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Spade continues his quest in comedy series television, as he stars in ABC's "8 Simple Rules". Nominated for a 1999 Emmy Award for his memorable role as Dennis Finch, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant on Just Shoot Me, David Spade was previously best known for his five-year stint on Saturday Night Live. Nominated for a Golden Globe in 1999 and 2000 and an American Comedy Award in 1999 for his work on Just Shoot Me, Spade's film career also continues to grow. He was last seen in the film, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, which he co-wrote, and also starred with SNL alumnus Chris Farley in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep (the pair won a 1996 MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo for the former). His additional movie credits include Joe Dirt, which he also co-wrote, Reality Bites, Light Sleeper, Coneheads and Lost & Found, for which he co-wrote the screenplay. He was also the lead voice in the Disney animated film, The Emperor's New Groove. On television, he guest starred on The Larry Sanders Show and appeared in HBO's 13th Annual Young Comedians Special. In 1999 he headlined his own HBO special, David Spade: Take the Hit. Born in Birmingham, Michigan, and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Spade began his career by performing stand-up comedy in clubs, theaters and colleges across the country. He made his television debut on Saturday Night Live and was soon named the Hot Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine. One of Spade's memorable characters on SNL, where he served as both a writer and a performer, included the sarcastic "Hollywood Minute" reporter on "Weekend Update," and he also started the catch phrases, "And you are…?" and "Buh-Bye!"
David Wayne Spade, son of Judy Todd and Wayne Spade, came into this world on July 22, 1964 in the town of Birmingham, MI. A comedic genius was born. Brothers Bryan and Andrew welcomed him. When David was only four years old, the family moved to Arizona. Soon after, Wayne Spade left his family. Several years later, his step-father, a war veteran, committed suicide.
In 1982, David graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, AZ. He studied business at Arizona State University and graduated in 1986. David's illustrious career began by performing as a stand-up comedian in clubs, theaters, and colleges across the country.
Born in Michigan but raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Spade first made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian. Spade recalls that the comedian within began with his height. "I was really microscopic growing up," he explains. "I grew 5 inches the first year of high school and another
towards the end. But it was a great defence mechanism and a good way to get friends to hang out with me, like a lot of sarcastic people. He grew a little bit more while developing his comedy routines, which began to bear fruit while performing in clubs, theatres and in college campuses during the eighties. He joined the cast of Lorne Michael's long-running television show Saturday Night Live in 1990 as a writer and a performer, where he soon gained popularity for such recurring sketches such as "The Hollywood Minute" in which Spade would sarcastically shred some of this town's biggest stars with his nasty comments.
He began his film career in the late '80s playing a small role in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. In the '90s, he began playing major supporting roles in such films as Coneheads (1993) and P.C.U. (1994). He and former SNL alumni Chris Farley shared top billing in two popular comedies Tommy Boy (1995) and Black Sheep (1996). Farley was Spade's closest friend, and even now, the comic's untimely death affects Spade. "I think about him all the time. In fact his brothers have little parts in Joe Dirt, and they remind me of Chris a lot, which is a bit weird. But Chris was my best friend and I loved the work we did together."
Spade is back on series television with his recurring role of Finch in Just Shoot Me, although originally, he wasn't a part of the show when the pilot was shot. "I wasn't in the original pilot, but then it didn't make it on to the original schedule, so they asked me if I'd be in it, they re-shot the pilot and it's a lot of fun to do."
During his breaks from the series, Spade is ferociously busy. Audiences heard him gleefully as the spoilt dictator of Disney's Emperor's New Groove, a huge hit, and another boost in Spade's career. "I was just glad that movie didn't bomb. I'm not the main reason it made a lot of money, but I was in it a lot and my voice is really connected to it, so I really wanted it to do well. I think Disney did a great job with it, made up a lot of jokes, hoped they used them and they used a lot of them. Kids and parents like it, and I get a lot of people stopping me in the street and it's nice to be part of that." It was a three and a half year process to bring the voice of his Emperor Kuzco to the screen. "We did a year and a half before Disney decided to scrap the whole movie [then called Emperor of the Sun]. They changed it all and fired people." But, adds Spade, it was the right decision. "Even though it was a lot more money and a huge hassle, it was great, though challenging to do that voice over and over again, because by the end I was like: Guys, it's 90 minutes and I feel like I've been here for 90 weeks."
It was worth it. Emperor's New Groove was a huge hit, and with Joe Dirt, it's not just his voice "but every crazy inch of me" is there for the world to see. His next film, which he also co-wrote, is the zany comedy Puka Pete. "It's about a 60s, burn-out, peace-loving guy who gets swallowed by a whale, gets spit out on an island and wants to start a family. So 20 years later he gets rescued and starts looking for girlfriends." Sounds like your typical Spade comedy. "Whatever is kooky and weird appeals to me''.
He is currently the national spokesman for Sierra Mist soda. In September 5th, 2003 David Spade received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
SNL" Gets Cocky with Spade
Apparently, Saturday Night Live producers decided to let it all hang out in a recent skit.
When SNL alum David Spade returned to host the Mar. 12 episode of the show, he spoofed Owen Wilson in a skit--right down to the Royal Tenenbaums star's distinctively crooked nose.
