Hi, I'm Bobcat Goldthwait. My new movie GOD BLESS AMERICA comes out on VOD and other digital platforms on April 6th and in theaters starting 5/11. Also, be sure to check out my new comedy special airing on Showtime tonight.


I had a lot of fun, thanks for having me.

Comments: 2225 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

[deleted]1204 karma

In his review of "World's Greatest Dad," Roger Ebert said he felt your film copped out (not a quote) at the end, and wasn't as truly dark as it could have been. He speculated that there Was, perhaps, a copy of the script somewhere in your files that was much darker, but was nixed by the producers or studios or whomever.

Is there merit to this? Was WGD the movie you set out to make, or did you initially conceive of something that was perhaps too dark for a general audience?

EDIT: Looks like the AMA's over. Thanks for getting my question to the top though - it's been on my mind ever since I saw the movie and read the review about 2 years ago.

here's a link to the review. I was on mobile so didn't link and just paraphrased, and apparently I added the bit about the producers making him change things in the film. "Whomever" could mean Mr. Goldthwait himself, who could have decided to make it more commercial on his own, with no outside influence. We'll never know, I suppose.

WGD is a great film regardless. I very much enjoyed it, and you should check it out, especially if it's still on Netflix Instant.

Bob_Goldthwait716 karma

I write movies the way they come out of me. I don't write them second guessing what people will like or not. The end of World's Greatest Dad was the first part of the screenplay that I wrote. I don't consider it a dark comedy nor was that my goal. It's just my style. I make my movies small and away from the studio system so I don't have to listen to notes. The producers I work with our supportive but never ask me to change the content. That was always the ending, and I don't think of it as a cop out at all - the real cop out would have been if Lance kept the truth to himself and just enjoyed his ill - gotten fame and fortune. Sorry I ran out of time and thanks for all of your interest.

czeano716 karma

When I was in college, you performed at the campus's main theater. Several friends and I lined up early expecting there to be quite a crowd. Unfortunately, there wasn't. About halfway through the show in the middle of your routine, you broke character and said something like "Ya know, I've been in movies, TV shows, on the radio, but the highlight of my career is performing for a half-empty college auditorium."

After that, you basically sat down and chatted with everyone in the room for the rest of the allotted time. People asked questions about your career and life, not entirely unlike this AMA.

I really wanted to thank you for that. It was one of the most memorable experiences from college. It was the first time I ever had been exposed to the idea that celebrities are just ordinary dudes with all the same ups and downs. Getting to "hang out" with someone I'd seen in movies growing up was pretty dang awesome, too.

I guess I should include a question to stay on-topic... What's your favorite breakfast food? Or, more professionally relevant, what important things about performing have you learned from directing?

Bob_Goldthwait577 karma

Thank you. That was very kind. I like vegetarian sausage patties and I think being a standup comedian has taught me how to think fast on my feet. Directing is a lot like doing standup, except you have to cut when the waitress drops a tray full of drinks.

Sixpints444 karma

How'd ya get the name Bobcat anyway?

Bob_Goldthwait1405 karma

I was being sarcastic. I had a friend named Bearcat and I lied and said my name was Bobcat. Tom Kenny lied and said his name was Tomcat. 30 years later, they're called Barry and Tom. And I'm called Bobcat. so I guess the joke was on me.

BeefyTits392 karma

Did you and Sam Kinnison ever reconcile before he died?

Bob_Goldthwait541 karma

Sadly, no.

quarkspbt388 karma

How surprised are people to learn that you're not actually like your characters?

Bob_Goldthwait1445 karma

Very. Most people think I'm dead.

anothermoron341 karma

Are there any movies that have seriously disturbed you, or any that have come close?

Bob_Goldthwait890 karma

Anything with Kate Hudson.

Bob_Goldthwait1745 karma

Just kidding. Anything with Kirk Cameron.

NNTPgrip336 karma

Congrats on all the upcoming free press for your movie when Cable News shits all over it!

Bob_Goldthwait626 karma

I'm surprised they haven't already. They usually like to report the facts before they see the materials they're reporting on. Although, the movie has been attacked by a few Christian rights and tea party websites.

mattoly317 karma

In One Crazy Summer, you got to work with an uncle of mine I never had a chance to meet, William Hickey. Was he as big a bastard as I've heard?

And I'm stoked for the new film. The trailers are great!

