From his days at MTV to his comedy albums and
appearances in popular films like Encino
Man, Son In Law and Jury Duty, Pauly Shore had a great time
as a rising star in the early 90s. His mother Mitzi Shore founded the world famous
Comedy Store in Los Angeles, and his father Sammy was a touring comedian.
Needless to say, inspiring laughter ran in the family.
While he did make a few appearances over the
years, Paulys career quieted down considerably, and the media had a hell of a
time poking fun at him. He showed that he had the ability to laugh at himself
with his 2003 mockumentary Pauly Shore Is
Dead, reminding fans that he was still in the game. He was determined to
keep his career thriving through independent projects, and has succeeded in doing
so but not without his share of controversy.
Recently, Pauly began utilizing the internet to
reach fans in a big way. From set-ups like getting punched in the face by a
cowboy to his recent rant about Black comedians and their ability to get work,
Pauly definitely knows how to make us look.
After Pauly noticed illseeds impeccable reporting
in AllHipHop Rumors, he agreed to give us the exclusive interview to explain
his recent antics.
AllHipHop.com: You have a DVD that’s out, Natural Born Komics, and obviously quite
a bit of the video [with the rant about Black comedians] has been along the
lines of promoting that.
Pauly Shore: That was the whole reason I did that,
there was no other reason why I did that.
AllHipHop.com: Were you having any concerns that
fans were thinking otherwise [that you might really be serious]?
Pauly Shore: No, I wanted to create a response,
and these days for people to buy things you gotta create some type of
awareness. Everyone in my movie – you’ve got Vivica [Fox], T-Pain, Charlie
[Murphy] – I had to get to the Hip-Hop community because they’re all fans of
those people. Hip-Hop people aren’t my fans. I get approached all the time on
the street from Black people that love me, they give me hugs and I’ve been in
the game for a long time. But as far as them purchasing a Pauly Shore DVD, it’s
not gonna happen. You understand?
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people don’t understand
your history past your movies and MTV, with your mother, and the fact that
Richard Pryor was a huge influence to you
Pauly Shore: My dad actually opened for Elvis
Presley as a comedian, his name is Sammy Shore. He opened for Sinatra and Sammy
Davis Jr. in the ’60s and ’70s, met my mom, they moved to Miami Beach and then
they drove together and got married before I was even born. Then they moved to
California in the 1970s, 1972 they opened up this place called The Comedy Store
on Sunset. That’s where Redd Foxx, Pat McCormick and all of the early comics
started out with my dad.
Then my mom won The Comedy Store in the divorce,
and my mom is like the Mother Theresa of comedy. We’ve been supporting Black
comedians our whole lives at The Comedy Store – my mom started the whole Black
movement of comedy in Hollywood. Everyone from Paul Mooney to Richard [Pryor]
started there, The Comedy Store is a college, and the only place you can go and
develop from scratch. She started that in ’72 and I grew up there my whole life
since I was a baby.
Richard Pryor and Mitzi Shore
AllHipHop.com: How much of a challenge has it been
for you to keep your career going in a way where you didn’t feel like you were
swimming upstream the whole time?
Pauly Shore: It’s very difficult. It was just a
wake up call. In my career, it’s the old saying you look at the glass half full
or half empty. I’ve made it, I’ve done some great movies, all of my movies
continuously play on cable whether it’s Son
In Law, In The Army Now or Bio-Dome. All of my movies play
constantly. I had an amazing run in the ’90s, and then like anything you gotta
go away to come back.
The Weasel, my persona, was so strong, and
anything that strong is gonna die at some point. But underneath the hair and
the dress code, there’s this Jewish comic that was raised in this environment
that won’t stop. About five years ago I decided to take my career into my own hands
and started doing my own projects, ever since then everything I’ve done [while
I wont say it’s] gotten great reviews, they’re honest.
It’s really hard for people to give it up to me,
I’m cool with that, I don’t care anymore. I really don’t care anymore because
internally I’m fulfilled. If I can sell DVDs and have a hit on something,
that’s icing on the cake. But no matter what happens with [Natural Born Komics] I got something else in the can that’s coming
out and I’ve got something else after that. I’ve continuously trudged on, I
don’t know if I got that from my mom or that’s something that’s in my system.
