Bobcat Goldthwait Talks Stand-Up & God Bless America
Veteran comic set to premiere new movie at Toronto Film Festival
Bobcat Goldthwait has undergone a transformation over the years from being the premiere alternative comic from the 1980’s comedy boom to becoming a well respected director of such films as Shakes The Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie and Windy City Heat, the latter of which won the award for Best Comedy Film at the 2009 Montreal Just For Laughs Film Festival. Goldthwait is currently working on his latest film, God Bless America, a pitch black comedy about an average middle-aged man that’s inspired to go on a killing spree with an underage girl from watching too much MTV reality programming.
Set to premiere his new film at the Toronto Film Festival next month, SanDiego.com had a chance to talk with Goldthwait, discussed his early years doing stand-up and what moviegoers can expect to see when God Bless America hits theatres nationwide.
What can you tell me about God Bless America?
Bobcat Goldthwait: It’s funny, the other day I showed it to my friends and I was really surprised that they were all kind of shocked by it. I think people think it’s a vigilante movie where this character goes out and starts killing reality stars. I mean that's a little part of it, but it’s also kind of about where are we going and the culture and basically the dumbest members of our society. Sometimes when I hear myself giving interviews I want to punch myself in the throat, because I’m like, ‘Really, this is the dude from Police Academy pontificating about where are we going as a society, blah, blah, blah.’
Well, I think a lot of people often forget how young you were when you filmed the Police Academy movies.
BG: Yeah, I was in my early 20’s when I did those movies, but I really didn’t know I’d be talking about this for the rest of my life, I think I probably would’ve worked harder.
I grew up in the 80’s and all the films you were in are a huge part of my youth culture. I really loved Scrooged.
BG: I was really excited when we made Scrooged because it was kind of neat knowing that I’d be in a movie that would be on every Christmas.
What actors are you working with in God Bless America?
BG: It’s funny that we’re talking about Scrooged, because Joel Murray, who’s Bill’s brother is in it; Joel’s a very talented actor. The rest of the cast are people that we either found or are my friends. The young girl in the movie is named Tara Lynn Barr and she has been on a bunch of Disney shows, but I don’t think they’ll have her back on after this movie.
Have you been performing a lot lately?
BG: I’ve been going out and I do dates all over the country, and I just shot a new Showtime special a few months ago that’ll be coming out soon.
Do you when that Showtime special is set to air?
BG: No. I’m not really good at whoring myself. That’s the way to think about being a comic now, you’re supposed to be Tweeting all day and you’re supposed to promote yourself with a podcast. I don’t know - that sounds like a lot of work.
Things are much different now; you were lucky to be part of the comedy boom.
BG: Yeah, definitely. It was the gold rush of comedy.
Did you ever work with Bill Hicks?
BG: Yeah, and I think people would be disappointed to know that Bill was a really sweet guy. I had some very nice conversations with him. He was a very sweet guy.
You don’t have an account on Twitter, do you?
BG: No. Sometimes people are talking to fake versions of me, which is weird. It’s weird to have people mad at you because they’re talking to a fake version of yourself.
How come you’re not on Twitter?
BG: The idea of getting into fights with strangers isn’t too exciting to me. I just don’t feel like exposing myself in that way. Maybe someday I’ll be on it; Steve Martin’s on it.
And Albert Brooks.
BG: Wow! Maybe I should be on it. Those guys are older than me, holy crap.
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