For years we’ve known Andrew “Dice” Clay is “The Undisputed Heavyweight King of Comedy” and he’s ready to deliver a knockout punch to fans at Gila River Casino this Saturday, Nov. 30. The Diceman kindly gave the Ahwatukee Foothills News an exclusive interview because he knows we’re probably going to laugh at all of his jokes.
Q: Year 2013 has turned out to be quite a year for The Diceman. You delivered an outstanding performance in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” you’ll debut a Showtime special premiere on New Year’s Eve and you’re in the process of writing a book that will hit the shelves next year. What’s feels better — the night you won a million dollars at the tables in Vegas or what you’ve accomplished this past year?
Dice: Winning millions in Vegas is quite an accomplishment. But as fast as you win, you can lose it. Working with Woody Allen and doing my first stand-up special in 17 years will live forever. As for my book, hopefully it will become a best-seller and people will be reading it for years to come.
Q: You’ve been on film sets before. How did Woody Allen interact with his actors differently than other directors?
Dice: Woody is animal onto himself. So much that he gives you is right there on the written page that nothing needs to be changed. But at the same time, he welcomes your creative input. You could not ask for a better working atmosphere.
Q: You showed some serious acting chops in “Blue Jasmine” with an understated but effective performance. You seem to be a real student of cinema. Who are some of the actors, directors and films that were/are influential to you?
Dice: I would probably have to start with Brando — he was the first, a true original. I grew up with guys like Travolta, Pacino and DeNiro. I think Stallone is amazing — he brought “Rocky” to life. I don’t think anyone else could have done that. And of course, I love any movie by Martin Scorsese.
Q: What do you miss the most about the comedic renaissance in the ‘80s when you came in with a batch of great comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Sam Kinison, Paul Rodriguez, Roseanne Barr, Steven Wright, Paul Reiser and Whoopi Goldberg?
Dice: We were originals back then — no two comedians sounded alike. Paul Rodriguez couldn’t be any more different than Steve Wright. It sure was had a lot of fun back then.
Q: We know you will make us laugh, but what makes you laugh?
Dice: What might surprise you is that it doesn’t have to be filthy! My taste in films can run the gamut from “Hangover” to Woody Allen. When it comes stand-up, it has to have some bite, some edge to it. If someone is going to do old-fashioned observational stand-up, they better do it better than anyone else.
• Marshall Terrill is a freelance journalist who resides in the Phoenix area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.