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The Indian and the White Guy, better know as Williams & Ree, share a unique ability to make people laugh even if it comes form laughing at themselves - a trait which first drew them together in 1968. Bruce Williams and Terry Ree met at Black Hills State College in Spearfish, South Dakota where they were both majoring in draft dodging. The two ended up playing together in a band, working the bars and college parties. The band, with a repertoire of 10 or 12 songs needed help filling in the time, so Bruce and Terry jumped in with the ethnic jocularity. Soon their comedy became a bigger draw than the band and The Indian and the White Guy comedy team was born.
The two have been coupled since those college days and have been compared to the likes of "cotton and polyester," "peas and carrots," "Sears and Roebuck," and "William's and Ree".
During the late 70's, William's & Ree polished their act at the famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Terry points out that "the place is sort of a comedy college and is a great place to fine tune your material and see if the bits are workings or not. We probably get most of our ideas from newspapers and television. Some absurdity will spark and idea and then we'll work it into something. A testing ground like the Comedy Store is a perfect place to try things out.
For the past 26 years, the Williams & Ree have entertained audiences from coast to coast - sharing stages with such superstars as Garth Brooks, The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, and Randy Travis. Their show is a lively, fast-paced mixture of comedy bits, social/political commentary and racial zings entwined with original songs. Jack Hurst of the Chicago Tribune describes their show as "a sort of ethic-oriented "Hee Haw" with strong dashes of Saturday Night Live. Playing on their differences is a large part of the Williams & Ree humor.
In addition to performing some 200 live concert dates a a year, television has played a major role in the Williams & Ree saga. While working on material at his home in South Dakota, fate drew Terry to the television one afternoon and a now concept for their buffoonery was born. "One day I was watching The Nashville Network (TNN) and called Bruce and said, "We have to move to Nashville. The Nashville Network needs us."
Throughout 1990 and 1991, Williams & Ree worked as regulars on "Hee Haw," giving them national television exposure to millions of viewers every week. The two were spotlighted in several segments of the show including a running gag with Williams posing as an Indian Chief. In all reality, Ree is a descendant of Sioux chiefs and, whenever he is at a loss for something to say on stage, he screams a blood-curdling chant right out of an old movie which signals Williams to come up with something!
"The Indian and the White Guy" routine was a natural for us right from the start." says Terry Ree. "People never questioned our material or gave us any flak. I mean, I am an Indian and, in fact we do our act at a lot of Indian conventions and before Indian groups. The truth of the matter is that we pick on everyone, no matter what their background."
Widely known to country music fans across the nation, TNN recognized Williams & Ree's ratings power and aired a special featuring the two. The program was so well received that they were asked to shoot six more shows entitled LAFF TV with Williams & Ree. Most recently, Williams & Ree co-hosted another TNN television production, The Charlie Daniels' Talent Roundup, and added their humor to this weekly talent contest.