’s comedy journey began at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta, Georgia, where was a bar-keep to supplement his day job as a physical education teacher.
In 2004, he joined Larry the Cable Guy on the successful “2004 Tour of America.” He has also worked with Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. In January 2007, he re-joined Larry the Cable Guy for his arena tour currently criss-crossing the United States and Canada.
In 2005 and 2006, he headlined the “Comics on Duty” tour for American troops stationed in Iraq. He is a regular on the “Bob & Tom” syndicated radio show and Country Music Television (CMT), where he hosts various specials.
Monsters and Critics was in on a conference call with Reno to talk about his new NBC show.
How are the families chosen?
Reno Collier: They would make a video. They basically chose whatever they wanted to video themselves doing, as far as I know, just what I saw.
So, they would be at their house or they would be somewhere close to their house. They would go out, they would explain, ‘hey we’re whoever their name is, where they’re from, what their interests are,’ kind of – a lot of it was they were competitive or athletic, whatever it was.
They would just define their own family in their own words, and what I thought was hilarious because they’re all fired up because they want to be on TV. The families come from every region of the country and some of them are really excited; some of them are kind of laid back.
It was a great group as far as it’s not a bunch weirdoes, you know what I mean? It’s not like just out of control character people, its real families.
Any personal road trip experiences you care to reveal?
Reno Collier: Well road trip – I’ve been a touring comedian for 13 years, so most of that traveling is by myself. And now I have a wife and kids and we just did when we got done, a nine hour drive to see their great grandparents. And yeah, I don’t know man, I think if my kids were older…
My favorite of the show was watching the families – they’re forced to get along. I mean they don’t have cell phones; the kids don’t have video games, and they’re in those RVs. So my favorite part was watching them come together.
Where I thought they would explode and they would come apart, they actually got closer together. But road trips for me – when I was a kid, I was an only child so I’d like lay in the back window of the car. And we’d drive from Virginia to Florida and I’d just look out the window and fake shoot at truckers – that was the best.
You just eat candy and play stupid games looking for license plates. And, it was always fun because we’d play that license plate game and I’d write down like five that I had to find and then I’d give my mom like Alaska would be one of hers and Hawaii would be one of my dad’s so I had to win every single time.
What about touring with Larry the Cable Guy?
Reno Collier: Yeah, like the past 3-1/2 years I’ve been on tour with Larry the Cable Guy and that’s all on the tour bus and stuff like that. The thing is, is like it would have been crazier if it was like ten years ago.
But now we’re all married and have kids ad it was really kind of lame. Like my friends would come out and be like, oh man, the tour bus. We’re going to blow it out. And they get in the back and there’s like spit cups and a couple of beer bottles and like an empty pizza box.
We’re all chubby and too tired to do anything fun. It definitely wasn’t poison.
NBC sent preview videos to sample the wares:
Step On It
Whoever said getting there is half the fun didn’t have to get there like this. Great American Road Trip, Tuesday 8/7c.
Road Trip! Seven families. Seven RVs. A cross-country competition. Great American
How You Play The Game NBC is sending these families on an adventure… but this ain’t no vacation. Great American Road Trip, Tuesday 8/7c.
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