Once the Tazmanian Devil of '80s comedies, Bobcat Goldthwait now prowls mostly off-screen. He recently wrapped up directing his fourth feature film, World's Greatest Dad, which stars Robin Williams and is due out in August. In between times, he does stand-up, and will be at J. Buck's tonight and tomorrow. The
Daily RFT caught Bobcat on the phone last week.
: Do you look back fondly on the early comedies like One Crazy Summer and Police Academy, or is that something you're forced to talk about with strangers at bars?
Bobcat: Well, I don't go to many bars...I was making those movies when I was 23 - 24, and now I'm 47. I've jokingly said that if I'd known I'd be talking about them for the rest of my life, I would've tried harder on them. The last feature film you directed was Sleeping Dogs Lie, which played at a lot of film festivals, got positive reviews, and condoned lying to people. How do you feel about lies?
Well, if you're lying to make yourself look better, I'm not a big fan
of it. A lot of people say, 'I tell the truth!' But they're really just
bullies and they're mean. With the new movie, I'm exploring the flip
side of that: all the lies you tell yourself to get through the day,
like, 'Oh, I didn't help that bum out because he was drunk.' What are
we supposed to be doing? I do always wrestle with that. So this new movie, World's Greatest Dad. How was it working with your pal, Robin Williams?
this one, we were both really committed to the full project. When it
played at Sundance, he hadn't seen the movie, and he turned around to
me and he was crying, and he said, 'Thanks for having me in the movie.'
And I was crying. You and Robin Williams crying together?
Maybe he was crying like, 'What did you do to my movie? And my career?'I understand you prefer casting close friends in the movies you direct.
I hire a lot of my friends for comfort level, but I do have friends with no talent. Those friends I don't hire.Do you appear in World's Greatest Dad?
show up as a limo driver, which, if I wasn't playing comedy clubs,
wouldn't be that much of a stretch. I do stand-up so I can keep making
movies that interest me. And I've never been happier. What will you be doing at your gigs tonight and tomorrow at J. Buck's?
fully aware that I am a nostalgia act. I don't try to go up there and
be like, 'I'm an auteur now.' First because that wouldn't work. So I
try to deliver a show for the folks that have supported me over the
years. I have no problem busting out a few "ogga-oggas!" My stand-up is
half me and half the persona that people know. What's the best thing about your "impossibly luxurious rental home" in Los Angeles?
get to shoot my BB gun. I was living in an apartment, and I damaged
some of the blinds shooting the Christmas tree. I was looking at it,
and I thought, 'sweeping the bulbs up would take just as much time as
putting them away.'
Which, I found out, I'm a really great shot.