Penthouse Retrospective

by Allan Sonnenshein Originally Published: April, 1991

Andrew Dice Clay | 30 Years Ago This Month

I know that I can fill stadiums. But after what happened with The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, after pulling the movie, and after giving me like … well, fuck ’em, you know? So I’m back in Brooklyn, and I’m saying, “Hey, I can just do shows, I could do one show a month and live comfortably, or I could just tour and do albums, or do I want to go out there and prove what I am as an actor? Am I ready to go back and take that beating?” It’s a little scary, but in my heart I know I’m a fighter and I probably will win the Academy Award. Cause that’s my nature. If we can’t come in the front door, we come in the back door, we come in through the roof, we come in from the side, we dig a tunnel and come in from underneath. But nobody fucks with Dice. Dice does the fucking, ya hear?

I hear you. Okay, let’s talk a bit about Nora Dunn and Sinead O’Connor.

Clay: Nora Dunn was a nobody trying to become a somebody after a long stint on “Saturday Night Live.” Her contract was just about up and she figured she’d take a shot and try to get some PR. for herself. It backfired and just made more millions watch the show than would have normally watched. I was actually a fan of Sinead O’Connor until after what she did with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That was horrible. If you’re from another country and you’re making a living in the U.S., the least you can do is show some respect for this country, which she didn’t show. They should boot her ass out of here.

What actually happened when you were banned from MTV?

Clay: I didn’t come on “Saturday Night Live” to curse. I didn’t go on MTV to curse. I went on MTV to do a good job, goof with the crowd a little, and bring on Cher. But when I went out there, I was frazzled. I started doing some of the poems that I knew I could get away with. Like “Little Miss Muffet.” You could get away with “What’s in the bowl, bitch?” But then I started this new poem: “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, so Jack ignored her flabby tits and licked her ass hole clean,” ya hear? When I started that poem — it was a new poem — I didn’t even realize, my mind was on automatic, you know? I was just trying to get through this thing because they frazzled me. In the middle of the poem, I’m thinking, “What am I going to do? I got to finish it or else I’m going to look like a jerk-off.” All hell broke loose, basically. The good part of what happened was that it just accelerated me to the biggest arena comic who ever lived. The bad part was that I got banned from MTV, which I wasn’t looking to do because I dig MTV. Maybe one day we’ll work it out. Who knows?

Don’t you think the ban was surprising? Aren’t those guys at MTV hypocritical?

Clay: It’s all sex. Sex sells. That’s the bottom line. They have videos of girls with G-strings up their asses. If there were no girls in videos, there’d be no videos. Cher did hers where she’s wearing basically nothing. I loved it. You know, she’s not banging anybody, she’s just in a sexy outfit. Madonna grabs her crotch, Michael Jackson grabs his crotch. Let it go, forget about it, go on. Let’s go on. If they were smart, they would have me host that frigging network.

Are there groupies in the world of comedy?

Clay: Oh yeah, definitely, but I have somebody who I’m crazy about, and who I’m loyal to, so I don’t get involved with it. I mean, there was one time, years ago, when I was just doing clubs, I saw a girl standing on her head and doing the alphabet backwards, with another one doing cartwheels. Anybody can go get laid, but to have a girl actually standing on her head saying the alphabet backwards while her friend is doing cartwheels is hilarious. It’s better than getting laid. I’d rather have that good laugh. But I don’t fuck around with groupies. You’ve got to dance with the one who brung you.

Is there a racial aspect to your humor?

Clay: I do some black stuff and it’s funny, but a white audience does get nervous. The blacks will just go with it. I love that about them. They don’t get stiff, they just laugh at how ridiculous it sounds:

All the material you do is your material? You don’t have writers?

Clay: Every word of it is mine.

And what about your fans? Doesn’t it get to be a drag sometimes to walk out and get mobbed?

Clay: My fans are crazy. Last week I was in this Brooklyn deli and I was in a big rush because there were a lot of people around and I was just looking to get out of there, and this woman comes over and she wants an autograph. And I go, “Not right now, honey, I’m in a rush,” and she goes, “I used to be a big fan,” and I said, “Good, goodbye, why do I give a shit? If you can’t respect who I am as a person, I don’t need you as a fan.” Little kids are different. When a little kid comes over for an autograph, you sign the autograph.

But an adult should understand — “Dice’s living among us, it obviously hasn’t gone to his head, and he just wants to be there.” I love my fans, but it’s a matter of respect, let a guy do what he’s doing. It’s great to meet a fan — “Hey, how you doing, Dice?” But to stand and start signing napkins and matchbooks?

But it goes with the fame and success, doesn’t it?

Clay: Yeah, it does. But there’s a time and a place for it.

Have you ever gone through a drug stage?

Clay: Yeah, when I was in places like Alabama, trying to call my house and my ex-wife was never home, that kind of shit.

Mention the name Andrew Dice Clay, and if whomever you are speaking with recognizes it, they will definitely have an opinion. We love that.

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