He's got an uncomfortably funny movie coming out on DVD called Danny Roane: First Time Director, and he's ready for people to love him again. Not that they've ever stopped, but maybe he realizes that from the gawk-at-Britney's-fender-bender crowd, it's the wrong kind of love.
A confrontational, reality-warping comedian of considerable talent, with a blocks-long resume, (including the hit '90s sit-com News Radio) Andy Dick is - for better or worse - most well known for his outrageous, booze and drug fueled behavior in the public eye. His mild grope-fest of Ivanka Trump on Jimmy Kimmel Live is reportedly a lesser offense, and his true relationship with the drink is known only to him, (and possibly anyone with a cell phone camera in the right place at the right time) but on this lovely late October afternoon, all seems copacetic. Andy takes a few moments to speak with DVDTalk about his new movie, the story, coincidentally, of a talented comedian trying to recover his intoxicant-ravaged credibility by directing a movie. Will Danny Roane, or his creator Andy Dick, be able to leave the demon rum well enough alone long enough to stage a comeback of sorts? Fans of comedy that cuts like a rusty tin can lid have their fingers crossed.
DVDTalk: Thanks for taking the time to take my call!
Andy Dick: The pleasure's mine. I really, really appreciate it, this is my baby. Did you get to watch my movie?
DVDTalk: I did. I watched it last night and thought it was hilarious, a lot funnier than I had even hoped possible.
Andy Dick: Thank you. Oh great! I appreciate it. Yeah I'm proud of it, man. It's a labor of love, I spent a long time on the mother-fuck - excuse my language - I've been trying not to swear.
DVDTalk: Swear all you want! I want to ask in particular how long you spent on the script.
Andy Dick: Two years I worked on that script. And then there's a lot of improvising going on obviously. I hired people that are skilled in improvising. That's the thing, is I used - and I say that word with the full definition in mind - I used Ben Stiller, and I used Jack Black - and I used them as themselves to get people's attention. They're good friends of mine, and I've always done favors for them, and I'm just pulling my favors in. But to me the real comedy-gold veins that are untapped are the Bob Odenkirks and the Paul Hendersons and the Mo Collins and the Kevin Farleys and even the James Van Der Beeks. And Kate Flannery. And look, now she's tapped, she's on The Office.
DVDTalk: I Loved her, and Danny Trejo ...
Andy Dick: Danny Trejo!
DVDTalk: He's awesome.
Andy Dick: Amazing! Who Knew?
DVDTalk: How long was he hanging out?
Andy Dick: He hung out for just one day. Who knew what a breath of fresh air and what a truly gifted, funny, funny actor [he is]? You know, he's completely stone cold sober and yet he plays this drunk Mexican guy pretending to be an Indian, it's just hysterical.
DVDTalk: He was great. I was just re-watching the movie-within-the-movie [with Trejo's scene] as it premiered at the Jewish Women's Film festival ... [the song] The Jews Are Out To Play, that came so far out of left field, did you think about that for a while?
Andy Dick: That one came, that was ... the weird thing about this movie was I knew what the concept was going to be, and then it took me two years to put it all together. But where I started, believe it or not, is I started by writing the music. The Jews one just came when me and my bass-player ... were sitting around and he started riffing with this one bass thing "doo doo do etc." and I just started singing 'The Jews, The Jews the Jews are out to play' and I'm like "this has to be in the movie - I don't know why or in what capacity ..." But the thing is I realized that in the movie-within-the movie - ded drem - it can have anything. And I knew it was just going to be a montage of stuff that was absurd and made no sense.
DVDTalk: On the whole (Danny Roane) kind of reminded me, you know, of Kentucky Fried Movie in a sense, you know, just sort of throw whatever against a wall ...
Andy Dick: Yeah, you know that's one of the comedy classics that I have not seen as of yet - and it's on my list. I have such a list. Me and my son, he's 19-years old and he's looking at me right now going 'Oh, right ..." That movie has been referenced so many times. I'm reading a book right now that's hysterical, called Comedy By The Numbers, they're friends of Bob Odenkirk, and they mention the movie a lot. I've gotta get out and see it. I know it's one of those movies that has a lot of scenes that don't really go together, but my movie I think tells a story.
Andy Dick: [In Katherine Hepburn voice] The pathetic story of Danny Roane.
DVDTalk: Well, part of what I liked about it was it sort of has, like, a reverse-arc, you know. Things start out great and then just go straight into the shitter and then at the end there's a little glimmer of hope, but that's not even the point, I guess. It's just that Hollywood eats you up ... or whatever.
Andy Dick: Yeah exactly, and you know what, it really has eaten me up. And, it's in the process of spitting me out.
