Andrew 'Dice' Clay talks new series about Pam Anderson, Tommy Lee ahead of Ridgefield show

It was a little more than 30 years ago when Andrew “Dice” Clay shocked the comedy world with his HBO comedy showcase, “The Diceman Cometh,” a controversial yet beloved special where his unapologetically crude humor won the hearts of audiences everywhere. 

But anyone who saw Clay act earlier in his career—most notably as part of the late ’80s NBC hit drama “Crime Story”—knows that he’s more than the outrageous Dice persona he presents himself to be on stage. 

He proved it over the last number of years with memorable turns in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” and playing Lady Gaga’s father in “A Star Is Born.” And he’ll continue his dramatic streak in his upcoming role as Butchie in the FX series, “Pam and Tommy,” based on the lives of rockstar Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. 

Not that he’s giving up comedy. Clay loves the stage and enjoys providing laughs, however controversial his act may be. But he wants people to know there’s more to him than the once-in-a-lifetime comedian who sold out Madison Square Garden and once was considered the most popular comedian in the world. 

Clay recently spoke with Hearst Connecticut Media about his health, TV roles and his Ridgefield Playhouse show on Sept. 9. 

Andew "Dice" Clay will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sept. 9.

Andew "Dice" Clay will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sept. 9.

Ridgefield Playhouse/ Contributed photo

Q: You have a show coming up at The Ridgefield Playhouse. What can those coming out expect?

A: I keep things fresh. I’m really current, except I always save room for some of the classics. If I was doing the same act I was doing in ’89, I don’t know how I would even get on the stage. I look at me as a “one-of-a-kind.” 

Q: You’ll be part of the FX series “Pam and Tommy.” Tell me about that experience.

A: That was really fun to do. I was working with Seth Rogan and Nick Offerman and we had a good time. Let me tell you, Sebastian Stan is Tommy Lee; he’s amazing. That’s what these method actors do. 

Q: Have you ever done the method acting thing?

A: I didn’t go to school for it, but I have definitely, through the years, developed my own method of acting, just like the comedy. I don’t do it like other people. I go to a place in my head, and become that person. I’m good at doing that. Like when I was on “Vinyl,” I was totally out of my head with that. And when you’re working with the greatest [Martin] Scorsese, he makes sure you become that guy. 

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 6: Will DeMeo, Andrew Dice Clay on the set of Gravesend filming in Miami at the International Inn in Miami, Florida on April, 6,2021 (Photo by Manny Hernandez/ GC Images)

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 6: Will DeMeo, Andrew Dice Clay on the set of Gravesend filming in Miami at the International Inn in Miami, Florida on April, 6,2021 (Photo by Manny Hernandez/ GC Images)

Manny Hernandez/Manny Hernandez/ GC Photos

Q: You’ve done both comedy and drama roles on TV and in movies. Do you enjoy one over the other?

A: With acting, I’m not even into comedy. I’m not the guy who when a new comedic movie comes out, I run to see it. I always like drama. There’s some people putting a lot of money into a Dice documentary called “Behind the Leather” so my whole story will come out in there. You’ll see my more serious side. It’s something I am excited about. 

Q: In addition to the documentary, there are rumors about a film about your life being working on as well.

A: I don’t have the right to say who is doing this, but a Dice bio film is starting to be written, and it’s pretty big-time — an Academy Award-winner. 

Q: Have you thought about who you would like to see play you?

A: I do talk about Jake Gyllenhaal. You need someone who can play me at around 30. A lot of guys can do the on-stage Dice. But to be me as a son, a father, a husband, that’s the part that whoever plays me will get nominated for an Academy Award. It’s a hard part to play. Some people aren’t comfortable in their own skin, but I have always known who I am. I will know how to consult with any actor playing me. I’m a complicated guy.

Q: Earlier this year, you were diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, how has that changed your life?

A: Fans seem to be enjoying it for whatever reason. When I got it, I didn’t hide it; I put it on Instagram because when you hide things in this business, they find it and they expose it. I’ve gotten more press off this than when I did “A Star is Born.” It’s ridiculous. I’ve done 15 shows since the diagnosis, and they’ve all been killer shows. 

Q: Were you scared when you found out?

A: What I was scared of was what was happening before I was checked out. The day I got it, I had to do two shows that night. I wasn’t nervous about it, but once I found the right doctor and had the MRI and knew what was happening…they told me my brain was perfect, and I said, “you should see my act.” With each day, it’s getting better. I don’t look at it as a big deal. Why go into hiding? 

Q: What else is on tap for you in 2021?

A: I’ll continue doing this boutique tour — one show a night, some of the smaller places. This way, I can explore my material more and open up the bits wider and stay on longer and really give people their money’s worth. I love doing it.

Andrew “Dice” Clay performs at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at ridgefieldplayhouse.org