I just watched "God Bless America" and I thought the movie was okay, certainly better than I thought it was going to be, but Mr. Murrays acting was AMAZING, I was completely surprised by how good of an actor he is. The little girl was great too.
Bobcat Goldthwait Goes Back on the Road
Bobcat Goldthwait may still be known to a lot of people as the screamy guy in the Police Academy movies, or for his unconventional stand up act that first made him famous, but a lot has changed since America first met Bob. Now he’s directed a number of great independent films, including “Sleeping Dogs Lie”, “World’s Greatest Dad”, and “God Bless America.” He’s also going back on the road and has a new special out “You Don’t Look the Same Either.” He stopped by the SiriusXM Studios to talk with Ron Bennington about his new special and the tour. Excerpts from the interview appear below.
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Ron Bennington: First of all…you’re one of the best independent film directors out there today.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Oh thanks, man. Well, thank you. And the cool thing is now, like “God Bless America” I made for less than a million bucks. And I’ve made movies for less and for more, and I think it is an example of you can make movies on your own terms, which I do. I mean I’m not going to retire on them, but I get to make my own movies.
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Bobcat Talks About His New Movies
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, yeah. I just finished a movie. It’s starting in April and May. It’s starting to play some film festivals. A new movie. It’s a Bigfoot movie this time. With…spoiler alert, there may be some implied Bigfoot rape somewhere in the movie, but it’s actually kind of the most, in a weird way, traditional movie I’ve ever made out of all of them.
Ron Bennington: Well, you’ve been on such a run, man.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Thanks.
Ron Bennington: I mean your films are…first of all, they kind of don’t even remind me of each other. It almost seems like a different filmmaker everytime that you go out.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Oh, thanks. That’s kind of like what I’m thinking about when I do…no one’s really picked up on that, but subconsciously, not so subconsciously, I’ll say – this time, I going to try my take of a Woody Allen movie or my take of different people who I like. It’s funny. I just started a new screenplay where I wanted to do my take, my version of a Danny Boyle kind of movie. And so, there’s a lot of drugs in this movie. (laughs) It turns out to be…
Ron Bennington: Tons of drugs?
Bobcat Goldthwait: A lot of drugs. I collect a lot of funny junkie stories. I think sometimes they’re great stories. And I had a friend – how he use to get money was he would ride on a bus all day and when someone would put their bike on the front of the bus, he would wait a stop or two, take the bike and drive off. (laughs) And go sell the bike. So, I put a lot of these stories in this new script.
Ron Bennington: The weird thing about being a junkie is like you don’t have an easy life. It’s not an easier life at all.
Bobcat Goldthwait: No, it’s a full time job. And I had another buddy who whenever the…whenever the dope he scored, if he wasn’t sure about it, he would shoot up in the parking lot of a hospital. So if he overdosed…
Ron Bennington: He’s be right there?
Bobcat Goldthwait: (laughs) Yeah. He goes – it’s a pretty good plan. You pass out on the horn. I go – oh. He pointed out that the wheels fell off when it wasn’t his car. He had overdosed in some stranger’s car. (laughs)
Ron Bennington: So, you collected these stories. Put them in the script.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, this is a scoop. This is what kind of what the newest movie’s about that. And it’s not really about…it’s not like a “Lifetime”. It’s not about a guy getting clean at the end and all this stuff. It’s more about resentments and stuff. And I just thought it was funny to put it in a junkie world.
Ron Bennington: Where’s the resentment come from? They’re resentful or people are resentful to them?
Bobcat Goldthwait: No. This is about a guy who hates his old man. And he can’t see him as a person which happens to all of us. Like I used to get upset…not upset – I resented my dad and then as an adult, I finally went – oh, you know what? He did the best he could with his screwed up childhood, his perception of what a dad was.
Ron Bennington: And that’s maturity. That’s what you finally come around. I remember for me once, I brought up something like – oh, my dad, on vacation, he would not even stop. We would drive straight home. And he would go – dude, we didn’t have any money. I had to drive straight home. (Bobcat laughs) I was like – ohhh, I just thought you were eccentric and weird. Because I never once thought about money when I was a kid.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Right. Well, my dad did this similar thing with money. There was 7 of us in the family, 5 kids. And he would take us to the New York State Fair on the day it was free for kids. But he would have us go up to the guy at the gate and told us to say…he told us that he knew a guy named Fat Lefty. So, we would all have to go – Fat Lefty sent us. I know Fat Lefty.
Ron Bennington: And just walk through?
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah. It was just recently, I was talking to my brother, I go – there was no Fat Lefty. He says – who was dad’s friend at the state fair? Fat Lefty. I go – no, man. Dad just…he didn’t have money.
