David Spade Benchwarmers Interview

David Spade Benchwarmers Interview
by Paul Fischer in Tempe, Arizona.

Spade Warms Up the Benches

David Spade, with a unique on screen hairdo and dry sense of humor, takes a bat and ball, of sorts, for the irreverent family comedy Benchwarmers. He talked to Paul Fischer.

Paul Fischer: It seems that this is a character you were born to play.

DAVID SPADE: Really? Ive never played anything else. Actually, this one Im kind of different but its basically always the same. Lets be honest.

Paul Fischer: Well this guy doesnt always have a quick insult.

DAVID SPADE: No, thank you. See, Ive got a lot of range. I play that guy and the other guy.

Paul Fischer: Did you have input into the hairdo?

DAVID SPADE: I did. I just did Saturday Night Live right before we shot this and I was trying to get ideas because theres only so much I can do with my hair. Its either shorter or longer. They cant do much. I was going to dye it and I just thought- - I saw a bowl cut wig on Saturday Night Live and I go, Ooh, and juicy, I like that one. It looked so dumb so we tried to recreate that. Then I walked out of the trailer, I saw Rob, I saw Adam Sandler and I think Dynamite was there too. I was like, Hey look. And they were like [laughing]. And so Im like, Okay, well, its funny.

Paul Fischer: And the half moustache?

DAVID SPADE: Oh, my little porn one? I just thought like 70s porn, what does it look like? I see these guys, they shave the top part. Actually, Sean Penn does that too.

Paul Fischer: Jon Heder said something about that too.

DAVID SPADE: [imitates Heder] Who is that? He needs to go to church. Thats all we did is make fun of Jon the whole time. Its pretty fun.

Paul Fischer: What made you think a 70s porn moustache was right for a kids movie?

DAVID SPADE: Something for the parents I guess. Because they can laugh at that during the fart scenes.

Paul Fischer: Theyll have to learn about John Holmes eventually.

DAVID SPADE: Yeah, they are. Its in schools now. Mandatory. I just thought, and theres one part where I wear these 70s shades when Im at the Batmobile, I walk out. I forgot to take them off so I had them on in the scene because halfway through they were like, Wait, did you have those on? Yes. Its like the Tom Cruise thing where its so bright, hes always got one eye closed like that because there are so many fucking lights in your eyes. So hes turned into this guy and I turned into accidentally wears shades guy. So anyway, I wore those and I looked even funnier like 70s because I had these big 70s like Aviators. So anyway, thats funny. Come on, Joe Dirt had a funny wig, lets go. Its wigs.

Paul Fischer: Were you teasing Jon a lot as initiation?

DAVID SPADE: Well, we needed him. It was really like Sandler and Nick Swartzen and those guys that wrote it. I think Ritchie they thought of for me and then they didnt know the other guys, who they would be. So we were thinking of people and then Clark, once Rob got on, Clark was the last one we didnt have. And we were all going, Who? and then I saw Napoleon Dynamite. I only saw half of it and I called Adam, I go, Dude, weve got to get this guy. Hes funny. And kids like him and I think thats a good mix of Rob and I because we used to work together and then maybe him because hes new and people like him. Its just you want a good mix and I thought that was a funny mix if you do it. And he was into it. He was excited. Adam called him and he was cool about it.

Paul Fischer: What about Lovitz?

DAVID SPADE: Lovitz was a mistake, yeah. That was like, Wait, did you tell him he had it? I thought you did. But hes on the set. Nothing we can do now. We wanted Lovitz to wear a big curly wig, like early Billy Crystal from Soap. He didnt want to wear a wig. And Rob goes, Put your vanity aside. Thats what he told me too. Put your ego aside. I go, Wheres your wig, smart ass? My guy doesnt wear one.

Paul Fischer: How much input did you have on the script?

