I have fond, adolescent memories of the ’90s film, Encino Man; Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser wheezing the juice (which, for the record, has its own definition on urbandictionary.com), and discussing “grindage” (the four food groups). Milk Duds made up the dairy group, Sweet Tarts the fruit, Corn Nuts took care of the vegetables, and microwaveable burritos handled the meat group.
And then I grew up to be a snobby food writer.
But who couldn’t relate to a young, funny guy who loved junk food, loud outfits, and causing a ruckus? There was something liberating about the characters Pauly Shore played – usually ones who didn’t adjust well to growing up – and a lot of us felt the same. As his character, Stoney, said to Dave in Encino Man, “High school is over, buddy. Get into it. We’re lo-oo-serrrrs.” Or at least, we had a long way to go to figure it all out.
I recently spoke with Pauly Shore, which was dreamy because I always had a slight, strange crush on him, even through the days of the (cringe and shudder) long curly hair from Son-In-Law. I loved his style of humor, his quirky syntax, and – as a high school kid who had discovered the joys of marijuana – I appreciated when he planted Purple Sticky Pu-unch, which became an important element in rebalancing the homeostasis of the Bio Dome. Who didn’t love The Weasel?
When I asked Pauly Shore how he connects to young people today, he said, “[I’m] not in the public eye as much as someone like Bruno Mars, [but] I think some of those movies I did…the people that saw them have a soft spot for them. [They think] those are some good times. That was a really fun movie.” A few of those movies ended up becoming cult classics.
The 45-year-old standup comedian began his career at the same time as Chris Rock, Brad Pitt, David Arquette, and appeared on 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp. Although he was great when he was younger, time has been good
to Pauly Shore.
Blame it on good genes. Pauly’s dad, Sammy Shore, is a stand-up comedian who once opened for Elvis. He’s now 86 years-old, and is still touring. His parents, who divorced when Pauly was three, both worked in comedy. His mother, Mitzi Shore, owned The Comedy Store (a Los Angeles comedy club), where Pauly began his standup career at the age of 17.
What was it like growing up with comedic parents? He said, “Whoever wanted stage time (at The Comedy Store) and wanted to get on my mom’s good side would take care of me.” He was raised by a village of comedians, and always knew what he wanted to do.
“Comedy isn’t something you choose. It chooses you,” he said. Even though his brothers and sisters grew up in the same surroundings as Pauly, they didn’t “get the bug.” Pauly just liked to make people laugh.
He’s coming back to make Chico laugh Friday, March 8th at the El Rey Theater. “I’ll go anywhere, as long as there’s a crowd,” he said. “I think the smaller the town the better, for me…a lot of people don’t come to smaller towns…I’ll boldly go where no comic has gone. Even Chico.”
According to Pauly, he had a great time during his first visit to Chico (a couple years back). He enjoyed the college atmosphere and looks forward to returning for more.
As an added bonus, Pauly is bringing along some friends to open for his act. Although he wouldn’t mention names, he assured me that he’s bringing a few really great comedians from The Comedy Store, who tour with him often.
Oh, and if you don’t like his style, he recommends going to Chipotle instead.
Chico, we’re in for a treat!
Catch Pauly Shore at the El Rey Theater this Friday, March 8th at 9PM. The show welcomes little weasels of all ages and costs $22 in advance.