Bob_Goldthwait471 karma

I actually loved Bill Hickey. I think he was impressed that I knew that he was in the original Producers. So we got along thick as thieves.

VaultAir310 karma

What exactly inspired you to write God Bless America?

Bob_Goldthwait1202 karma

When I was in England, there was a My Super Sweet 16 marathon and it depressed me to no end.

BonJoevi234 karma

Are you mad you never got the job to replace Larry Sanders as host on the Larry Sanders Show?

Bob_Goldthwait638 karma

Furious. I'm also mad that I can't move to Narnia. You know Larry Sanders was fake right?

tha_snazzle214 karma

How did you develop your signature vocal style?

Bob_Goldthwait518 karma

I just thought the character was someone who was nervous on stage, which was easy because I was pretty terrified.

tacosdude192 karma

You were friends with Kurt Cobain and a fan of Nirvana before they were famous. You even got to tour with them as the MC on the last leg of their final North American tour. Would you ever consider making a documentary film on Kurt Cobain/Nirvana? Kind of like the one Martin Scorsese did on George Harrison.

Bob_Goldthwait627 karma

I met Kurt before Nirvana broke. Surprisingly, he was a fan of my standup. That's like finding out that Jimmy Hendrix really loved Carrot Top. He gave me the copy of Bleach. I thought it was awesome, but then I also thought rock and roll sucks cause you're never going to hear from these guys. A year later, I was opening for them, getting hit in the head with work boots. As much as I cherish my time on the road with the band, I don't know if I would be the person to make that movie.

Cool_Doctor_Money191 karma

First saw you as the Sandman in Are You Afraid of the Dark! Ever since then I would never forget the name Bobcat Goldthwait. How did you end up being a guest on that show?

Bob_Goldthwait457 karma

Gilbert didn't answer his phone.

marcoosha179 karma

Big fan of "World's Greatest Dad".

Any ideas for future films after GBA?

Bob_Goldthwait373 karma

I'm currently working on a picture that's kind of an 80s horror film. Also, my dream project is a Kink's musical called Schoolboys in Disgrace. I'm always in the process of trying to get that one going and I've been working with Ray Davies on that.

underdabridge172 karma

Do you worry that your latest film, God Bless America, may inspire acts of violence/vigilantism? If not, why not? If, so how do you wrestle with that as an artist and a citizen?

Bob_Goldthwait1208 karma

I hope people are inspired by the movie because it's a violent movie about kindness. If people were a little more kind after watching this movie I'd be happy. If you could take rational people and turn then into killers by showing them movies, the military would be in the business of producing movies. If we're going to start banning violent works of fiction because we're afraid of how they may influence people, we should start with the Bible.

Intel2010168 karma

What are your thoughts on Family Guy's "Bobcat or Bjork" bit (here)?

Bob_Goldthwait312 karma

It made me full of rage! Actually, I thought it was kind of funny.

beltwaybandit1164 karma

Bobcat ... big fan of your eary movie career -- One Crazy Summer is still a classic. Tapeheads, Police Academy 2-4, even Hot to Trot ... do you think Shakes the Clown might have hurt your commercial viability? Your career on the big screen has somewhat dimmed. Best of luck and I'll on line for God Bless America!

Bob_Goldthwait471 karma

I retired from acting the same time that people stopped hiring me. People don't believe you when you say you're not interested in being in front of the camera, but I truly am not. I enjoy telling stories in these tiny, indie movies that I am currently making.

SweetWaterSurprise162 karma

Just a Comment, LOVED your scene in BLOW. That is all.

Bob_Goldthwait414 karma

I had to snort a lot of baby laxative that day.

deuce_hobo151 karma

Did you ever go through some sort of health scare? I remember you being kind of having an average body, then you disappeared for a few years and the next time I saw you, you looked frail and sickly.

Bob_Goldthwait690 karma

I went through a bad breakup and had man-orexia. I now realize that that was a really douchebag thing for me to do. For those of you who thought I had cancer or AIDS, please don't take this the wrong way, but go fuck yourself.

Wanna_fight_about_it150 karma

How did you discover Reddit?

Bob_Goldthwait289 karma

the trailer for God Bless America got a ton of hits when it was discussed on Reddit. My nephew Robert had to explain to me what it was. I have noticed that being mentioned in quite a few comments in some of the kookier, right wing blogs.

