Bobcat Goldthwait’s first comedy album, ‘Meat Bob’
Everyone who is at least my age remembers the time Bobcat Goldthwait lit the set of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on fire. It was May ‘94, a month after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, which seems significant now not just because Bobcat opened for Nirvana on their last U.S. tour, but because Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Ace of Base and Jay Leno—enemies, in short, of fun and progress—were then ascendant. Burning NBC’s chair was an act of sacred mayhem that endeared Bobcat to the Johnson Family and made him a folk hero.
So hardly anyone remembers that two years earlier, Bobcat visited The Dick Cavett Show to promote his directorial debut, Shakes the Clown. Then, the pyrotechnics were verbal, and the only thing Bobcat torched was talk show decorum. I.e., it’s good watchin’. Can you guess which of the two men onscreen went to Yale? Do you think it’s the same person who screams (during the introduction, no less) “I’ll drop you like a bad habit, right now!” A hint: no.
Since the topical material in this broadcast is now 25 years old, I will fill in some background, as if I were Dean Stockwell on Quantum Leap and you had just transmigrated into the body of a flabby teenage person sprawled on the family couch. It’s like this: President George H. W. Bush has lately upchucked on Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa’s pants, Metallica have not yet begun touring the U.S. behind their new LP, the “black album,” and the four police officers charged in the Rodney King beating have not yet been acquitted. Now watch TV.
Goldthwait and Cavett reunited for a live conversation at the Woodstock Comedy Festival in 2013. Alas, I can find no tape on the webs, and a published account does not say if the ‘92 episode of The Dick Cavett Show came up.
I saw Bobcat Goldthwait do stand-up at the Improv three years ago, and today I am dead, for he slew me. I have never laughed so hard and so helplessly at a comedy show. I think it might have embarrassed Bobcat, the staff at the Improv, and the other patrons in the small room, especially my saintly wife. But I felt great!
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dangerous Minds interviews Bobcat Goldthwait for his new film ‘God Bless America’
In search of Bigfoot with Bobcat Goldthwait