Don’t expect Bobby Slayton to pay you a compliment. He’s known as the “pit bull of comedy” for good reason.
“How old are you? You sound like a 17-year-old boy,” he asks at the beginning of a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.
This weekend, Slayton will bring his insults and other aspersions to the Fort Lauderdale Improv. “Florida is an interesting state,” he says. “It seems the smart people live in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. But then, you go up north, and it’s like a swampland.”
Slayton considers “95 percent of the world to be dumb” and likes to poke fun at ethnicities, religious views and sexual orientations. All the while, he offers no apology.
“First of all, I tell jokes. What I say is true, and I make people laugh,” Slayton says. “Women comics get to make fun of men, and black comics get to make fun of white people — so it’s also OK for me to make fun of them.”
To that end, he’s writing a book titled “If You Can’t Laugh at Yourself Make Fun of Other People: My 35 Years in Showbiz Hell,” in which he will share his stories, his intolerance of stupid people and how he went from “puppy to rescued dog.”
Slayton was given the pit bull nickname in the 1980s by San Francisco-based radio host Alex Bennet. “I was on Bennet’s show and told a joke about McDonald’s,” Slayton recalls. “A few minutes later, an ad executive storms in saying McDonald’s was angry with me, and Alex says, ‘You like to bite the hand that feeds you … like a pit bull.’"
Despite the dogs’ reputation, “pit bulls are sweet,” Slayton says. “It’s people that make them vicious.”
Overhearing this, Slayton’s wife hands him a piece of paper that reads, “If pit bulls are the sweetest animals, you must be mixed with another breed.”
Slayton will perform Thursday through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $17-$20. Go to Ftl.improv.com. Tune in to hear Slayton on the "Paul and Young Ron Show" Thursday morning on 105.9.