AndyRooney142 karma

Hey Bob - my first exposure to you was as a kid watching the "Police Academy" flicks.  Just thought you were some goofy, crazy actor with a major speech impediment.  Years later I got to hear you on Howard Stern and quickly realized how smart and hilarious you were - especially after the infamous Sam Kinison fight.  This was before reality TV and to hear two comics go at it like that in such a real way - it was stunning and made me a permanent fan of yours (for the record always though Sam was just a so-so comic and coked up bully).


-How did a public fight like that (and the Jay Leno incident) effect your personal and professional life?

-Are the rumors about Steve Guttenberg being hung like a horse true?

-How big is your bush?

Bob_Goldthwait345 karma

Steve Guttenberg is in fact hung like a horse. Unfortunately, a very tiny tiny horse. My bush is well manscaped.

njfinn127 karma

Who's your favorite Adventure Time character?

Bob_Goldthwait310 karma

The Ice King. I love that show, but I'm saying the Ice King because Tom Kenny has been one of my best friends since I was 6 yrs old.

rkt88edmo102 karma

Given all the recycling - I wouldn't be too surprised to see a police academy relaunch. Would you participate? Any changes you would make to your character?

Bob_Goldthwait506 karma

I would hope that they would get Rob Zombie to do the reboot.

[deleted]100 karma


Bob_Goldthwait147 karma

I don't really act that much anymore. And I've never been one to blame people for typecasting. The movies I make now have very little physical comedy in them.

joetoc88 karma

How can I buy and watch this movie without having to jump through a bunch of stupid hoops, downloading extra software or having to watch 20 minutes of previews? I want to give you money but I'm going to watch this movie in the most convenient way I can. Cater to my laziness and I will pay you!

Bob_Goldthwait191 karma

Come over to my house. It's available everywhere on VOD this Friday and it will be in most major cities starting May 11th.

Lazer31076 karma

What was going through your head, when you freaked out on Arsenio Hall?

Bob_Goldthwait160 karma

I thought it was kind of funny. I've always been a bigger fan of Keith Moon than Johnny Carson. I caused way more damage on that show than I did on Leno, but no one ever seems to remember it.

mmss72 karma

No questions really, just a guy who grew up watching Police Academy movies and laughing at funny voices. Keep on keeping on, man.

Bob_Goldthwait431 karma

Put the bong down.

[deleted]68 karma

Could you give the back story behind getting your tattoo? The Chinese cymbal...

Bob_Goldthwait188 karma

Yes, i was teasing my friend Robin Williams about his Chinese symbol and decided to get a slightly racist Chinese "symbol."

underdabridge66 karma

Steve Guttenberg questions: - Was he an asshole during the Police Academy movies? - Is he an asshole now? - Do you dream of a reunion movie?

Bob_Goldthwait226 karma

Guttenberg was not an asshole. Just overly nerdy. In an effort to show he was a regular guy, he said that all of us could use his gigantic trailer. I'd love to tell you that I'm not a better man than this, but I may have used his toilet without flushing on one or two occasions.

thatsmyidea65 karma

what was the craziest thing you did before the age of 10?

Bob_Goldthwait197 karma

I used the outhouse at my family's camp when I knew there was an escaped serial killer on the lose, but it did help me go to the bathroom quick.

totallynotreal65 karma

My friend Ed Felice says you and he were friends in high school. True?

Bob_Goldthwait134 karma

Ed Felice is a big fat liar. No, I actually do know Ed. He was a good guy.

Rasalom64 karma

Going on Carolla's podcast anytime soon?

Bob_Goldthwait113 karma

Yes, I'll be on tomorrow. It's live from Improv in Irvine.

underdabridge62 karma

Why did you light that chair on fire?

Bob_Goldthwait178 karma

It was very cold in the Tonight Show studio.

d-nj57 karma

Would you consider "Hot to Trot" the pinnacle of your acting career? Also, how much ass did you get as a result of the Police Academy movies?

Bob_Goldthwait164 karma

Funny enough, I banged that horse. Wow, there's a lot of horse questions. Hot to Trot put me in comedy jail but it also set me on my path as someone who makes, writes, and directs their own movies.

anothermoron54 karma

Who are some of your favorite active directors out there today?

Bob_Goldthwait165 karma

I like the same folks most people do - Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, PT Anderson, any Anderson basically.

girafa52 karma

What were some situations/people you would've liked to have included in God Bless America that didn't make it into the movie? (Other people you would've had your protagonist murder)?

