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Shore Thing

Pauly Shore is to actors as Ed Wood is to directors. Shore, of course, began life in the limelight as an MTV veejay. That, we can understand -- MTV has a long proud history of hiring only the most annoying of pinheads to introduce its latest videos. From Shore to Carson Daly and most folks in between, the job of MTV veejay has been one that seems to cater to the most vacuous of the American populace. But no other MTV veteran went on to succeed in movies. Daly has the most intelligence-insulting show on late night, Kennedy was last heard of out in the wilds of the Game Show Network. Matt Pinfeld will leave the music network only if it changes the locks on him. So how did Shore ever get anywhere?

For starters, his idiocy appeals to both television and movie audiences. The Shore style is the same thing that made Beavis and Butt-Head, in its day, the most popular show on MTV. The same thing that makes The Osbournes the most popular program now. Stupidity sells. And nowhere is that more evident than in the more than one dozen movies that have been totally, or at least partially, Pauly. Encino Man, the 1992 vehicle that brought Shore to his first major supporting role, proved to be too intelligent for the sort of movie Shore dreamed of making. At least, that provides a plausible explanation for why he followed up this so-so film with such God-awful fare as Son-in-Law, Jury Duty, and, perhaps most noxious of all, Bio-Dome.

As is the case with many comedians, though, a lot of this drudgery is due to Shore not sticking to what he does best -- that, of course, being standup comedy. He has managed to move away from his stoned slacker image somewhat. Doing so at all is an impressive feat, considering how many years he let himself be typecast. But don't let that fool you; the Pauly Shore show is still all about parties, girls, and a sort of Bill and Ted view of the universe.


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