McGinnis: Pauly Shore brings new material to Funny BoneWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
he gentleman on the other end of the phone was discussing the first presidential debate.
“It was interesting,” he said. “I think everyone was surprised by the fact that Mitt Romney was coming across as seminormal. I mean, I don’t know what the f*** he was saying, but as a human being, he came across. I mean, he talked about his kids, and he just connected with people. And that’s been his biggest problem is his disconnect. And I think even Obama was shocked by the fact that he was being so normal.
“And Obama just seems tired, his demeanor seems tired. I mean, it’s a lot of work being president, you can’t just f***ing sit back, you know?”
As times and people change, a comic’s material must evolve if he is going to stay current. Case in point: The words above come from former MTV veejay, movie star, comedian and “weasel” Pauly Shore.
Shore made a name for himself in the late ’80s and early ’90s as the quintessential Valley Dude, a persona that earned him both wild popularity and widespread scorn in seemingly equal measure. But now, the 44-year-old comic and self-described news junkie has begun to adapt his material to focus on a new setting, far removed from the skateboards and beach bums of his youth — the wacky world of Washington, D.C.
“Like, I’m a little bit older now, a little bit crustier around the edges, you know,” Shore said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “I’d like to say I go out and party and get laid every night, but I don’t. You know, I like to take it easy, I like to watch the news. I’m very stimulated by these Republicans and Democrats and independents, that whole world.
“I mean, Washington is like Hollywood for ugly people. You know, I’m entertained by them. So, like, some people will watch ‘Two and a Half Men’ to be entertained; I watch, like, Fox News, you know? Like Bill O’Reilly is, like, so pompous I love it. It’s just funny, you know?”
Shore has focused the natural humor of politics into his stand-up act, which returns to the Toledo area on Oct. 11 with a gig at the Funny Bone at Fat Fish Blue.
“It’s a stress reliever,” Shore said of his stand-up. “It’s like therapy, you know? It relaxes me.
“I feel more comfortable, like, onstage than in, like, a group of five or 10 people, you know? Maybe because they’re all strangers, you know?”
The repeated use of “like” and “you know” indicate that Shore hasn’t completely left his old persona behind — not that it’s really a persona.
“How did it start? I’m trying to think. I think when I came out of my mom,” Shore said of his onstage character. “You know, like, I used to do this joke where I was like, ‘I was the first baby born with the munchies.’”
His parents, comic icons Mitzi and Sammy Shore —who actually married at a Toledo restaurant back in the ’50s, Pauly noted — certainly had a big influence on the way he approaches comedy. His dad was a freewheeling stage presence, while his mom has “kinda always gone with her feelings, you know. So that’s kinda me. I got that from her, I think.”
His newfound interest in political humor has also been channeled into a new special, “Pauly-tics,” available
for download on his website, paulyshore.com. The show includes not only Shore’s stand-up, but interviews with political luminaries like Larry King and former presidential candidate Herman Cain.
“Thankfully, I think they have a kindness toward me,” Shore said of his interview subjects. “Or if they don’t know me, their handlers probably explained who I am … and then, they all wanna be on TV. And if you pitch it to ’em, ‘It’s like ‘Saturday Night Live’ or ‘Jon Stewart,’ or something like that, they wanna show themselves having a sense of humor.”
But despite his treading into subjects that are far more divisive than his usual fare, Shore assured his fans — both those watching the special or seeing him live at Funny Bone — not to expect him to delve too far into “serious issues.”
“Well, first of all, none of the issues I discuss are serious,” Shore joked. “The way I approach it is, I put Pauly Shore into politics. That’s why it’s ‘Pauly-tics.’ I put myself into the world, so if I was running for mayor, if I were running for president, we’d do it this way. It’s more light and fun, you know?”