Updated September 8, 2020 - 6:16 pm
Pauly Shore can seek asylum in the guest house, but he’ll never escape “Encino Man.”
“I think it’s back to basics for me on this one. It’s still, ‘Bio-Dome,’ Encino Man,’ ‘Son in Law,’ you know, 3.0,” Shore says as he name-checks some of his famous films. “It’s me later in life, but it’s got the spirit of Pauly Shore, the one that I think America fell in love with years ago — or didn’t fall in love with.”
“Guest House” is Shore’s latest, and his character (the stoner-squatter Randy Cockfield) is indeed a somewhat graduated rendition of Shore’s addled personality from the 1990s. In those days, the comic actor was an MTV DJ and hot young stand-up being tutored by such legends as Sam Kinison.
In “Guest House,” Shore’s character won’t move out of a spare home owned by an engaged couple played by Mike Castle and Aimee Teegarden. Cockfield was a friend of the previous owner. He looks like he reeks, he butts heads with the couple and throws a party that lands Blake in jail.
Shore’s character is a collector of artifacts, which is why he shows Blake his “Tommy Lee sex swing.” The film was released on digital on-demand platforms Friday.
The film is raunchy in places, similar to Shore’s stand-up act. Steve-O has a role, so it’s really not family fare.
“It’s edgy, but we don’t go overboard, we don’t go over the edge,” the 52-year-old Shore said. “It’s cute. When you watch the film you’ll see there’s a nice third-act kind of story turn, and like all my films it’s got heart in it and there’s a reason why this guy’s a certain way and we find that out.”
Shore is a Vegas resident, having just moved to a home in the stately Rancho Circle community in August. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is among his neighbors.
“Billy comes over all the time,” Shore said. “He’ll just sit on my couch and we’ll just start laughing and talking.”
Shore has Vegas in his DNA, as his late father, legendary comic Sammy Shore, opened for Elvis at the International Hotel and Las Vegas Hilton. The two Shores toured together in a frantic father-son billing. The younger Shore also took part in a couple of his father’s “Funny Bones” doggie charity benefit shows at Orleans Showroom and the Palms.
Shore’s mother, Mitzi, was founder of The Comedy Store in Los Angeles (famously winning the club in her divorce settlement with Sammy). It was there that young Pauly became part of the stand-up comedy culture.
Now that both of his parents have passed, Shore says he was seeking a new start, and a new path in life.
“I was away during the quarantine. I was in Maui. I would hike every day and think about life,” Shore said. “I just realized I wasn’t’ happy in L.A. anymore. I had been there my whole life. I’m kind of like alone and you know, I don’t have a wife and kids. I wanted to start over again, so I spun the bottle and it landed on Las Vegas.”’
Shore says he senses the presence of his parents in his new home, which is actually an old manse in the historic Las Vegas gated community.
“When I physically came here and walked in the house, and I literally felt my parents,” Shore said. “I felt both my parents and they said, ‘You’re home now, you’re home now.’”
Shore hosts his “Random Rants” podcast, moving that project from “my crusty fourplex” to vintage Vegas. He fronts the “Pauly-Oke” performances on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. Sundays.
Eventually, Shore wants to return to the stage and confers regularly with entertainment manager Larry Rudolph, whose clients include Britney Spears and Steven Tyler.
“We talk almost every day and we’re talking about trying to find something for me out here,” Shore said. “So, yeah, I’m investigating and meeting people and seeing where I want to set up my home, whether it’s a residency, whether I open something with him. I don’t know, I’m just trying to figure it out. I’ve been touring America for so many years so, maybe I can like lessen that and start something here, you know?”
The future of Shore’s film career might well hinge on Mr. Cockfield.
“Believe it or not, those films that I did many years ago, they’re still like really strong these days, because of all the platforms and the Netflix, the Hulu’s, and the Amazon’s, these guys live everywhere,” the comic actor said. “Hopefully ‘Guest House’ will have some legs, and it will be an other kind of classic Pauly Shore film.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.