Earlier this year I saw Andrew Dice Clay at a comedy club in New York. I'm no prude, yet I was unprepared for Clay's routine, 40 of the longest and most upsetting minutes I've experienced.
His act sickened me not simply because of the grossness of obscenities, the misogyny or the homophobia (unfortunately, Clay isn't the only regular female- and gay-bashing performer). No, Clay was frightening to see because of the hatred that lay behind every vulgarity. His claim, "Hey, I make funna everybody ," somehow made it acceptable for him to vilify blacks, Latinos, Asians, homosexuals, women--and I'm sure I've overlooked a few. Clay did not.
It doesn't surprise me that Lawrence Christon describes the crowd at Clay's show as "amazingly charged" ("The Feat of Clay: A Tough Guy's Stand-Up Comedian," June 3). So, I would imagine, were the Nazis when listening to Hitler.
The fact that Clay is acceptable and popular is sad. The fact that a reviewer would consider his act only "amiable goofin' on a very low level" is disturbing. But the fact that Clay plays to a sold-out house at the Universal Amphitheatre is somehow the most horrifying of all.