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'The Dice’ rolls into local comedy club

Controversial comic hits stage at Tommy T’s
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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Brooklyn-bred bad boy comedian and actor Andrew “Dice” Clay may be older, but age hasn’t dulled his trademark edge. When the Telegraph caught up with “Dice” recently, the conversation’s topics ranged from R-rated to insightful. Clay, 53, is scheduled to perform four shows on Friday and Saturday at Tommy T’s Comedy Club in Rancho Cordova. “I’m just as edgy, but brand new,” Clay said in a phone interview. Controversy has never been something Clay has shied away from. The actor has appeared in numerous films such as “Pretty in Pink,” “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” and TV shows. His comedy albums and TV specials were well known to a generation coming of age in the 1980s and early ‘90s. “I never even thought I wanted to be controversial,” he said. “After I took off, (the press) started calling it the comedy of hate. You can’t plan to be controversial.” He advises up-and-comers to learn their craft and find their own voices. “Now you have a guy who grew up in Iowa on a farm milking his cows,” Clay said. “He’s suddenly going to come out and be controversial? What does he know about controversy? I come from that kind of (rough) neighborhood.” Comics and actors have to be able to handle rejection. “Learn your craft and that takes years,” he said. “You have to be willing to hear the word ‘no.’ You’ll go on a million auditions and get 100 ‘nos’ to hear one ‘yes.’ You’ve got to be willing to put in the time.” He said many try to get instant fame, which can come to disaster. “My career took off in 1988,” Clay said. “A lot of comics don’t even start until they are in their 30s or 40s. By the time I was 29 or 30, I was through the roof.” Clay said that gave him a solid grounding and he never got into the heavy party scene with alcohol and drugs. “Charlie Sheen, who’s been a star for years, look at him,” Clay said. “He’s spiraling out of control and doesn’t even know it. Somebody’s got to grab this kid and go, ‘You have got to wake up.’” He said he knows Sheen and hopes it doesn’t come to a bad end, but you won’t find him talking about the actor in his act. “It’s funny,” he said. “The guys in the suits, like (Jay) Leno and (David) Letterman will go on and make jokes about him. ... Leno is just a putz. … He’s ripping on people when they’re down. … Charlie needs help.” He warns of a rising star’s ability to burn out quickly if they don’t have a good head on their shoulders. “When that star takes off, it can be a very scary place if you’re not grounded,” he said. Clay’s routine also doesn’t dive into the murky waters of politics. “I leave that to people like Bill Maher,” he said. He said one of the biggest changes he’s seen is the shift in his audience. “Today it’s very hard,” he said. “My women’s audience is becoming very large now. They’re wild. I mean, you see a lady in the crowd wearing zebra-print pants, you know?” He said there is one thing he sticks by and that’s for ladies to treat their men like the “pigs they truly are,” a line from his routine. “It’s not 1947 anymore,” he said. “Women are changing.” Clay doesn’t see himself as staging a “comeback,” instead calling the effort a “resurgence.” In 2007, he did a reality TV show for VH1 dubbed “Dice: Undisputed” and in 2009 he was a contestant on Donald Trump’s second season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” He’s noted as being the first one fired. To keep his comedic chops in shape, Clay has been hitting the comedy club circuit. He recently returned from a tour in Florida and Vegas. “Touring is something I do to stay tight,” he said. “I play my instrument.” He said this is all in preparation for something “big” coming in the second half of 2011, but the project was something he couldn’t discuss. “Let’s just say that all those haters from back then are going to have to learn to hate all over again,” he said. “The second half of this year is going to get pretty crazy in my world as ‘The Dice.’” * * * Andrew "Dice" Clay When: 8 and 10 p.m., Friday, March 18; 7:30 and 10 p.m., Saturday, March 19 Where: Tommy T’s Comedy and Dinner Theatre, 12401 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova Cost: $40 general admission, $50 reserved seating Information: tommyts.com