McGinnis: Pauly Shore returns to ToledoWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The voice on the other end of the telephone said, “I think the Internet really ruined the entertainment business as a whole. As far as financially, everyone wants everything for free. Even the porn business has gotten hit a lot by the Internet. But at the end of the day, you have to change with the times, so you have to go that way. You don’t really have a choice. So we all find ourselves doing video clips — but you’re doing it for free, basically. The big question now in the business is, how do you do stuff on the Internet and get paid?”
This was not Pauly Shore. It couldn’t be. Oh, sure, the voice sounded like him — that heavily So-Cal-accented drawl which served him well as he became a comedy star in the mid-90s. The same affectations and verbal tics audiences saw in films like “Encino Man” and “Son-in-Law” could be faintly picked up in our talk. But the person I was chatting with was down-to-earth, reflective, conversational. It couldn’t be Pauly Shore.
Except … it was. The same man who played “The Weasel” to such a degree that his character (for better or worse) seemed to help define the decade, comedically. The same Pauly Shore whose on-screen persona was described as achieving a “fingernails-on-the-blackboard effect.” But here is Shore, in 2009, in the middle of a stand-up comedy tour and having just finished directing his third film. Yes, directing. Writing, too. Maybe he has matured; maybe there is a lesson to be learned about separating the performer from his character.
Shore will appear at the Funny Bone comedy club Nov. 6-8. This is not Shore’s first appearance in the Glass City and he said he was looking forward to this trip to the area from his home in (naturally) California.
“Most people in L.A., you tell ‘em you’re going to Toledo, they’re like, ‘For what?’,” Shore joked. “But I just really like going to the Midwest … I’m excited.”
Shore’s stand-up gig is not the only thing on his plate. His third film as director, “Adopted,” a satirical look at celebrity adoptions, is on tap for a release in early 2010. What’s it been like to step into the director’s chair?
“About seven or eight years ago I started directing and producing my own projects,” Shore said. “It’s pretty awesome to build something from scratch and have it come to fruition. It’s the really the best feeling in the world.”
Shore hasn’t given up being solely a performer. He has also finished filming a family comedy called “Opposite Day,” a body-switch-themed movie co-starring French Stewart. (“It’s my first rated-G film ever,” Shore notes). He also has a Showtime stand-up special called “Pauly Shore and Friends,” airing on Nov. 21. I asked him which kind of audience response pleases him more — the immediate response of a stand-up audience or the long-term response of an audience to his filmed work?
“When you create something … like ‘Adopted’ or ‘Pauly Shore and Friends,’ it’s really fulfilling. But another thing that’s really fulfilling is, when I’m on stage, like for instance in Toledo. I’m doing a joke that I’ve done before, and it’s been successful, but I add to it once I’m on stage,” Shore said. “Being spontaneous … that’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Shore was brought up in the entertainment industry — his father, Sammi, was a successful comedian and co-owned the legendary California comedy club The Comedy Store with Shore’s mother, Mitzi.
Who were Shore’s greatest comedic influences, growing up surrounded by comedy legends?
“Definitely Sam Kinison and Richard Pryor,” Shore said. “Those two comedians are kind of comic’s comics, but then also, I think the mass public liked them as well.”
Before he hit it big as a screen comedian, Shore hosted “Totally Pauly” on MTV, back in the days when the “M” still stood for something other than the memories of its musical past.
“It’s more of an actual channel than a music channel. I don’t even remember the last time I watched MTV and saw an actual music video,” Shore said. “But you got to put on TV that people want to see. MTV is really [for] 15-year-old girls. I guess that’s what it is and what it’s become and that’s who watches it. So, unless you’re a 15-year-old girl, or a pedophile, you’re not watching MTV.
“So, I watch MTV a lot,” he added.
Perfect punch line.
So, what can fans expect at the Funny Bone? “I’ll do a lot of the older stuff for them, some new stuff, be spontaneous, but mostly just have a good time,” Shore said. “I’m excited to come to Toledo. Toledo’s always been good to me.”
For more information on the Funny Bone, visit www.funnybonefatfishtoledo.com.
E-mail Jeff at PopGoesJeff@gmail.com.