1505 16th Ave S Nashville TN United States 37212
Los Angeles-based Parallel Entertainment is a management and production company seriously dedicated to the business of comedy.
In 1991, CEO J.P. Williams founded Parallel as a personal management company, with one client—Jeff Foxworthy. Today, Parallel is one of the most successful personal management and production companies in the entertainment business, as a recent New Yorker profile of the Company pointed out.
The Company manages and is partnered in various entertainment ventures with such top comedians as Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall, the trio collectively known as the ‘Blue Collar Comedians.’ Blue Collar Comedy projects, including films, television series and specials, concerts, DVD premiere films, comedy CD’s, and merchandise have generated over a quarter billion dollars in actual revenues since 2000.
Parallel also manages many other comedians, such as Lisa Lampanelli, Reno Collier, Jamie Kaler and John Caparulo for whom it also produces comedy albums and manages national comedy tours.
Williams and film producer Alan Blomquist (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) joined forces in 2002 to form Parallel Entertainment Pictures, the Company’s filmed entertainment production company. The following year, their first project, the solely Parallel financed and produced “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie,” was released by Warner Bros. The feature length concert film, featuring the three comedy stars (plus comedian Ron White) performing their stand up routines individually and together, had a limited theatrical release, but later debuted on Comedy Central to the highest ever ratings for a movie on that network, with 2.9 million viewers. The resultant DVD release sold more than four million units.
Following that first project, Parallel launched the half hour comedy series Blue Collar TV on the WB in 2004, featuring Foxworthy, Engvall, and Larry performing in a variety of comedy sketches. The series ran for two seasons and was one of the WB’s highest rated half hours in history.
Parallel then financed and produced the sequel Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again, which was released by Paramount Home Entertainment and has sold more than 320 million DVD’s, without the benefit of a theatrical release. When it later debuted on Comedy Central, its ratings dwarfed its predecessor’s with 6.1 million viewers. In 2007, the comedy quartet reunited for Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road, which was another one of the highest rated movies on Comedy Central.
Parallel Entertainment Pictures has also produced three theatrical feature films; Witless Protection, starring Larry the Cable Guy, Ivana Milicevic, Yaphet Kotto, Peter Stormare, Eric Roberts, Joe Mantegna and Jenny McCarthy released by Lionsgate in February 2008; Delta Farce, starring Larry, and Engvall; and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, both also released by Lionsgate. In addition, its latest DVD feature release, Baitshop, premiered on USA Network and starred Bill Engvall and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Parallel has also licensed a line of merchandising items in the Blue Collar brand that includes slot machines, T-shirts, bedclothes, aprons, BBQ sauce, and countless other household items that bear the likenesses or slogans of its star clients.
Subsequently, the Blue Collar comedians have gone on to star in their own individual projects to great success. Foxworthy hosts Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader on FOX; Engvall stars in his own hit The Bill Engvall Show sit-com on TBS; and Larry in feature films and television specials, including the recent Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular on VH1.
Parallel has expanded and is continuing the Blue Collar Comedy franchise with Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation, a one hour special hosted by Engvall for TBS in which Parallel introduces the talented, new Blue Collar comedians.
Parallel’s recording label, Jack Records, is the industry’s foremost producer of comedy albums. Larry the Cable Guy’s The Right to Bare Arms, broke comedy sales records. The album debuted at No. 7 on the Top 200 chart and No. 1 on the comedy and country charts, which is the first time in the history of Soundscan a comedy album has charted No. 1 on the country charts. Parallel’s label has sold more than 15 million albums and earned several Grammy nominations.