Bobcat Goldthwait wouldn’t have ever been “Bobcat” if he hadn’t met Barry Crimmins first, some three decades ago when Goldthwait was a teenager in upstate New York. Young Bob followed “old” Barry to Boston in the early 1980s, where Crimmins took the eccentric, unique comedic voices of Boston and created a scene where all of them could flourish and explode onto the national stage.
Crimmins was the founder of comedy at The Ding Ho in Cambridge and Stitches in Boston. A wicked satirist, Crimmins turned his attention on the page, on the stage and in life toward social causes — whether it was going to Nicaragua to support the Sandinistas when President Ronald Reagan was funneling cash and weapons to Iran and the Contras, standing with Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, when President George W. Bush was across the street waging war in Iraq, and most personally for Crimmins, testifying before Congress to stop pedophiles on the Internet. Goldthwait, who has thrived in recent years as a director of TV series, talk shows and feature films, has made his first documentary about Crimmins. Call Me Lucky is a hauntingly beautiful and powerful documentary about his life, comedy and work. It debuted this January at the Sundance Film Festival, and begins arriving at selected movie theaters across America this Friday: Aug. 7, 2015.
Goldthwait and Crimmins joined me to talk about their friendship, this film and comedy.
For perhaps the first time, you’ll even hear the true story of how an afterthought in a newspaper advertisement not only gave birth to the comedic nickname of “Bobcat” but also intertwined the lives of Goldthwait, his teenage best friend Tom “Tomcat” Kenny (the once and future voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) and Crimmins forever.
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