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Interview with Comedian Pauly Shore

Growing up in the limelight of Hollywood show business, Pauly Shore has transcended himself from being MTV’s wild Spring Break host “The Weasel” into a 21st Century businessman specializing in comedy. Having spent his childhood wandering the various rooms of The Hollywood Comedy Store on Sunset, and his formative years being mentored by the late Sam Kinison, Shore went on to become a movie star in the 1990s with a string of films that included Encino Man, In The Army Now and Bio-Dome.

With a hectic work schedule and several projects currently in production, Shore will be taking some much needed time off this weekend to spend Christmas performing several shows with his father Sammy Shore at The Comedy Store in La Jolla.

Pauly Shore.
Courtesy photo

We sat down with Shore for a few minutes to find out what we can expect from him in the coming year, and talk about the lineage of being brought up as a comedian in a world-famous comedy club.

So what do you have going on today?

Pauly Shore: I should be doing Christmas stuff, but I’m really preparing for my stand-up special that I’m doing in Vegas on January 9 at The Pearl. So preparing that; production stuff.

Where can we expect to see this?

That’s gonna be on Showtime in the early summer, it's called Vegas Is My Oyster. That’s with Andy Dick, Tom Green, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, Faizon Love, porno star Bree Olson, Bobby Lee, Carrot Top, Dave Navarro, Semi Precious Weapons and Maz Jobrani.

Showtime's been good to you haven't they?

Yeah, and they bought Adopted too, so Adopted should be coming out in January or February. Showtime’s also re-releasing Pauly Shore is Dead, which is gonna be cool.

What's this show you're doing with CMT?

I'm doing a show called Meet The In-Laws with Pauly Shore. That’s ten episodes on CMT, the Country Music channel. It’s kinda Wife-Swap but for in-laws. So for instance if I’m about to get married, before I get married I go live with my girl’s in-laws and she goes and lives with my in-laws. I’m the host; I kind of bring comic relief to the series. That airs January 21.

Your IMDB page says you have a project called Captured in pre-production. What can you tell us about that?

That’s a script, and a concept. That’s nothing that I've shot. It’s a script I wrote for me and Bobby Lee.

Bobby Lee started out as a doorman at The La Jolla store. Can you shed some light on the process of working as an employee at The Comedy Store?

I think my mom’s philosophy has always been if you’re interested in the comedy world and she thinks that you have some type of inkling of talent, what she does is she lets you work there for the reason of being around it and watching it constantly and being absorbed by it. The Comedy Store is kind of one of the only places that you can be groomed from beginning, middle to end. It’s like a college. It’s almost like when you’re a PA on a set. You’re not really getting paid, and you’re doing shit work. But you’re on a set. So you’re learning the craft.

Do you ever take the door guys from the Hollywood Store out on the road with you?

Yeah I take those guys out with me. They get a lot better when they go on the road, because the road is actually a connection to humanity really. Because the beats on the road are really the beats of America. It’s good to develop at the store and develop your stuff, but at the end of the day you want to have those beats and those connections to the American public.

That's sort of what Sam Kinison did for you, when he took you out on the road with him when you were first starting out.

Yeah that’s a hundred percent true. I don’t know if he took me out on the road because he liked me or because he wanted to get back at my mom. I’m not quite sure. Probably both. That’s what it is; you want to kind of pay it forward.

Besides Kinison, did any of the comics you grew up around impart any advice or knowledge into the craft of stand-up?

To be quite honest, no one really gave me any knowledge on anything. I mean most people did not support me doing this at all. It was kind of like, "Oh its Mitzi’s kid." And I still get that, you know what I mean? Even after like I’ve made it, it’s still like that thing. It’s interesting because when you’re in the business you’re being watched extra. So for instance if its just a normal comic; like for me I’m getting watched triple time, because a normal comic that no one knows kinda of just goes up onstage and people either laugh or they don’t. Me, I go onstage, I have three things to overcome. Number 1. I have to make people laugh. Number 2. Its Mitzi’s kid. And number 3. It’s the weasel. It’s like I’m fully maneuvering around shit. It makes it hard you know.

With regards to the shows this weekend with you dad, do the two of you perform together a lot?

Yeah we do a lot of shows together; we’ve done a lot of shows together. And we’ll continue to do a lot of shows together.

But do the shows this weekend hold kind of a special place to you?

It’s the holiday, so it’s like family. I think the two shows on Saturday night will be pretty cool. It’s a celebration getting together and kind of seeing everyone. We had another year; we all made it to another year.

How's your dad doing?

He's doing good, I call him the Jack LaLanne of comedy.

Will your mom be coming down to La Jolla for the shows this weekend?

No, she’ll be in L.A. hanging out.

How's she feeling these days?

She’s hanging in there. She’s strong, strong like bull. She’s got Russian Jewish genes.

Does Pauly Shore have a message for the children?

Find something that you want to do when you’re 60. Find your passion. Your passion, your work, whatever it is that you want to do. Find something that you would do, even if you didn’t get paid. Whether it’s an art or whether is something that you’re passionate about.

You can experience Pauly and Sammy Shore at The La Jolla Comedy Store this weekend. One show Friday (December 24) at 9 p.m. and 2 shows Saturday (December 25) at 8 and 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two drink minimum. Must be 21+ with ID.

916 Pearl Street, La Jolla.

For tickets and information call 858-454-9176.