Becoming a comedic legend isn't easy. Sometimes it happens when you're least expecting it. For Pauly Shore, it happened so fast that he almost missed it.
In the early 90s, Shore landed a coveted VJ spot on MTV. He managed to build his brand enough to secure himself a spot in the surprise hit Encino Man with Brendan Frasier. The movie became a huge hit (much to the surprise of everyone) and so suddenly Shore became a hot commodity.
It wasn't all simple for Shore. He had a lot of bad reviews and many movies flopped at the box office, but it didn't phase him. "If I let the people who hate me get to me, I'd sit at home and never do anything. Most people who can't appreciate me are bitter and jealous people," Shore said. "What I'm doing has never been done before – going out and talking to the camera like it's America."
He got a new TV show that was all his own, but that didn't turn out as great as he had hopped. The show only lasted five episodes on Fox. They didn't even bother airing the final two that were filmed. It bombed both critically and with the fans, and it led to Shore stepping out of the spotlight.
But what has he been up to since?
In 2003, Shore wrote a new movie. It was a mockumentary called Pauly Shore Is Dead. It's about him faking his own death so that he could become popular again. Surprisingly enough, this movie is actually his highest-rated film.
However, other than that the leading roles haven't been his focus anymore. Instead he has moved on to focusing on his stand-up career.
"I think it’s great that I made it and that people know who I am, but it’s also bad being just known for one thing. I think Robin Williams went through it as well," Shore said in 2014. "A lot of people come up with their own thing and then they try to get away from their own thing. You always want to be remembered for your last thing, not something you did a long time ago."
He finds that being in L.A. too long drives him crazy, so instead he has been on the road a lot doing stand-up around the country. “Comedy, I think for the true comedians that do it, they know that it’s something that you have to do. It’s not something they want to do,” he said. “So, it’s in my system. Whatever it is I’m going through in my life I have to talk about it on stage. It’s like a therapy thing for me. I feel more comfortable on stage than even speaking on the phone. I just feel at peace.”
He admits that there were a few choices over the years that he wishes he could change. “I know a lot of people are like, ‘No, it was perfect the way it was,’ but that’s not true,” he said. “There’s certain things that I did in my career that maybe I shouldn’t have done because I wanted to work. I didn’t really think of the repercussions. I just didn’t think a lot about what’s good for my career. I was like, ‘This sounds fun, let’s do it.’ There’s a lot of that stuff early on.”
In the height of his fame, he found it to be a lot to deal with. “I was just too busy and crazy,” he said. “It’s like you’re in a tornado or a big swirl and there’s stuff constantly coming at you."
He's happier now that he's doing his smaller shows, so keep an eye on the comedy clubs and see if he's coming to your town if you want to see him!