Raunchy and Ridiculous
By Simon Weedn
In the annals of standup comedy, few figures have been as controversial (except for maybe the great Lenny Bruce himself) or as successful as Andrew Dice Clay. Over the last 30 years, “The Dice Man,” as he is affectionately called by his fans, has ridden a roller coaster of a career that saw incredible heights in the late ’80s and early ’90s, followed by significant lows around the turn of the century.
In that time he: Sold out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row—something no other comic had ever done, was banned for life from MTV for telling particularly raunchy jokes on live T.V. during an awards show, had several multi-platinum comedy albums that were produced by none other than Rick Rubin and in 1992 performed alongside Guns N’ Roses at the Rose Bowl in front of the largest audience any comedian has entertained, ever.
By the early and mid-2000s, Dice was flying low, hindered by debt and lawsuits. He would later recall to Rolling Stone Magazine that he found himself desperately heading to Las Vegas in an attempt to win enough money to get back on his feet. Interestingly enough, this was a partial success.
However, 2011 would prove to be the beginning of a new era for Dice, with the landing of a much heralded supporting part on the final season of HBO’s tremendously successful show Entourage. Since then, things have only been looking up.
He’s been performing in Las Vegas as a regular fixture at the Hard Rock Hotel, and in 2013, he appeared in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, and received tremendous praise for his role in the film. As to how Dice ended up in a film with such a legendary writer/director, he explains, “I auditioned like everybody else, but he sort of knew he wanted me. When he writes a movie, he almost sees who he wants in those parts, so he’ll only audition a couple of people for those roles. One of the only other guys that read for my role was Louis C.K., and he ended up just giving him another part in the movie.” As for how the film’s success has affected him, Dice is very humble. “You know what? To be honest, I wasn’t expecting praise. I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I just wanted to do a great job.”
With such a whirlwind of activity in the last three years, some people might be overwhelmed, but Dice is just taking things in stride. “I got to have a little time off,” Dice says, “but it wasn’t that much time off because I’m writing a book that’s coming out soon through Simon & Schuster called, The Filthy Truth: The Andrew Dice Clay Story. So I’ve been trying to get that done.”
In addition to writing his book, Dice will be starting off his year, much like he’s done for the last three decades, with an array of standup comedy shows. His dates will see him in Florida for several nights, before going to Big Bear, which will represent his only Southern California shows, before returning to his home at the Hard Rock for a couple months of nightly performances.
As for what fans can expect these days, well, Dice’s act is just as edgy as it ever was and his recent Hollywood successes have not, in the least, watered him down. When asked what he draws on for inspiration for new material, he doesn’t hesitate for a second before responding simply, “Pussy!” After a few seconds of thought he elaborates, “I’m not kidding, because that’s the act, it’s a sexual act, it’s rock and roll!”
Those attending the Big Bear show should be ready to brace themselves as Dice promises he will not be holding back. “Big Bear better be ready for The Dice Man, that’s all I can tell you,” says Dice. “Because they’re gonna get it hard and fast, the way I always give it to them, and when I’m done, I leave the stage; that’s it.”
Southern California fans unable to make it out to his show need not worry; with a book on the way, a popular podcast, Rollin’ With Dice And Wheels, to enjoy, and another movie and a pilot in the making, there will be plenty of Andrew Dice Clay to go around in 2014.
Andrew Dice Clay at The Cave Big Bear, 40789 Village Dr., Big Bear Lake, (909) 878-0204; www.thecavebigbear.com. Fri, Jan. 24-Sat, Jan. 25, 8pm. Tickets $60-$125.