Andrew Dice Clay is a stand-up comedian and actor best known for his raunchy stand-up comedy routine during the late-1980s. Clay was very successful for several years until the public quickly tired of his highly profane shtick.
Clay's birth name is Andrew Clay Silverstein and he was born on September 29, 1958 in Brooklyn, New York. Clay began his stand-up career in the late 1970s, at age 20. Despite not knowing anyone in comedy, Clay worked hard to tighten his routine and craft a unique on-stage persona. As a stand-up comedian, Clay was known for being extremely crass, racist, and misogynist. While performing his stand-up routine, he would refer to himself as "Diceman."
Dice initially made several appearances on TV shows during the early 1980s, such as M*A*S*H, Diff'rent Strokes, and Crime Story. He also had a memorable appearance as a bouncer in the 1986 cult classic, Pretty in Pink. Clay was also perfecting his stand-up routine at this time and was selling out show after show throughout the late 1980s and into the early 1990s as his fame grew from good word-of-mouth. One of the trademarks of his routine was the recitation of absolutely filthy derivations of popular nursery rhymes, such as:
Hickory Dickory Dock,
My balls fell out of my jock.
I laid them to rest
On some hooker's chest
And paddled her face with my cock.
Roll, roll, roll your cunt
Gently down my prick.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Then you'll suck my dick.
Clay was rewarded with his first HBO special in 1989, entitled "The Diceman Cometh" and filmed in front of a live audience in Philadelphia, PA. Clay's HBO special effectively increased his exposure and fame by an order of magnitude, leading to other media appearances, such as a 1989 appearance on the MTV music video awards and an opportunity to host Saturday Night Live in 1990.
However, as Clay's fame grew, his ego inflated to epic proportions. Meanwhile, many people became vocal opponents of his brand of gross-out comedy. During his 1989 appearance on the MTV video awards, Clay used so much profanity on the air that the network executives banned him from appearing on the network again. Women's groups also protested his brand of comedy, labeling him a misogynist.
Leading up to his 1990 appearance on Saturday Night Live, comedienne Nora Dunn, one of the headliners on the show, and the scheduled musical guest, Sinead O'Connor, threatened to boycott the episode unless Clay's invitation to host the show was rescinded. Despite the boycott, Clay did appear on the show - although the show was taped live, it was broadcast was a delay of several seconds to give censors the chance to bleep out any curse words that Clay might utter. (As an aside, Nora Dunn was fired from the show for her boycott.)
The public quickly began to tired of Clay by the early 1990s as people tired of his stale act. Although Clay had a starring role in the 1990s movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, the movie performed poorly at the box office. Moreover, Clay was no longer able to routinely sell out huge auditoriums anymore and eventually decided to take some time off to regroup. Clay moved his wife and two boys to Florida for a couple years where he ran a Gold's Gym and underwent therapy.
Clay returned to Hollywood in 1995 to appear in a starring role on the CBS family comedy, Bless This House. Clay attempted to distance himself from his previous raunchy persona, claiming that his on-stage personality was merely an act and that he never meant the horrible things he used to say, and that he only said them to be funny. The public didn't seem to like Clay's more family-friendly character on Bless This House and the show was canceled after one season.
Clay subsequently had roles in other unsuccessful TV shows during the late 1990s-early 2001, at which point he stopped receiving offers for decent acting roles. Clay had tremendous difficulty coming to terms with the state of his career and became extremely bitter about his treatment by the public. Clay also vocalized his jealously of other, more successful comedians whom he deemed to be inferior. Regarding Jerry Seinfeld, Clay has stated:
"Watching Jerry Seinfeld on stage is like watching a fucking accountant. It's just so absolutely God-awful. I would rather watch a Monday night amateur who doesn't know any better try to create something funny rather than going, "Have you been to McDonald's lately?" Yeah, I have. What's so funny about it? The fries are good. You put me on stage, I'm the greatest stand-up ever in the history of American culture.
Clay's acting roles dried up after 2001 as the public wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. Clay attempted to revive his career in 2003 by appearing for an interview on the now-defunct CNN business news channel, CNNfN. Clay became extremely upset when the show's host asked him about his career and his time away from Hollywood when he was managing a gym. Clay's awkward and profane appearance did nothing to help his career, as should be no surprise to anyone who has seen this clip from his appearance:
Clay laid low again before attempting another comeback in 2007 with a reality show based on his life, entitled: "Dice Undisputed." The apparent purpose of the reality show was to show the human side of Clay. However, the only thing that the few viewers of the show saw was a deeply insecure fat and balding man. The amazing thing is that although Clay is overweight and clearly out of shape, he apparently has the deluded idea that he is in great shape - perhaps that explains why he wears sleeveless shirts which accentuate his flabby arms:
Clay also appeared in the celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2009. However, he quickly made enemies and was booted off during the first episode.
Andrew Dice Clay went from being one of the most popular stand-up comedians of the late 1980s to a washed up joke within a few short years. His massive ego and extreme jealously of more popular comedians have been him a very unlikeable person. For this and the other reasons discussed above, Andrew Dice Clay is one washed-up celebrity!