Andy Dick: And I had to do the movie with my own money. You know, I've been around quite a while, over 20 years, and you know I've never had the opportunity to play a lead in a movie. So I said you know what? I'm 40-years old - now I'm 41 - and I said, can I please play a lead? So I just took it on myself. I made this movie and I love it. I want to do more leads.
DVDTalk: I would recommend that, I thought you were quite good, and DIY, you know, it's the only way to go. So of course I went to IMDB and I couldn't believe that News Radio was 10 - 11 years ago?
Andy Dick: So long ago.
DVDTalk: You show a lot of contempt for network TV in your parody of that show. I guess it's a silly question but would you do [Network TV] again if you could?
Andy Dick: Yes, I would ... it took me a year-and-a-half to make that decision and I just made it last week. It's a good question, because I just came back around. I did all those shows; I was doing two shows simultaneously for a good ten years. I would always have some cable show and one network show, and you can do that because one's cable, and one's a network. I just swore it all off, I said I just don't want to do TV anymore, I just don't. And yet TV was so good to me, it was my bread and butter. It let me buy good things and my kids grew up great ... and I just this week signed a deal with VH1.
DVDTalk: That's good! What's that all about?
Andy Dick: Call it a reality show, but you can rest assured that I'm gonna play with that definition and I'm gonna definitely blur the lines of reality. It should be called The Blurred Reality show - I just thought of that, you should write that down and remind me. The Blurred Reality show, like The Assistant on MTV, you know, that was not REAL, that was not my house. You know, I don't YELL at people like that ... well sometimes I do, but I was just turning it up for TV and being WEIRD for TV, but that's not really me. You can see all these things by the way, The Assistant, The Andy Dick show, everything I ever wrote and directed you can see on www.andydick.com.
DVDTalk: I'll definitely check it out. Now, Danny Roane, was that really your first feature directing gig, you've directed TV?
Andy Dick: Yeah, I directed all The Andy Dick Show, that was like 20 episodes, I directed a bunch of shorts - ever since I was ten-years-old - but yes, this is my very, very first feature film that I wrote, directed, produced and starred in. I'm proouuud of it. You know there's things that could be better if we had more money or more time ... but for what it is, I love it and I couldn't be any happier. I wouldn't want to redo it because Danny Roane is rough around the edges, and so is the movie; it's very John Cassavetes-like. I look up to him, I love his style, I love his movies ... my movies, I think, are a mixture of Cassavetes, Woody Allen and Christopher Guest - all the directors that I love. I look up to these guys - I try to emulate them. I love Christopher Guest - I love what he does. I just did the same thing, I gathered a group of people that I think are funny, I know what they can do, I know what they can't do, I put them in parts accordingly, wrote parts for them and then I let them springboard off of that into their own magical world. Of course all those people that I mentioned had a lot more money. This is me trying to show the world. 'Cause in a lot of ways I have painted myself into a corner, you know with my drunken antics in the public. But you know, if everybody had a camera turned on them 24-7, you're gonna find some foibles. There are going to be flaws ... if I turned the camera on you something's bound to leak out. And if that five seconds or 15-minutes gets out on the Internet suddenly you're a MONSTER. Out to attack everybody. Noooo.
DVDTalk: Yeah, the question of the day; what do you think of Britney?
Andy Dick: I feel bad for her, but she is kind of on a rampage ...
DVDTalk: Yeah, but how could you live like that, with 20 people with cameras around you all of the time?
Andy Dick: You just implode - you really just go crazy. You've got to make a change. That's what I try to do. I constantly am trying to shake it up and make a change. I've purposely not been doing any interviews or doing anything for anybody for a while now, and this week is the first time I've kind of opened back up ... because my movie's coming out, in a week, so I have to talk about it. And I'm proud of it so I want to talk about it. I'm going on Jimmy Kimmel for the first time in a while next Wednesday (OCT 31st, 2007). Hey there's a really interesting thing that I want you to know, you saw the movie so this is great. The opening scene where I pee on Jimmy Kimmel ...
DVDTalk: Yeah, Malcolm in the 'Piddle' ... hilarious!
Andy Dick: Thank you. This is a very strange phenomenon; do you remember when I got dragged off by security because I was groping on and grabbing Ivanka Trump?
DVDTalk: Yeah, I think so ... [Interviewer needs to get out more often. ~ ed.]
Andy Dick: That groping of Ivanka Trump and me getting dragged off by security happened ONE YEAR after I filmed myself getting dragged off by security because I peed on Jimmy Kimmel. How do you like that?
DVDTalk: It's something imitating something, but I'm not really sure ....