In a relatively ballsy move, SNL staffers used a prosthetic penis to approximate Wilson's nose on Spade's face, according to trade publication Broadcasting & Cable which first sniffed out the suspect organ and has screen captures on its Website, broadcastingcable.com.
The skit in question featured a sendup of a celebrity roast of Clint Eastwood, hosted by a humorless Sean Penn (who was, in turn, impersonated by Seth Meyers).
Though a NBC spokesperson denied any knowledge of the creative makeup job, an SNL source eventually confirmed the penile implant.
"It was hilarious," the source told Broadcasting & Cable. "Owen Wilson has a bad nose, but not that bad."
The sneaky nosejob was apparently obvious only to the most dedicated of viewers. Broadcasting & Cable attributed its staff's catch to the large-screen television on which they watched the show.
However, several sharp-eyed members of the Saturday-Night-Live.com forum, a message board dedicated to discussion of the show, claimed they, too, had noticed the suspicious appendage on Spade's face.
"I totally saw that," posted a user by the name of FooboyX. "It's kind of lame."
"I definitely saw it and thought 'is anyone else seeing this?' but everyone was asleep and had no one to discuss with. Ha," posted another user under the handle alexandra the kinda good.
Wilson, who has attributed the unique shape of his nose to breaking it several times, did not comment on SNL's interpretation of his beak.
The FCC confirmed that, as of Monday, it had received no indecency complaints related to the skit.
David Spade will play in the new comedy ''Bench Warmers''
Rob Schneider and David Spade have been cast n the baseball comedy Bench Warmers at Revolution Studios via Adam Sandler's production company.
Bench Warmers is based on an original idea from Sandler scripted by Allen Covert and Nick Swardson.
The story follows three men who lacked athletic childhoods but are trying to make up for it by forming a three-manteam that challenges nine-player youth baseball teams.
Production is due to begin next April, as long as a director and the rest of the casting is sorted on time.
David Spade is a big freak
Like many a film comic before him, David Spade got his big break on the long-running US sketch show Saturday Night Live. He teamed up with fellow SNL funnyman Chris Farley for movie comedies Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, but the partnership ended when Farley died tragically in 1997. Since then, Spade has hit big in US sitcom Just Shoot Me, but has yet to make an impression on the big screen - his previous starring vehicle, Dennie Gordon's Joe Dirt, being universally panned. Maybe Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star will see him hit pay dirt.
Why pick on child stars?
We thought this was a funny character. My friend that writes with me was going: "Dude, this guy's a mess!" And then we saw Corey Feldman in a hat looking like Michael Jackson and we started thinking: "What happens to these child stars?" So then we had to figure out the story. We realised when we talked to some of these former child stars that their friends and family scattered when their fame went away and that really messed with their heads - especially when their parents go away... You kind of have a little empathy for them. So in this movie I want to be famous but I'm really looking for someone to give me attention, or love me.
And so your child star Dickie Roberts ends up living with a normal family...
Well, I meet with a big director for a big part in a big film like Titanic. I wear a hat and gloves and eyeliner. I'm a big freak! This director meets with me because he knew who I was as a kid - that I was a big star. It's a courtesy meeting and he says: "Dude, I can't give you this part. You're a mess. You're falling apart. You've been an adult since you were three. You're not normal. You've never even had a childhood." So I think: "That's a great idea. I should relive my childhood!" So I hire a family to raise me with their kids because I think in my stupid head that will make me normal.
There are cameos by real former child stars in the film. Was it weird to be poking fun with these guys around you?
The only people in the movie who don't scatter away from my life are actual real child stars, and that's the joke. We get together like in the poker scene and we talk about stars like Brad Pitt and Vin Diesel, and how they don't deserve it because they don't have the pizzazz we have. But basically I'm saying: "Look, I'm going to play a fake child star, and I'm a loser. Can you play yourself and be like my friend?" Some we asked said 'yes', but more said 'no'. Some were just like: "I need a private jet and a million dollars," stuff that wasn't going to happen.
You weren't a child star - but can you relate to what child stars must go through in this industry?
Sure. Getting onto Saturday Night Live [popular US sketch show] was like being thrown into the stand-up world, and then you get off of there and it's like: "What do I do?" I stumbled into the TV series Just Shoot Me. I was lucky. Then you start looking for the next thing. You're just trying to stay alive out there. It's tough. So this movie hits home a little bit. You can see how, when success goes away, people bail on you. I've had ups and downs in my career and people just scatter. It's scary. You don't know who's who out there.
David Spade looks like an ass
David Spade walks into the hotel room in NYC with the same quirky humor that has made him so famous over the years. “Look, Brad Pitt,” he exclaims as he points to a picture of himself. “Not quite! Maybe from the side.”
Notoriously known in Hollywood as the guy who rags on celebrities’ misfortunes on his Hollywood Minute skit, Spade has built a reputation of being unapologetically sarcastic. But while he may look like an ass, fellow co-stars describe Spade as a hard-working, funny actor with good intentions for everyone.
