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Diggin' for Goldthwait

More and more in movies and in television -- with each new teen romance flick and South Park episode -- irreverence is increasingly becoming the hallmark of comedy. But irreverence works only in the proper context -- and with the right execution. When Bobcat Goldthwait burst onto the comedy scene in the early '80s like The Muppet Show's Animal come to life, he stood out like a sore throat with his memorable roles in the Police Academy sequels. But far from being a one-trick pony, Goldthwait cultivated his comedic talent, not only creating for himself a unique stage persona but also engaging himself as a writer and director, with 1991's Shakes the Clown and his own game show on FX, Bobcat's Big Ass Show. And now, 15 years after the release of his last live comedy album, Goldthwait returns with a new CD, I Don't Mean to Insult You, but You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait.

Though Goldthwait has kept active with his recent directing work for Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show and The Man Show, he's still on top of his standup game. But Goldthwait's comedy has developed considerably since his days as a frenzied lunatic on the big screen. With Goldthwait's new CD, you'll get more laughs just reading the titles than from listening to lesser comedy albums in their entirety. To wit: "Alcoholic Clowns and Katie Couric" and "Why the Hollywood Squares Downsized Me." This stuff's funny even if you're too young to understand some of the references. For instance, Goldthwait says, there's the possibility that some Gen Xers in the crowd might think his mention of Kennedy killing Marilyn references the former MTV VJ and goth-clad shock rocker.

And speaking of abrasive rock music, perhaps that's where Goldthwait gets his penchant for irreverent humor. He's professedly more influenced by Johnny Rotten than Johnny Carson. And, of course, poetry: "Gene, Gene made a machine. Joe, Joe..." Ah, you know how it goes. -- Jason Budjinski

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