Bobcat Goldthwait is an enigma. Perhaps you know him from his run as Officer Zed McGlunk in the classic Police Academy movies, or even as that comic with the weird voice in the ’80s. Maybe you heard of him from that episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee where Jerry Seinfeld goes off on him calling him unfunny and unsuccessful.
The truth is Goldthwait is all of those things, even if his popularity as a top-billed comic has waned over the years. He even stopped doing “the voice” around 2018, confusing audiences who want some nostalgia. In the meantime, he’s been producing comedy specials and filming a documentary with his friend, comedian Dana Gould.
In a recent interview, Goldthwait talked about cancel culture and its effects on comedy.
“People love to say, ‘George Carlin couldn’t do his act today! What would he say about all this?’” Goldthwait said. “You know what he’d say? I know exactly what he’d say. He’d say something hilarious and cutting about your fucking bullshit. There is no cancel culture. It only exists if you’re a whistleblower or a victim.”
Goldthwait further expanded on the idea of free speech as well.
“Every subject should be allowed,” Goldthwait says. “I will defend people’s freedom of speech even when I don’t agree with what they have to say.”
The longtime comic’s documentary is called Joy Ride, and it follows Goldthwait on a stand-up tour right before and during a pandemic.
“We started doing some shows, and I figured we’d shoot them, and cherrypick the stuff we liked,” he says. “It would’ve been a pretty traditional special, and then the pandemic hit.”
The weirdest thing about it, he said, was people who want to make a stand about being anti-vax showing up at his shows. Apparently, the Police Academy movies are a favorite of people who lean right politically.
“I’ve been back doing standup again after 15, 16 months,” he said. “It felt great, but people have become very emboldened – the same kind of knuckleheads that fuck up traveling on an airplane now show up at comedy clubs and decide this is where they’re going to make their anti-vax stand against The Man. I go on the road, and sometimes there are people where I don’t know if they’re hangovers from Police Academy or what, but they expect me to have a different ideology than I do … I got started in Boston. I’m used to people heckling me. What I’m not used to is a row of Proud Boy wannabes with their arms folded, mumbling about how Covid isn’t real. That’s weird to me.”
Joy Ride hits theaters and VOD on Oct. 29.