DAVID SPADE: Well, with those guys its great because its always going to be kind of close because they know me and they know me in real life so they kind of know my little mumbly jokes they can put in and then they say- - Dennis Dugan does so many takes its ridiculous so we just say, If youre doing so many, just make up stuff. Like at the end youre just so bored you just make up. But a lot of times hell be like, Pretty good, going again. And then youre like, What are we doing now? You just say stuff. Whatever. Weve got all day. So the fun stuff is like we have so many angles too. We have the catcher looking at me, when Im batting. So Im just like, Dude, kabang. And that stuff makes me laugh because then he just goes, Keep going. So Im like, Strike, you know, pulled something. I used to run track. You can see me laughing at myself because I dont know what to say because there are no lines. Hed say, Keep going. Pretty good, Im loving it. So then youve got an angle from the pitcher looking at you and then youve got to do the umpires view. So you just keep doing- - thats what I didnt know about baseball movies. You have to do it from everyones angle, every fielder and we have to do it this way. And then when Im catcher, once I got that mask on, I go like this, Cant really see me, can you? My double, get in there. I got a bad neck, I go, I thought I was a softball guy. I thought the whole movie was about softball, swear to go, for the whole time. A week before I went to- - they go, You want to go to baseball camp? I go, To be bad? Im already bad, I dont care. So I go there, I go, Do I just stand there? And he throws one, it bounces and you catch it and you throw it back. You get to stand and its easy. Then I get there and they bring out all this equipment. I go, This is baseball. Are you kidding? I dont want to be catcher then. This 40 pound pure steel helmet so Im like this. ??? And then all the equipment on my legs and they had to jack me up. Dude, every scene and were doing it in the middle of the valley in the summer? These are the real problems I have. I like how someones got an Ipod.

Paul Fischer: Whats it like working with the kids?

DAVID SPADE: The kids are funny because kids are just always happy. Theyre in a good mood and they know everything we did. They mostly like Napoleon Dynamite so wherever we go, theyd be all excited that he was around. And hes already kind of sick of it which is the funniest part. Ive done other stuff, you know. Im like, No, you havent. Still, Im gonna.

Paul Fischer: With such insight into Hollywood, does that ever close any doors for you?

DAVID SPADE: As long as I lay off Sandler Im okay. I wind up only working for him I think. Joe Dirt, Dickie Roberts, they were all for him. So basically I am in my own little world. I don't know. I dont do that many other movies. I kind of do with these guys and then work, I do standup on the road. I thought I would probably do another sitcom or something but I kind of got into this Showbiz Show and I like that now.

Paul Fischer: Do you miss television and was Just Shoot Me an invaluable experience?

DAVID SPADE: Yes, Just Shoot Me was a lot of fun for me and people still- - it still airs. I like it. Its one of those things where it got cut probably a year short for our taste but I didnt care. It was great. I had a great time, loved it, got lucky with that one and would probably do something similar, but youve got to look out there to see whats going on and its a lot of single camera stuff now.

Paul Fischer: Its very risky now, too?

DAVID SPADE: Well, its so brutal. What makes it is so hard and sometimes shows like Arrested Development, shows that you think are actually pretty good dont. So its not an exact science obviously. Some good shows dont make it. You just kind of cross your fingers and I like the one Im on right now where you can do jokes about whats going on in Hollywood. And then we get to do little field bits. Were doing more of that this year. Im going out in the field and doing stuff which I hate but its funny hopefully. I just dont like to go out and deal with the real world. Its scary.

Paul Fischer: Would you do something on this movie?

