Stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and director Bobcat Goldthwait is promoting his new movie, Joy Ride, which chronicles his stand-up tour with longtime friend Dana Gould. Goldthwait does not use “the voice,” which he retired back in 2018, although he’s gotten pushback from some audiences who attend his shows expecting it. The director of World’s Greatest Dad and Shakes the Clown has had, I think, an uncomfortable relationship with “the voice” over the years. I saw him in person many years ago in a small club where he went in-and-out of the voice, often to signal to the audience that “the voice” was a character, and not his normal speaking voice (at the time, it actually came as a shock to hear his real voice).
In an interview with The Guardian this week, Goldthwait also reflected back on his feud with Jerry Seinfeld in the context of “cancel culture,” which Seinfeld often rails against, while also taking issue with those who say that George Carlin would not survive in today’s environment.
“People love to say, ‘George Carlin couldn’t do his act today! What would he say about all this?’” Goldthwait says. “You know what he’d say? I know exactly what he’d say. He’d say something hilarious and cutting about your f—-ing bullshit. There is no cancel culture. It only exists if you’re a whistleblower or a victim.”
As for Seinfeld, a couple of years ago on his show, Comedians in Cars with Coffee, Seinfeld uncustomarily ranted about his dislike of Goldthwait during an episode with Bridget Everett.
“He used to rail against me ‘cause they weren’t as wild and dangerous as he was. ‘Cause he sucked. He wasn’t funny. And that’s why he didn’t get anywhere… ‘Cause in comedy, nobody gives a f—- if you’re cool, if you’re lame. If you’re funny, you win. If you’re not funny, you don’t.”
“And he’s not funny. That’s why he had to do that stupid f—-ing voice. ‘Cause you have no f—-ing act.”
“That’s why he didn’t like me, ‘cause I could actually do it. I can do it. I can do comedy. He can’t. “Stupid [Bobcat]. You’re not scary or dangerous. You’re just… you’re just weak on stage. You’re a weak act.”
In the interview with The Guardian, Goldthwait referred to that episode while taking another dig at Seinfeld.
“Every subject should be allowed,” Goldthwait says. “I will defend people’s freedom of speech even when I don’t agree with what they have to say. But at the end of the day, the question is whether it’s funny. When Jerry [Seinfeld] makes a homophobic joke, that’s just pandering to the status quo. He’s not even being edgy. I never had any axe to grind with Seinfeld. Then on his show, he went on that weird tear against me. In an interview, I saw him say that that was his favorite part of that season. He’s a sore winner. I felt like I was in a scene in a western, where the gunslinger has put down his pistols, but then Seinfeld rolls into town, and he’s got to take his Colt 45 off the wall for one last showdown. ‘You really want to get into shit-talking with me?’”
I’m not sure that Goldthwait is being completely honest when he says that he never had an axe to grind with Jerry Seinfeld. There’s some history there, and I think I know why Jerry dislikes him so much. Way back in 1995, Goldthwait took a shot at Seinfeld and his sitcom in an interview with The Spokesman-Review
“Here is this creepy Scientologist guy (dating) teenage girls - which I don’t care about one way or another. What I find creepy is that people are convinced he lives in that apartment, and those are his wacky friends. They don’t like each other; they’re actors paid to pretend they like Jerry Seinfeld. He’s a weird guy. But everybody thinks he’s normal and I’m weird.”
Goldthwait is referring to the fact that Seinfeld did take a course in Scientology back in the day — which he admitted on Maron’s podcast last year (he thought it “was interesting” but he “never pursued it”). As for the teenage girls? Yes, when he was 38, Jerry Seinfeld dated Shoshanna Lonstein, who was 17 when they began dating (they dated for four years, through Lonstein’s stint in college).
I suspect that Seinfeld did not like being (rightfully) called out for that, and has held it against Goldthwait ever since. Every few years, one of them will be asked about the other, and the feud will resurface.
In the meantime, Goldthwait may not have Seinfeld money, but he’s doing just fine without the voice, Jerry. Joyride is available on VOD this weekend.
Source: The Guardian
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