Spade co-wrote and stars in “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.” Spade plays Dickie Roberts, a former child TV star who now has to park cars for a living. Along with fellow former child stars Dustin Diamond (Screech from “Saved by the Bell”), Corey Feldman, Barry Williams, and Leif Garrett, Dickie Roberts is looking for that new opportunity to hit stardom again. When a role in a Rob Reiner movie has Dickie clamoring for a chance at new stardom, he twists Reiner’s words around and believes that he must relive his childhood in order to get a part in the movie. Roberts moves in with a family of a beautiful mother, a relentless husband, and their adorable children.
Below is what Spade had to tell l about the movie, his own move to stardom, and child actors in general.
I seem to remember that when “Home Alone” came out, you made a crack about Macaulay Culkin on your Hollywood Minute segment on “Saturday Night Live.”
Oh that’s right!
Did you always have a cynicism about child actors?
Well, that was more a rip on me. I think the joke was “Macaulay, you’re 10 years old. You’re cute. But guess what? This is where you’re headed, brother. Welcome to hell. You’re not so cute anymore. And then there are the beating.” (Laughter) There’s almost no way out. Macaulay Culkin, getting $8 or $9 million dollars? That’s just too crazy. I, as a kid, couldn’t just handle being a kid. It ups the ante that you will get some success, but some problems will occur. I’m not a psychiatrist, but that’s my take.
Are you happy that you were not a child actor?
I never tried to be but yeah, I think I have enough trouble just being an adult in showbiz. Mentally, I think already for anybody in showbiz, something’s wrong. They’re already at a deficit. Not 100% stable. I know some stars who have made it, they’re great, millions of dollars, solid career – and they’re still cuckoo. And I’m like, “So you’re crazy and it’s going great?” I’ve gone through ups and downs and it really shakes me. People scatter and stop talking to you and everyone’s a bit weird. It makes you feel like that’s your whole worth. Try that as a kid, and it must really be a shock to your system because you never really know what’s going on.
All of the [child actors in the movie] at one point were at the top of their game. Tons of money coming in, everyone around them telling them they’ll be around forever. So that weird because you go, “But you said…” and then people turn the other way and then they’re mean to you.
What inspired you to write a movie about child actors?
It wasn’t anything too thought out or smart. I think it’s more interesting when I talk about it like this with you guys because all of this stuff comes out about how complex they are, and how weird it is, and what a phenomenon it is. But we were just watching Behind the Music and me and my partner were talking, and we were going, “Dude, did you see that Leif Garrett one? That was crazy.” Then a couple later, we saw [The Surreal Life] and said, “Dude, what’s up with Corey Feldman? That’s nuts.” And then he’s like, “Buddy, what about you as one of these guys. That would be so perfect. You can pull off the mid-30s, you’re mad-at-the-world, sarcastic but you have a reason…maybe you can relive your childhood like a moron.” So I said, “That’s funny, I like that.”
I was glad the kids were involved, because I never get to have that dynamic. I got one with [Chris] Farley, and Just Shoot Me, who are all adults. To go to a kid is really fun for me. It has tinge of sweet moments but that was just by the nature of the story because it had to be there.
With all the child actor cameos in the film, did you try to get Ron Howard in your movie?
We did. Surprisingly he didn’t do it. He was busy that…year. (Laughter)
What does a good friend like Adam Sandler, as a producer, bring to the table?
It is good to have a guy that knows you so well because you get assigned a producer that knows nothing about me. Adam is a friend and he’s also a fan. He thinks I’m funny, which is great. We go to him for advice and things. He helps us, or he’ll say, “Let Spade do it. This is his thing. Whatever he pictures, let him pick.” That’s a nice way to go because it gives you a little bit of confidence.
How did your family deal with your stardom?
Well they were pretty cool. The beginning was tough because I left college to do standup and that doesn’t always fly because the money isn’t in standup. You don’t hear that growing up (in mock voice) “If we could only get you in standup! We’d all be set” (Laughter) But I did it and my mom was cool by just saying, “Look, I don’t have any money and we’re always broke and if you some how can just pay your bills, then of course, I want you to do what you want to do. But there’s a better chance if you’re in school.”
I think the big success was when I broke even. I could start paying bills and stop borrowing. Once I got even, then it was all gravy, literally. At a point, I was like, “Oh, I don’t need anybody. I can do what I want.”
When you get fame, it’s true a little bit that people change. I tried to be normal. I’m a little crazy but I try to be normal. I think people expect such a different thing that they can’t be normal. I went to my high school reunion, and some people are cool and it’s exactly like the old days. And some expect that you want to be treated differently, so they come at you in a different way. Or some are mad. One guy was like, “Dude, you were never funny. You sucked and I tell people that.” And I’m like (showing a weird face), “Alright.” You get all sorts of weirdness out in the world.
Back to when you were trying to make it, do you remember any particular moments of misery?
There’s a little bit of “mee-sery” (Laughter) I just remember long stretches of no money. People say that stand-up [comedians] are the most depressed people. I just really did it to hit on girls and screw around. It really wasn’t that thought out. But I would be like in Ohio, or Cleveland, at the improv and you’re in a comedy condo with two other morons you never met. And it would be a week straight of doing nothing except for your twenty minutes at night. And some, it’s just a hotel by yourself. I remember I was outside San Francisco in some tiny town, I walked out to Wendy’s and that was my day. I’d eat lunch and go back. And then later that night, I’d have no money and ask, “Can I get a draw for the week? Can I get a hundred bucks?” And they’ll say, “You haven’t made a hundred dollars yet. You’re at like sixty dollars. It won’t be until tonight’s show that you’ll make a hundred.” And then I’m like (in pathetic voice), “I made it! I’m a glamorous star.” That was rough. Thank God it worked all right but some of the stand-up stuff is tough. I went back and did it this summer because it’s the one job where you don’t have a boss. And that's nice.