Andy Dick: [Laughs]
DVDTalk: I wanted to ask you about the soundtrack for a second. I think it was the 'This is alcohol!' scene, which was hilarious ... and it kind of had the music of pathos? How involved were you, it looked like you and the producer ...
Andy Dick: Completely. I had the best soundtrack known to man for the festival, when I showed it at SXSW. I had Ween, I had Tome Waits, I had Ricky Lee Jones, Whale, Nick Drake, all these people signed off and said sure you can use it for festivals, you know, whatever, go ahead. And I still have a copy with that great soundtrack, all the music that I love; Hank Williams III, The Mills Brothers - [sings] "Glow little glow-worm, shimmer, shimmer!" - just awesomely great music. Then, when Lionsgate bought it we looked into purchasing the rights to music that I had already used - it's what [would] help sell the movie - and the cost of buying all the songs that were originally in the movie was going to be like three-times more than the actual budget of the movie. I had to take everything out and I enrolled my friends, I signed my friend Mark Foster up at a flat rate to score the movie. The song that you're talking about is from a brilliant writer/ performer/ producer - he produced my last album that hasn't even come out yet - all music. And he's great, his name is Willy Wisely, you can find him on the Internet. He's been around for a while, he's got tons of albums, he's got a new album that just rocks out. He's such a great guy. That song, I purposely wanted people to get that when my character starts drinking, yeah, you might be laughing, it might be funny - "look at the drunken clown stumbling over the coffee table" - but really it's pathetic, depressing and sad AND a mirror of what my life has sometimes been. I wanted people to know that I'm not just making fun of myself - I'm trying to show that alcoholism is no laughing matter. It's funny, and everything's funny - especially the darkest things - but it's pathetically sad, and it's an epidemic in America. But I didn't want it to be so hard-hitting. I didn't want this to be Requiem For A Goddamn Dream, you know. I'm a comedian and I can't just all of a sudden say now I'm a dramatic actor! Get used to it, people! They're not going to. They'd stone me and chase me out of town. I already feel like that happened. I feel like I've painted myself into a corner with they way I've acted, and portrayed myself, and what I've done and the roles I've taken or whatever. And now I'm patiently waiting for the paint to dry so I can tiptoe out.
DVDTalk: That's a nice metaphor. So I presume you're in a good space now?
Andy Dick: I'm great and you can tell because I'm talking to you, I'm making sense. I'm living with my 19-year-old son.
DVDTalk: Is he your only child?
Andy Dick: No I've got a 13-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter also. We're actually going to move, we're right in the middle of Hollywood now, right in the middle of all the muck. I own a building and we're living in a really nice penthouse. But I've sold the building, we're picking up and moving way deep into the valley to be closer to my other two kids, so I can spend the next ten years with them. I haven't gotten to see them a lot. Once a week is not enough and sometimes weeks go by and I don't get to see them.
DVDTalk: I have an 18-month old, and I love it. I bet you've got great kids.
Andy Dick: Aren't they, I mean, it's everything. I've turned a corner, I can't believe I'm moving into a HOUSE with a pool and I want to get cats and a dog.
DVDTalk: Don't get cats.
Andy Dick: I've had cats before. I love them. You don't like them?
DVDTalk: Ours are indoor cats, and with the baby and the cats, it's way too much shit and puke to deal with.
Andy Dick: Yeah, yeah, I can't stand that cat-shit smell ... it literally makes me dry-heave.
DVDTalk: So what's next?
Andy Dick: Well I've got that TV show I signed on for VH1 and I've got a really great script idea ... and my friend Marshall Cook who produced Danny Roane: First Time Director, he wrote and is directing me in a movie called Division Three, about division three football. I'm the lead coach. It's a dark comedy kind of like Mr. Woodcock, but different.
DVDTalk: I want to say thanks again. I went to the dentist this morning and was thinking about the movie, it's going to stay in my head a while, and it's a definite keeper - lots of replay value.
Andy Dick: Thank you, were you getting nitrous? That would have been great if you were having nitrous and thinking about the movie! Thank you so much and get the word out there, 'cause not a lot of people know about my movie. This is pretty much all I'm doing is one by one doing interviews by myself letting people know, so whatever you can do I appreciate it.
DVDTalk: Thanks so much! Danny Roane: First Time Director comes out November 6th, 2007 from Lionsgate. Message or no message, fans of ridiculous, stream-of-consciousness comedy largely centered on the perils of drink will find plenty to laugh at with Danny Roane. Acts of ego-riddled stupidity and desperation culminate in the show-stopping movie-within-a-movie, ded drem, which is not to be missed.
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