Andrew Dice Clay on the ups, downs and U-turns of a strange career
Author Chris Wright
I was the most controversial comic ever,” says Andrew Dice Clay.
The 57-year-old is known for overstatement, but this remark rings true. A couple of decades back, Clay was huge—selling out Madison Square Garden (twice), headlining his own movie. But he was also hated for the foul-mouthed misogyny of his “Diceman” alter ego, and many celebrated his decline.
Then, a few years ago, Clay landed a role in “Entourage,” which provided the launching pad for an unexpected comeback. Last year, he followed with a brilliant performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine; he’s set to appear in an HBO drama produced by Martin Scorsese next year; and he recently met with James Franco to discuss a movie version of his life—which is hilariously documented in Clay’s new memoir, The Filthy Truth (out November 11).
Here, Clay tries to explain what happened.
• ON THE DICEMAN
“I’m not a political figure; I’m just a comedian, and I felt people who came to the shows got the joke. Anyone who takes anything I say onstage seriously is a fool—it’s so ridiculous. But that was mostly journalists, writing about ‘the comedy of hate.’ I can’t blame them—that was a great story to tell. My job was to get the energy up, excite the crowd, and they would go crazy. Was Diceman me? It’s complicated: We’re both from Brooklyn, we both smoke and we both like women. Andrew treats his women with a little more respect.”
• ON THE LOW POINT
“It was about seven years ago. I was going through a messy divorce—the cliché. My career was in the toilet. But this was because I’d made a choice: Am I going to make another movie or am I going to raise my two sons? There was nothing to think about. During the recession, I was in debt, I was battling with my ex. I had about 30 grand in cash, so I took it to Vegas. I won $1 million, then lost most of it back. There were times I felt shook up—I’ll put it that way—but even then I knew I’d find the light at the end of the tunnel.”
• ON THE RESURGENCE
“If you’d told me a few years ago that Woody and Scorsese would be calling me, I’d have laughed at you. It started when I bumped into this guy I hadn’t seen in 15 years and he tells me Doug Ellin wants to talk to me about ‘Entourage.’ I thought it’d be this little walk-on, but Doug says, ‘I’ll put you on the last season and see what happens.’ Woody Allen saw me on that, and suddenly I’m in front of Woody reading lines. I don’t even understand this. I’ll never understand.”
• ON THE BOOK
“I couldn’t write everything down, so this is like CliffsNotes about my life. Besides all the craziness, I’m hoping people will see someone very driven. I wanted the book to have a little inspiration in it, and I think it does. But I don’t lie. This is not a clean world, and if there’s something filthy going on, I write about it, like the time I…” [Cut!]