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Q&A: Pauly Shore on Playboy, Kinison and Tampa stand-up show

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Published:   |   Updated: July 11, 2013 at 09:32 AM

You probably know Pauly Shore from a remarkable string of '90s hits ("Encino Man," "Son-In-Law") and flops ("Jury Duty," "Bio-Dome") at the movie theater, but if anyone was bred for stand-up, it's the man formerly known as "The Weazel."

We caught up with Shore to talk about growing up around his mother's comedy club, his love for the Playboy mansion and his stand-up act, which he brings to the Tampa Improv this weekend.

TBO: There's a video of you that went viral earlier this year of you interviewing a 4-year-old Bruno Mars as the world's youngest Elvis impersonator on MTV. That's pretty crazy huh?

Pauly Shore: Well, you know, if it wasn't for me, where would he now, right? (laughs) He's like Tiger Woods, right? He's like a prodigy. The guy has been killing it since he was a little kid.

TBO: I checked out your Twitter, which was full of photos from the Playboy mansion. How much time have you spent there, and is it everything I imagine?

PS: I probably spend more time there than I do out in public. They're like "can you leave now" and I'm like "but I've got nothing to do!" No, really though it's just one of those perks that you get when you become known, and Mr. Heffner was nice enough to have me as a guest many years ago, so I've been going up there once in a while ever since.

TBO: So do they give you a free pass to go whenever you want? And are people bugging you to bring them all the time?

PS: No, no, no. You have to be on a list and he has to OK it, and if he doesn't feel like letting you in that day you don't get in. And everyone knows not to ask me, just cause they known I'm not allowed to bring guys up there.

TBO: So I shouldn't ask?

PS: It's not gonna happen, bro. If I ask to bring a guy up there they would probably ban me. I can barely bring a girl! If I bring a girl I usually have to send a picture. I mean, they know I'm gonna bring a hot chick, but it would be funny if I brought a really big girl and I was like "whaaat she's a good girl, bro, don't discriminate, bro. Some guys like chubby babes."

TBO: What was it like growing up with your mom owning the Comedy Store where all these famous comics started?

PS: I was always there since I was 4, so my whole life's been a two drink minimum, ya know? It has been one of those things that, my dad was a comic, he met my mom, they moved to California and opened the Comedy Store, then got divorced. My dad was on the road and my mom was running it, so pretty much I was right there all along, crawling around on the carpet when I was a kid. But I was fortunate enough to see the greats. I saw Richard Pryor perform a lot, a lot. He was the best. He's my number one if I had to pick, and then after that I'd go with Sam Kinison.

TBO: I heard Sam Kinison used to drive you to little league.

PS: He started at the comedy store in the '80s and he took me under his wing. He didn't take me to Little League, he was always too hungover for that. He used to actually sleep on the stage in the beginning, 'cause he had nowhere to go. But it was the '80s, it was drugs, it was rock and roll, it was the Sunset Strip, porno stars, it was all that. Kinnison died at 38. Isn't that crazy? I'm 45, and I still feel young. He was out of control. My motto has always been "dance with the devil, don't become the devil." The problem with some guys is they make it their whole life. You have to know when to stop, you have to know it's not cool to do cocaine and shoot guns in the air. It was disappointing what happened to him.

TBO: MTV seems to really have gone downhill since the days when you were on there and it felt like the coolest thing in the world?

PS: It's not just MTV, it's pretty much all the channels. America seems to be fascinated with people who are not talented. America wants to see "Duck Dynasty" and "Storage Wars." It's not MTV's fault it's the viewers fault.

TBO: You have pretty much a full-time job running the club. Why go out on the road doing stand-up at this point?

PS: My mom's elderly. The Comedy Store is a big burden. But me and my brother are trying to make sure the comedy store goes another 40 years. It's stressful - don't get me wrong, it's by choice - but when I go on the road it's like a vacation.

TBO: What should people expect at your show?

PS: If you know who I am and you like that brand of comedy, that's what you're going to get. I interact a lot with the crowd and I immediately take any kind of tenseness out of the room. I'm kind of iconic in a way, and I come from the '90s and when people think of the '90s they think of good times.

TBO: When you look back at your movies, do you regret making any of them?

PS: I won't say I love everything I ever did, but I have to say, I honestly like all the stuff I starred in. I really like "Bio-Dome" and "Jury Duty," even though they didn't do as well as the other ones. "Bio-Dome" has become sort of a cult classic over the years. I'm proud of those movies, and when people come to the shows, they've usually seen every one of them. People love those movies, probably more now.

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