David Spade stars in the movie ''Joe Dirt''
David Spade needs to maintain his uniquely self-effacing sense of humour. After all, when
your own personal assistant is attacking you, staring death through the barrel of a gun, it's healthy to joke about it. "That was one of those things where I thought it could be over, and that lasted about 15 minutes. Then when I got out of it, the jokes started." Not that it was a laughing matter to begin with Spade hastens to add. "It was really unfortunate and took me by surprise, and unexplainable, but it happened."
Spade lived through his ordeal, and now is enjoying a major career turn. He stars in the new movie Joe Dirt, which he also co-wrote. The self-titled character bursts on the screen with a unique hairdo, searching America for his long-lost parents. A film that satirises the white trash mentality of urban America, Spade partly came up with this oddball creation. "My fellow writer and I have seen these guys all over America; they're here and there's a lot of 'em", Spade laughingly retorts. In this wacky comedy, Spade is Joe Dirt, a janitor with this odd, mullet hairdo, acid-washed jeans and a dream to find the parents that he lost at the Grand Canyon when he was a stroppy, trailer park-raised eight-year-old. Now, blasting Van Halen in his jacked-up economy car, the irrepressibly optimistic Joe hits the road alone in search of his folks. As his wandering, misguided search takes him from one misadventure to another, Joe finds his way to Los Angeles, where an aggressive radio DJ brings Joe on his radio show to insult him. But as Joe's life story unfolds, jeers turn to cheers, and an entire captivated city tunes in to hear the adventures of Joe Dirt. Now Joe Dirt is not the kind of American hero moviegoers expect to see on the big screen. Spade aggress "that we're always trying to hide these guys from the world; what we really want is Tom Cruise as our official representative", he says. But Spade insists that the Joe Dirts of this world, at least in Spade's America, "are under every piece of plywood and outside every 7 Eleven." Ah yes, the real USA. "Oh yeah, this guy is out there en masse. So now the word is out there, and all the other countries will figure out that this is really the US."
The best comedy stems from real life, and in the case of Spade's Joe Dirt, there is some personal resonance, he admits reluctantly. "My dad did leave when I was about four, coming back a year
do know what it's like not to have around, so it was easy to feel for this guy." In fact Spade's trademark character is far more of the sarcastic variety; here, he wanted a chase of pace. "It was nice to play a character you could feel and root for." It was equally important for Spade to create a character poles apart from Finch, the irascible assistant to George Segal in the hit sitcom Just Shoot Me. "You see Just Shoot Me for free every week, and there's a lot of competition in the movies, so if they can see the same thing, why bother. I want to give them something that maybe they haven't seen from me. These characters are in me." They were in the brash 35-year old comic's numerous routines on the perennial TV favourite Saturday Night Live, and Joe Dirt became an amalgam of the kinds of characters he had previously created. "I wanted to play a character that everyone could relate to, that would be fun to play, and I relished growing out some sideburns and wearing a ridiculous wig." Growing up in Arizona, Spade says that he also "knew guys like that, so this guy is really me - except of course I'm famous."
David Spade is a psycho, dude
I'm not embarrassed to admit I was a little daunted by the idea of sitting down with actor David Spade; in town to chat about his latest big-screen comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. In the new film, Spade plays former child star Dickie Roberts, all grown up, on the skids, and desperate to snag the lead in Rob Reiner's new film. In typical Spade fashion, there are pratfalls aplenty and a dose of real sweetness, as well as delicious cameos by everyone from Leif Garrett to Erin Moran.
My nervousness in meeting him is probably part a story that began years ago, when I realized that being funny gets you attention and just about anything you want - if you're in on the joke and know how to tell a good one. I was never the class clown and more often than not, if I managed to say something that made people laugh, I'd repeat the punch line over and over to just about anyone who would listen, in the hopes of duplicating the elation in their response. Something told me Spade never found himself in this particular dilemma.
My worst fear about Spade, however, wasn't making him laugh. Instead, I was a little on edge at the possibility that he'd be his public persona personified. He'd be the cynical, wisecracking and smart-ass David we all recognize from his inspired stand-up, hit sitcom Just Shoot Me, or any of his lightning-wit performances in questionable comedies like Tommy Boy and Joe Dirt. I'd be boring. He'd get over me quickly. Next, please.
I was ready for each of my spontaneously "rehearsed" questions to get shot down either by Spade - or just kamikaze style by me as the interview and I both end up casualties of his smart aleck vibe.
My fears were all for naught. In person, David Spade revealed himself a witty and natural conversationalist, easy to talk to, and an overall charming guy with low-key warmth. In a concentrated session we covered his new film, the pressure of child celebrity, industry image roadblocks and the manic business of just getting a movie made. Spade revealed many variations on his self-described "one-note" personality, and yielded some humorous insights into the working life of a comedy actor in Hollywood today.