DAVID SPADE: Every situation is tough. We have some people actually want to do the show. They call and say, I want to do something on your show and then we dont know what to do with them because we dont do straightforward interviews which is the easiest. Oh yeah, you want to do it? Come on, well interview you about your movie. But thats kind of going against what we do, so we have to think of just a joke or trick. Kid Rock I think we were going to do maybe an Inside the Actors Studio about his sex tape. But we dont really do sketches so its kind of weird, weve got to find how to do it. We were going to morph him into James Lipton and do a real interview, like, Tell us about your role like hes talking to Al Pacino and then its Kid Rock sitting in the same background going, It wasnt really a role, it was just me and this dude getting BJs and Liptons going, Yes. So when people want to do the show, were immediately like, we get letters like, These five people said they wanted to do something with you. They have a movie coming out or they saw a show and then its hard to just sit in a room and go, This person, whats the idea? Well, they could do this. No, thats not good enough. So with this, thats like Comedy Central, Well, youre all together, why dont you do something. So yesterday, we had Andrew Daly whos a guy who does reporting on our show, a correspondent, he was just a junket guy and so he just talked to Rob and Jon. He was in love with Napoleon Dynamite and he just talked about that movie and had him sign something, he didnt even talk to me. Then I said, I was in the movie too and he goes, I didnt see you, whatd you do? I go, I was Ritchie. And he goes, Ritchie, Ritchie… I go, He was one of the- - you know Ritchie, dumb ass. He goes, I just watch him because it just makes me laugh. The second time I see everybody else. So then we did that little bit and then after I walk up to him with the camera behind me like I dont see him. I go, What the fuck, was that a bit? He goes, Yeah, you knew I was doing that. I go, I didnt know. Thats not funny to me. Thats about me. I go, Uh, I love Napoleon Dynamite. Was that the whole joke? He goes, Yeah. I go, Its lame and Im not going to put it on.

Paul Fischer: Do people ever respond to what you do on the show?

DAVID SPADE: No, not really badly. Some people go, Oh, I saw it. Oh, please dont do us. But I think its like Letterman or Chris Rock. Everyone kind of does jokes about everyone and thats just kind of the drill. You just hope they dont do it about you. But Ive had them do it about me and I dont like it. I say its fine but I dont like it.

Paul Fischer: How important is standup for you?

DAVID SPADE: I think Im getting worse. Ive been doing the Mirage a lot in Vegas. I go out there and they pay more, so its harder because I have to do better. And I have to do it longer. Im not that bad at it anymore but its really hard when youve got too much going on. Like right now its really hard because I have this and the show starts Thursday. We tape Wednesday the first show. So this is like a little crazy time but usually Ive got a lot of time off and I sneak out there and do it and I get to work on it. Its good to do standup. It kind of wakes you up and makes you feel like youre doing something and get the crowd right there. Thats all fun. But its a lot of work. Like I asked Adam why he doesnt do it anymore. He would never consider it. He goes, I would never do it again. Its hard and he gets overwhelmed with probably too high of expectations so its not that fun for him.

Paul Fischer: Did you give Lovitz tips?

DAVID SPADE: Yeah, hes horrible. Actually, we and Chris Rock, it was kind of ballsy, we go to a club and he goes, Ill come with you. So I go, I just want to practice some stuff and Chris Rock had to practice for the Oscars or one of those shows. So we went and did a set, I did 15, then Rock did 15 and then Lovitz goes, Ill go on. So he went up and Rocks like, This I gotta see. We sat in the back and every other joke was pretty good and wed go, What? That was pretty good. He goes, I know, what the fuck? And then hed be like, Knock knock, whos there? We go, Lovitz, you stumble into some good stuff and then you do like a joke from grade school. So he does have funny- - I havent seen him in a year but hes a funny guy, hes very likeable. Any movie he does, everyone likes him in it. Even this one, hes funny. But thats half the battle. And he is funny but hes his own worst enemy. He overthinks it.

Paul Fischer: Schneiders big in Mexico. Where are you big?

