Bobcat Goldthwait is perhaps best known for his quintessential characters as a comedian of the 1980s, but in the decades since, he's become a filmmaker, actor and standup. He has a series of shows at UP Comedy Club through Sunday night, but first he joined Morning Shift, where he readily jumped in on topics from this week in the news.
This meant discussing Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments, the Chicago Teacher's Union strike and the latest in the saga of Pussy Riot, with Frank Sennett, Timeout Chicago's editor-in-chief.
Goldthwait then delved into a discussion of his latest projects and the state of the entertainment industry today: "People can't tell the difference between negative attention and positive attention. 'It's attention. It's good. I got attention.' Well, you got attention for being terrible."
After hearing his bio, which includes being a father: "I don't list that as an achievement, procreating, but thank you!"
On who he makes movies for: "I don't know, 50-something actors who used to be in Police Academy?"
On Pussy Riot: "I admire those girls, I think it's crazy. I'm an old fart but I helped assemble stacks of amplifiers for the Ramone's when I was a boy and I opened for Nirvana as a comedian so I've been around punk rock. But I can't think of a more punk rock group. I mean these kids are actually putting their lives on the line."
On his relevancy in modern popular culture: "It's so funny; the shows that I say no to should give me cred, but in a lot of American's minds, the fact that I'm not on Dancing...in Ballrooms or whatever...they're so popular, so if I don't do them, then I must be dead. It's a sad state of affairs."
On opening for Nirvana: "I never went, 'Hey I'm going to go out and blow Nirvana off the stage, try to follow that!' About every third show it'd go well. But sometimes I'd just incite the audience....But I know people, when they find out that Kurt [Cobain] was a fan of my stand-up, it's like finding out that Jimmy Hendricks really liked Buddy Hackett. It's like, 'Whaaaat?'"