On the nature of real-life former child stars and their association with Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star:
David Spade: It was tough to just cold call these guys. There are some colorful characters there, who have SAG dues, and there's so much involved to get these guys in, you've got to help them out with this and that, and some people wanted private jets. I was like, `Guys, guys. This is how it's going to be.' But individually, there's some really cool guys that just had a great run - and when it was over what do you do?
There was some pride involved. Some of them read the script and found it pretty accurate, and I think they got involved knowing it was kind of sympathetic to them. And when I would make a call, and they would hear that David Spade wants them to do this movie, they would think I was going to make fun of them, so a lot of them didn't want to do it.
No one was really that mean about it. Like Natalie from Facts of Life, Jimmie Walker, you know, he doesn't want to say "dynomite!" Gary Coleman finally came in for the song but he didn't want to be in the main part. There are certain things a lot of them won't say; they won't talk about the characters. There are so many restrictions you get.
The song at the end (the film's high point) came together when we shot the movie. And when we started to put it together and it was funny, the child stars heard it was good and started calling and saying they wanted to be a part of it. There were so many of them. We did cut out Horshack's (Ron Palillo) stuff, because his was dirty! We couldn't get it in. It was rougher than PG-13, so we took out some stuff, but I'm glad we kept the whole song, because it is just something to do when you're walking out and you get to see everybody. I told them not to use any names, and I'd rather just figure it out. That's the fun part. I still don't know some of them. But they were good sports. We had everyone sing a line.
It was hard to get that poker scene together. I wanted a variety. I wanted Screech (Dustin Diamond of Saved by the Bell fame) because he's kind of newer. Who is the audience for the film? I've got people who like Tommy Boy, but they're getting older and there's a whole new wave of college kids who see that and Joe Dirt, and Just Shoot Me is a little older, so I wanted stuff for everybody.
And we put Screech in there because they were telling me, `We've got the guy from Leave it to Beaver.' And even I wouldn't recognize him, and I'm an old man! We had to keep it within reason. Screech was a good sport. His name is Screech. I never got his real name. He got it changed legally to The Guy Called Screech. But even with him, it's like saying, `So, your show has been off for a year and a half. You'll never work again. Will you do our movie about what loser you are?' And he was a good sport because I think he just knew that he was on a show and it was for kids, and he played a teenaged guy and this was the next thing. He's in a band, he acts, and all these things sound crazy. But it's like seeing the movie - they're real people. I went to Grand Canyon when I was eight. I barely remember it. But if you were a star or something when you were eight, you barely remember it, but every day you see people who are like, `Didn't you…' It's hard to recapture that, and it's hard to always be up.
I mean, my career is just kind of like always gotten a little more fame in a way, like it sounds crazy. I was stand-up and people around town knew me, then on HBO - a couple people saw that - then on Saturday Night Live as a writer, which I barely got on, then "Hollywood Minute," then I did Tommy Boy, and then a prime time sitcom. So it wasn't like whiplash, like `Wow, everyone knows me!' So I think if you do that with anybody it messes you up. And if you're a kid and that happens…
On what happens when your big movie bombs opening weekend:
Lost and Found didn't do a great opening weekend. I was kind of oblivious then, and I thought the movie was kind of fun. They called me and said, `It's not tracking well.' I didn't even know what that meant. I was like what America used to be. Now my mom tells me it's not tracking well. You say, `What does that mean? Oh, well, people will show up.' It didn't do that well and literally no one called me. It's such a weird feeling to have people scatter. And I was doing Joe Dirt with another studio. Monday morning they cancelled it. Finally (Adam) Sandler said, `Can I read it?' I said, `Well, you don't have to.' He said, `I'll get this set up right away.' And he did. And that kind of pulled me out of that. But it's really horrifying, because I was believing the hype, about `Oh, this guy is my buddy. This studio or this guy says he'll have me write something and he'll make it.' Because to be famous and broke is hard
On the pressure to "open" a film:
DS: God, it's just so gross it's hard to even think about. There are a couple hard things. One, getting a funny idea that people can relate to - a funny idea or a funny script; there's a million pitches. We had one that was funny called Disco Ball where a gay guy gets hit in the head with a disco ball and forgets he's gay. So his tough, Clint Eastwood-like dad takes him from the hospital to Montana, and raises him straight again. They never hung out. He's like a ranch hand. He doesn't know he's gay, but he's coming out. And it was so hard to write that, but it was this funny idea we all liked, and four studios wanted to buy it, but we just couldn't get it together. And that's the kind of thing - we get the script for this, and then to get Paramount to shoot it is tough, and then your budget is so small that you're losing jokes to try to compensate. I'm giving money back: `If you let me have this thing, I'll give you this.' And then getting a director and shooting it on my hiatus, and then we shot it, and it comes in at like two hours and fifteen minutes. And we have everything, but we have to lose whole stories to make it make sense.
And then the next piece of the puzzle is opening weekend - knowing how much you do immediately isn't the problem - it's more where is it? And once we had it done and tested it and it was well received, they're like, `Okay, we can't fumble this. Where do we go?' It was November, December, February, March, April. So we look on the schedule and there's an Eddie Murphy movie, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and let's see who else! And then it's summer and the big guns come out. You know because I'm smart enough to know [that] not everyone is going to say, `Oh, David Spade - him or Tomb Raider?' (Reflects), well, maybe.
