Pauly Shore already knew he was dead, career-speaking of course, which is why he made the 2003 film Pauly Shore is Dead. It was a delightful reminder that he didn’t in fact get trapped beneath a sheet of ice only to be discovered thousands of years later by two bros trying to dig their own pool.
Paul Montgomery Shore (yes, Montgomery) was born in Beverly Hills, California, the son of Sammy Shore, a comic, and Mitzi Shore, the founder of the famed Comedy Store. Shore was almost literally raised by people like Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor and George Carlin yet he ended up as Dude Looks Like a Steven Tyler whose alter ego The Weasel spent most of his time adding more syllables to words that weren’t previously there (Hey Bu…ddy). Buddy is just two syllables. Just the two.
You can buy that autographed photo on ebay or use that money to buy two Icee’s so you can wheeze the juice or whatever. Language! Who needs it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1hEKqZz-OY
Pauly Shore got his start on MTV in 1989. This was still a few years before “The Real World” introduced reality TV to the channel and effectively killed the video music star. That’s fine. Let’s not wax poetic about the days of music videos, especially when I can download my favorite song in 0.2 seconds, read a book on an iPad, and wait for the rise of the machines, or the Rise Against the Machines, or the Rage Against the Machines, or the rage of Nic Cage.
Within this time Pauly Shore wrote a song called “Lisa, Lisa (The One I Adore).” The video is a real treat. Is it an ode to women named Lisa? Is it literally a list of all the catchphrases Shore has ever used? Is it the ’90s version of “Girls” with Pauly Shore as the Lena Dunham character using his video to act out all of his misogynistic fantasies? I’d say yes to all of them.
Thankfully the acting bug took a huge prehistoric bite out of Shore with the 1992 film Encino Man. What’s not to love about the return of Sean Astin (Goonies) the introduction of Brendan Frazier and Pauly Shore as Stoney, Astin’s lovable best friend? This movie allowed Shore to use his full range of acting abilities which included the use of the language he invented and the wardrobe he put together himself. In other words the only method acting Shore had to do was get out of bed in the morning and head to the set.
Some would argue this is Shore’s best work, but I disagree because in 1993 he brought us Son-in-Law, and with that the return of yet ANOTHER childhood favorite: Tiffani Amber Thiessen. That’s right, Kelly Kapowski! The movie is your basic Pygmalion scenario turned fish out of water but once again Shore delivers himself and all the laughs, all of them.
It was always my hope that this scene would spurn an entire line of Steven Tyler PJs which of course would never be wrinkle-free and comes with more scarves than any human being would ever need.
After Son-in-Law he did two less-than-impressive films. There seems to be a pattern of washed-up actresses I used to love appearing in his movies. Lori Petty (POINT BREAK) was in In the Army Now (and I guess we can include Andy Dick as well) and Tia Carrere was in Jury Duty. Other than that, these films didn’t carry the same weight as Encino Man because there was less Weasel and more Pauly. Such a pity.
Thankfully The Weasel made a semi-return in what is honestly one of my favorite films: Bio-Dome. Shore and Stephen Baldwin played two shiftless losers who just got dumped by their environment-loving girlfriends. To try to win them back they accidentally lock themselves in an experimental bio-dome, wreak havoc on it, and then spend the majority of the film bringing it back to life. This montage is accompanied by the song “Safety Dance,” and is fantastic:
Your friends have to dance, no exceptions. This was the height, sort of, of Shore’s career. After this a slew of “playing himself” movies were released, which is funny because he kind of always did play himself. He did Pauly Shore is Dead, as well as Adopted, and even had a Showtime special, “Vegas is my Oyster,” but he probably meant crabs…Vegas is my crabs.
The role I remember Shore from the most, however, is personal. In 2011 I got wind of the fact that Shore was going to do a weekend at a Baltimore comedy club. I begged the owner for the chance to host the show and I was given one night. The show was fine. He was fine. He could have shit in a box for 45 minutes and people would have loved it as long as he said Bu…ddy, while doing it. After the show is when things got super fucking weird. While waiting to get paid, Shore sidled into the owner’s office and said this to me, “Babe, we’re going to a strip club.” Now, Shore brought his own featured comic with him. After Pauly exited the office I looked at that comic and said, “Let nothing happen.”
Minutes later we were in the car, Shore in the front, other comic in the back. Let me repeat myself. Pauly Shore was in my fucking car. We headed out to Scores, aptly named, and it was all VIP from that point on. The featured comic didn’t drink and I had whiskey like it was the last chance I’d ever get to drink it. In between drinks I stopped Pauly’s face from making out with me and tried to convince the strippers to go back to school while talking about the Civil War with the other comic. A few weeks before this show I had been dumped; this is important info because by the end of the night I was crying in the hotel bath tub of the other comic while he calmly told me everything would be okay. When I got to my car the next morning I found a lone grey T-shirt in the back seat of my car. It belonged to Pauly Shore. I kept it as a reminder of one of the strangest nights of my life. I had The Weasel’s shirt, and you know what? He shops at American Apparel. Pft.
Jenn Tisdale is a D.C. stand up comic. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenn_Tisdale.
No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.