Hysterical without the Hysteria

Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait beautifully polarized audiences with his screamy, phlegm-filled non sequiturs in the 1980s. It was the most visceral part of an experimental character he developed while working in San Francisco clubs such as the Other Cafe, during a time when telling jokes onstage was still his art and not yet his big business — and when he could get away with such antics as performing from inside a cardboard box. In the years since, Goldthwait’s career has veered toward writing and directing films; his forthcoming God Bless America brilliantly skewers the cesspool of reality television through the barrel of a terminally ill serial killer who’s sick of the Kardashian circus. But Goldthwait recently found new joy in performing standup by jettisoning that 1980s persona in favor of his comparatively quieter, tic-free — yet still disarmingly funny — real self. He’s among several high-profile performers to take the stage of San Francisco’s newest comedy venue, located in a building with local historical significance.
April 12-14, 2012

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