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Bullet points

Andrew Dice Clay on the ups, downs and U-turns of a strange career

Author Chris Wright

Matt Hoyle

Matt Hoyle

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.


“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.”

“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.”
“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.”
“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!]

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