These days you’ve got the internet and other ways
to get your creative spirit out there. We don’t have to be greenlit by a $20
million studio film. I know it’s gonna happen for me again. I already know that
because it’s inside of me. Honestly I don’t care when people diss me, I’m over
that. I cared about that a while ago and I’m over that. My skin is too thick
now. Like I said, I’m an artist and I’m stimulating myself and I smile when I
do crazy stuff, and in turn other people hopefully smile.
Son In Law
AllHipHop.com: There has been a handful of white
and Jewish comedians in the past that have addressed race relations, but it’s
always been a very delicate balance
Pauly Shore: My [whole thing] was done, planned as
a promotional stunt, Michael Richards [rant] wasn’t.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think it’s more acceptable
nowadays for non-Black comedians to address issues like the Don Imus case, and
do you think in general that laughing about it opens up the discussion a little
I think it’s out there in the world, we’re about to have our first
African-American president. If it’s in the air as a comic, it’s a freedom of
speech, and as long as you don’t go over the line You go up to the line, but
don’t go over the line, and that’s my thing. The Black and white thing will
always be in the air and you have to address it. Black people talk about white
people, white people should be able to talk about Black people.
It’s like, if you look at Sarah Silverman on
Comedy Central, she’s always doing Black jokes. Bill Maher is going there,
everyone is going there, but people see this stuff on the internet and all of a
sudden they think “Oh my God!” The piece that I did was a produced
piece, there’s music and graphics behind it. To me it was like a sketch on
Comedy Central or something, but people just bought into it because it was the
AllHipHop.com: The prank where the cowboy socked
you what kind of feedback did you get from that? We know that it was staged,
we saw the production clips and everything. How was the reaction from fans?
Pauly Shore: The thing is, remember who you’re
talking to right now. It’s Pauly Shore, I’m a f**king comedian. So try not to
take what I say so serious, and that’s what happens, because I’m a good actor.
I was acting, just like all of the people in the clip were acting. I directed,
produced and edited that clip, I was acting in these clips.
The Cowboy Punch
Behind The Scenes The Cowboy Punch
As far as people being duped, it’s the same thing
as Ashton Kutcher [on Punk’d] at a
bigger level. You’re messing with the internet and messing with people’s minds.
The only dumb thing that I did was with the thing with the cowboy, I didn’t
have a product coming out at the time. I didn’t have a movie or something, I
just did it because I was f***king bored. [laughs]
The funny thing behind this [Black comedian rant
video] is, I didn’t even come up with this whole thing. It came from a place
called Element Nine which is a Hip-Hop marketing company. Don’t you wanna know
the story behind it and how the whole thing happened?
Pauly Shore: About 10 months ago I’m sitting in my
office at The Comedy Store on the third floor, and I’m like, “How the hell
am I gonna sell this DVD?” So I make a couple calls to some connections I
have with Eminem and his management, and I get ahold of this guy Shawn
Prez. He’s Puffy’s marketing guy, I call
him up and we become best friends on the phone. We laugh and talk about
different things, I send him the DVD and he really loves it, I say, “How
am I gonna get involved with the Hip-Hop community? I think this DVD is really
funny and I want people in the Hip-Hop world to see it and laugh because they
deserve good comedy and I’m a funny comedian.”
He was feeling me, so he goes, “You know
rappers go after each other to sell DVDs or CDs, why don’t you go after Black
comedians?” He says, “Why don’t you rap?” I said, “I don’t
f**king rap”, and he says, “Well let’s do a video.” It wasn’t
even my idea. So he’s the mastermind behind this whole thing, I followed his
lead, he became a really good friend of mine and held my hand through the
process, and it’s all good. What we pulled off was remarkable and hysterical,
and I got nothing but love.
Pauly dissing Black comedians
The response from Charlie Murphy, Vivica Fox and others
AllHipHop.com: You [spoke] a few times in the past
about your relationships with the Bboys in L.A.
Pauly Shore: Yeah I grew up pop-locking as a
child, that’s where I met Ice-T. I grew up and was fascinated with the Hip-Hop
world as a kid. There was a club back in the early 80s called The Radio Club.
That’s where Ice-T started, and this guy named Oz Rock started, he was the
first guy to do aerial windmills. He was f**king insane, that’s where I met
Sugar Pop who was in all of the Lionel Richie videos and we became really good
friends. I became really good friends with his brother Jason and all of the
Samoans and the Carson City boys.
