Growing up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, there was a rock star of a comedian who single-handedly changed the way me and my high school friends spoke to each other when we hung out, he changed the way we smoked our cigarettes, he changed the way we dressed and he even changed the way that we read nursery rhymes. His name was Andrew Dice Clay, and he also changed the face of stand-up comedy. Yeah, there was Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby, but Dice’s brand of comedy became uniquely legendary. I remembered memorizing Dice’s whole HBO stand-up special word for word when I was in high school, and my friends and I would laugh for hours repeating his lines. We wanted to be him! This man was a comedy legend, but what happened to him?
Andrew Dice Clay got his start back in 1978 when he auditioned at Pips, a local comedy club in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where he was known for his impressions of John Travolta from Grease and Jerry Lewis from The Nutty Professor. Dice started to make a name for himself on the NYC comedy circuit, but in 1980, he decided to make a move to Los Angeles to become a bigger star. It was there where he was “adopted” by Pauly Shore’s mom, Mitzi Shore, owner of the famed Comedy Store. Dice’s stand-up at the Comedy Store led to TV appearances on M*A*S*H and Diff’rent Strokes, and then eventually movies like Making The Grade, Pretty In Pink and Casual Sex.
Dice’s big break came in 1988 in the form of a seven-minute set during a Rodney Dangerfield HBO special, which lead to his very own HBO special that changed the face of X-rated stand-up forever. Dice remained the undisputed king of comedy for years, creating controversy wherever he went and selling out arenas like Madison Square Garden. In 1989, MTV placed a ban on Dice for reciting his famed adult nursery rhymes during a live broadcast of the annual Video Music Awards ceremony.
In 2002, life hit Dice hard. He went through a really bad divorce, leaving him no choice, but to step away from show business for a while to focus on raising his sons, Max and Dillon. Though, he was busy being a dad, show business was never too far away, as he became a regular on the Opie And Anthony Show, Sirius Satellite radio gave him his own radio show in 2005, and in 2007, he made his attempt at reality TV with Dice: Undisputed.
Here in 2011, Dice is happily married to Valerie Vasquez. As most of you already know, he’s also landed a recurring role on the final season of Entourage, where he plays a washed-up version of himself. And on Oct. 1, he will be making his return home to Brooklyn with a one night only show at MCU Park. The Diceman is back, and he was more than happy to talk about it.
When I was in high school back in the late ‘80s, you heavily influenced the way my friends and I interacted with eachother.
I’ve always been the type to know what goes on in my life, almost like looking in from the outside, and I would see all of that. I would see the guys in motorcycle jackets, the Zippo lighters, and the attitude, and I was like, ‘That really affected people!’ In fact, when I went back to MTV [VMA’s] the other night, they were asking, “Why do you think they lifted the lifelong ban?” I said, “You know what? You’ve had supermodels, you’ve had superstars, there was never a supercomic, and I’m that guy! I’m the first supercomic ever, and that’s why! I survived it all! The funny thing about show business is that they look at guys like me and say he won’t even make it through the rough times, and I did!” That’s what it is to be a supercomic!
I said I’m gonna take on the world. I’m the guy who is gonna change things, and I’m the guy in the world that I was living in, stand-up comedy, who’s gonna really give people big bang for their buck! I wanted to create something really exciting for people, and the effect is what you were just telling me; the way people smoke their cigarettes, the way they wore their jackets, the way they acted. That’s a pretty cool thing to have affected so many people like that, and now it’s come full circle.
Everyone’s asking where Dice has been but you were just a little under the radar.
I was under the radar, though, because that was like far and few between. I love [Opie and Anthony], I love [Howard] Stern, I love all those shows, and I would do them when I can, but I was living a really stressful life. At the time me and my wife broke up, my kids were only seven and 11 years old. And I am from Brooklyn, and there is another side to me. There is that side of family and taking care of them. I’m not the Dice onstage when I’m offstage. I’m the guy that takes care of his family first, and they needed me, and I was there for them.
I don’t want a pat on the back for doing what was the natural thing, and being the kind of father that kids can come to and talk to and hang with and share a million great moments and memories since they were babies.
Has the world, the way it is today, changed your act at all?
Definitely, between technology and what absolute slobs women have turned into; they’re the biggest whores ever since I’m alive, and nobody appreciates it more than me because I always understood sexuality, and I always understood that when you’re with a woman, let her be exactly like the pig that she really needs to be with a guy that she really fuckin’ digs! I’m not saying that every chick in the world digs me, but the ones that are with me, sooner or later they all learn to hate me because I’m a very creative and high-strung guy. I mean my brand new fuckin’ wife now that I just got, she’s the first girl to come along in many, many years that really just gets who I am, and she’s a lot younger, she’s like 27, 28 years younger than me, yet I wasn’t looking for a young girl, it’s just the way it went down.
