Interview date: 03/26/2008
Run date: 04/02/2008
Pauly Shore is one of those love-‘em-or-hate-‘em comedians, but those who love him can't get enough of him, which is why Shore was able to transfer the fame he achieved as an MTV VJ into a motion-picture career. Television hasn't always been as kind to Shore, but his recent Showtime special, "Natural Born Komics," inspired quite a few belly laughs from his fanbase, as it will no doubt continue to do now that it's been released on DVD. Bullz-Eye had a chance to speak to Shore recently, where we discussed "Komics" at length (or as much length as a 10-minute interview window would allow), talked about the return of The Weasel, if "Pauly Shore Is Dead" was a success, and whether or not he ever honored that money-back guarantee he promised for dissatisfied viewers of his TBS series, "Minding the Store."
Bullz-Eye: Hey, Pauly, how's it going?
Pauly Shore: Hey, buddy! How's it going, buddy?
BE: Not bad. Good to talk to you.
BE: So where did the idea for "Natural Born Komics" come from? I mean, do you keep, like, a "komedy" – that's with a K – notebook that you still put your ideas down in?
PS: (laughs) No, I just…I love Miami, first and foremost. I think it represents freedom, craziness. I mean, I spent a lot of time back in the spring break days for MTV down here. I always remember kind of doing fun, over-the-top stuff, so I wanted to do something down there. And then as far as the concept, I just wanted to kind of tackle every kind of form that exists in the comedy world; whether it be stand-up or hidden camera or parody. Kind of slap it in a movie with hip hop artists and actors and comedians and girls and…I don't know, I just wanted to do something fun, you know?
BE: You made a comment about over-the-top. Is there anything you would consider too over-the-top for the project? Was there anything that got nixed?
PS: Oh…I don't know. Let me think. Well, of course, there are things here and there, but, I mean, I think I edited it down to the best stuff, you know.
BE: Was it always inevitable that the Weasel was going to make an appearance?
PS: Yeah. We had to bring him back, you know. It's funny, because out of all the characters that I did, that was like the hardest one for me to do.
BE: How long had it been since you had actually done him? I mean, do you still do him in your stand-up?
PS: I don't know. No, I don't. I mean, yeah, I throw it out once in awhile in my stand-up, you know what I mean, but it was just funny to put on all the old clothes and do the same…did you see that bit?
PS: Yeah, it was fun. It was funny to do that. I thought it was, like, a caricature of the Weasel.
BE: What was your favorite sketch within the special?
PS: I don't know, man, I liked them all. We screened it last night in Miami, and…I mean, there's some that I like better than others, but, I mean, I like the Steven Bauer one. The sketch from that, just because it's Steven Bauer and it's, like, "Scarface," and I like…well, like you said, "Flavor of Weas." I thought that was fun. And then I like Greta Van Susteren, because I am obsessed with the news.
BE: Are you expecting to hear from her about that sketch?
PS: Yeah, did you see that one?
BE: Oh, yeah.
PS: That was fun, right?
BE: Yeah, but are you expecting to get feedback from that? Like, say, specifically from her?
PS: (chuckles) Hopefully, hopefully.
BE: Who was your favorite of the guest stars to work with? Steven Bauer?
PS: I liked Charlie Murphy.
BE: Are you a big "Chappelle's Show" fan?
PS: Yeah man, I liked it. I liked Steven Bauer; but I liked the Charlie Murphy sketch. That was fun, man. I don't know, it's just a fun movie. I was proud of it.
BE: Now, when you're playing the part of writer, director and producer, like you did with "Natural Born Komics" and ‘Pauly Shore is Dead," does it hurt three times as much if somebody says they don't like it?
PS: Yeah, exactly. You've got to, like, watch your back when you do your own thing.
BE: How thick has your skin gotten over the years? Or do you just fall back on your fans and figure they're the ones who count?
PS: Yeah, I'm pretty much over any bad press that comes at me. I've been beat up so much, and so many people talk shit, and so I don't really care anymore, you know. It doesn't really bother me.
BE: Do you think "Pauly Shore is Dead" succeeded in bringing you back into the public eye in the way you intended?
PS: I think so. I mean, I think it was a good first attempt to do my own project from scratch.
BE: How do you define your level of celebrity? Because, I mean, sometimes it seems like you're known as much for poking fun at yourself as what you've actually done.
PS: What's my level?
BE: Yeah. How do you consider yourself as a celebrity?
PS: Well, everyone knows who I am all over the world, so I think that's pretty known. I mean, I went to Australia and South Africa, and I sold out shows down there. I sold more tickets in Africa then I do in America. I'm like David Hasselhoff down there.
BE: What do you think is the most underrated project you have every worked on?
PS: All of them.
BE: Any one in specific that really leaps out at you, though?
PS: Well, "Pauly Shore is Dead" probably the best.
BE: With "Minding the Store" did you honor your dollar-back guarantee?
PS: I think that we sent a couple, yeah. I liked that show too, though, I did. I really liked…not every episode but I liked, I don't know, maybe half of them. I thought they were funny. There was, like, a limousine episode, and there's an episode with Dad. There's, like, maybe three or four I thought were really good ones.
BE: How is the Comedy Store doing these days?
PS: It's doing good, man. It's one of those places that's like…it's like the movie "Rocky," it's the old gym. Everyone keeps going to it, and people feel comfortable to develop their stuff there, so it's pretty cool.
BE: What's the story on "Adopted?" I saw it on your website.
PS: That's my next writer/director/producer/star project. I go to Africa to adopt a black kid. He's in the other room, hold on. (calls into other room) Aswa, come say hi to the man, Aswa! (pauses) He's taking a nap.
BE: You wouldn't be blatantly playing to your huge African audience by going to Africa to adopt a child, would you?
PS: Yeah, once I went down there, I go, "I've got to do a movie for them." That's what I do. I go to different places, and I get so inspired that I have to do movies around each place. Maybe I'll go to, like, Bolivia and do something down there.
BE: Have you got any other projects in the works, or stuff that you have been considering doing?
PS: Well, we've got "Adopted," and that's that. I have a movie coming out called "Opposite Day," it's a kid movie. It's, like, a father with two kids, and it's rated G and called "Opposite Day." Then there's a company called Write TV, I'm doing six webisodes for them; I'm producing, directing and starring in six webisodes for them. I also just shot a pilot for CMT called "Paid Vacation." We shot that in Florida and Nashville.
BE: What kind of program is that for CMT?
PS: It's a pilot. It's called "CMT's Paid Vacation with Pauly Shore." We take…I don't want to say a poor family, but we take a well-deserving family, and we take them on vacation. And I get to go with them!
BE: You've done a lot of cartoon voiceover work. Do you have any favorites among those items on your resume?
PS: Um…which ones did I like? I like the "A Goofy Movie" stuff.
BE: Did you enjoy doing the "Futurama" episode?
PS: Yeah, yeah. That was fun too.
BE: Awesome. Alright, well, it's been a pleasure talking to you, man.
PS: Okay, bro. Well, thanks for checking out the DVD!