Bob_Goldthwait215 karma

I regret that we didn't blow up the beach house on Jersey Shore.

DrBishara51 karma

Have you ever really sat and watched an episode of "super sweet 16"?

Bob_Goldthwait180 karma

Yes. Unfortunately I wrote this script a few years ago. Now the character Frank would have shot and killed the cast from Teen Mom.

marcoosha51 karma

If you could team up with any actors and/or directors (Living or Dead) Who would be your dream cast and crew?

Bob_Goldthwait156 karma

Preston Sturgess, Gene Wilder, and Dorthy Hutton.

Blackout018946 karma

Big fan of World's Greatest Dad, and I loved your DVD commentary. I'm wondering, because of how extreme God Bless America's plot is/seems, have you suffered any personal persecution, as in, you have had friends/family stop talking to you?

Bob_Goldthwait132 karma

They stopped talking to me long ago. I think it's funny that my more conservative friends don't have a problem with the plot, but my liberal friends do. I know some people might find the movie shocking, but I also don't believe you can hung Glen Beck into reasoning.

Bob_Goldthwait88 karma


aninternetguy45 karma

I don't have any specific questions but I would love to hear any funny stories or interesting tidbits surrounding Windy City Heat.

I have really enjoyed watching your career evolve over the years.

Bob_Goldthwait55 karma

Windy City Heat never ends. The big 3 have a podcast. I can't take credit for that movie, even though I was the director. But I will say it truly is one of the funniest things out there.

jchaines42 karma

What is your favorite wild animal?

Bob_Goldthwait228 karma

The alpaca. Someday, i want to raise alpacas. If you raise alpacas, when you wake up, you're already at work.

mamacrocker40 karma

You've had such a long and varied career - are there things you haven't yet done but wan to that you have in the works? Would you say it's an advantage that you were performing professionally before you were out of high school? And what was the inspiration for your famous "voice"?

Bob_Goldthwait107 karma

I never did traditional standup when i got started. I would gut a fish on stage or cry reading a Dear John letter, while trying to do observational humor. The persona came from just being a big fan of people like Andy Kaufman. The material I would say I was influence a lot by George Carlin and Richard Pryor. I hope I can continue to make movies, preferable at a faster rate than 1 every 2 years.

[deleted]38 karma

what advice would you give to a young film maker? whats your favorite movie? how did you get started? i loved god bless america

Bob_Goldthwait73 karma

oh thank you, thank you very much. we had to take a break. i just showed everyone the tattoo on my ass. my favorite filmmaker is Billy Wilder, but it changes from day to day. my favorite modern movie is Boogie Nights.

NatCat8633 karma

I've heard different versions on how you met Tom Kenny. Now, I do wish to know the REAL story! Did he speak to you after you made a nun cry or before that?

Another question: have there ever been plans to make a sequel to Shakes the Clown? If so, how did you want it to be and why didn't you make one?

Bonus question: who is best pony?

Sincerely, That one girl who made a Shakes the Clown comic

Bob_Goldthwait108 karma

Tom Kenny introduced himself to me after I made a nun cry in first grade. That is a true story. If i was ever going to do a sequel to Shakes, I would make it a pre-quel so you would see Teen Binky and Teen Shakes. Kinda like Twilight.

nigrarwinrar33 karma

hey bobcat, im a big fan ever since your big ass show on fx when it came out (i was like 6 or 7 at the time). Anyway, I was wondering, as typical in any of these AMAs, if you have any advice for me as a wannabe writer/director?

Bob_Goldthwait123 karma

Don't listen to anyone except me. Read a book called "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogel. And if you're someone who doesn't like my movies, don't put montages in.

tacosdude31 karma

Will we ever see that stand-up special you taped for Showtime early last year?

Bob_Goldthwait92 karma

Yes, it's on tonight. I don't know why they waited so long. If you like hearing jokes about Furbys, tune in. And if you still watch comedy on television..

westville29 karma

Do you still pursue acting gigs or are you settled on being behind the camera?

Bob_Goldthwait91 karma

The more I direct, the more I realize what a terrible actor I was. So, the answer is, I hope to stay behind the camera. Although, I did play Roy Orbison's ass in Sleeping Dogs Lie.

HellsquidsIntl28 karma

First of all, congratulations on what looks to be a great movie.

