The Filthy Truth by Andrew Dice Clay (4 out of 5)
This dude had a hell of a following in the eighties. Then the nineties hit and he faded like a pair of stagnant Levi’s 501 jeans in the closet of nostalgia. What happened to the Diceman? We find out what happened to him before, during, and after his rise to fame in the eighties. Disco Chuck helped me discover Andrew Dice Clay. Even for the ribald humor that annoited the family prayer closet then and since, some of it was a bit much. The more one ages, the more tolerant one becomes. Recently I revisited some of the old comedy routines that Andrew Dice Clay had, and found myself much more amused by them now than back then. When I saw this book coming out, I requested a galley from Wendy at S&S. Of course, gracious as ever, she came through. It took me awhile to get to this, but I am so glad I gave it a whirl.
Andrew Dice Clay grew up in a normal household, with a normal upbringing. That all went sky high when his career took off like a shot in the eighties. There were a lot of ‘shocking’ occurrences on the entertainment scene back then; it wasn’t the decade of excess for nothing. The Diceman definitely owned the king of shock cock comedy crown, hands down. He sold out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row, had tons of highly rated comedy specials, had a hit movie with The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and did many guest appearances on television. Then it got ugly. He hosted Saturday Night Live, and pissed off Nora Dunn and Sinead O’Connor so much that they walked off and refused to perform (really, did anyone notice? Anyone? I’m taking Dice’s side here!). MTV banned him for life for the infamous “adult nursery rhymes” during the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards show (really? I thought it livened up an otherwise dull show.That’s when MTV started going down the shitter. I’m taking Dice’s side here as well). Advertisments were defaced, shows and comedy tours cancelled, and life wasn’t so rosy. Dice disappeared….but like any good man, he didn’t stay down. There was a whole lot of quiet from a man notorious for not keeping his big mouth shut. There were failed TV shows (I blame CBS for that one with Cathy Moriarty). He starred opposite Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s movie Blue Jasmine, to critical acclaim. There was a whole lot of quiet from a man notorious for not keeping his big mouth shut. But again, like a phoenix rising from a Harry Potter novel, the Dice did not stay down. Now we have his side of things. And what a whirlwind it is.
Obviously, I am a little biased in that I am a fan of the Diceman (PS- Mr. Dice Clay, please start using the “Diceman” moniker again. Please!). However, this book could have really sucked a big, hairy bald eagle’s nest. It didn’t. It was not only enjoyable, but he comes off as an intelligent man, not a priggish weenie. There were parts of this book where it’s so like the stand-up act that all were familiar with back in the day, it’s scary. I also could hear him narrating the book as I read it. What else did I love? Besides not pulling any punches about anything (even his own often questionable behavior), it’s chock full of great celebrity stories. The banging of multiple ladies gets a bit much though, and the “adult nursery rhymes” do get another life here in print, but still, amusing overall. This was a fun book to read. And yes, despite what people believe of Andrew Dice Clay, he’s an intelligent man who makes no excuses for his immoral behavior and routines from that period of time, and that’s not an easy thing these days. How many books have you read where your main dude dodges what they so obviously did? I have read a ton like that, and it got old fast. This was a refreshing spin on the old tired memoir, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed his comedy in the eighties, or anyone who just wants to read a lighthearted, over the top memoir. This is certainly the one.
The Filthy Truth by Andrew Dice Clay is available from Simon & Schuster on November 11, 2014.