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comedy: Loose Cannon

Bobcat Goldthwait screeches and grunts from the road, briefly.

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On April 12, Bobcat will appear at the Carpenter Center, sharing the stage with fellow comedians Lewis Black ("Back in Black" on the Daily Show), Victoria Jackson (six seasons with SNL), and Kevin Meaney ("You'll poke you eye out with that piece of Pizza!") as part of the Laughter Arts Festival, which is currently touring the country.

I got a chance to talk with Bobcat the other day, via his cell phone, as he sped around in a car somewhere out there in the open spaces of America, and I managed but a few quick questions before the line went dead. Of course, he never called back. Still, Bobcat fans will appreciate the few informative bits that emerged. Indulge ...



Bobcat Goldthwait: Call me Margaret. Today I'm Margaret.



Style: What's the Laughter Arts Festival. And how'd you get wrapped up in it?



It's a pu-pu platter of comedy, like an appetizer sampler. It's like, "Ah, I don't like that guy, but, ooooh, Kevin Meany." No, but you know, I've done enough crappy television, enough crappy movies. I'm pretty happy doing stand-up and directing.



I have to ask you about "Shakes the Clown." You directed that?



It's like that Woody Allen quote. Those who can't teach, teach gym. Those who aren't beloved film comedians direct.



How did that movie come about?



[Shakes] was something I wrote and then I went out and pitched it. I think it was 32 different places. Finally Columbia Tri Star gave me money to make it. That's something I'd like to address. For some unknown reason, people are under the perception that I used my own money to make that movie. Maybe they're getting me confused with Robert Townsend.



You're on "Hollywood Squares"? What's the story there?



What, about being fired from Hollywood Squares?



You were fired?



Well, yeah, they kinda let me go. Apparently there's gonna be six squares next year. They're downsizing. I'm pretty sure Enron had something to do with it.



Did you really get fired?



They didn't pick up my deal this year. I don't know what the problem was. Maybe I wasn't reading the stuff they wrote. ...



Then suddenly — the sad state of cell-phone technology is surely to blame — Bobcat is gone from me. Though you may not get him on the horn, Goldthwait in person is always something of a spectacle. S The Laughter Arts Festival is April 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.50 and $32.50 and are available through Ticketmaster outlets and at the Carpenter Center Box Office, 600 E. Grace St. Call 225-9000.

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