Rodney Carrington has called his own independent label Laughter’s Good Records, and it’s a maxim that he’s been living up to for decades – with a dash of music that’s good thrown in as well. Carrington returns to Reno for a show on Dec. 1 at Silver Legacy.
Born in Longview, Texas, Carrington stayed based in the South while he toured the country at comedy clubs in the late ’80s to kick-start his career. He was also a regular on the popular “Bob and Tom” radio show, which often features comedians with a country flavor.
That exposure went into overdrive for Carrington when he started a recording career. After putting out an indie debut CD in 1995, Carrington put together “Hangin’ With Rodney,” which was released in 1998 by major label Mercury Records. Like most of his records as well as his live shows, the “Hangin’” album mixed stand-up comedy with humorous country songs. It sold well, but the follow-up, “Morning Wood,” did even better for another label, Capitol Records. It sold a half-million copies and placed in the top 20 of the Billboard country album charts.
It was the first of five albums for Capitol that hit the top 20 country chart. An album called “Greatest Hits” in 2004, ended up being his best-seller. Featuring one album of comedy and another album with his songs, “Hits” sold a million copies. Another of these records – “El Nino Loco,” released in 2009 – was a first for Carrington: it only featured songs and no stand-up material at all.
That success on record was also reflected in Carrington’s most mainstream move: a sitcom. The show “Rodney” started in September 2004 and ran for two season on ABC. Carrington plays a character much like himself, who wants to leave his southern town and become a stand-up comedian. The show was a modest hit, especially in its first season, and later had more of a shelf life when it was released on DVD, including several episodes that were not aired by ABC.
Carrington was also one of the writers for “Beer for My Horses,” a 2008 comedy that starred country singer Toby Keith as well as Carrington himself, who plays Keith’s best friend in the film.
It was in 2014 that Carrington started the Laughter’s Good label. An album of that same name was released in 2014 and made No. 23 on the U.S. Country Albums chart. A follow up was just released in September, called “Here Comes the Truth.” That is also the name of Netflix comedy special also just released on the streaming network.