Careers can be tumultuous. While some teeter with the whims of the economy, others are self-made and -lost. The latter is true of veteran comic Andrew Dice Clay, whose crash of fame has only given him a reason to pick up the pieces and make it better the second time around. And with Woody Allen and the cats of Entourage on his side, how can that go wrong?
Clay has been in comedy so long, he's seen it all. Back before Twitter and podcasts, comedians lived and died on the jokes they told on the stage. Mr. Hickory Dickory Dock has seen waves of new comics sparkle and fade, and he's been taking notes and plotting a major comeback. Before he headed down to South Florida for a string of gigs, we spoke with the Diceman to discuss his yo-yo comedy career, his kids' band, and how he plans to make it to the top again — and stay there.
New Times: You have been doing standup for so long! There have been lots of changes. What do you think about the new DIY route, where comics are creating their own specials on their own dime and putting them online themselves for $5?
Andrew Dice Clay: Well, I think for younger comics, just to get their stuff out, it's not a bad idea. You get exposure that way. But I don't think it's a smart business move for a seasoned pro. Normally, if it's a big name, you have somebody like HBO or Showtime behind it, so it really wouldn't work for those guys. I mean, Louis C.K. did it just as his star was coming up, and it was a cool idea, but I don't know if it works for everybody.
Speaking of Louis, I loved both of you in Blue Jasmine. It was great to see you in a different type of role. How did that come up? Did Woody [Allen] contact you directly, or did you have try out?
He got in contact with my management. He saw me on Entourage and just wanted me in on it, and that was it. Woody sort of knows who he wants for different roles when he writes a movie. He has two or three people in mind, and that's how he writes. Louis also read for the part that I got, but he didn't think he was tough enough in the role. He likes authenticity, and that's why Louis ended up doing his part and I got my part.
You mentioned Entourage. Were you a fan of that show too before you got that call?
One hundred percent. Watched just about all the seasons. So it was very strange going from the couch to the television for a show I'm a fan of. It was very surreal.
They are reviving it right now. Are you going to be involved in that?
It's going to be a film, yeah. Most probably I'll be in it. I don't know to what extent, but I met with [show creator] Doug Ellin last week about it.
You quit smoking, right?
Nah, I'm smoking right now.
I was going to ask how you quit.
When I decided to quit, I just quit; I didn't use anything. And I didn't smoke for ten years. And I am going to quit again in the new year. Sometime after January, I'm just going to quit. I had my fun with it.
I know your sons are musicians. How long have they been playing?
I support them 100 percent. They are incredible. They have been playing since they were really young. Their band [L.A. Rocks] is pretty phenomenal. And then they started getting some exposure through my Showtime special and their appearance on Artie Lange recently. They play in L.A. at all those famous clubs like Whisky a Go Go. They just did their first concert in New York. So it's fun to watch them grow up into it.
I loved listening to you on The Artie Lange Show. Are you two buddies, or did that just happen to be a great interview?
I've known Artie for years. We worked together; he's a great guy, I love him. And I love his show. I always have his show on at night in the background because it's like another conversation going on. He's great.
He just came out with a book. I read that you are working on a book too. What can we expect from it?
It's called The Filthy Truth; it's autobiographical. I am actually writing it now because I want it to really be from my mouth and the truth of different things that went on and stories that people wouldn't know. You know, an autobiography is almost like CliffsNotes of your own life, so I have been enjoying writing it. I think it will inspire a lot of people. My career has been a roller coaster. I was all the way on the top, all the way on the bottom, and now I'm all the way up again, so I'm happy. And I am the one that put me in all of those spots, so it will be interesting.