What comes to mind when you hear the name Bobcat Goldthwait? If you said comedian, you are not alone; some might even remember the comedian in memorable parts of Scrooged, Police Academy, and tape heads. Thing is, Goldthwait is also an accomplished film and television director with a long list of credits to his name. He made his acting debut in 1980. Goldthwait was also good friends with the late great Robin Williams. The two first met on the comedy club circuit and performed together under the aliases of Jack Cheese and Marty Fromage.
Goldthwait made a very dark film called Shake the Clown who was filmed and barely seen by anyone, and walked away from directing for quite a while until 2004, when he started running the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel live. By then, the show had been on the air for about a year. While Bobcat was leading, the show’s ratings skyrocketed to over two million viewers each night and doubled its popularity with teens.
Goldthwait left Kimmel in the spring of 2006 and since then he has made six films and 37 projects in total. Goldthwait also directed a number of comedy specials for other comedians, including Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Iliza Shlesinger and Eugene Mirman. He truly is a multi-hyphenate creative person, with his work in comedy, acting, and directing. Here are all the movies Bobcat Goldthwait has directed.
seven Shake the Clown (1991)
Bobcat Goldthwait made his directorial debut in 1991 Shake the Clown. While not a scary clown movie, this movie arguably has more darkness than any THIS wannabe could ever muster. Shake the Clown is a black comedy about a clown who throws children’s birthday parties despite being a depressed alcoholic accused of murder.
Goldthwait clowns around as a terrible waste of a human being, and the nightmarish images of drunken, angry clowns in bars are unforgettable. The film confuses communities of clowns, mimes, and other amateur performers and portrays them as cult, cult gangs vying for status over other types of performers. The film is a dark satire of the world of stand-up comedy (“clowns”) and its dysfunction.
6 Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006)
sleeping dogs lie is another black comedy, about the destruction of a woman’s life after she mentions a spontaneous act of oral sex she performed on a dog. Melinda Page Hamilton starred in the film which screened at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in the independent dramatic feature category. Ultimately, the film is about the complexity of honesty. Legendary cult classic director John Waters is a fan of the film and featured it as one of his favorite movies at the 2007 Maryland Film Festival.
5 World’s Best Dad (2009)
The World’s Best Dad played Goldthwait’s friend Robin Williams in a great performance as Lance, a high school teacher whose son died in an embarrassing accident he covered up with a fake suicide note. This act leads to the lonely man attracting an avalanche of media attention from his community, with people (who have previously dismissed Lance’s writing) adoring his fabricated suicide note as great literature. His relationship with a co-worker is going nowhere, but media attention could bring him all the fame and fortune he’s always dreamed of…if he can live with the lie about his son’s death.
4 God Bless America (2011)
In God bless America a terminally ill man (a fantastically melancholy Joel Murray, Bill’s brother) who is estranged from his wife and daughter and who is bitter and lonely teams up with Roxy, a 16-year-old girl who is also disenfranchised , to rid society of its worst people. He has nothing to lose after all, since he is dying. The film’s tagline is: “Take out the trash, one asshole at a time.” The film is essentially misanthropy personified, a nihilistic outburst of anger that is essentially Goldthwait’s cinematic revenge on stupidity and sentimentality. The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and remains a modern cult classic.
3 Willow Creek (2013)
Willow Creek tells the story of Jim and Kelly, a couple who visit Willow Creek, which is Bigfoot’s supposed home. In the film, the legendary character was filmed at this location in 1967. Jim is Bigfoot’s fan, and Kelly just walks around as he tries to prove the creature is more than just a mythological creature. Like most of Goldthwait’s films, Willow Creek contains an element of satire in the script, but it’s the director’s first time delving into entertaining genre work, bringing great comedy to the horror aspects of the film (something also seen on his anthology show horror comedy Misfits and Monsters). Goldthwait followed up with a clever mockumentary short, American Bigfoot.
2 Call Me Lucky (2015)
call me lucky is a documentary about the life and career of comedian Barry Crimmins. He has been working for decades but most people have never heard of him, which annoys him. His style of saucy comedy skewered the complacency of 1980s America and what he sees as its disastrous foreign policy. In the film, Crimmins reveals his painful and dark past and how it inspired him to speak out and become an activist. call me lucky premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and is an anomaly in Goldthwait’s career, but it’s clear he cares a lot about The Crimmins and his story. The film is a must for fans of stand-up comedy and features the comics Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, David Cross, Steven Wright and many more. Goldthwait also recently directed a comedy special following him and Dana Gould across the country, titled Joy Ride.
1 I love you more (2017)
I love you more is a longer television pilot that Goldthwait directed in 2017. It’s about a woman named Karen Best (Bridget Everett who co-wrote the screenplay with Goldthwait). Karen has a big personality and loves chardonnay, which leads her to make some epic mistakes with men. She also has a big heart and excels in her work as a counselor at an independent living center for adults with Down syndrome. And then, once in a while, when she stands up for people who can’t stand up for themselves, she starts singing and dancing. I love you more was filmed as a TV series for Amazon Prime which was not picked up, although critics loved it.