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Home Arts and Culture  'Unfortunately, that’s what interests me ... making people feel awkward'
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Monday, March 18,2013

'Unfortunately, that’s what interests me ... making people feel awkward'

Bobcat Goldthwait is still a stand-up guy

by Rich Tupica

Wednesday, Nov. 16 — In addition to his recognizable gruff,
yet shrieking voice, Bobcat Goldthwait is also known for his dark comedy that
shines through in his stand-up routines as well as the films he’s written and
directed over the past 25 years. While some may remember him from the “Police
Academy” series and his own edgy flicks like “Shakes the Clown,” today the
49-year old comedian keeps busy touring comedy clubs and producing
on-the-fringe films.


After all these years and success in
film, why continue stand-up?


I say it’s a joke, but it’s actually true: it’s the thing that keeps me off
reality television. If I do stand-up I am able to make these small movies and
make them on my own terms. Fortunately, the last three movies I’ve made I
really didn’t have to go through the normal process where you have to listen to
executives. So as long as I continue to make movies that are outside of the
mainstream I’ll probably have to do stand-up to pay my bills.


Critics describe your
comedy as dark, do you agree?


I think my comedy started from a very dark place and then as I sold out, I kind
of watered down what I was doing. (He laughs.) But I guess my material has
always been a little dark. Unfortunately, that’s what interests me when I’m making
a movie or writing stuff: making people feel awkward. It isn’t very lucrative
but it’s much more rewarding.

You wrote and directed the dark comedy “God
Bless America,” which is set for a June 2012 release – what’s it about?


The protagonist, instead of committing suicide, goes out and shoots and kills a
girl on the show “My Super Sweet 16.” But it’s not just about reality stars and
people from pop culture. The protagonist just kills people that aren’t nice, aren’t
polite or are just self-absorbed. At one point they shoot and kill a couple
kids that are texting during a movie. But people get confused and think the
message is that I hate all this stuff. But the real message is — and it sounds
kind of trite — I’m just asking people and myself to be kinder to each other.

How was it working with Robin Williams
on your 2009 film “World’s Greatest Dad?”


Robin’s been one of my best friends since I was a young man. We’ve known each
other for 30 years. I will say, the day before we started shooting I was
thinking, ‘Is he going to listen to me?’ Am I going to start directing him and
he’s going to say, “Oh really, show me how you did it on ‘Hot to Trot.’’’ Or,
he’ll say, “I won an Oscar and you were in ‘Police Academy.’’’ But that’s not
what happened at all. I give him so much credit because he certainly doesn’t
need to be in my weird, dark movie. I love working with him. I wrote another
picture for him and me to do together; hopefully, someday we’ll do that.


Are hecklers the worst
part of being a stand-up comedian?


It’s not the heckling. It’s the situations where the crowd is so drunk and
rowdy and your job is to make them laugh. You can’t cheer up somebody who’s
completely hammered. That part becomes a drag. That is
the difference between making a movie and being a nightclub comedian. When
you’re a nightclub comedian you have to keep the dumbest person in the room
occupied the whole time.


Bobcat Goldthwait

8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.18 and Saturday, Nov.19

Connxtions Comedy Club

2900 N. East Street, Lansing

$17.50
www.connxtionscomedyclub.com


( 517) 374-HAHA

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