182427092BB011_Andrew_Dice_

Andrew Dice Clay

Andrew Dice Clay burst onto the comedy scene in the late 1980s and soon became one of the genre’s most controversial figures. In 1990 the Diceman became the first comic to sell out Madison Square Garden on back-to-back nights. In 2018 he played Lady Gaga’s father to critical acclaim in A Star is Born. He’ll be performing his unique brand of stand-up on Aug. 2-3 at Vinnie Brand’s Stress Factory Comedy Club in Bridgeport.

You’ve already been to the Stress Factory a few times. Either you love Connecticut or Vinnie takes care of you.

I got a big thing about dressing rooms. When he was building the club, he would call me. I told him, if the dressing room is anything like [the Stress Factory] in Jersey, I’m never coming there. When you’re in a club, a lot of times you do two shows a night. It takes hours between shows to reset the club and get the new audience in. What a comic is really concerned about is the dressing room because they gotta be in there for hours and hang out. So you want it to be as comfortable as it could be. So we were discussing everything from the kind of flooring to the kind of couch. He’s got easy chairs in there that are amazing. He’s got lava lamps. He really went beyond the call of duty.

How did the “Mr. and Mrs. America Tour” with Roseanne come together?

When my career took off, I had the entire media come against me. Thirty years ago. What comics are going through today, I went through 30 years ago. But I was alone with it because nobody came to my defense. It was unbelievable. The material was no different from anything from George Carlin or Eddie Murphy, date it back to Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor. Colorful material, you know what I mean? I was just being attacked by the media — The New York Times was really the first. The day after my [HBO] special The Diceman Cometh, the headline was “The Demise of Western Civilization.” I had nobody in my corner. Just nobody. Comics were attacking me. So here we are 30 years later, everybody just losing their whole life for something they say? It’s not even getting bad-mouthed. These networks today, if you say anything in a hardcore way that they don’t agree with, they won’t put you on. You could lose a career before it even starts today. I’m friends with Roseanne for decades. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what her words were when she was on, what was it, Ambien, which turns everybody into a nutjob. I used to take it like 20 years ago. Trust me, if you don’t take it and lay down immediately, you will turn into characters. You will eat everything, just everything. You’ll start eating pillows if you run out of food. So when I heard what she went through, that really bothered me. So severe. And I’m thinking, doesn’t anybody at the network take Ambien and know what it does? So we were on the phone, and we were gonna wind up in Vegas at the same time, so I told her to meet me at the Laugh Factory in Vegas. She came onstage, and the minute she came on she got a standing ovation. And she felt great that somebody stood up for her. And that’s what I was doing and that’s why now we’re starting to do some shows together.

Who’s a stand-up you would pay to go see?

I love Bill Burr. He’s a very angry man, so I love him. I love Jim Norton, who actually used to open for me. That was sort of his beginnings and now he’s a big star, which I’m very proud of, to say that I was somebody that helped him. Joey Diaz is great. I like edginess. If I was gonna go see somebody that was clean but just phenomenal, I would say Jerry Seinfeld, I would love to see him in concert. I like Bill Maher live. I like his show also.

He’s angry too.

Yeah. Anger creates great comedy. Clean, to me there’s only one guy. It’s Seinfeld. He’s so good at it, his delivery. He just makes me laugh.

What do you want the crowd saying when they’re filing out after a show?

I want them to think a few things. There’s something wrong with him. But there’s nobody like him. I’ve never seen anything like that. I just love to perform. I love the live thing. It’s all right to do a movie now and then, or a TV show, but I get bored hanging out on sets. When I’m coming to do a show, I’m in the dressing room, like I said which is important, then I’m up on stage and nobody’s telling me what to say or how to say it. That’s what I enjoy.


Andrew Dice Clay

Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 3, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Vinnie Brand's Stress Factory  |  Bridgeport

Tickets: $40

203-576-4242, stressfactory.com

This article appeared in the August 2019 issue of Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. Got a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com, or contact us on Facebook @connecticutmagazine or Twitter @connecticutmag.

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.