Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Unfunny and Uncouth: The Dice Man Stinketh

Every so often in the entertainment world, someone with no talent sneaks in under the radar and gains popularity for no logical reason, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter that they can’t sing, act or tell jokes, but somehow they’re in the right place at the right time and make it big. Certain rappers, bands and comedians fit neatly into this category. I have never understood how Insane Clown Posse, Vanilla Ice, Judy Tenuta or Emo Phillips, for example, ever sold a single album or CD.

Andrew Dice Clay is a poster child for this phenomenon. The fact that he’s been performing for more than 20 years makes me ill. He is the unfunniest individual on the planet.

I did standup myself for 12 years (I was pretty bad myself) so I know how tough a gig it is, but I have seen comedians here in San Francisco and down in LA at open mics, struggling just to get stage time, who are 20 times funnier than Andrew Dice Clay on their worst night. How this man has ever made a dime doing standup is one of the great mysteries of our time – kind of like the Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.

The fact that Comedy Central ranked him number 95 on their list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time shows just how far our society has fallen. In 500 years, when our civilization has crumbled, historians will site Clay’s popularity as one of the early signs that led to the beginning of the end.

Clay started his career in 1984, doing nasty nursery rhymes and instructing men on how to abuse the opposite sex (like they needed training). In an interview back then, he cited his influences as Redd Foxx, George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, three comics who possess one quality Clay doesn’t – talent. It’s one thing to tell dirty jokes – Sam Kinnison, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor (the greatest comedian of all time as far as I’m concerned) all worked blue and were very funny. But, Clay is dirty without the laughs. He’s abusive to women with no punch line. His routines are foul just for the sake of being foul. I’m so tired of hearing people defending by saying he’s a good family man. That’s like saying Hitler loved cats.

If it weren’t for the controversies he’s created over the years, the Diceman would never even be in the news. In 1989, Clay appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards where his raunchy act caused MTV to ban him from the network for life. When he hosted Saturday Night Live, Sinead O’Connor and Nora Dunn refused to appear. His movies have all bombed. The man’s only cinematic claim to fame is a disjointed, completely forgettable film named “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” (1990). His Madison Square Garden performance film “Dice Rules” (1991) was banned in many cities and hundreds of theaters throughout the country refused to show it. He attacked deaf actress Marlee Matlin on his 1993 album, “The Day the Laughter Died, Part 2.” What a class act. Dropping F bombs is an easy way out when you don’t have material and Andrew Dice Clay has created a career around it.

His 1995 TV series, “Dice,” co-starring Cathy Moriarity, was unwatchable and came and went so fast few saw it. He did get a small film role in “One Night in McCool’s” (2001) featuring Matt Dillon and Michael Douglas. Now, he’s been reduced to performing the gambling circuit (Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno and a handful of Indian casinos), and is noticeably absent from TV and movies.

It appears as though the public has finally figured out what I’ve been saying for two decades – The Dice Man Stinketh. Hopefully he’ll fade away just as quickly as he reached the top. In other words, overnight.


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, Andrew Dice Clay reached the top? I never heard of him until I saw him swearing in a CNN interview on YouTube.

He's just an asshole, how the hell is he a comedian?

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