Comedian Bill Engvall left California for Utah after successful career: 'Felt more at home'

Actor / Comedian Bill Engvall visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 12, 2020 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Bill Engvall feels good about some big life changes. Last year, he decided it was time to retire from standup. Several years before, he knew it was time to leave Southern California. 

"We were in California for 30 years and we had a good time. We had a great time," he told Fox News Digital while promoting his upcoming comedy special, which will be his last. "I always said, if you can't find something to do in California, you're not looking." 

But the comedian and his family ultimately decided to make a change. "You know, there was nothing in California that we ever went, ‘Oh my God, we’ve got to get out of here.'… I still have a fondness for California," he shared, now as a resident of Utah. "And like I said, if work comes, it's probably gonna come out of LA… I still go back and do TV shows, you know, talk shows and stuff like that."

After several decades in the limelight, California didn't have to be home anymore. "I had accomplished everything I wanted to do in the business. And then also economically, I mean, the taxes were just becoming insane. And so it was a combination of a lot of things. But I don't hate California," he clarified.

Engvall, 66, and his wife Gail now live in the "Beehive State," and couldn't be happier. He says he's able to experience a different lifestyle in Utah, one rooted in the outdoors. He loves having the ability to fish, hike and ski. 

"I felt more at home, if that makes sense. I mean, I'm from Texas and I love Texas, but I don't know that I could move back there… It's got its pluses and minuses, just like every state does. But I never saw Utah on our radar at all, you know. But again, it was my probably narrow-mindedness, of judging what it was like. And then I got to realize, 'Oh, it's nothing like what I thought.'"

Actor Bill Engvall (R) and wife Gail Engvall (L) attend the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)

"That happens a lot with people moving to big cities and then moving out… I think it was a very successful time in California, and I'll always have a soft spot," the "Last Man Standing" actor said. 

"My wife and I, when we first got [to California', I said, 'We'll give it 10 years, and if nothing's happened, then we'll move.' Well, every 10 years it seemed like something would happen – I got a show, or you know a new special was coming out and I got a little more attention to me… But I'm happy to say, like I said before, that I accomplished everything I wanted to and now I'm just having fun. 

"Some of my dearest friends still live there and we go visit them. And it's fun to go back," he shared. 

In his comedy special, "Here Is Your Sign It's Finally Time – My Last Show," Engvall does take a quick crack at his former home state. "I probably could have left that one out," he told Fox News Digital. "That was really not necessary. But, you know… it was just a joke."

To hear Engvall's quip, you can purchase or rent his special on several platforms starting Dec. 5, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and YouTube, as well as cable providers.

Get the latest updates on this story on