The maturity in her, the street instinct, and she’s just really smart when it comes to what I do. She really helps me with my business. Her name is Valerie. We met at The Playboy Mansion, and I never gave a fuck about going to The Playboy Mansion. I’ve been there twice in all the years, so I go up there with my son for Super Bowl Sunday, and the minute that I laid my eyes on my wife, I was in love, and she was in love. That was that, there was the zebra thong, and I was hooked!
I’ve been married to her a year and a half, and she’s always with me. She’s my world! She’s gorgeous, she’s fun, and I’m with her 24-7!
So, you’re coming home to Brooklyn to perform at MCU Park, how do you feel about that?
You see, Brooklyn never had a big place for me to perform. I started out at Pips, which isn’t there anymore, but over 300 sold-out arena shows, obviously, The Garden, the most famous, and the biggest show that I ever did, but it wasn’t alone, was with Guns ‘N’ Roses and Metallica at The Rose Bowl out in L.A.
My point is, I played every arena over and over and over, but Brooklyn has never had a big place, and when this resurgence happened, I said that I want to play Cyclone Stadium. That’s my home, that’s where I’m from. I never lost my feel for Brooklyn.
As a matter of fact, the last time that I had to come into the city, I took my wife into Brooklyn, and we went to Kings Plaza, we went to Coney Island, and Spumoni Gardens. I said that this is where I’m from. This is why I am the way I am! Brooklyn people are the best people in the fuckin’ world!
I thought why not just come back there and show them I’m still your Brooklyn guy! That’s why even in Entourage, I wore a sweatshirt that said ‘Brooklyn’s Son!’ I always felt so connected to Brooklyn, and when I did the show, I wanted them to see that! My father, who is very sick now, said to me, “You’re going to climb up there again. It’s who you are. That’s why you call yourself the Rocky of stand-up comedy because no matter what’s been done to you, you don’t fall!”
How did the Entourage part come about?
I got that through a guy who also started out in Brooklyn. His name is Bruce Rubenstein, he’s my manager, but I didn’t see him in 15 years, he used to work for Mickey Rourke, and I run into him at Starbucks, after I went through a summer of living the movie The Hangover with my wife in Vegas trying to win money for bills. So we come back to L.A., I said, “Look, I don’t want to know about fuckin’ bills, I don’t want to know about Hollywood, I’m going to Starbucks to meet Max and we’re gonna have coffee.”
Here’s comes this guy Bruce with muddy fuckin’ boots on. Fuckin’—you know how construction workers dress with the hat on—and we start talking, and he’s like “Dice, the last time that I saw you, you were the hottest thing in the world and then you disappeared.” All while he’s playing with his phone, and I told him what the last decade was like; I had a fucked up marriage, we got divorced, I brought up my kids, I gave him the Cliff Notes version, and he goes, “How come you never did a show like Entourage?”
I said, “It just never happened. That’s all! I wasn’t really chasing those things.”
He goes, “Well, all I can tell you is that Doug Ellin, who creates the show, thinks you’re absolutely the greatest comic in the world. He was actually at your last special 15 years ago, and wants a meeting today!”
I was like “How do you know all that?”
And he goes, “Because I just emailed him!” This is a guy with a construction company. He wasn’t managing anybody, he wasn’t an agent, and he gets me the shot of a lifetime again, and now we’re rollin’!
It definitely put you back on the map!
You know every newspaper in the world is saying everything from, “Dice dominates the show!” to “He should win an Emmy for it!” I mean, it’s just complete resurgence! It’s exciting and I’m thankful for it! Believe me! So, I really want to go out there and give the people what they want. I’m probably gonna do a special for Showtime because I only want to do one more stand-up special because I really want to get into movies. Maybe do another reality thing called The Real Entourage, using these characters that I’m friends with. We’re even talking about doing a Ford Fairlane sequel, and that’s it! That’s what’s going on.
I’m not gonna make up shit. We’re talking to book publishers about my life story. There’s plenty going on for right now. So, to come to Brooklyn where Dice rules again, I gotta do it!
Catch Andrew Dice Clay’s return to Brooklyn at the MCU Park, where the Brooklyn Cyclones play, on Oct. 1. Log onto andrewdiceclay.com for all of your ticket info!