When Andrew Dice Clay released his debut album, "DICE" in 1989, the parental advisory label simply read "Warning: This album is offensive." The well-known comedian who recently starred in the award-winning Woody Allen drama "Blue Jasmine" is known as America's most controversial and outrageous comic of all time and remains the only performer to have ever been "banned for life" from MTV. His career has had its ups and downs but he's starred in numerous feature films including, "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane," released two best-selling DVDs, "No Apologies" and "Dice Rules!" and put out a string of CDs, including "The Day The Laughter Died." He starred in his own reality show "Dice: Undisputed," and appeared in several episodes of the hit HBO series "Entourage."
It was a polite, spontaneous, funny and for the most part PG-rated Clay who called on a Sunday night to Spill the Beans with Java.
Q: Given all the rave reviews you have received after your role in "Blue Jasmine" somehow I feel like there is a new Andrew Dice Clay, less brash, less antagonistic, more mature, and someone who is maybe not so edgy. Is there?
A: You are wrong on most counts. But there have always been two sides to me. What you have been seeing like in "Blue Jasmine" and the kind of interviews I have been doing lately, is me, very at ease and myself. Not the onstage performance mode. I have a great family and am not just the boy from Brooklyn. I really am a very grounded down-to-earth guy when I am not on stage.
Q: Tell me about the "on stage" Dice.
A: I learned about being on stage by watching other personalities and I realized that a lot of comics don't understand what performance art is. I wanted to be the Elvis Presley of comedy. The comics out there when I started, they were never as exciting as they might have been. There wasn't one who could capture the imagination of the entire public, no one self-deprecating, and that's what I wanted to create. By 1988 I blew through the roof with my act. But what is great about now is that now after doing something totally different like "Entourage" and "Blue Jasmine" and working on something with Martin Scorsese, I can be myself.
Q: Do you know how much you irritate some people with the filthy language and questionable topics and opinions, especially about women?
A: I know how stupid the act is. I always knew how stupid it was. But the media never saw anything like me. They don't get it that it is all a joke when they called my act "The Comedy of Hate" and "The Demise of the Western Civilization." When I talk about sex, I get bigger than life. I paint bigger than life comedy.
Q: So it's an act, not real?
A: Look, I don't mind poking fun at the whole world in a hardcore way. I talk real language when I say [the "f" word.] But in reality, I am not that guy.
Q: Tell me about the book you have coming out. It is billed as a story about a guy from humble beginnings who roars to fame, falls down and then gets up again. A lot of people find it hard to feel sorry for you…that you are just a wise guy with a smart mouth that did himself in. How does the book counter that opinion?
A: "The Filthy Truth" is autobiographical and I did it with David Ritz, and he has done a ton of these. He got to see me as I was, as a person and that's why he wanted to do a book. He thought who I am was believable, my kids are my entire world, I am a good person and my life choices come completely from love, my family and friends are dear to me. But then I get on stage and am an animal. Not everyone sees that about me and the book dispels some of those opinions. The book also tells a story that is very inspiring. For years I was down but I am guy who won't bend.
Q: So many people who write their stories say it is therapeutic to get things out of one's mind and onto paper. Did you?
A: It is 100 percent therapeutic. I actually wrote down pieces of the book years ago by hand because I knew one day someone would come to me and want the book. The book is just Cliff Notes of a life. I still get frustrated when I read it because I wished I could put the whole story in it but it would have so many pages you wouldn't be able to pick it up.
Q: What kind of dad are you?
A: I am a good dad. I have put more in than I have lost in my two sons, Dillan and Maxwell. When things weren't great in my career, my marriage was on the rocks and my career in the toilet, I didn't care about anything about what the public thought. I just wanted to raise my kids properly. My boys are doing stand-up comedy now and are in acting school. They have got the heat. But I was not one of those parents who thought they had talent just because they said they wanted to be on stage. I mean, every parent thinks their kid has talent, but I was the kind that would tell them that they weren't that good and maybe they should make it a hobby. I didn't push them when they said comedy was the career they wanted to pursue. I just laid back and let it develop.
Q: I am sorry about your divorce, your third I think, this time from Valerie Vasquez. How are you handling that?
A: You know, when people get married there is an immediate threat of divorce. In our case, it was a friendly break-up; we got divorced and immediately went to bed. We still live together and as far as I'm concerned we are still married. I got divorced because I didn't want to get divorced. I married her so she would legally have my name and it stayed like that for four years. Once we divorced it was like, all of a sudden there was no contract and we are both more on our toes with each other. I see too much of it in couples where divorce is just a threat. I can't explain it but the way it is between us now, it's just better.
Q: There are critics who say that is, no pun intended, all screwed up. Your reply?
A: I understand more than a lot of men when it comes to women. When I was really young, I always looked in from the outside of my life. When it came to sexual stuff, it was like I know what I want to feel but I got to understand what the woman likes in order to please her and that comes first. I put a lot of work to understand what makes a woman feel good in bed. They are not as basic as men are. I know on stage I give off a different persona when it comes to women, but it's not like that. I care most about making them happy. And I can tell you this; you will never catch me in a strip club.
Q: For those coming to see you at Foxwoods, will they see the old or the new Dice?
A: They will see 1000 percent Andrew Dice Clay. They are not coming to see the guy who played in "Blue Jasmine." But there will be new material. I love meeting the fans and hearing them say "you haven't missed a step. You are better than ever." And they will.
Q: What is something not many people know about you?
A: Almost everything I just told you! And my ex-fiancée is now dating my uncle and is best friends with my wife. It's kind of a crazy arrangement. And I am very romantic. I have 10 lava lamps, all different colors, in the bedroom. I like to create an entire mood so I have about 600 tapes, cassettes and eight tracks with mixes for each time of the day. It's Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett in the morning and at night; I start with acid jazz and then the "late night" list. "Love Won't Let Me Wait," the original by Major Harris, is a must on that list.
Editor's note: This story has been edited from an earlier version to remove an expletive.