#17. I met Bobcat Goldthwait (Tampa, 1998)


Share the warmth.

My love of insane, screeching comedian Bobcat Goldthwait bloomed when I was a pre-teen. In the mid-80s, I videotaped his sweaty comedy special Share the Warmth and watched it at least 100 times. Because I couldn’t find any pics of him in magazines, and the internet didn’t exist, I snapped photos of the television screen during his great scenes in One Crazy Summer (with a non-digital camera), then brought the film to Walgreens to have it developed.

I remain a big fan today, though Bob seems like a totally different brilliant cat from the one who wrote and directed Shakes the Clown (a stone-cold classic about the debaucherous, depressing lives of professional birthday party clowns) and World’s Greatest Dad (the only time I ever enjoyed watching Robin Williams).

So, I was pretty excited, at the age of 25, to speak with Bobcat on the phone about his Tampa standup show. By then he’d lost weight, stopped screeching, and grown a ridiculous soul patch. Still, twas a great honor to speak with a star of Police Academy (or “Police Labotomy” as Bob called it in his stand-up).

I told him about taking photos of him on the TV screen. “Well that’s fucking weird,” he replied.

But mostly we bantered about typical puff piece shit, so I don’t remember much about our interview, except that he told me a great story after I asked him, “So what do you think of Prince?” I used to ask every famous person about Prince, just to see what they’d say.

Turned out Bobcat had not only met Prince, but Prince once personally summoned him to perform comedy at The Purple One’s birthday party. Bob told me he showed up at Paisley Park, where giant bodyguards led him down a labyrinth of hallways. Finally, he was left alone in an empty room. After some time, Prince finally materialized, seemingly out of nowhere.

Bobcat said he and Prince exchanged tense greetings. He said Prince was awkward and not friendly. And so, to break the ice, Bobcat made a joke about Prince being tiny.

Next thing Bobcat knew, he was back out in the parking lot behind Paisley Park, alone. He did not perform at the party.

Michael Patrick Welch’s “132 Famous People I Have Met” series is FREE, but please consider donating to his VENMO (michael-welch-42), or to his PayPal account (paypal.me/michaelpatrickwelch2), so he can feed his kids, pay his mortgage, etc.

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