Comedian Andrew Dice Clay will spend Valentine’s Day performing on stage at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown to an empty room. The Brooklyn native plans to deliver his sharp-tongued stand-up over Zoom through a panoramic design of three 10’ screens where he can view the audience in their homes.
"The comic interacts with the audience from the screens as if they were really at the club." says owner James Dolce. "The audience members’ laughs, applause and voice comes through our sound system so it makes it easy for the comedian to engage with them."
It appears the Diceman is up for the challenge.
"This is the first time I’m doing something like this and I’m excited about it," says Clay, 63. "Look, I’m like everybody I want this whole pandemic thing to end but I do find it amazing that through technology we can pull this off. That’s the beauty of human behavior, we find ways to get through stuff in times like this. But, let me tell you something…people need to laugh!"
The situation reminds Dolce of the theatrical symbol of the comedy and tragedy masks.
"As the pandemic continues and people are feeling isolated, I wanted to bring my customers together to laugh and escape from this tragedy even just for a little while," says Dolce. "This virtual system I have in place gives them a true feel of being out at a live comedy show but still in the safety of their homes."
Clay is no stranger to using the camera to turn out comedy. Over the past year he has become a hotly requested celebrity on Cameo, a personalized video greeting service on the internet.
"It’s been a creative outlet for me during the lockdown. I love doing them," he says. "I get all kinds of requests. They let me know if it’s a birthday, anniversary or if someone just needs a pep talk. Funny thing is a quarter of my Cameo requests come from Long Island."
Long Islanders have always connected with Clay who has a knack for incorporating the crowd into his act.
"I see a certain face, a certain build, a certain attitude and I react," he says. "I’m fearless on stage. I don’t even think about it. I wing it. It’s what I do and I love it."
The evening is being sarcastically billed as "A Night with Mr. Romance" as Dice is not known for his sensitivity. However, he has a new love in his life.
"I have a new girlfriend and she’s extremely nice. I’ve never come up against this," he says. "Every marriage, every girlfriend or every fiancee, it’s just been a war. This has been going on since I’m 17. It’s ridiculous. This girl I’m dating now is a nice human being. Frankly, it’s hard to handle."
ANDREW DICE CLAY VIRTUAL CONCERT
WHEN/WHERE 7 p.m. check-in, 7:30 p.m. showtime, Sunday, February 14, govs.com
ADMISSION $55 per household