Andrew Clay Silverstein (born September 29, 1957), who goes by the Stage Name Andrew "Dice" Clay, is an American insult comedian who was popular in the 1980s and '90s, when he was regarded as the Don Rickles of his generation. Nicknamed "The Diceman", Clay is well known for his combination of Vulgar Humor and Refuge in Audacity that was controversially racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynistic, all done in a thick New York accent with his look resembling Greaser Delinquents. OHHHH!!!
Lorne Michaels reluctantly agreed to let Clay host Saturday Night Live in 1990 on a seven-second delay (which Michaels does not like to do, but had to on this and two other SNL episodes hosted by controversial comedians: Sam Kinison when he hosted during the 12th season, and Richard Pryor when he hosted during the first season). This caused Sinéad O'Connor to withdraw from her scheduled appearance on that episode (ironically she herself would cause controversy when she finally appeared on SNL two years later).
Clay starred in films such as the ill-fated The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and the stand-up concert film Dice Rules. Later, he tried to soften his image by dropping his "Dice" nickname and appearing in the Short-Runner CBS sitcom Bless This House. After re-adopting his vulgar persona, he Adam Wested as himself on a season of Entourage.
EMF used a sample of him yelling his catchphrase for their hit single "Unbelievable". Ice Cube also sampled one of his punchlines ("Good ol' Mother Goose, remember her?... Yeah, I fucked 'er.") for "Gangsta's Fairytale".
Tropes in his work:
- Alter-Ego Acting:
- An unusually subverted Type 2, to the point where many could not distinguish between the Diceman's real life self (Andrew Clay Silverstein) and his stage persona.
- When meeting with Woody Allen to audition for Blue Jasmine, he said at the outset that he was there as Andrew the person and not "Andrew Dice Clay", the stage comedian.
- Big Applesauce: He is a lifelong, born and bred New Yorker with the incredibly thick accent to match.
- Black Comedy: His idea of being un-PC just for the sake of it.
- Brooklyn Rage: Arguably the Trope Codifier. The Diceman proudly lives up to every stereotype about New Yorkers being as angry, caustic, loud, aggressive, insulting and emotional as possible.
- Card-Carrying Jerkass: Perhaps no comedian embodies this concept better. Clay's greaser persona spouted all manner of sexist, racist, homophobic, misanthropic, and downright nasty banter while on stage, and was absolutely, unrepentantly proud of it.
- Catchphrase: OHHHHHH!!!
- Cluster F-Bomb: His stand-up routines were infamous for this.
- Deconstruction: In Casual Sex, his character is deconstructed, and it turns out he is quite the family man in the end.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: The Diceman was a Deconstructive Parody of the Greaser Delinquents that were popular in the Fifties, especially The Fonz from Happy Days. The Diceman is incredibly loud, boisterous and energetic, as well as being a stereotypical cool dude. However, he was also ragingly sexist, racist, and homophobic. The point of the character was to show that people who viewed the 1950s in America as some sort of "golden age" were ignoring a lot of problems with the decade.
- Funny Character, Boring Actor: His stage persona is incredibly loud, boisterous and energetic. His real life personality however is much more shy, introverted and modest.
- Greaser Delinquents: What the Diceman's look is a throwback to.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: His stage persona is that of a man who gets enraged by seemingly everything.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: It's damn near impossible to imagine the Diceman without his iconic black leather jacket.
- Hidden Depths: As his performances in Blue Jasmine and A Star Is Born (2018) show, Clay is a legitimately good actor who is capable of emotional, vulnerable performances completely removed from his stage persona and of holding his own alongside acting heavyweights like Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper.
- I Banged Your Mom: The Diceman's response to vocalizations from audience members; "Your mother... [Beat], [Beat], (shrug), yeah, I fucked 'er."
- Iconic Item: His black leather jacket, of course.
- Jerkass: His stage persona is built around being as vulgar, obnoxious, sexist, bigoted, caustic and generally as awful a human being as possible for the purposes of comedy.
- Kayfabe: Clay stayed in-character as "The Diceman" even when he went on TV for talk shows and interviews. However, this Politically Incorrect Villain character ended up getting him in trouble after there was confusion on if Clay held the same opinions as Diceman or not.
- Large Ham: When on stage. Offstage, not so much.
- Persona Non Grata: The only person to be banned from MTV. (The ban was lifted in 2011.)
- Politically Incorrect Villain: His greaser persona was built around this, having extremely negative opinions on other races, gay people, people with disabilities and especially women who he perceived as either nagging shrews or mindless bimbos whose only purpose was to be fucked and discarded.
- Refuge in Audacity/Vulgar Humor: Dice's schtick revolves around being as much of a crude, sexist, foulmouthed pig as he can be.
- Shrinking Violet: Despite his extremely loud and vulgar stage presence, he is, by all accounts, much more shy and reserved in real life.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: To put it mildly, he was known for his prolific use of foul language.
- Smoking Is Cool: He was almost never seen without a cigarette in his hand on stage, taking drags between jokes. He quit in 1996 and now holds an unlit one instead.