Interview: Bobcat Goldthwait (Relapse Theatre 8/15) on his rollercoaster career and his love for Atlanta

Originally posted Thursday, August 1, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Bobcat Goldthwait has been doing comedy for nearly four decades, breaking out in the 1980s with a bizarrely high-pitched voice, a nervous persona and frazzled hair.

He was clearly not mainstream but his fans embraced his off-kilter approach to comedy.

Goldthwait has done more directing in recent years and produced an anthology series shot in metro Atlanta on truTV last year "Monsters and Misfits. It was his take on "The Twilight Zone."

But he still does stand-up. And while his hair has gone gray, he remains an engaging - if calmer - presence on stage.

He'll be at Relapse Theatre in Atlanta August 15 with his friend and fellow comic Dana Gould. They will share the stage at the same time. It's dubbed "The Show With Two Heads Live." (Tickets available here.) They plan to tape the shows here and in Asheville, N.C. for a potential special.

Goldthwait, in an interview, said he has a “soft spot for Atlanta and Asheville. We did well in Portland. Then we play L.A. and nobody comes. There’s no buzz there to see a 57-year-old white guy - and rightfully so.”

Yes, he is the king of self deprecation. You can get a taste of it upfront during a “Gotham Live” special he hosted in 2017 that is available on YouTube.

“I was big in the 1980s,” he told the audience at the top of the show. “Some of you weren’t even born when I was relevant!” he said. Later, he added, “Some of you are saying, ‘Is that his real voice?’ The rest of you are going, ‘I thought he was dead!’”

>>RELATED: Jerry Seinfeld hates Bobcat Goldthwait. Why?

Here’s a reminder of vintage Goldthwait from three decades ago:

He and Gould - who created the Atlanta-produced IFC show “Stan Against Evil” - have comparably strange takes on the world and when they started doing comedy together on stage at the same time, it clicked, Goldthwait said. It helps that they’ve been friends since Gould was 18 or 19.

“We have a lot in common,” Goldthwait said. “We both have had ups and downs in show business. We both are writers and storytellers.”

During the show, he added, “We keep it topical. We weave in and out of old material. It can go for as long as two and a half hours.”

Gould and Goldthwait  shot their TV shows in Atlanta at the same time a couple of years ago.

“We’d be texting each other all the time,” he said. “Different technical things. We had some of the same camera operators.”

Goldthwait said he may have come across as a man on the edge on stage, but in reality, he became a dad in his early 20s and had to learn to be responsible.

“My daughter would tell you, ‘Dad, remember the time you lit a half a stick fo dynamite in the backyard?’ That’s the very reason why I connect with a Southern audience!”

Goldthwait feels good about where his career is at right now. For instance, in 2015, he chose to do a documentary about Barry Crimmins, a satirist and author,  called "Call Me Lucky" and plans to turn his life story into a narrative film.

“I’m very happy,” Goldthwait said. “I have never judged my career on how many people know you or how many tickets I sell. The things I liked growing up were never mass appeal.”

“Connecting with people means more to me than trying to connect with everyone,” he added.

Goldthwait is a fan of Midtown's Laughing Skull Lounge and its owner Marshall Chiles. The feeling is mutual.

Chiles has known him for more than 15 years, booking him in the 2000s to headline his former club the Funny Farm in Roswell. There, he recalled that when Goldthwait arrived in the green room, he was going through a personal issue and needed someone to talk to. Chiles was able to be a sounding board.

“He’s one of my favorite people in the business,” Chiles said. “He’s  down to earth. He’s been famous since he was 18 and he just doesn’t buy into the bulls***. He is one of the truest artists I’ve ever met.”

When Goldthwait was seeking to fill out some speaking roles on “Misfits and Monsters,” he called Chiles for referrals of up-and-coming comics seeking acting opportunities. Several made it on the show.

As  comedy club owner, Chiles could get into any comedy show in town for free but he said he wants to support both Goldthwait and Gould (as well as Relapse Theatre) and has purchased a ticket to the August 15 show.


Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Gould

Thursday, August 15, 2019 8:00 p.m.


Relapse Comedy Theater

380 14th Street, Atlanta

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