It seems like your movies are deliberately designed to alienate major studios, what with all the murder and clowns and such. Is it deliberate, or does your unique viewpoint just lend itself to outsider/indie status? Is there anything that would get you into a big studio director's chair? They're still looking for a director for 'Captain America 2', you know.

Bob_Goldthwait84 karma

Yes, I would love to direct Gem and the Holograms. These movies I make are just the stories that come out of me. I had the career that most people have at the end of their career at the beginning of mine. I already sold out. So as a 50 yr old guy, I'd prefer to make movies that I would actually watch.

firesidefire27 karma

As a Syracuse native, you were a local hero. Do ever visit the CNY area??

Bob_Goldthwait82 karma

Yes, quite often I go back to Syracuse. In fact, in the new movie God Bless America, some of the scenes were shot there. If you look close, you might see an empty bag of salt potatoes and a jar of dinosaur bbq sauce.

D0kk3n26 karma

Which Police Academy movie did you have the most fun on?

Bob_Goldthwait85 karma

3 and 4 because I got to spend a lot of time with my friend Tim Kazurinski.

bambiblue25 karma

If you could do it all again -- what would you change? Would you be an actor? Put teenage Bobcat back at the cross roads of life, or whatever -- was it a toss up between astronaut or farmer and actor or did you know from the get-go?

You know, cause sometimes these answers are super interesting. Like, who figured Roseanne Barr would want to be a nut farmer? (okay, that joke wrote itself)

Bob_Goldthwait49 karma

If i knew what I wanted to do as a young man, I probably would have started making movies much earlier. But I'm sure I would always be wondering what it would be like to act or do standup. Sometimes I flirt with making a short where the 50 yr old version of me time travels back and talks the 23yr old me out of doing Police Academy and Hot to Trot.

breetai322 karma

How do you get funding for your indie movies? Do you put up any of your own, have a stable of rich people throwing money at you, or is it difficult all around?

Bob_Goldthwait59 karma

I've made 5 movies so far as a director. The only one that I put my own money into was Sleeping Dogs Lie, aka Stay, when it played at Sundance. We made that movie for 50 grand and got a crew from Craigslist. Darko Pictures has funded my last 2 movies. One of their producers is Ted Hamm, who is one of the heirs of Hamm's Beer - that's why I have a Hamm's Beer tattoo on my chest.

camilian22 karma

Have loved all your films, all the subjects are so touchy. When you sit down to decide on what you want to make, do you consciously look for subjects that will make people uneasy?

Bob_Goldthwait55 karma

No, I know people might think I'm trying to freak people out. But they are sincerely the subjects that interest me. My favorite kind of comedy is the kind of comedy that comes from shows like Curb your Enthusiasm or The Office.

toebandit22 karma

You're still alive?! Yes!

But seriously, I think I've heard your voice a lot, have you been doing voice-over work? Or do I have to go back to my therapist.

Bob_Goldthwait46 karma

I do some voice over work. But I also know that there are people that do impressions of me, which is fine. Although I do think it's really stupid when standup comedians do impressions of other comedians.

BonJoevi19 karma

Was the TV show Lassie the inspiration for the movie Sleeping Dogs Lie? Cuz that Lassie was one sexy bitch!

Bob_Goldthwait95 karma

I would disagree. It was the pug from Milo and Otis that inspired me to write a bestiality film.

alienanimal18 karma

I saw your standup set at the Sasquatch festival a few years back... You did half the show with your pants down, and told the funniest joke I have ever hered about a special needs guy and a firetruck. Is the pants down thing part of your set, or did you just say "fuck it, it's hot"?

Bob_Goldthwait44 karma

No, I remember stripping on that show because it was extremely hot in that tent and someone had catcalled and dared me to take it off. it's funny when a chubby, out of shape guy takes his clothes off. not so much for a female comedian.

DarkRyder1414 karma

Curious, which films inspire and influence your work the most?

On top of that, are these same films what you consider your favorites as well?

Bob_Goldthwait37 karma

Sure. Goodfellas. Boogie Nights. Ace in the Hole. Sunset Blvd. Willy Wonka. Young Frankenstein. And yes, I do believe they influence my work.

perrymanilow14 karma

Have you received any backlash from the media or "concerned parents" since the trailer was released for God Bless America? If so, what's the worse thing that's happened?

Bob_Goldthwait52 karma

No backlash so far. A lot of antisemitism, which is funny because I'm not Jewish.