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On “World’s Greatest Dad,” Kurt Cobain, and the return of Bobcat Goldthwait

To anyone who was alive during the ’80s, the words “Bobcat Goldthwait” are as likely as not to provoke instantaneous shudders, twitches, and involuntary groans; though ostensibly a comedian, Goldthwait’s chief talent seemed to be strolling onto stages or film sets and acting like he’d just been fished out of Timothy Leary’s pocket. He was also, along with Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian who relied on a distinctive — and, to not a few people, incredibly annoying — voice. The ’80s were a long time ago, of course, and to a lot of us, Goldthwait is just a forgotten celebrity who may or may not have been Sam Kinison — but the joke has been on the non-believers all along, because it turns out he’s actually a talented screenwriter and director.

Don’t believe us? That’s fine. Just scope out some of the reviews for Goldthwait’s new film, “World’s Greatest Dad” — a movie that has managed to not only reveal heretofore hidden depths in his talent, but coax a critically applauded performance out of Robin Williams in the bargain. One writer who’s hip to Goldthwait’s gifts is Bullz-Eye’s Will Harris, who recently sat down for a chat with him and discussed the new film, past projects, what the future might hold, and how in the world he ended up opening for Nirvana:

Kurt (Cobain) was a fan of my standup, which was pretty weird. I know when people hear that, it’s kind of like finding out that Jimi Hendrix really liked Buddy Hackett, but he interviewed me at a college radio station before they broke and did Bleach. And then, like, about two years later, I was opening for Nirvana at these huge sports arenas.

And as it turns out, Goldthwait is not only behind the cameras these days, but back in the comedy clubs as well — without “the voice.” As he explained to Will Harris:

You know, I always had this working class thing of, “Well, people are coming out to see me, I better give them the Grover voice.” You know, I really just put a bullet in the head of that character, and I was just kind of going up and doing it as me. I’ve enjoyed it again, and I’m also nervous about it, so that means it must be…that’s good.

To read more of the interview — including how Robin Williams (and Bruce Hornsby!) came to be so involved in “World’s Greatest Dad,” Goldthwait’s efforts to put together a Kinks musical — click on the above image or follow this link!

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