No shrimp ranches
the early '80s, Bobcat Goldthwait became known as the guy with the weird scratchy
voice who twitched and jerked and wreaked havoc in the horrible "Police Academy"
But over the years, Goldthwait's persona evolved in
ways that surprised anyone who saw one of those movies.
than anything else, Bobcat Goldthwait has always been a stand-up comic. Now 41,
he started his standup career at 15, and was full-time by 18. He made his first
appearance on David Letterman's show at age 20. So, he's been doing standup over
half his life.
And watching Bobcat's
standup act, expecting to see the weird twitchy guy, yields some surprises. Goldthwait
starts as expected, grunting and barking out pseudo-punchlines. But then as the
routine evolves, the "voice" quickly slips away. Gradually, Goldthwait
becomes more articulate and intelligent, delving heavily into politics and other
sociological topics. And before you know it, you're not watching the guy from
"Police Academy" -- you're watching a well-spoken, intelligent comic
riff on society.
Since his early days, Goldthwait has branched
out considerably. In 1992, he wrote and directed a movie called "Shakes The
Clown." "Shakes" was not well-received, but it became a cult favorite,
with the Boston Globe even calling it "the 'Citizen Kane' of alcoholic clown
That first effort eventually
led to more directing jobs, and nowadays, directing is Goldthwait's main pursuit.
He has directed numerous segments for Comedy Central's "The Man Show"
and "Chappelle's Show," and just directed "Windy City Heat,"
a real movie about the filming of a fake movie in which an untalented but egotistical
actor is tricked into thinking he got a starring role in a movie. The two-hour
production will air Oct. 12 on Comedy Central. In addition, Goldthwait does lots
of voice-overs. While he still does standup comedy, he sees that now as more paycheck
than creative inspiration, looking forward instead to evolving his directing career.
spoke to Bankrate about these various aspects of his career, and about other unusual
ways he could make money if he chose.
so many things going on, what is your primary source of income?
It would still be my standup, because it's the most consistent. I guess the directing
is starting to catch up.
directing comedy lucrative?
Probably not the way I'm doing it. I'm a segment director. I just finished my
first movie of the week for Comedy Central as a director, and obviously that pays
a little better.
you ever take a job you're not really psyched about just for the money?
I recently stopped doing just anything that came my way, and I'm much happier.
I said, you know what, I'm just going to do stuff that seems fun to do, or I'm
not going to be embarrassed when it's on cable. And despite my body of work, there
are some things I've turned down recently.
Goldthwait The role
of a pooping wino in a movie.
And how much did they offer to pay you to be a pooping wino?
I didn't even get into that. And, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings who ended
up being the pooping wino.
OK. Have you ever been an investor?
No. I haven't. I'm the classic guy who should have been paying more attention
early on in his career to finances. But things have pretty much straightened out,
so I'm pretty happy.
what do you do with your money now as far as preparing for the future?
I've just been saving it. I should probably do all that kind of stuff. But I don't
have a portfolio or anything like that.
Do you own a home?
Yeah. That and a shrimp farm in Texas. (Laughs) I remember someone was trying
to get me to invest in a shrimp ranch in Texas. I'm glad I didn't.
is a shrimp ranch?
you ride horses for the roundups ... I don't know.
Do you get a lot of that, people trying to get you to do weird things with your
Goldthwait The shrimp
ranch is probably the weirdest thing I can remember. But, because you're in the
limelight, people invent crap. A lid opener. Someone wanted me to stick money
into a lid opener. A shrimp farm and a lid opener.
They really come to you with the high quality stuff.
guess so. Maybe it was very wise of me to not invest.
Have you ever invested in anything someone brought you?
No, I haven't.
a good move.
Goldthwait I think
maybe they see my persona and think I would be a good target.
Have you ever done commercials, or had any offered to you?
think in the '80s, when I had a lot of heat. I believe I've turned down some stuff.
Right now, I'm the voice of a chicken in a California cheese commercial, for milk
and dairy or whatever.
do a lot of voice-over work, right?
Yeah. But I haven't ever appeared in a commercial as a Wilford Brimley type. I
wouldn't have a problem with that at this point in my career. I'm less of an artiste.
And also, when you see the people who do these things, it's not like a big deal.
Bankrate: Voice-over is pretty
good money considering the time put into it, right?
I guess on the scale of things, most of the time when I do a voice-over, or animated
thing, the time spent driving back and forth is more time than I'm actually working.
Bankrate: Is that something
you pursue heavily?
do a lot of voice-over stuff, but I've actually been turning down a lot of that
stuff because I've been busy with the directing.
you're in a good position now. Seems like you're turning down a lot.
You know, we have to weight it. I'm turning down winos who poop in restaurants.
I'm not turning down big studio films.
Getlen is a freelance writer based in New York.