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Bobcat Talks About his Daughter
Ron Bennington: That’s the weirdness of being a kid is like you never get the full picture. And then they say a lot of times, once you have kids of your own and realize you’re not as great as you thought you were going to be at it.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Well, I thought the other way. I’m always afraid that…the by-product of my relationship with my daughter is I’m really surprised as an adult – she’s my friend. And I think that’s because when she was growing up, I never was the dad that felt I needed her friends and her to like me. In Los Angeles, a lot of parents want to be the cool dad or the cool parents. And I didn’t get caught up in that at all. But the by-product is my daughter is a costume designer. She works on commercials and movies and sometimes she works with me. And she works all the time. But I get a text from her. She was doing this thing that Russell Brand was in. And she goes – dad, I’m having an emergency. I shouldn’t tell this. (laughs) She goes – I have diarrhea. I went into Russell Brand’s trailer. I’m in his bathroom and now he came back in. And I need to go to the set. What do I do? And I go – embarrass him. Just open up the door and say – hi, Russell Brand. I had to change my tampon, you know – shark week. And she texts back, she goes – dad, I love you. You’re great. And I was laughing because she thought I was helping her out of this horrible situation. I was like – what can I have her say that Russell Brand won’t try to fuck her? (laughs) But I’m pretty sure he probably still tried.
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Bobcat Talks About the Difficulties of Being an Independent Film Director
Ron Bennington: Well, you’re out doing stand up and it seems like you’re Bobcat, but you’re also this filmmaker – does it seem the same to you? Like I honestly think if maybe you would have just released these films under “Robert Goldthwait” who had never done stand up, everyone would be like – we’ve got a new Todd Solondz and this is fantastic.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Oh that would be very nice. I have a great photo of Todd, myself and John Waters.
Ron Bennington: Wow, that’s cool.
Bobcat Goldthwait: It’s the $100 trio. No, it’s the Mount Rushmore of Fucked Up, is what it is. (laughs)
Ron Bennington: Because Waters still has trouble making films, right?
Bobcat Goldthwait: Sure, sure. And he’s been really supportive of the movies. At the Maryland festival, he’s played 2 or 3 of my movies. And then I go in there and I get to hang out with him and it’s pretty awesome. But, yeah, that’s why I’m trying to figure out a way around that. I don’t want to be waiting for other people to give my movies the green light. And I’ve kind of got a little model going like that now.
Ron Bennington: So you feel like if I know I can get the money from here, I need to make this much back and then I can make the next one.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah. And of course, if one of them hit, it would be really nice and a little bit easier, but then I would just go – really? You like that one? Well now it’s time…
Ron Bennington: Now it’s time to get weird, yeah.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Now I’m doing gay Billy Jack. (laughs)
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Bobcat Talks About Doing Standup and The Gathering of the Juggalos
Ron Bennington: That is also part of your stand up. You’ve got to see how far you can push things.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah. I will say that recently I’ve started to enjoy stand up again. And I don’t know if it’s because I make these movies, now I’m more comfortable being myself on stage for the first time in..maybe ever.
Ron Bennington: Because now, you’ve got this other way of expressing yourself?
Bobcat Goldthwait: I think I was afraid of doing it. And then after I made these movies that are kind of personal, I was able to take a little bit more of a shot up on stage, but I go and do a rough gig and suddenly I’m back to…well, I don’t go “Aga Aga”. I did the gathering of the Gathering of the Juggalos this year.
Ron Bennington: Oh, did you really?
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, yeah, which is unbelievable. I mean it was really crazy. And I did gigs opening for Nirvana and I’ve done a lot of crazy gigs over the years, but Gathering of the Juggalos was pretty nuts.
Ron Bennington: And they were more familiar with your…
Bobcat Goldthwait: (laughs) “Police Academy”.
Ron Bennington: Yeah, right.
Bobcat Goldthwait: And like you think – hey, you know what? I’m going to go out there and just tell them how magnets work and blow their minds. And then once you get there and you realize – hey, there’s no security and there’s 15,000 of them and people are like on bath salts and people were just dropping. And people were just lighting fireworks. Weird, though – not like throwing them and running.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, or just putting them like next to each other. It was really…I don’t know what that was about. So, Upchuck Tha Clown, who was my opening act and I go on at 1am and he’s trying to take me around the grounds to show that it’s not that bad of a gig. For people who don’t know what the Gathering is – it’s the Insane Clown Posse. And it’s the one where Tila Tequila…well, they drink Faygo Cola, which I guess, where’s that from?
