Andrew Dice Clay has come a long way since he was Andrew Clay Silverman, a fast-talking wannabe working for his dad on Court Street Downtown. This week, he chatted with Gersh Kuntzman, editor of our northern Brooklyn media properties, about the past, present and future, which includes an upcoming show at MCU Park in October. Here’s the censored version:
Gersh Kuntzman: Tell me about those early days. You were literally a nobody.
Andrew Dice Clay: I remember when [your sister publication] The Brooklyn Paper wrote me up for the first time in 1979, it was so exciting to me, a guy working for my dad in his process-serving agency, Royal Process Serving, on Court Street. They wrote a bigger story when they saw me a few months later in a Joe Franklin “Gong Show” thing. The winner got to open for Tiny Tim, who was hot then. I won, and that was really my humble beginning.
GK: And then you went on to become a legend — selling out arenas and becoming the only comedian to sellout Madison Square Garden twice.
ADC: That’s not that big a deal. I did more than 300 sold-out arenas. I did the Rose Bowl with Guns and Roses in 1992. That was a wild show.
GK: You were huge. So what happened?
ADC: I went through a bad divorce and felt it was more important to raise my sons. I didn’t care much about my career; I cared more about bringing up two sons with brains and a good outlook. They needed to be guided. It was more important than doing another movie. But I never stopped working. I did the club circuit. My sons are my world to me. If you’re going after a career, you have to be completely focused. That’s how I am now.
GK: Andrew Dice Clay — family man?
ADC: Look, what I do on stage — that’s the act. Elvis didn’t wear the glitter suit around the house every day.
GK: Um, I think he did. Anyway, let’s talk about your act for a second. There’s a lot of talk of [practicing romantic love]. So educate those who say your act is, in the words of Wikipedia, “crude, misogynistic, racist, homophobic and degrading.”
ADC: It’s real simple: you have haters and you have people who love me. The haters are always going to hate, and the ones who love you will love you. My act isn’t for everyone; it never was.
GK: Is there a joke you’d do then that you won’t do now?
ADC: I don’t even think about like that. When I’m on stage, I say whatever I think will make people laugh hard. That is one thing I do better than every comic in the world; I make people laugh uncontrollably. Regular comics get the laugh, but I create a certain kind of mania. My thing is affecting audiences and exciting them. When I was getting started, stand-up comics were boring to me, as funny as they were. My thing was about performance. Twenty, 30 years ago, comics were really just used as opening acts, not headliners, except for a few like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy understood the art of rock star comedy. So as I got more and more into stand-up, I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to give them something they never saw or heard.
GK: Like [impossible to create a euphemism for].
ADC: [Impossible to create a euphemism for], exactly. That whole routine started when I moved from Brooklyn to LA. There were all these different rules about dating. When I dated a girl from Brooklyn, I’d be respectful, take her home, maybe sneak a kiss goodnight — and that’s it. In LA, they don’t even want you to take them for coffee before they invite you up to their place to bang them. But that’s OK. Nothing like [mating] all day long. It’s my favorite part of the day.
GK: Every day?
ADC: I’m 53 and my wife is 27. We relate to each other on a lot of levels. There is no reason not to [mate] every day. With all the pressures on you, all the [problems] with people [angrily saluting you] or working for a boss who’s a [something an umpire would throw you out of the game for calling him], the pleasure of the day is [doing something that would be safer for us not to describe].
GK: That was well said, except the part about the boss. For the record, my boss is not [something an umpire would throw you out of the game for calling him].
ADC: So, yeah, I talk about [practicing romantic love] up there. Anyone who doesn’t want to admit what animals we are behind closed doors is either lying or doesn’t have much of a [practicing romantic love] life.
GK: Which one are you?
ADC: I’m still the animal who admits it. In a relationship, there’s the mental part and the part where you’re [mating to an extreme]. And if that things goes, you gotta end it.
When I break up with a girl, I don’t waste eight seconds moving on. My ex-fiancee — who is my opening act, by the way — when we broke up, I went right into another relationship by Monday. She couldn’t figure it out so I told her the secret: usually when you break up, you’re miserable for months beforehand. So when I break up, why would I mourn for another second rather than saying, “This is great, I’m free” and move on. She agreed.
GK: Last thing — are you excited about the homecoming show?
ADC: Absolutely. No matter where I go, the Brooklyn in me has always kept me grounded. Even with things going on now, “Entourage,” a movie, another album, the tour, through it all, I stay grounded. People are real in Brooklyn. Sure, you got [people who are less than upstanding members of society] everywhere, but Brooklyn has the greatest people in the world.”
Andrew Dice Clay at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 507-8499], Oct. 1, 8 pm. For info, visit www.diceinbrooklyn.com.