Bobcat Goldthwait returns to ToledoWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Just when he thinks he’s out, he gets pulled back in.
Bobcat Goldthwait has announced his retirement from stand-up comedy more than a few times during the course of his 30-plus years in the business. And yet here he is, ready to return to Toledo on Nov. 11, performing for two nights at Connxtions Comedy Club — and with a new Showtime comedy special recorded.
“I always jokingly refer to it as the ‘Alimony Tour,’ but I will say this time coming back hasn’t been as painful,” Goldthwait joked during an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “I actually have been enjoying stand-up again for the first time in years.”
What’s changed? Well, for one thing, his character. Yes, the manic, crazed persona that Goldthwait had patented for decades of fame has been jettisoned. “You know, not because I’m embarrassed of that character, it just gets very boring for me to play over and over again,” he said.
Goldthwait’s comedic sensibilities and comic targets have matured, so maybe it was time to lay the crazy-eyed, rough-voiced squealer to rest. Not that Goldthwait has thought too much about the reasoning behind the change. “I’m not a guy with an agenda, where I think about how people perceive me. I’m always doing the things that have interested me,” he said.
Of course, as Goldthwait changes, so does comedy. Looking at a landscape where celebrities are expected to be more public than ever before, a veteran performer like Goldthwait said he has trouble adapting to the new expectations of fame.
“You’re supposed to reduce yourself to being a reality TV star. You’re supposed to blog, and tweet, and Facebook and post. And unfortunately, I’m not that driven as a stand-up comedian. I take the kind of energy that that would take, and I like to make new stuff, like write a new screenplay, or even if it’s not making a movie, making a new short,” he said.
One of the most telling changes in Goldthwait’s career has been his maturation into a director, and a good one at that.
His films have tackled increasingly interesting and risky material, bringing dark comedy to dangerous subjects.
“When I realized how little the performer in front of the camera has to do with storytelling, I think that’s when I got my interest,” Goldthwait said of his directing career. “I made a talking horse movie where I think the horse had more creative input than I did. So, after that experience, I went out and made my first short and that set me on the path.”
His most recent film, “God Bless America,” is a very dark comedy about a middle-aged man who goes on a killing spree aimed at reality show stars. The movie was a big hit at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
“I think people get confused when they think that I sat down and wrote all these things in pop culture, and all these people in pop culture that I hate, and then shoot them in the face. And that’s only true with a few of the people in the movie,” Goldthwait said with a chuckle. “The rest of the people, it’s about us. That’s what I’m trying to address, our appetite for these people.”
The film is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2012, and Goldthwait is already planning his next film: A musical based upon the Kinks’ 1976 album “Schoolboys in Disgrace.” Yes, really.
“I know what it takes to get a movie finished, so if I’m gonna be that devoted to something at this point in my life, I really kinda want something that says something about something. I’m never really too interested in mass appeal in these movies I make, because I don’t make them for a broad audience,” Goldthwait said.
This may be why Goldthwait has been publicly cool toward the idea of the long-rumored new “Police Academy” movie.
He said the franchise would benefit from a reboot, rather than revisiting the same characters.
“If one came along, I would probably do it, because for the people who are fans of that movie — when someone doesn’t show up, it’s like when someone doesn’t show up for a ‘Brady Bunch’ reunion,” Goldthwait said. “But I think probably at this point, I’ve pissed off the producers of that movie so much, that they wouldn’t ask me back anyway.”
Goldthwait reiterated that he is looking forward to appearing in the Glass City once more.
“I know it’s the butt of a lot of jokes, and maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I actually enjoy performing in Toledo,” he said with a laugh.
Goldthwait will perform at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Nov. 11-12. Tickets are $17.50.