Andrew Dice Clay, the leather-jacketed, chain-smoking comedian who became popular in the 1980s, is attempting a comeback. On New Year's Eve, Showtime aired his first comedy special in 17 years. And later this year, he'll appear alongside Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in the new Woody Allen film — yes, you read that right — "Blue Jasmine."
Clay's return to the limelight hasn't been easy. After many years of not performing, he had to reconnect with an industry that had moved on without him. "I spent many nights staying up till 5 a.m. working and making business calls trying to rebuild my career," he says from his Los Angeles home. "Truthfully, the last decade and a half sucked. But I'm living proof, you can turn it all around."
On Thursday, Clay will perform at the Fort Lauderdale Improv. He'll tell the jokes, and his sons, Max and Dillon, will open the show with their band, L.A. Rocks. "Their sound is very original, so I asked them to jump onboard with me," Clay says. "But trust me, don't expect the Osmonds."
For Clay, cookie-cutter humor is not an option. His idea of comedy is to offend, and then offend some more.
"The whole politically correct thing is too much," Clay argues. "If you don't like what I say, don't watch it. I know I'm not for everybody."
Much as he did early on in his career, Clay continues to ridicule homosexuals, women and anyone who isn't a heterosexual, white male, though women seem to be his preferred target.
"I grew up on porn, and I like to talk about human behavior a lot," he says. "For instance, I can't believe how aggressive women have become.
"It's totally acceptable to dress risque, in a short Cheetah dress," he continues. "I see it on Facebook and in the clubs all the time. The more naked you are, the more popular you'll become."
Clay says his new material is reminiscent of his 1991 comedy special "The Dice Man Cometh."
"It's very edgy and over-the-top," he describes. "One thing I will never be is mellow."
If this comeback fails, and Clay once again finds his career has flatlined, he says he'll count on his children for encouragement.
"After rehearsal the other day, my son Max paid me the biggest compliment," he recalls. "He said, 'In this day and age, when everything has been said and done, you still manage to offend and shock people.'"
Andrew Dice Clay will perform 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $35. Go to Ftl.improv.com.