One of the funniest, most popular, and most reviled comedians ever, Andrew Dice Clay, is bringing his profanity-laden stand-up show to HBF Stadium on Friday October 17. SHANE PINNEGAR finds Clay ready to talk business.
Fans of Andrew Dice Clay – or ‘Dice’ as he is often known – will remember him through the late ‘80s/early ‘90s for his hilarious smutty rewriting of popular children’s nursery rhymes, his catchphrase ‘unbelievable’ and his star turn as ‘rock n’ roll detective’ Ford Fairlane in the movie The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane.
More recently he’s played an exaggerated, impossible-to-deal-with version of himself in the final series of popular HBO show Entourage and a surprising – and very well received – straight dramatic role in Woody Allen’s film Blue Jasmine, opposite Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin.
“It started with Entourage,” Clay explains. “Woody Allen saw me on Entourage and then Scorsese saw me in Blue Jasmine. It seems like Hollywood is looking to really pump me up in an acting way, which was always my goal from day one. A lot of comics, as funny as they might be, they don’t understand theatre and they don’t understand performance.
“I never really studied comics. I studied rock bands. I studied artists from Elvis to drummers like Buddy Rich and bigger than life personalities like Muhammad Ali and bands like Led Zeppelin and even your Australian band, INXS.”
It wasn’t all fun n’ games though: MTV banned him for life in 1989 (they rescinded the ban in 2011) after he cussed on a live show, the movie studio dropped an elaborate premiere for the Ford Fairlane movie after pressure from groups outraged by Clay’s politically incorrect character, and he still courts controversy, having a live interview on Channel Nine’s Mornings program cut after two minutes when he dropped F-bombs, asked compere David Campbell if his co-host Georgie Gardner was a ‘hot number’, and said he’d like to ‘kangaroo-fuck half these [Australian] girls across the country’.
Contrary to the days of old when he refused to apologise for anything he said, Clay says he’s not that guy any more.
“They did the right thing,” he admits. “What happened was my publicist, basically, he didn’t tell me the kind of show it was and I don’t even know when I’m, like, calling there to be honest with you. I don’t do that kind of stuff anymore on live TV. I would never. I definitely owe them an apology. I have a different career now. I’m doing a lot of the acting stuff I always wanted to do. I just got done with Martin Scorsese with his new project for HBO.”
The mere thought of Andrew Dice Clay apologising for being a snapperhead in 1989 or 1990 was unbelievable (sorry), but the new Clay is older, wiser, and seems less willing to jeopardise his second chance round the ride.
“Because when my career took off as a stand up and I’m on MTV or those kinds of things, I just didn’t care,” he confesses. “I did, like I said, what any rock star would do. They sing it in their songs – I do it in my stand up.”
Times have changed since those heady days and there’s far less taboos nowadays – does Dice still have what it takes to shake things up?
“You know what?” Clay snorts. “I wish you had seen a recent show and I wouldn’t even have to answer that. The way my son Max puts it to me, who’s 24 years-old, he says, ‘in a day and age where nobody could shock anybody anymore, you still manage to cross that line’.
“I blow people’s minds because the language is so colourful and so cartoonish. Anybody could go on stage and be filthy, but to be filthy and hysterical are two different things – that’s a hard thing to do.”
Sometimes, 15 minutes is just not long enough, and time is running out fast, but we can’t let Dice go without him plugging the tour, can we? Why is this the first time he’s come to Australia?
“I don’t really go out of the country much,” he admits, “but I’ve always had a tremendous fan base in Australia. I’m excited about coming there because I always have people in my audience from Australia when I’m in Vegas. They’re the coolest people.
“As far as kangaroo-fucking the girls,” he says with a Diceman laugh, “let’s see what happens.”