Tentatively we were up against Pirates of the Caribbean and something else, and I want to be at least in the mix. I don't want to be annihilated. So the first week after summer is usually slow, and then you've got a fair fight. So the first weekend, you just really can't think about it. It gets closer and you go, `Oh!' You just hope it does all right.
But I think the movie is funny, and I think if it does all right, people will hear about it, and things like Joe Dirt and Tommy Boy many people didn't see in the theater, and they seemed to be happy later with seeing it. So maybe they just build up some trust, and they say, `Oh, let's check this one out.' It's an easier idea. To pitch Tommy Boy, it was like `Two guys sell brake pads in Ohio. It's hilarious.' I didn't even understand the idea of that movie. It was just like, `Oh, we're gonna do a movie, me and Farley, write something around that. That's funny.'
On the serious notes in his Dickie Roberts performance, and how they compare to his broad comedy forte:
DS: It's more difficult when you're conscious about it, because we fought when the movie came out on things as little as the piano music under the serious scenes, don't lay into it, words are enough, if you know what I'm saying. Don't let them know this is the drama, because this is not Party of Five. And the way the movie is written it's like the funny character comes first. And then we're writing and it has to go somewhere, and it's like, `Well, he doesn't want this, somehow family must be important.' You've got to realize the way Dickie is acting is not his fault totally, because of what happened growing up.
And when that comes out it just seems straight for a second. It's real and there's a little bit of drama. But we tried to do it as quickly as possible. But we wanted it to be nice, and that's half the comments we got on those comment cards, which sometimes are hard to take, and I'm not there but I read them. They always read, `funnier than I expected.' `It shocked me that it was very sweet and I cried at the end,' or `It was much better than I thought it would be.' And so that's good - it's not bad. Your ego sometimes takes a hit, but as long as they walk out of there like surprised and they had a good time, you've just got to get the word out there.
That's why I'm going on the road. I wouldn't do this if I didn't like it. Just going from zero to that, to get it to where it's running as a PG-13, and then the odd thing with Nickelodeon, I don't know if you guys know this, but they can change your movie. And I'm telling you we got PG-13, which is so hard to do. To advertise on Nickelodeon, they're like, `You have to take these twelve jokes out of your movie.' I was like, `Out of the trailer?' `No, out of the movie!'
You have to negotiate with a network. I was shocked. This is what it is. It's funny. I don't want to go back to Tommy Boy and take out "hand job" because one person thought it was… It's funny because it's funny. Obviously a lot of things could have gotten taken out of that. [This is what happens with] any normal movie when it comes out through a studio: `Three people didn't like that reference, three didn't like that.' So we fought for as much as we could, and a couple profanities got lost, which is okay.
On the pitfalls of being typecast:
DS: Yeah, it's kind of bad. With Saturday Night Live you're looking for any hook, any way to stay on the show. I wound of being kind of "Hollywood Minute" and sarcastic. The second you get it, you're fighting it for the rest of your life. I can do all this other stuff, but they don't care. They like what they like, and they found it. So you just keep doing it. But you can do it in a way that- like Bill Murray I always liked, because he was always kind of Bill Murray. That's what I'd compare it to. I'm not as good as him, but there a variation- there's a quality in him that I like. And then there's DeNiro, you like him - I'll never be that. But that's his quality - he disappears and he's a different guy every time. Even Dana Carvey is a different character. I don't really do that.
On stretching his image as Adam Sandler did in Punch-Drunk Love:
DS: Yeah, right! That would be great, to get someone like Paul Thomas (Anderson) to jump in there, that would be great. But even pitching comedies it's so crazy in Hollywood, because you say, `Here's three ideas for a movie.' They're like, `Which one is like "Hollywood Minute?"' Even if one is just a little different comedically - forget saying I want to do The Majestic or The Razor's Edge. I'm even aware of it when I watch Dickie Roberts - it gets straight for a second, but it called for it, so I was okay with it, and everyone else was and it worked out. But there's a part in the movie where I go out and I kind of have a breakdown, and she kicks me out of the house. And that was like four solid pages, and I kept going shorter, shorter, shorter. I think we did a good job that the second it became like that, there's a joke. Because I don't want people going `Oh, here we go.'
On pratfalls and stunt-doubles:
DS: I tried a couple of things, and it's so funny because there's four pages of stunts, and they're like, `Come in late that day, we'll have your stunt man do it. Just the pick-ups will be you.' I ended up spending the whole f***ing boxing scene getting pummeled! They said, "We're going to piece you into this shot, and that shot," and I'm like, `Why don't you use the stunt man? I'm doing every g****mned thing.' So we do it, and of course now and then they connect accidentally. It's not exactly doing Ali, but…
On saying farewell to Just Shoot Me:
DS: The cast got together and watched the final episode. We didn't know it would ever be on, so we watched it. We're pretty tight over there and the show started great, last summer we got new writers and we disintegrated quickly when we were on the Fall schedule, and then we were on the second week when they moved our time slot. And it was like `Here it comes.' So we kind of all knew we were doomed, and we said we'd do the show and it'll run in syndication, and if it ever gets on prime time, fine. But it was a great place there, and the big finale episode was sad. So we knew it was doomed, and if they would have pushed it a little bit it would have helped, but that's the biz. And I had a great time on it.
