Thursday, March 01, 2012

The LEO interview: Rock ‘n’ Roll comedian Andrew Dice Clay

Andrew Dice Clay was a huge comedy star briefly in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, playing to crowds of 10,000 at his peak. His fans turned away almost as quickly as they embraced him, though; while he was a shocking and unexpected comedian, at first, in tune with a harsh post-Reagan cultural spirit, the bullying style of much of his material and attitude did not endear him to a mainstream audience once they realized that he lacked a more dimensional, relatable side to his persona, especially as his first starring movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, bombed and a kinder, gentler America took hold. His one booking as a guest host of “Saturday Night Live” met with protests from cast member Nora Dunn and guest musical act Sinead O’Connor, who objected to the misogyny in his act. Dice never went away, though, continuing to perform stand-up to smaller crowds, and last summer, acting in an arc of HBO’s “Entourage,” a job that could have helped his career more had the series not been limping through its final season, years past its commercial and critical acclaim.

Andrew Dice Clay performs at The Improv on Thursday, March 1st, at 7 and 9:30 p.m., with Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, co-hosts of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show”.

LEO: “Entourage” was a high-profile return to a large audience for you. How have you capitalized on that? Has that brought more acting work, helped with your stand-up audience?
ADC: First of all, to have a recurring role on one of the best shows ever on television was unbelievable! Definitely picked up some new fans along the way and get the old ones happy. After “Entourage,” I did a guest shot on “Raising Hope,” once again playing myself — I guess everyone in Hollywood thinks that’s my range.

LEO: In an interview I read from 2009, you were happily banging lots of ladies and didn’t want to be tied down. Now, last I heard, you’re married to a wonderful woman. How did she change your perspective?
ADC: As you know there is a difference between sex and love. When I met Valerie, it was most definitely love at first sight. Plus, the sex is pretty amazing!

LEO: According to media hype, Sinead O’Connor has been making a comeback lately, too. How do you feel about her now, and the way her life and career has progressed?
ADC: I don’t think about that bald chick for a minute. I won’t even dignify her by saying her name. She tried to get some cheap publicity by using my name and still it wouldn’t help her career.

LEO: Your act is full of thoughts that many people have, yet are afraid to express — but comedy is supposed to be full of people saying those kind of things. Why is your act so unique, after all these years?
ADC: I could name countless comedians who tried to copy me, but they all come off as cheap imitations. Simply: I am the best fucking rock ‘n’ roll comedian. I don’t care about all this PC shit — I just know how to make people laugh better and louder than anyone else.

You are Jewish, by birth, though many think you’re Italian-American. Which would you rather be, or have people think you are?
ADC: Good question, never that heard one before. If people want to think that Andrew Dice Clay is Italian, that’s fine by me. But all they had to do is Google me, and you will know I was born Andrew Silverstein. So, to answer your question — beneath the leather jacket is a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn.

Your son has begun a stand-up career, as well as a music career. How has he been inspired by your career?
ADC: I think show business is an exciting career, and it’s been in my son Max’s life since the day he was born. He does play the drums, which he learned from me, and is probably better than I am. As for stand-up, the only real advice I gave him was to be himself on stage — don’t try to do what I do on stage. And if you watch him, he’s coming into his own, he’s like an edgy Seinfeld.

c. 2012 LEO Weekly

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