All of those guys were Hawaiian and Samoan, they
used to come over to my house as a kid and we would pop-lock and breakdance on
the linoleum, and my mom would go, “Who the f**k are these people?”
and I’d go, “Mom, they’re teaching me how to spin on my head” and
she’d just laugh and they’d all come swimming at my house. That’s where it all
started for me, and ever since then I’ve been involved with that and growing up
at The Comedy Store.
I became friends with Dr. Dre because he’d always
come in and watch the comedians. All of those people are in Pauly Shore Is Dead as well – if you
look at that movie, you’ve got Snoop, Dre, B-Real. These are all guys that I
grew up with.
Pauly Shore Is Dead
AllHipHop.com: How did your relationships with
rappers factor into [your work at] MTV?
Pauly Shore: Not at all. When I was on MTV it was
just Yo! MTV Raps and that was
basically it. I was on MTV from ’90 to ’96, so it was very broken up. Now if
you watch MTV, it’s mostly Hip-Hop and dance and stuff, but back then it was
straight up rock and heavy metal, and I was a part of that wave as well. I’m
friends with all of the heavy metal guys as well in that whole kind of era. The
Motley Crue guys, I’m friends with Tommy [Lee] and all of those guys as well. I
grew up on the Sunset strip.
Totally Pauly – 1990
AllHipHop.com: With you being a part of those
worlds, did you ever foresee that Hip-Hop would be as big as it’s become?
Pauly Shore: You know what? It’s really f**king
amazing, I’m so proud of everyone that is involved in the Hip-Hop world,
because honestly it’s like the best music that’s out there. It’s what everyone
is buying, you walk in the clubs and it’s what’s on, it’s what’s on everyone’s
radio. Good rock is still good rock, but I remember when I was on MTV, it’s
hysterical [looking back at how] it was all rock, and then a Hip-Hop category.
Now it’s all Hip-Hop with a rock category and it’s pretty funny.
Good music is good music and that’s just my
thought. Hip-Hop is the best music that’s out there right now. It’s what I
listen to on my iPod when I’m driving. I live in L.A. and I turn on 105.9, and
that’s what I listen to.
AllHipHop.com: What are some of your favorite
albums right now?
Pauly Shore: Tupac – I know he’s been gone for a
while but I still listen to [his albums] all of the time. I love obviously the
Kanye album, the 50 album, all that Eminem stuff is still relevant. All of Jay-Z’s stuff is amazing, I saw a
private show of his in Miami a couple of weeks ago and it was like,
“F**k”, I had never seen him live. He’s so smooth, I mean he just
f**king comes out there
It was funny, because it was at the Fillmore and
it was a private show, the first show on his tour and he didn’t go on until
late. People were getting p#####, like “F**k, come on dude. Let’s do
this.” He went on past midnight and the second he went on stage all of a
sudden the lights went down and it was like nobody really cared. It was like,
“Holy s**t!” – and his songs are all his. He’s just really good, a
lot of rap is hard if the sound system’s not right and the rapper’s okay, you
don’t get it all. But he flies across the stage having a blast.
AllHipHop.com: Give us a little rundown of what
you have coming up next.
Pauly Shore: I’m excited about the DVD Natural Born Komics, that just came out
last week. I have a movie called Adopted which
is pretty funny, I go to Africa to adopt a Black child. That’s basically
already shot, it’s kind of the opposite of
Borat, you know how Borat is this Middle Eastern guy who comes to America
looking for Pam Anderson? I’m like this L.A. Hollywood guy, a single guy coming
to Africa looking to adopt an African child.
I also honestly wanted to bring lightness to Africa.
I think that after people see this movie they’re not gonna think of Africa the
way they did before. Everyone is smiling, I got the kids laughing and we’re
having a good time. Beautiful scenery I showed some townships, but it wasn’t
heavy with the HIV and that world. I wanted to show Africa in a really fun kind
of light where you watch the movie and go, “F**k, I wanna go to Africa.
That looks fun.”
So it’s really cool, I went down there and did
some shows, so I shot this movie while I was down there. I have that and this
movie called Opposite Day which is a
kids movie that’s a studio film, and a couple of other things I’m working
I want to tell everyone I have nothing but love. At
the end of the day I’m a comedian that constantly tries to think of stuff that
gets people’s attention, and have a good time at the same time.
Natural Born Komics intro
You can find Pauly at myspace.com/paulyshore