On his own search for happiness and the importance of a "three grand safety net":
DS: I can see getting married and having a family, because it is the next thing on the agenda. You can only do this for so long. I'm old, and my friends all have kids. And I'm single, still blow drying my hair! And just trying to keep doing stuff that's fun. I mean, I was when I started and I'd fly across the country to do a gig for a hundred bucks. Now it's harder to get me off my a**. So I can always write a little bit, I can always do a little bit. Just Shoot Me - I knew it was getting cancelled, so I put away three grand, so I knew in case everything went wrong, I'd have some seed money. That'll last me - I'm not sure how long, but…
On why David Spade and the jet ski don't mix:
DS: That was the big bust - when I was on the jet ski with the guy attacking me. That's the bullet-point usually. That's as bad as anything the tabloids - that's the worst they could find on me. They really got the big fish. The funny thing was, I'm just drifting by him, you know, nearby. And I guess you can't be within a hundred feet - that's horrible. What's the fun? You know you go up to somebody and spray `em! They knew what they were doing. I got out of that one and I've been pretty clean since.
On his fleeting stint as a Michigander:
DS: I reclaim it now, because Kid Rock and Eminem are from Michigan. I'm like `I'm from Michigan!' I didn't say it for ten years.
On being pestered by bullies:
DS: Oh, yeah! I'm a psycho, dude. I'm about to snap. I was pestered by bullies all my life, since I was tiny. Microscopic. Shocking. We moved a lot. I lived in fear. It was always bad. With bullies, now people are catching on. But I got older, and it's like road rage. By the time I figured out what was going on, I flipped out on them! Yeah, it was crazy.
David Spade is a wuss
David Spade is clearly not comfortable. He fidgets continuously in his chair. He doesn't make eye contact. And when he speaks, it's just barely above a whisper.
There are few wicked barbs, but none of the slicing commentary or over-the-top sardonic reactions we've come to expect. This isn't "The Hollywood Minute" David Spade. This isn't TV's Just Shoot Me David Spade. This is David Spade as David Spade. It's a character few people have seen him play. And, frankly, Spade doesn't play the part very well.
That's the thing about observational humorists: They don't react well to being observed themselves.
Earnest, heartfelt and remarkably low-key, Spade sat down in a Hollywood hotel recently to dish on life, loss and his newest movie creation, Joe Dirt. And, as if to bring the mood of the interview down even lower, Spade immediately asks if he can close the curtains. Spade explains that he hurt his eyes during the filming of the 1996 comedy Black Sheep by looking directly into some high-powered set lights for a long scene.
"I'm in the only business where you can be that much of a wuss and still not get fired," Spade says.
But Joe Dirt required a braver, more physical David Spade. And while director Dennie Gordon says he trusted her, Gordon points out that Spade hung a sign in her production office that said, "David Spade is a pussy. Don't forget it."
That didn't stop Gordon from putting Spade in the mouth of an alligator, in a runaway hot air balloon and on the edge of a tall Los Angeles bridge tied only to a bungee cord. But perhaps the most shocking stunt of all was watching Spade not play the sarcastic guy.
"I usually just make the snide comments and stay out of the fray, but there's no Chris Farley there so I had to do both parts," he says. "I didn't even get any snide comments. It was mostly 'Be the nice guy. Let (co-star) Dennis Miller do the David Spade part.' "
And this was completely intentional. Spade, after all, co-wrote the script with his long-time collaborator, Fred Wolf, a former head writer for Saturday Night Live. Eventually, he says, you simply have to try something else.
"It's not like it's The Razor's Edge," Spade says, referring to Bill Murray's lackluster foray into drama. "This character was funny to me. It was funnier for him to be more of a loser and have the other characters in the movie make fun of him. It just turned into that, and I was OK with it."
But, Spade says, he also doesn't want to give the impression that he's turning his back on the sarcastic "Spade in America" character that launched him on SNL.
"Trust me, it gets old to me faster than it does for the fans," Spade says. This is what happens to young, sardonic comedians. They grow up. They mellow. After some of the life-changing events that Spade has lived through in the past five years, you can see why.
First, Spade watched first-hand while his friend Chris Farley headed down the destructive path to drugs, until Farley died of an apparent cocaine overdose in December 1997. Spade says he tried to intervene years before everyone else did but, "I've learned with everybody that they're just going to do their own thing."
After working with Farley on SNL and in a few successful films, Spade saw the makings of a great comic team. But it was cut unforgivably short. The truth is, Spade still misses his friend dearly.
"It's hard not to think about it when we're filming, when something funny comes up and you want to tell him about it, leave a message on his machine," Spade says, his voice trailing off.
Since Farley's death, Spade mostly stayed out of the Hollywood limelight. He landed a gig on the NBC comedy, Just Shoot Me, and concentrated on work. But a bizarre incident involving his assistant and a stun gun changed all that. Last November, Spade was attacked and robbed by his former personal assistant in his home. Immediately, Spade was publicly front and center again.
