Looking back on Robert “Bobcat” Goldthwait’s career is like flipping through pop culture’s family album of cheap and ridiculous, yet totally satisfying comedy. From the Police Academy movies to his stand-up comedy routines; Beavis and Butt-head to C.S.I. and The Man Show—to name just a tiny handful of his many appearances—the comedian, actor, writer, director and filmmaker has made a career out of eliciting laughs from audiences of stage, television and film for 30-plus years, and has left an imitable mark on American comedy. Widely known and celebrated for his dark humor, self-deprecating personality, sky-high energy, outrageous on-stage antics and that gruff yet screechy, one-of-a-kind voice, Goldthwait is one of comedy’s true originals.
Born in Syracuse, New York, Goldthwait fell in love with comedy early, and at the young age of 15, decided that he was going to be a stand-up comedian. He started working on material and hitting the stage and by the time he was 20, he had appeared on the David Letterman show. His great screen-writing and directorial debut came with 1991’s unforgettable romp of disfunctionality, Shakes the Clown, which the Boston Globe called “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies.” The film catapulted his already rising stardom and assured him a place in the annals of American comedy.
Since that time, Goldthwait has continued to act, write and direct for a variety of platforms and mediums, and has, most recently, found joy and stability in creating his own films. He has tried, numerous times, to retire from performing stand-up comedy, but apparently his first love is an inescapable part of him as he returns, again and again, to the stage.
Bobcat Goldthwait will be performing at the San Jose Improv March 4-6.