I was listening to Andrew Dice Clay’s podcast this week, and he was laughing, and laughing, and laughing, and I thought, “He is so high.”
So I got on the phone with Dice (he’s performing Saturday through Sunday at the Hard Rock Hotel) and I alerted him that he sounds very high on “Rolling With Dice and Wheels.”
He laughed again.
“We were drinking and smoking weed,” Dice said of himself and comedian Michael Wheels Parise. “I think the fans have to get stoned to listen to it. You have to be in a certain frame of mind to go, ‘All right, now I know why it’s funny.’”
This is a turnaround for Dice. He took pride during his whole career in the fact he wasn’t a “druggie or a drinker.”
“All those arena shows I did — like 20,000 people a night every night — I was as straight as could be to be doing it,” he said.
“And now, here I am in my 50s, having fun,” he said.
He’s still not a fan of other drugs.
“To this day, I will preach: Stay away from any kind of chemical drugs. You’re gonna kill yourself with it. I saw too many people die — comics, friends.”
But now that medical marijuana is legal, the Las Vegas resident smokes late at night after a long day of work.
“At the end, I want to lay back, smoke my weed, and bang my chick, and that’s it,” he said.
Despite old stereotypes about marijuana being a lazy drug, it hasn’t slowed Dice’s return to stardom.
He received good reviews for his role in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” He co-stars in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming HBO project about 1970s rock. He has his regular gig at the Hard Rock. He has a new, well-reviewed memoir, “The Filthy Truth.” And he’s still very happily married and a proud father who talks about parenthood quite a bit.
As for the HBO project, Dice said Scorsese wasn’t just a master director, he was funny and very confident in his filming vision.
“When I got together with him, and started filming, everybody on the set loosened up, because they saw how much fun we were having,” Dice said.
Woody was brilliant, he said.
“Woody and I would talk about comedy. We would talk about how he started, and the kinds of clubs he had to do.”
In his new autobiography, Dice writes about an affair he had with Teri Hatcher decades ago. He still has nothing but nice things to say about her.
“Teri was a really sweet girl,” he told me. “At the time, we were falling for each other. I worked with a lot of girls. I slept with a lot of girls. But she was the only one I worked with that real feelings developed at a certain time in my life.”
And he told me that when the media was attacking him when he was a sudden superstar, he came to Vegas to headline Bally’s in 1990. Wayne Newton took Dice to see Frank Sinatra on New Year’s Eve, and Sinatra advised him to hang tough.
“Sinatra saw what I was going through with the media and everything, and he talked to me about what it’s like to become a phenomena. When he first broke as a kid, he was a phenomena. People were going berserk.
“So he just chilled me out about the whole thing. He said: It’s what you worked for, all those years of playing those clubs, and building up (a career), and having that belief. And now you’re there, don’t let anybody knock you down.”
Many comics have talked about Dice as a role model for his confident stagecraft, for seizing fame, and for not changing in the face of adversity.
Dice said he feels humbled by his resurrection in pop culture, but as far as comedy is concerned, he’s happier to be in the modest room of club Vinyl at the Hard Rock, than in those big venues he became known for selling out.
“I love when I’m at Vinyl and I have that intimate setting,” he said.
“I just came back from New York, a 3,000-seater. I’ve really come full circle where I like playing up to 500 seats, and to play out the act, to perform for people, to draw it out — rather than just hammering away at them — to make it more theatrical, more theater. And people have really been loving it that way.”
Contact Doug Elfman at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.