Pauly Shore stands alone: Comedian returns to Funny Bone Nov. 14-15Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask Pauly Shore what it’s like when he’s onstage doing stand-up — when everything is working, when he’s got an audience in the palm of his hand, when the man who became famous as the “Weasel” from Los Angeles is rocking a crowd — and he replies that the experience is not unlike another nearly universal joy.
“It’s kind of like having sex for a long time,” Shore said in an interview with Toledo Free Press. “Kind of like, you’re just flowing. There’s a happiness between both parties, you know. It’s an energy of laughter where you go back and forth.
“For me, it’s therapy, for sure. It’s a way to kind of let go.”
Shore will be having his next therapy sessions in the Toledo area at the Funny Bone at Fat Fish Blue beginning Nov. 14. He is scheduled for four shows over two nights Nov. 14-15.
It’s a little disconcerting to consider that Shore has been a mainstay on the entertainment scene for nearly a quarter of a century at this point. Yep, “Encino Man,” “Son-in-Law” and all the other films which established Shore’s hyperactive valley-guy persona happened over two decades ago.
The Pauly Shore who is currently touring the country with his stand-up routine is 46 years old now. And even though one can still hear the slight cadence of that delivery in his voice on the phone, it’s clear the comedian has, like all of us, changed with time. Mellowed a bit. Maybe even — dare it be said — grown up?
“When you get older, stuff kind of just slows down a little. You just kind of move a little slower. My cadence is a little bit slower, a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more relatable. Not so crazy.
“It comes with age,” Shore added. “When you’re in your 40s, you just take things a little bit more mellow, you know what I mean?”
Not that Shore was ever the over-the-top caricature that he presented in the old days. Every comic turns the volume up when in the limelight, and Shore was no exception. Though born and raised in California, he has strong roots to the East, through his mother Mitzi (founder of the legendary Comedy Store) and Sammi, also a comedian.
“I’m really kind of from the Midwest, because my parents are from the Midwest,” Shore said. “My mom’s from Wisconsin, my dad’s from Chicago. So just because I was born in Los Angeles, my roots are [in] the Midwest.”
Of course, time almost always has the greatest influence on most any performer, whether it be experience or learning through observation. Shore acknowledged the impact both have had on how he approaches his craft.
“I think just from doing it and watching it. I mean, you definitely want to watch other comedians and see how they do it. I was watching Whitney Cummings the other night at the Comedy Store, and she was just having a really good set — she was really connecting to the audience and relating to them. So, I think that has a lot to do with it.
“That’s the biggest trick to stand-up, is to not be in your own world, but to connect to the world that you’re talking to. You want to connect to the people that are there, so that when they laugh, they’re relating to what you’re saying. It’s not ‘you vs. them,’ it’s you are all, we are all one.”
Shore has also worked to expand his repertoire in this age of new media. He recently debuted a new podcast, “Pauly Shore’s Interested.” The show, available through his website (www.paulyshore.com) and on iTunes, features interviews with guests, followed by an additional segment where another guest comments on the first interview. (This week’s episode saw Shore interview prop comic Carrot Top, a chat then critiqued by Larry the Cable Guy.)
“With the business moving rapidly — so fast — you kind of have to hop on the wagon of what is happening. And now, what is happening is podcasts,” Shore said. “So it’s just kind of another medium on how to get your stuff out there.”
Shore also has a documentary called “Pauly Shore Stands Alone” premiering on December 4 on Showtime. The film is a fly-on-the-wall piece that follows Shore on a Midwest comedy tour, as he balances professional life and trying to care for his mom.
“That’s the part that I wanted to show. I wanted people to see and relate to me, and what I’m going through right now, because a lot of people in their 40s or 50s are pretty much doing the same thing that I’m doing — and that is that you’re working, but you’re also dealing with your parents, who are elderly.”
Shore promised longtime Toledo fans that his Funny Bone show features a new set of material, and will deliver plenty of laughs even for folks who have never seen him onstage before. Because even though he’s played here numerous times before, there’s always something that brings him back to Toledo.
“I have kids out there, I got to go make sure they’re OK,” Shore joked.