"It's better to be behind the scenes," he concludes. "The thing with my assistant, I couldn't get away from it. The news was there five minutes after the cops. As much as you want to keep it under wraps, it's not really possible. I came out of it all right so, like all the bad things that happen, you just have no choice but to keep going."
His optimism and soldierlike approach toward life sound remarkably like the five-cent philosophies -- "Keep on keeping on" and "Life's a garden, dig it" -- that Joe Dirt spits out through the movie.
Strip away the white trash clothes, pork chop sideburns and mullet hairdo and Dirt and Spade might be the very same person. His castmates describe Spade as a salt-of-the-earth guy, someone who understands the impermanence of the business.
"He's so normal," says co-star Jaime Pressly. "It's nice to come to work with people who are down to earth and real." Brittany Daniel, who plays Joe Dirt's love interest, says Spade's humility separates him not only from his famous characters but from the rest of Hollywood.
"Everyone in the business knows that this could all end tomorrow," Spade says. "There's a high casualty rate.''
Present for David Spade's fans
Joe Dirt (David Spade) is a janitor who works and lives at the local radio station. At the young age of 8, his parents left him at the Grand Canyon and ever since, he has been looking for his parents. With the help of morning radio host, Zander Kelly, played hilariously by Dennis Miller, Joe is given the forum to tell his story about the search for his parents. Meanwhile, loyal listeners of the morning radio show gather around their radios to listen to the supposedly moving and adventurous story of Joe Dirt.
Eventually, Joe is asked to continue his story as he travels cross-country to find his parents. Joe even manages to form a relationship with a hottie named Brandy (Britany Daniel) and fights with another man, Robby (Kid Rock) over her. Along the way, Joe meets a variety of funny individuals including another janitor (Christopher Walken), who holds his own mysterious secret and a girl that just may be Joe’s sister (Jamie Pressley).
I was eagerly awaiting the release of Joe Dirt on DVD as I missed it in theaters, and I can honestly say, “Whew!” This movie is terrible, not funny, and moves at the pace of a tortoise, despite its 90-minute length. I did find myself chuckling here or there, but overall, I wasn’t amused, nor was I entertained.
Spade does bring his usual touch of sarcasm and even makes you feel a bit sorry for the chap, but his performance isn’t anything that we haven’t seen him perform before, or for that matter, a performance that could blow away anything else he has done.
Miller on the other hand, is hilarious and I actually wanted to see more of him! The man has a talent that is simply underrated and I wish he would do more stand-up or even his own film or television show. (Miller previously had a late night talk show on cable’s HBO, however that has been cancelled for some time.)
Fans of David Spade may enjoy this film, or at least consider it to be a rental, but I would be embarrassed if the film were in my DVD collection. When I was done with Joe Dirt, I had to rewatch Tommy Boy, as that is where I believe Spade is at his best!
Yay, Columbia Tristar has given us a commentary track with David Spade! That was my initial reaction when I discovered Spade’s presence on a commentary and I can say that the track does not disappoint. In fact, I think I wouldn’t be out of line to say that the commentary is more enjoyable then the film itself! Spade does provide some very limited insight on the production of the film, but mostly it is simply Spade’s trademark sarcasm that keeps the commentary going. I really enjoyed this one!
There is also a commentary track from director Dennie Gordon, who provides a much more detailed account about the production of the film and some the interesting facts about shooting at certain locations. Gordon manages to continue an open dialogue about how the film was made. Not a bad track, but the Spade track was better in relation to being entertaining.
Also included are three deleted scenes with Gordon offering a commentary on each. Although these scenes were somewhat funny, they aren’t the highlight on this disc! However, what is probably my favorite extra is a short three minute segment of bloopers that are simply hilarious! I laughed more in these three minutes then I did during the entire film.
Joe Dirt is not for everyone! In fact, if you are not a fan of David Spade, or have never watched Spade in a film, this would not be appropriate or fair as your first introduction to him (check out Tommy Boy instead.) However, this special edition of Joe Dirt does have its fair share of extras that are interesting and worth a view. The film, however, is a waste of time and does not satisfy, even on a comedic level. Joe Dirt is definitely a rental choice. Columbia Tristar however, produced a DVD that should appease any DVD lover.
David Spade just says ''No''
More on Gov. Guinn.
In an amusing TV advertising campaign, David Spade plays a customer service operator who revels in concocting new methods of telling his callers, "No."
It's a character the governor should mimic when he deals with the public sector unions.
As tax revenue pours into Carson City at a record rate , state workers, teachers and university professors are all demanding a cut.
The union representing state employees has indicated it will seek a 5 percent raise in each year of the next biennium. Representatives for the state university system's faculty want annual raises of more than 3 percent over each of the next two fiscal years. Meanwhile, the state Board of Education wants the governor to propose 3 percent raises for elementary and secondary teachers and other school personnel.
In addition, state workers want health benefits beefed up and deductibles lowered.
Modest raises may indeed be appropriate for many public sector workers -- although a merit pay system would be far preferable to across-the-board "cost of living" adjustments. At least the raises sought by teachers and university system employees are in line with the average private sector pay hike. The 5 percent sought by state workers is beyond reasonable.
And the governor should say so. No?