By Susan Lacke
“Wait, wait…you mean to tell me Andrew Dice Clay is still alive?”
Judging by the frequency this question in response to Clay’s upcoming Utah show, it’s safe to say the comedian isn’t quite at the peak he was 30 years ago.
The comedian, known for explicit language and sexist humor, chain-smoked his way through every major comedy milestone in the late 80s and early 90s, including two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.
And then he fell – hard. Once the shock and novelty of Clay’s stand-up wore off, album sales plummeted, sending Clay into a flurry of lawsuits and money troubles. Since then, Clay has just remained on the periphery of pop culture: appearing on TV shows such as Celebrity Apprentice and Entourage; releasing a memoir (The Filthy Truth); making the occasional appearance on podcasts and in comedy festivals. Still, Clay’s fame is tenuous at best – every time he reappears, society seems be surprised that he is, in fact, still very much alive.
Perhaps more surprising is that Clay is more than just a brash, misogynistic asshole. In recent years, Clay has revealed himself to be a multifaceted performer. In his critically-acclaimed performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Clay stole the show with his portrayal of Augie, a working-class schlep with a deeply complex story. More recently, Clay’s new series on Showtime, Dice, captures the human side of “The Diceman” persona (in one episode, Clay attends a same-sex wedding, where he is called out – and apologizes for – making homophobic jokes in his stand-up).
But don’t think for a second that Andrew Dice Clay has watered down his standup. When the stage lights come on, “The Diceman” comes out, filthy nursery rhymes and all. Clay’s stand-up tour makes a stop at Wendover’s Peppermill Concert Hall on Friday, July 22. Doors open at 8, with the show beginning at 9. In case it isn’t obvious already, this is not a family-friendly event.