The world is a very different place than the one Andrew Dice Clay rose to prominence in during the 80’s and 90’s, and while the world changed, Dice remained the same. You simply can’t say some of the things he used to say on stage anymore. Since his fall from grace, it has been over a decade of mostly futile attempts to regain his foothold in the entertainment industry. His best and most memorable work over that time span were his interviews on the Howard Stern Show. But in his new Showtime comedy series Dice, Dice’s old brash and Teflon act have been replaced by a more vulnerable and self-aware side. He is still the same Dice, but a Dice who the audience can root for.
The very first thing you will notice about Dice, is that the style, tone, and pace are all similar to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Many shows have been heavily inspired by Curb. Some work, some don’t. Dice most certainly works. The show centers around Clay’s life in Las Vegas as an ex-superstar who is now scraping the bottom of show business. He was once selling out Madison Square Garden, and he is now coming up with schemes to get out of paying the $5 ATM fee at a Vegas Casino. He gets into fights with an Elvis Impersonator, accusing him of being bad luck. It is far from the glamorous lifestyle he used to live, but it is a much funnier and relatable one.
Clay absolutely nails the role of playing himself, even in scenes where we are supposed to laugh at him, rather than with him. The only other characters to appear in every episode are his take no crap girlfriend, played by Natasha Leggero, and his lackey/best friend, played by Kevin Corrigan. Both have easy chemistry with Clay, and are hysterical in their own right. The guest stars are also a real strength of the show, with some of the best episodes being carried by Adrien Brody, Michael Rapaport, and Lorraine Bracco.
Dice is exactly the vehicle Clay needed to get back into the public consciousness. It is a funny, well-written show that perfectly plays on the unique circumstances of his life. Showtime hit a homerun with this one. Season 1 has only six episodes, but in this day and age of 1,000+ channels and every show ever seemingly at our fingertips, quality is much more important than quantity, and Dice is quality. “Hey asshole face,” do yourself a favor, and give this show a shot.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)