World’s Greatest Dad
Shakes the Clown
Bobcat Goldthwait is the focus of Popcorn Movie Review’s 2nd Director Showcase. Born Robert Francis Goldthwait in Syracuse New York in 1962, he arrived in this world geographically and socioeconomically far away from the Hollywood lifestyle to a father who was a sheet metal worker and mother, a department store clerk. However it did not take long for him to find his path as an entertainer and comedian teaming up in high school with future comedian and voice over actor of Sponge Bob Square Pants, Tom Kenny.
Shortly after school Bobcat became recognized as a legit Stand-up comedian on both coasts staring in comedy specials in the early 80’s. He would become a standard name in the comedy scene through his standup act and guest appearances on variety shows in which he would creatively combine political satire and often disturbing Back Comedy.
His TV and film acting career would soon follow performing in the Police Academy Films as Zed and a number of other comedies alongside Robin Williams, John Candy, Bill Murray and other comedic superstars of the time.
Always remaining as a player in the comedy scene, Bobcat would later switch his focus to screenwriting and directing both film and TV. He has worked behind the camera for Jimmy Kimmel on both “The Man Show”, as well as ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” He wrote and directed his first feature film in 1991 titled “Shakes the Clown”. He also stared as Shakes in that critically criticized dark comedy about a drunken Clown. (Popcorn Movie Review has unfortunately not yet reviewed this title…coming soon) After directorial stints on TV with Strip Mall, Crank Yankers, The Man Show and Chappell’s Show, he directed a TV Movie called “Windy City Heat. He refocused his attention to film with 2006’s “Sleeping Dogs Lie” and then again in 2009 with “World’s Greatest Dad” starring Robin Williams. After directing episodes of comedian Demetri Martin’s TV show Important Things with Demetri Martin, he wrote and directed his most recent film “God Bless America”
Popcorn Movie Review’s Take:
I have seen all but one of Bobcat’s full length films and will soon see “Shakes” because after getting a feel for who he is as a director, I enjoy his movies. That being said expectations must be tapered when watching his movies, if they are marketed as comedies; many of them end up being far from the description (ex. World’s Greatest Dad). He also has low budgets which make his films less than savory for the eye. I love that he pushes the envelope with every storyline and he is truly bringing something to the screen that other directors are not, but occasionally I feel that his movies don’t have an objective, or at least they come up short of their potential. Nevertheless, if you are a dark/black comedy fan or like movies that are breaking the mold he is a must see director. (Sources – Wikipedia and IMDB.com)