DAVID SPADE: [points down] This means Mexico. I don't know anywhere. Ive never been anywhere. I went to Australia. It was my only out of the US. That was for Joe Dirt and Dickie Roberts but Joe Dirt luckily they knew- - Just Shoot Me just started there or I don't think it wouldve done anything but then Joe Dirt did well because suddenly they knew who I was. Then Dickie Roberts but its not like here. I can cruise around down there and pretty much or [pimp something down???] and they go, Oh, youre that one dude. Other than that, I havent gone to Europe. I have no idea really. I don't know if comedy- - maybe Just Shoot Me has a chance but movies I think comedies have a tougher time overseas. Im talking totally out of my ass. I have no idea. I think Ive heard that though.

Paul Fischer:Why are bands still not doing their hits?

DAVID SPADE: Theyre not listening, are they? I don't know. The idea would be if you could- - one time I saw an ad for Styx of all bands. In the ad, it was like a square ad in the LA times and around it, they had the hits that they sing. Theyre singing all their hits. I go, Okay, thats enough. Im going. So if people would on websites, I sometimes try to scroll around and find a song list of someone that went to the concert. Oh, he didnt do this. If you can find that, I went to Springsteen too and it was like Im not a super I love everything, so Im kind of looking for... and I was like, Oh my God, I wish I wouldve just had a heads up. Because youre going to spend a lot of money, youre going to make the hassle. I might go see the Pretenders as my next concert. I saw them before and they were great. So Im just going to gamble but the New Cars is the new thing that scares me because the new Cars without Rick Ocasek so I should just make a chart. You were Staples Center, now its the Key Club. G5, 87 VW van.

Paul Fischer:Whats next?

DAVID SPADE: Just doing the show for a while and then might do another Joe Dirt movie end of the summer. Thats about it. The show is really starting and thats what I have to do, like my day to day job. This movie I love and we did it last summer so its been kind of- - I havent had to deal with it for a while but then when it came on, I saw a screening, I was excited.

Paul Fischer:Were there lots of questions unanswered by the first Joe Dirt?

DAVID SPADE: Yes, there were. Were actually going right to 3.

Paul Fischer:How long does it take to throw together the script?

DAVID SPADE: We wrote it. We wrote it because Sandler thinks its funny. You hear these things, like I go on the road and I hear more about that than anything. Thats how you get feedback. There are some movies that just- - not everyones asking about Lost and Found. So when I go out, you hear about the certain movies a lot and then you get weird facts like it sold the most DVDs at Sony a year ago from all their movies at Wal-Mart. So you go, Does that matter? Yeah. So then I asked the DVD guy, What does that mean? And he goes, Well, it came out and sold a lot the first month and then it never dropped. It just sells the same for the year. So that makes everyone think and go, Well, someone... but maybe they just dont believe it the first time so youve got to get them into theaters. Thats the tough part because they seem to do well on video which is a big market but you want them to do well in the theater because thats all people kind of know.

Paul Fischer:What about Dickie?

DAVID SPADE: Dickie theres really nowhere to go with it but I love it. Now I hear kids know it now but theres only so many sequels I can do in the summer. I like the new Joe Dirt, we read it, its funny and Adam likes it. If it falls into place, it will and itll be fun to do, but Electric Dirtaloo.

Paul Fischer: Does it hurt when you dont get Lost and Found feedback?

DAVID SPADE: Well, Lost and Found I went in kind of blind. Not knowing anything, I just did Saturday Night Live and I had an idea for a movie with my buddy. I thought the title was a little soft, we used a foreign actress. There are so many things. And the movie was not that hilarious but theres a lot of things we couldve done to fix it. I didnt listen to them. I kind of did my own thing. And it was for what? $8 million. Im sure someone did fine with it but to me, you want it to be a bigger deal when you come out. So I had to stop for two years and think and figure out, and whatever. Did Just Shoot Me and you just try to do whatever. Like Capital One commercials, they turn out funny, you never know, you do your best and then I don't know theyre going to be playing like a machine gun out there. So you go, Well, Im glad that ones kind of funny. Then I requested that guy again. I go, Always use him if Im in it because hes funny. So again, safety in numbers like this movie. You get someone funny with you, it helps.

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