Andrew 'Dice' Clay vs. Jackie 'Joke Man' Martling
Stand-up comedians Andrew "Dice" Clay and Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling will invade Long Island comedy clubs this week, delivering their special brand of off-color humor. It's the Diceman -- the 54-year-old Brooklyn bad boy vs. the Joke Man, the 62-year-old jester Bayville -- in a battle for laughs. We recently spoke to both New York comedy veterans about their collective experience in the biz.
How do you handle hecklers?
DICEMAN: Years ago when I'd get a heckler at least they were kind of clever. But today anybody who yells out is usually just too drunk. It ruins a show rather than enhancing it. They get yanked by security and find themselves on the street.
JOKE MAN: I follow them home. Since I left "The Howard Stern Show," I very often don't have anything to do the next day and that leaves lots of time to take care of things like that.
What movie role would have been perfect for you?
DICEMAN: The movie I was supposed to do before all the controversy happened was "My Cousin Vinny." That was one of the films in my deal. But Joe Pesci did a great job. He's phenomenal. At least the guy who did it was one of the greats.
JOKE MAN: I always loved the Jack Lemmon role in "Days of Wine and Roses." Not that anybody in the world could have touched what he did in that film. Hey, maybe it's my deep desire to have touched Lee Remick.
What was the best advice you received, and who gave it to you?
DICEMAN: My father managed me through my career. When I got into the way I am on stage with the language and everything, he would say, "I don't care how dirty you get up there, just be funny." He wasn't even in show business until I was. Nobody ever gave me that kind of advice, it had to come from the dad, which made all the sense in the world.
JOKE MAN: My mother told me long ago, "Go, you might meet somebody." If you have a choice to go do something or not go do it, always get up and go. It's terrific life advice, but also spectacular show business advice. This from the woman who also told me, "If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs."
What do people often say when they meet you in person?
DICEMAN: They say that I'm the one who taught them how to curse, and that they used to get in trouble as a kid because of me. People also tell me that they used to go in the basement with their friends to hide and listen to my albums.
JOKE MAN: People are often surprised because I'm thinner and look younger than they expect. I've been taking care of myself . . . 11 years sober, holding firm at my high school weight and mostly living on the beach have been kind to me.
How much does a crowd's energy affect your performance?
DICEMAN: One hundred percent, because the crowd is as much a part of the show as I am. If I get a bad crowd, I have no problem telling them what garbage they are. But if I get a crowd that's amped up to see me, it puts my energy through the roof.
JOKE MAN: After this many years as a comic, the feedback from the crowd is only 100 percent accountable for the quality of my performance.
When you come before Long Island crowds what do you typically see?
DICEMAN: People from Brooklyn, but with more money. Long Island is just an extension of Brooklyn.
JOKE MAN: Old comedy fans, their kids, old Stern fans, their kids. My audiences are every age, united in their love for jokes.
What was the best time you ever had on stage?
DICEMAN: When I was a struggling comic in the early '80s, I was playing San Antonio, Texas, on a New Year's Eve and got into a heckle fight with an 86-year-old woman who was drinking moonshine in the audience. She'd slap her leg and say something filthy to me and I would say something filthier back. I laughed so hard that I had to go into the audience and give her a hug and kiss.
JOKE MAN: It was in a packed-in, alcohol-fueled hot and sweaty 500-strong audience at the midnight "Dirty Show" at Club Soda in Montreal in the summer of 1993. I brought 10 women on stage for "Stump The Joke Man." The last girl in almost-not-understandable English stumped me with a filthy anti-man joke. The place went absolutely batchips. Legendary agent Charles Joffe was in the crowd and told me it was one of the greatest things he ever saw take place on stage.
Which person gave you your biggest break?
DICEMAN: Rodney Dangerfield put me on his "Nothin' Goes Right" special in 1988. I shot right into the arenas from that. Another one was my manager Bruce Rubenstein, who I ran into at a Starbucks by chance.
JOKE MAN: "The Howard Stern Show," of course, absolutely changed my life. As I've always said, "Meeting Howard Stern was the turning point in my career. Of course, when you're going around in circles, everything's a turning point."
What do fans expect when they come to your show?
DICEMAN: They expect me to deliver. I have that reputation and that's what I do. I love making people laugh harder than they ever laughed. That's my job on stage. I make people rock back and forth laughing.
JOKE MAN: They can expect an hour of great jokes and then a nice, long round of "Stump The Joke Man," where they all try to tell me a joke I don't know to win semi-valuable prizes. It's always a great time.
Which is your favorite comedy album that you made, and why?
DICEMAN: One of the favorites is "The Day the Laughter Died." My concept on that was the ultimate late-night set without anything planned out in front of an unsuspecting little crowd. I did it at Dangerfield's in Manhattan. It just became a classic.
JOKE MAN: Asking me which is my favorite is like asking somebody who's their favorite child. Each CD is just shy of 80 minutes of rapid-fire laugh-out-loud jokes . . . short, long, silly, naughty, outrageous and worse.
What is your most popular joke and do you get sick of doing it?
DICEMAN: I close my shows with the Mother Goose poems because that's how people got to know me and it's fun to do with the crowd. My new material is even more outrageous because people have become more outrageous. There's more to talk about.
JOKE MAN: My most popular joke is popular because it gets a big laugh. I never ever get sick of telling jokes that always get big laughs. So do the math . . . A cop pulls a guy over and says, "Hey, pal, did you know your wife fell out a few blocks back?" The guy says, "Thank God. I thought I went deaf."
What's your biggest career regret?
DICEMAN: I have no career regrets. All the projects I've done have been fun and hopefully I will get to do some better ones now.
JOKE MAN: I have no regrets. Do I wish things had worked out with "The Howard Stern Show" all those years ago? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. That said, have you got a few bucks until next week?
What do you view as your career highlight?
DICEMAN: There are too many. I've lived the most controversial career a comic could ever live. When you are attacked by the media but you are still thrilling the fans at Nassau Coliseum, what do you do? Apologize for being funny?
JOKE MAN: I'd say playing myself in Howard Stern's film "Private Parts." Shooting it, seeing it and celebrating it were almost as much fun as it was to be an integral part of the film's core -- the meteoric rise of the greatest radio show ever.
Does your feud with each other from the '90s still exist?
DICEMAN: That stuff on the radio was all -- I was always friends with Jackie, but that's what makes Howard Stern great because he could create stuff on his show. But once you are in the fight, you start to really get mad. Then after the fight you wonder, "Why was I yelling at him like that? I'm friends with the guy." Jackie is a good guy and always was.
JOKE MAN: Dice has been a pal since the early '80s, when we met at The East Side Comedy Club in Huntington. In 1984, Dice and I did a Redd Foxx video, "Redd Foxx's Dirty Dirty Jokes." Dice and I never had a feud except for the fun little dust-ups on the radio.
How have you evolved as a comedian?
DICEMAN: I'm seasoned now. I really know my craft. I love doing it more than I've ever loved it before.
JOKE MAN: I've never been involved with a comedian . . . just a few actresses and one circus clownette.
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday, 8 and 10:30 p.m., McGuire's Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia, Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Governor's Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, 7:30 p.m., The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore
INFO $25, 18 and older, 516-781-LAFF (5233), brokeragecomedy.com