by Britt Chester

It’s been a long time since Bobcat Goldthwait was seen screaming aimlessly at every single thing in a grocery store in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, but 30 years later, he’s still reminded of the people who found him there.

“Something I’ve noticed recently that excites me is that I’m starting to get a younger audience who are more familiar with movies I direct and are a little less nostalgic audiences who want to see the Police Academy guy,” Goldthwait said. “I get that it’s engrained, but I enjoy that it’s not everyone’s expectation.”

The movies he directed, one of which is a documentary about Barry Crimmins that he just shipped off to Sundance Film Festival, have pulled Goldthwait away from that typecast character so many people came to associate with the talented writer.

“I find myself now telling a lot of stories. Instead of doing material that’s pointed “” this is how I see the world “” when you tell stories it’s more personal. You don’t have to worry about it being similar to anyone else’s story,” he said.

Goldthwait has been intermittently performing stand-up comedy for most of his 30-plus-year career. He lives in Los Angeles, which serves his needs for being close to the entertainment industry, and because the close proximity it is to his daughter. And it’s a great city to practice crafting new jokes on an audience that has seen and heard just about everything.

“I try to mix it up and talk about new stuff. The hard part is so much of the things that happen in my everyday life are a little bit hard to relate,” he said. “I’m talking about, like, if I was a physicist and I only talked about being a physicist, I’d lose a lot of the crowd. You weigh everything and make sure it has universal appeal.”

With the 2015 Sundance Film Festival just around the corner (Goldthwait will leave for the event this Sunday following his three nights in Winston-Salem), the comedian says that he will most likely be in a good mood, which he also admits is a little odd for someone who is generally pretty dark.

But most comedy, at least the punch lines that dance on the border of self-deprecation and honesty, tends to lean on the heavier side of dark.

“I’m not saying everything I say is funny, but when I offend an audience”¦ it’s funny, I could do the same set I did the night before in the same club and the next night I’m getting groans. Those people, because they empathize too much with a topic, but they don’t want anything unpleasant put in front of them.”

Even for someone like Bobcat Goldthwait, a man who has directed television shows and movies, starred in various films and now has produced a documentary, there is a line that you shouldn’t cross when it comes to telling jokes.

“It does throw me off, then I find myself quickly scrambling on stage to jettison some of the more stinging stuff. At the end of the day, the corny show business epoch kicks in and it’s like ‘I gotta do a good show for the people.’ I don’t compromise who I am, but those shows limit how much fun I have on stage,” he said.

That doesn’t stop him from keeping the show going, though.

Instead, he looks at it how someone in another career might view a bad day at the office.

“I feel like, ya know, it’s just everybody has a bad day at work, and the copy machine broke down and no one fixed it,” he said. !


Bobcat Goldthwait will perform three nights of comedy at The Laughing Gas Club in Winston-Salem. Thursday’s show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Both Friday and Saturday night have two shows (8 and 10 p.m.) and tickets are $20 for each show. Visit for more information, or call (336)608-2270.