Andrew Dice Clay Is Kind of an Asshole, But You Already Knew That
Courtesy Andrew Dice Clay The Diceman performs Saturday at Wild Horse Pass.
To call Andrew Dice Clay's comedic career long and storied would be an understatement. Since first appearing on a Rodney Dangerfield special in the late 1980s, Clay's leather-jacket-wearing, chain-smoking mug has become synonymous with the kind of raunchy comedy that dominated the scene in the 1990s.
He became the first stand-up comic to sell out Madison Square Garden on two consecutive nights (and only five others have done it since) and became a magnet for controversy thanks to a particularly foul mouth and highly sexualized set.
After more than a decade of unheard of success, the father of two endured a rough, albeit quiet fall from the spotlight in the early 2000s that included many a failed television series and a VH1 reality show. His career off the rails, Clay turned to gambling in Las Vegas in the summer of 2010 to make his money back, earning over a million dollars by his own estimation.
The good fortune didn't just start with money. Entourage creator Doug Ellin, himself a former struggling stand-up comedian, offered Clay a major role during the series' final season. It was the beginning of a second wind.
These days the 56-year-old Diceman has found his way back to relevancy and the tour circuit. He has a new special on Showtime, Andrew Dice Clay: Indestructible, a weekly podcast, Rollin' With Dice and Wheels, and a surprisingly dramatic and well-received role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. The future looks just as promising, with his memoir The Filthy Truth slated for a May 2014 release.
The "Undisputed Heavyweight King of Comedy" returns to the Valley Saturday for a show at Ovations Live! Showroom at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. Expect plenty of signature nursery rhymes and NSFW-language during his set -- just don't call the show a comeback, or ask where he's been the past few years. (We learned that the hard way.)
You've repeatedly referred to this past year as a "resurgence," not a comeback, saying a "comeback" implies actively trying to remain relevant. What were you doing during your time off the radar, and why reappear now?
I never took anything off. There was no time off.
Ok, so for the past few years you've just been laying low or...?
You didn't do any homework on this interview?
I did, yeah.
Well, then you would know what I've been up to. I can't go back in the past if you don't know that stuff. It's too complicated.
We can just move on then. Let's talk a little bit about Blue Jasmine. How is the process going from stand-up comedy to being a dramatic actor?
What newspaper -- can I just ask you what newspaper this is?
Yeah, absolutely. It's the Phoenix New Times.
Ok. It just seems like you don't have any information on me. I've done dramatic acting, but I didn't do it for years. Alright, we'll just... it's ok. I just put myself in the role. It's what you do.
It just seemed like a departure from the acting you'd been doing in something like Entourage, which was more of a caricature of yourself.
I've been around for a long time and done a lot of projects. That's why I'm asking what you know or don't know. Most people know I've done dramatic acting in the past, but I haven't in a while. Getting the opportunity to work with someone like Woody Allen, you know, you take it serious. And I didn't know whether the movie was comedic or dramatic. What I saw from my part, it was a very heavy part. So I just observed myself in the role.
Do you plan to pursue more dramatic roles like that in the future, then?
Yeah, I would. Definitely.
How is dramatic acting different for you than stand-up? What do you get out of it?
I'm an actor. I do any kind of role, I don't care if it's comedic, dramatic... it's all the same to me. It's almost like -- and trust me I'm not comparing myself to him, because I think he's one of the greats as far as just acting -- like somebody like James Franco who has done unbelievable dramatic roles but yet he could go do Pineapple Express. You just absorb yourself in the role.
Do you approach stand-up differently, then? I mean, back in the 1980s and '90s it seemed like, obviously that was you doing stand-up, but it also seemed like you were playing a role --
As far as a comic, I've always believed in giving people a real show rather than standing there and just sort of delivering your bits, as they would call it. So I always put myself into it, creating something a little more for the audience than a lot of comics think about, even. Because a lot of comics aren't trying to become actors, they just love doing stand-up, and a lot of them don't know that much about performance art, so they just deliver their material. Me, I'm more of an actor than a comic, so I put myself into whatever I'm doing, whether it be live on stage -- like what I'm going to do in Phoenix -- or playing a part, like Blue Jasmine.