Ron Bennington: They basically call it “Ghetto Cola”. I don’t why.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Oh, okay that’s it.
Ron Bennington: 5 cents a can or something.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Okay. So, they ran out of Faygo Cola to throw at Tila Tequila, so they knocked over an outhouse and they just threw poo at her. (laughs) So, this is the gig I’m doing, right? And so, Upchuck’s driving me around in a golf cart and there’s like fires and fighting and he’s like – you know, it’s not that bad of a gig. It’s just like…it’s like a family. And then all of a sudden, this giant clown with dripping clown makeup just starts punching the shit of out of him. Just like – Fuck you, Upchuck! So, he hits the gas and scoots off and goes – you know, I’m here every year. These guys, you know.
Ron Bennington: These fellas.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah. They get like that. So, he’s trying to blow out. Then a can of Faygo hits the golf cart and it explodes. Then, he’s like – oh, that’s diet. Don’t worry. It’s not sticky. Like he’s a connoisseur of this. So then, another can of Faygo comes in and just hits him right in the temple, like a baseball pitch. Like an unopened can of soda – like “crack”. And he’s just like mid-sentence, he’s like – you know, something like that, that soda – yeah, that would be like at a Dave Matthew’s and all of sudden – “Crack!” And he just slumps over at the wheel and he goes – I’m hurt! I’m hurt bad! (laughs) And he’s like – “steer”. And he hits the gas and we’re weaving in and out of Juggalos like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride or something. And then, oh then he’s like – am I bleeding? And I’m like – I don’t know where the blood starts and the clown makeup…but, when he went back to the trailer, he actually sat there and put a Faygo Cola on his head. It was good for the swelling.
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Bobcat Talks About Being an Outsider
Ron Bennington: But that’s always the beauty I always thought of your kind of act. You’re like how quick can I become the outsider? So many people are so worried. You hear about the bullying thing today.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Right, right, right.
Ron Bennington: And it seems so many of your gigs that you would just go – how quick can I get outside of what people are supposed to be doing?
Bobcat Goldthwait: And I think “outsider” is how I’ve always felt about myself. It took me till later in life to realize that. And the movies again, are an extension of that. I’m not…they’re always about the people on the outside. The weirdos. The people are very human and make bad bad decisions, but you still like them.
Ron Bennington: Well, that’s the weird thing about your films I try to explain it together. I’m like – the premise is going to be pretty crazy, but then there’s all these moments of heart that I don’t even think that we’re getting from traditional filmmakers. Like there are places in there that are like really human, really human emotions and places to connect to in these strange premises.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah. I mean this new one is…I don’t know if I should tell the plot. Not that people are going to do the movie, but it might ruin it if you’re a fan. It’s this story about this junkie who (laughs) goes home and poses as a war vet. He becomes a hero. And he’s the worst guy…
Ron Bennington: In the world.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, yeah. He becomes a hero and it’s just so horrible. And he’s tore up too. It’s another feel good Bobcat Goldthwait movie. (laughs)
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Bobcat Talks About His Films
Bobcat Goldthwait: Yeah, they’re all over and at Netflix and all that.
Ron Bennington: “Sleeping Dogs Lie” is amazing. The one that you did with Robin Williams, “World’s Greatest Dad”. “God Bless America” is insane and great and I think the dark secret that most Americans have. That I’m just about there before I snap.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Oh yeah. I think that’s the part that’s the uncomfortable part. It isn’t the violence that’s portrayed in the movie because that’s all cartoonish. It’s the fact that we’re sitting there kind of identifying with this guy who’s just fed up with how…and I’m including myself, how nasty we’ve been in the past and where are we going?
Ron Bennington: Right. And I feel like I’m always walking that line of…see yourself as part of a group, dude. Stop fucking snapping because of how annoying everything is. But at the same time, being totally let down in American culture.
Bobcat Goldthwait: Constantly. That’s the insane part though. Like when we’re let down by our fellow man because…I guess then that’s good. That we do think things should go a little better than they are.
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Ron Bennington: Alright. Gothamcomedyclub.com and Bobcat’s special, “You Don’t Look The Same Either”, that’s out on Amazon.com. I’ll see you next time coming through, alright man?
Bobcat Goldthwait: Awesome.
Ron Bennington: Peace.
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Order Bobcat Goldthwait: You Don’t Look the Same Either on Amazon.com now.
You can hear this interview in its entirety exclusively on SiriusXM satellite radio. Not yet a subscriber? Click here for a free trial subscription.
You can learn more about Ron Bennington’s two interview shows, Unmasked and Ron Bennington Interviews atRonBenningtonInterviews.com.