Pauly Shore tasted super-stardom in 1990 when his precedent-setting MTV show “Totally Pauly” hit the airwaves to major fan approval. The show ran for six years, leading him to numerous TV and film roles including the one-hour HBO television special, “Pauly Does Dallas” and starring in the films “Encino Man,” “Son In Law,” “Jury Duty,” “In the Army Now” and “Bio Dome.”
Pauly then went on to star and produce in his own projects including “Pauly Shore is Dead” for 20th Century Fox, which is now available on Amazon Prime. He also produced and starred in two comedy specials, “Vegas is My Oyster,” and “Pauly-Tics,” which are both now available on Crackle.
In 2014, Pauly released “Pauly Shore Stands Alone,” a true-life road documentary that follows him as he performs in obscure towns throughout Wisconsin while dealing with his personal life back home, which is now on Amazon Prime. He is currently producing a six-part documentary series based off of the original documentary “Pauly Shore Stands Alone.”
Additionally, Pauly recently debuted the video portion of his podcast “Pauly Shore Podcast Show,” on Crackle. Some of his guests include: Judd Apatow (movie director), Irving Azoff (manager of the Eagles), Ziggy Marley (reggae superstar) and many, many more.
Pauly remains hard at work on a historical documentary of his life spanning the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s about his life growing up at the Comedy Store in West Hollywood. He recently played Stephen Miller in a viral Funny or Die video and stars in an original Funny or Die sketch with Bobby Lee, Jay Mohr and Richard Schiff from “Ballers” titled “Silver Lake Vice Squad.” He also just produced an animation short titled “Pauly Shore’s Mr. Wiezel Goes To Washington” which is featured on Funny or Die. Via Press Release
Check out our Q-and-A with Pauly below.
What was your first performance like? How old were you?
I was 17. I knew I was always going to get into comedy but I didn’t want to work at the Comedy Store, so I asked my dad if he knew a place. He was a friend of the owner of a restaurant that was doing comedy that night. I actually did really well because I knew it was my first time, and I thought I was going to eat it. After that, it was really difficult for me and took a long time to figure out.
Why did it become more difficult after that first performance?
Comedy is difficult like skiing or tennis. It takes time to figure out the rhythm of audiences and jokes. It’s a lifestyle, not a hobby. Even to this day, I’m always trying to better myself.
I’m sure like any comic you’ve had your share of hell gigs. Any that stand out in retrospect?
Fortunately, I have a sense of humor, so sometimes gigs will be bad and I’m OK with it. I did a gig in Johnson City, Tennessee, in a Holiday Inn ballroom. They had no lights, so they had to get lights at Home Depot, but I got to do 15 minutes about that [situation].
So you do a lot of improv?
Absolutely. I always want to embrace my surroundings. Every show is completely different than any other show, so the audience kind of dictates the show and determines the vibe.
How do you feel about hecklers?
I don’t care but I feel bad for the people who paid to see the show. If it’s just a couple little heckles, it’s actually fun because it breaks the ice, but some people take it too far. A lot of hecklers are alcoholics — they’ll wake up the next morning and not remember anything. Those are the worst — the kind that always get kicked out and start a fight with the bouncer.
There was a time in the ’90s when you were approaching household name status. How did fame agree with you? Did you enjoy that time of your life?
I was a kid in my 20s; it was like Willy Wonka. MTV needed a West Coast personality. The timing hit as I was developing. It was kind of like a viral video on the internet, and I was very lucky everything lined up.
Since then you’ve been focusing more on standup. Do you find more satisfaction in being a road comic?
Fortunately, I’m excited about my job. A lot of people wake up and don’t want to go to work, but I really enjoy it. I’m so fortunate that after all these years I still have an audience out there who wants to see me. Despite the critics, I have fared really well. There’s an audience everywhere I go.
It’s easy to focus on the fun and games but what does it take to live the life of a road comic?
You just have to look at your month and schedule and use your brain and don’t overbook and get burnt out. Now that I’m older, I want to spend a lot of time at home taking it easy, going to the gym and spa and getting massages. You can’t do that if you’re out all the time. It takes balance.
Tell me about your podcasts.
I have three different podcasts — “Interested,” “Pauly Shore’s Podcast Show” and “Rants” — they’re all on iTunes and all completely different.
The Comedy Store in Hollywood is where you got your start. What does that building mean to you?
When I walk in it, I feel like I’m walking inside my mom’s stomach. She’s had it since 1972; it’s her building. Even though she’s sick and elderly, it’s still there. I remember seeing Cheech and Chong there as a kid.
Tell me about your current standup routine and what people can expect during your performance at the Funny Bone.
I definitely talk about my older films because that’s what people are there for. Most people grew up with me from MTV, so I talk about that stuff. From there, I talk about aging, health, getting older, but not being crabby about it and having a sense of humor. It’s more optimistic and positive. My job is to go out there and make people forget about their lives and go and have fun so when they leave they’re like “Wow! That was awesome.”
Tell me about “Pauly Shore’s Mr. Wiezel Goes To Washington” on Funny or Die.
It’s a joke about how Donald Trump needs to bring me in as his wingman. Now that he’s president, he can’t get any girls because everyone’s watching him. It’s a make-believe story about me getting Donald Trump laid so he can undo all these executive orders and chill the hell out.
Aside from comedy, what are you passionate about?
Health, eating well, working out, sweating and taking care of myself — that’s more important than anything.
Check out some of Shore’s side projects at funnyordie.com/pauly_shore or find his podcasts on iTunes. For general information, visit paulyshore.com. For tickets to the shows at the Funny Bone, visit vendevor.com/items/view/29113/25518. M