Fifteen years after his comedy album Meat Bob, Bobcat Goldthwait finally releases another, and he’s at the Horizon Casino Resort at Lake Tahoe, March 11-14, to share the jokes. Yep, Goldthwait still does standup, still acts and still directs. Recently, he’s been directing episodes of Crank Yankers. Between having a cold and talking softly over the phone, his voice is far from the trademark, cat-in-a-blender screech, but that doesn’t make his words less funny. To attend the show, call (775) 588-6211.
Where did the name Bobcat come from?
I have a good story, or maybe a lie by now, about the name. There was a comic when I was 15 and his name was Bearcat and being sarcastic pricks, my friend Tom Kenny and I—we were doing comedy then—became Tomcat and Bobcat. Tomcat is now SpongeBob SquarePants. I’m not name-dropping, but I do know SpongeBob SquarePants.
Explain the title of your new album, I Don’t Mean to Insult You, But You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait.
I had a woman in an airport come up and say that to me. I didn’t have anything to say back. Then, the day my CD came out, I was at a Starbuck’s in Cleveland—I do lead a pretty glamorous life—and the woman behind the counter said the same thing.
How did you end up being Robin Williams’ date at the Academy Awards?
It was an arranged matchmaker service. I put an ad in a San Francisco weekly looking for a bear.
Was anybody worried you would set the stage on fire like you did on the Tonight Show ?
No. [Williams] asked me to come with him. We’ve been friends for almost 20 years, but I guess that was our coming out. I had a ball. I had the greatest time.
Is that why you’re sick today?
My whole tribe here is sick, my lovely fiancé and my daughter. Something is making us zombies. We’re not eating flesh … yet.
You were recently on an episode of CSI, and you ended up being the killer. Were you happy to play the bad guy ?
I liked that. I found that very easy. I was excited to get the job and glad to have the part because they really could have hired any comic. As far as playing a murderer who kills comedians, that was the easiest part. I’m not a violent person, but it was very easy to pretend that.
How seriously do you take yourself and your career?
I take it all very seriously. I have a master plan with my career. … No, I don’t take any of it too serious. When you get started, you actually worry about stuff, but I’m totally at the stage where I find everything very silly.
Will you tailor any of your jokes to Lake Tahoe or the gambling industry?
I usually do absorb stuff that’s going on locally. I don’t do it intentionally. I don’t come to town and ask, “What’s the gay bar in town and where do the hillbillies live?”
You haven’t been in the spotlight much since the ‘80s, which makes you more of a cult comedian now. Do you prefer cult or mainstream status?
I guess cult. Although, I don’t think I could get people to drink cyanide and Kool-Aid. I think most people would think I was lying, but I’m happier now kind of flying under the radar. I have enough friends and people in my life who do get mobbed, but it seems like that would be kind of a drag.
People don’t mob you?
Only when people think I’m Joey “Pants” [Pantoliano]. I had Sir Mix-A-Lot think I was think Flea from the Chili Peppers.
At least they didn’t think you were Bobcat Goldthwait.