The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



David Spade appears live this Saturday Night

Sarah Vabulas | Monday, April 5, 2004

He is the co-star of possibly one of the most quotable movies ever made. He has been on Saturday Night Live. He worked and starred on a hit, prime time TV show. He has made thousands of people laugh with his stand-up routines. So who is this comedian? His name is David Spade.

This 39-year-old actor has been entertaining audiences for years with his sarcastic humor and jokes. Spade has become a household name and his career will continue to be a success for years to come.

In an interview with The Observer, Spade said he never considered entering the entertainment and comedic industry until after high school. Some of his friends encouraged him to pursue a career after realizing his talents with comedy and improv. “It never crossed my mind until after high school,” Spade said. “I was kinda good, but I was never Joe Ha-ha. I think I thought it was fun, but really, really hard. I didn’t think I could get close to being good at it. I just do it because it’s fun to do.”

He started out by doing stand-up routines at comedy clubs and just working the comedy scene. At his stand-up shows, he said, “it was just two 35-year-old guys and me.”

Spade then appeared on HO for one of their amateur comedian shows and officials from NC noticed him. They pursued him and asked him to be on the hit show, “Saturday Night Live.”

Spade found much success on SNL and really made a place for himself. He met other comedians, developed relationships with them and made a life out of comedy.

One of his most known projects is the 1995 movie “Tommy Boy,” where he and Chris Farley starred as Richard Hayden and Thomas ‘Tommy’ Callahan III respectively on a quest to save Tommy’s father’s company, Callahan Auto, following the death of ‘Big Tom’ Callahan.

“Chris Farley was one of the [comedians] I really, really liked,” Spade said when asked about what it was like to work with Chris Farley. “He was a funny and crazy guy. He was always being candid and having fun. He would make up whatever is funny.”

Spade admitted that his favorite parts from the movie were the parts that most people quote. “I really like the ‘Housekeeping’ scene. I also like ‘Spank-tro-vision,’ ‘The Deer,’ and ‘Fat guy in a little coat.'”

“Chris and I added a lot of things to the script. I asked if I could deturd these things” in reference to the shrimp scene from the restaurant in “Tommy Boy,” and “Chris added the clip on tie scene.”

When asked about the scene when Farley pulverized the roll from the basket on the table in the restaurant, Spade said, “Chris just launched into that. We had 27 cups of cappuccino that day.”

“I think my most successful projects were “Tommy Boy,” “Joe Dirt” and “Dickie Roberts.” Some [of my projects] I should have skipped. Saturday Night Live was great and I just got a star on the Walk of Fame on the Friday that “Dickie” opened. That was really cool.”

“Filming ‘Dickie Roberts’ was great and lots of fun. There were fun people. I liked the idea and got to goof off around with kids,” Spade said. “I never get to joke around with kids. The secret to the movie was having all the kids there. I had to watch my language with all the kids around. I had a swear jar for each time I cussed. It was over 20 to 30 bucks by the time the filming was finished.”

Spade has many other successful movies and projects. One of his first popular movies was the “Coneheads,” a 1993 film where he played INS Agent Eli Turnbull and appeared with Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Michelle Burke, Sinbad and Chris Farley, among other big named actors. He was searching for Aykroyd and his family who were aliens who came to earth.

1996 brought around another film, “Black Sheep,” starring the Spade and Farley duo. Spade plays Steve Dodd, a friend of a politician, Al Donnelly, who is asked to watch his little brother, Mike Donnelly, during Al’s campaign for governor in Washington state. Farley and Spade paired to create another funny, creative and quotable film.

In 1997, his TV series “Just Shoot Me!” began its six-season run where Spade played Dennis Quimby Finch, a scheeming, sarcastic assistant to the editor of Blush Magazine, a popular fashion magazine.

Spade then moved to the animated screen, where he was the voice of Kuzco, a spoiled prince who was turned into a llama by his evil court sorceress, Yzma, who was voiced by Eartha Kitt. John Goodman, Pacha, was also included in this epic Disney film exploring what it means to respect other people.

His next big acting appearance was in “Joe Dirt,” the adventures of a man with a mullet, on a mission to find his long-lost parents. He meets many different people along the way, and learns a lot about himself in the process.

In 2005, Spade has another film hitting the silver screen, joined with an all-star cast including such names as Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Harvey, Dustin Hoffman, Joshua Jackson, Mandy Moore, Michael Rosenbaum and Patrick Stewart. The movie is called “Racing Stripes,” an animated story about a horse who overcomes prejudice and self-doubt to pursue his dream of running with thoroughbreds.

Spade’s plans for the future include more movies, stand-up and perhaps even a TV show. “I will probably try to put a TV show together because I liked it,” Spade said. “It was fun. I do one move about every two years. Movies are just tough. They’re a lot of work. A TV show is just the right amount of work.”

For those of you out there who enjoyed “Joe Dirt,” Spade has some good news. “I might do a ‘Joe Dirt’ sequel,” said Spade. “I really liked that movie. It was fun to shoot. As long as you get to kiss Britney Daniel, anything is fun.”

Some comedians, like Adam Sandler, have released CDs with their comedic routines on them. Spade, however, has no plans to do such a project. “I’ve talked about it, but it’s hard to sell a CD of me just talking. It is a lot of work,” Spade said. “I did stuff on Adam Sandler’s first album and that was fun. He sings, though, so his CDs are different.”

“When I’m cruising, stand-up is fun. It can be the best,” Spade said. “I can goof around with the crowd. I get my material from everyday stuff. My life. What has happened to me. It’s tricky to come up with a stand-up act.”

Spade is performing at Notre Dame on Saturday night at the Joyce Center Arena. He is doing a 75-minute stand-up routine and he admits that this is “longer than anyone has asked me to do.” He is prepared, however.

Spade frequently hangs out with Kid Rock, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. “I was hanging out with Chris and Adam [Monday] in Las Vegas. We were talking about the show. I went out with Chris Rock and traded material,” Spade said. “Whenever we hang out, we all try to make each other laugh. Everyone is trying to out do each other. We change our jokes and write better ones.”

There is another reason, however, to come to the show other than the experience of listening to David Spades jokes. Spade will be shaving the head of Charlie Ebersol, Board Director of the Student Union Board, at some point during the show. There is a catch, though. In order for this to happen, SUB needs to have 3,500 tickets sold.

But why would Ebersol do this? “I want to see my event succeed,” Ebersol said. “Most people don’t think I take many things seriously. Most people’s biggest complaint is that I’m overly vain. A great deal of people on campus either like me or don’t like me. This provides an opportunity for people to either laugh with me or laugh at me.”

“This is a good-natured stunt,” Ebersol said. “I know David from his proximity to Saturday Night Live. The thought of it was a funny idea and David was all about doing it.”

Ebersol is unsure whether or not Spade will pull any other stunts while shaving his head. “I’m always worried that David will do something else,” Ebersol said. “He is very much a comedian through and through. This will prove to be interesting and prove to be humorous.”

“I’m more worried about David shaving my head into a mullet,” Ebersol said. “David really likes mullets. He has agreed to purchase me a hat.”

For those of you who are aspiring comedians, Spade has some advice for you: “You kinda have it or you don’t. Take comedy classes. It’s hard to keep at it. Talk people into thinking you’re good. Try it. Give it your best. You won’t make any money for a long time. But it is fun.”

Spade will be performing Saturday night at the Joyce Center Arena. The event is sponsored by SUB. Tickets are $20 for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students and $35 for the general public. They can be purchased at the LaFortune Box Office or by calling 631-8128. Doors will open at Gate 10 at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Sarah Vabulas at [email protected]