Born: May 26, 1962
AKA: Bob Goldthwait
Blue Meter: Tame

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Next Tour Date

Friday | January 31
CB Live
Phoenix, AZ

See all tour dates for Bobcat Goldthwait



2012 You Don’t Look the Same Either
2003 I Don’t Mean to Insult You, But You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait
1992 Comic Relief V

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1990 The Best Of Comic Relief '90

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1988 Meat Bob
1987 Best of Comic Relief, Vol. 2

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

Specials (and other video)

2012 Bobcat Goldthwait: You Don't Look the Same Either
2005 When Stand Up Stood Out

Documentary about the beginnings of the Boston Comedy scene.

2001 Late Friday

Weekly late night stand-up showcase on NBC

1997 Comics Come Home 3
1996 Pulp Comics: Bobcat Goldthwait
1995 HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Bobcat Goldthwait
1995 Comedy Product
1992 Comic Relief V

Benefit show that features multiple comics.

1992 The A-List
1989 Bob Goldthwait: Is He Like That All the Time?
1987 Share the Warmth: An Evening with Bobcat Goldthwait
1986 Comic Relief

Benefit show that features multiple comics.

Books (by and about)

No books by or about this comedian.


Quivering and twitching like a little boy in need of a bathroom, then grimacing and screaming like a punk in need of a rubber room, Bob “Bobcat” Goldthwait became one of the more controversial stand-ups in the late 80’s.

Many were shocked to the point of laughter at the sheer freakishness of his manic-depressive act. He was alternately frightened and ready to swoon, and so furious he seemed about to throw a tantrum. Others caught the few one-liners and tilted observations that surfaced amid his self-admitted “babbling” and appreciated the psychodrama he seemed to portray as a young man unable to handle his—or the world’s—fearful and/or irrational problems. Then there was the sizable group that was simply repulsed. The New York Times, for example, called his character “a caricature of an overgrown, emotionally damaged child…not unlike watching a mental patient with strong political opinions going through primal scream therapy.” They likened him to “a fulminating id.” Buddy Hackett watched his act and announced, “I’m 65 years old and I’d like to punch that kid in the face.”

A punk rock bassist from Syracuse, New York, Bob’s between-song muttering and audience-baiting led to stand-up. At first he leaned toward pathos, crying as he read outrageous “Dear John” letters to the crowd. “I was vulnerable,” he recalled, “and people in the audience would start picking on me. So then I got kind of mean because I didn’t want them to get the better of me up there…the reason I scream in my act is ‘cause I’m frightened and I’m angry, and that’s how you convey that emotion.” Then he experimented with “performance art” comedy, elaborate put-ons that antagonized as many people as they amused.

In his completely unorthodox way, he mirrored many influences. There was a dash of W.C. Fields and Henny Youngman in one popular quickie of his: “My father’s turning over in his grave. He wasn’t quite dead when we buried him.” He often went for Lenny Brucian outrage: “How many of you made the mistake of wishing your Jewish friends “Merry Christmas” then realizing, “Oh sorry, I forgot, you’re the ones who killed him!” He once professed surprise that people were so upset with his on-stage screaming, since Jackie Gleason seemed to make a career out of bellowing his jokes. Some of Bob’s seemed to have that Gleason bombast: “You say frog legs taste just like chicken? Then WHY DON’T YOU JUST ORDER SOME GODDAM CHICKEN?”

Most of his humor centered on irony and sarcasm, observations that contain a core of fright in the shell of hardness: “I can legally kill anybody I want, and I don’t think there’s a court in the land that wouldn’t say I was insane at the time of the crime…that’s all it takes to get out of jail now: I was a little insane, but I’m feeling much better. Let me start writing my book.” He insisted that his most obvious difference from contemporary Sam Kinison was his focus on societal problems and a disdain for misogyny and homophobic insults: “I envision the KKK putting on a Kinison album and chortling, ‘This boy’s funnn-ny! He’s really saying something now. Screw them queers.’ That brand of humor isn’t healing; it’s boring and ignorant.” He did share Sam’s bluntness. When an interviewer from Entertainment Tonight asked, “How does it feel to be obnoxious?” Goldthwait answered, “How does it feel to be a stupid Yuppie dickhead?” Before the cameras blinked off he added, “Entertainment Tonight is for people too stupid to read People magazine!” Goldthwait’s irreverence extended to his own profession. When quizzed by a reporter on his participation in Montreal’s 1991 “Just for Laughs Festival” he said it was a good venue for comedians but quickly added, “I’d put it right up there with an Amway convention in terms of importance.”

Goldthwait’s fame outside stand-up was largely based on appearances in “Police Academy” films, but he was disgusted with the quality of the humor. He called them his “Police Lobotomy” pictures. Small, vulnerable, quivery and just plain strange, Goldthwait found that the character he created in stand-up had potential in films. Unfortunately it was rare that the finished product did the character justice. Critics pointed out his fine supporting role in “Burglar” as a stuttery loser who couldn’t handle his frustration (after a few quivery, pathetic attempts at picking up two women in a bar, he admits that he couldn’t possibly attract their interest—and then offers up a sudden, desperate proposition). In “Scrooged” he was able to play a blustery nebbish, sympathetic and sweaty until unleashed with funny fury.