No matter how many times Bobcat Goldthwait takes a film to Sundance or premieres another new project, he knows that — for some people — he’ll forever be known as the guy who screams in the “Police Academy” movies. And he’s OK with that.
“I don’t get too hung up on what people think of me,” Goldthwait told IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast. “But that persona, it’s this weird thing, as a guy who’s made seven movies and had a bunch play Sundance. I made a movie about child abuse, a documentary, and it was very well received at film festivals. Then I look at a review and it says, ‘Bobcat Goldthwait (Police Academy).’ I can’t expect that to go away.”
In one of the episodes of Goldthwait’s new truTV anthology series, “Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters,” Seth Green plays a voiceover actor who’s similarly racing from his past. In the episode, Green’s character gives a goofy, stuttering voice to a cartoon character named “Bubba Bear.” But then Bubba appears for real — angry about how he’s been given such an over-the-top, stereotypical depiction.
“It wasn’t until my daughter pointed it out to me after we edited it, ‘you didn’t understand it’s you?'” Goldthwait said. “I didn’t get it because I’m an idiot! Obviously, it’s a satire about myself, where there’s this character that’s killing me!”
IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast recently sat down with Goldthwait to discuss the new series, which is both timely and timeless as it tackles everything from sexual harassment to a Trump-like political figure who eats toddlers, to a man haunted by the animated character he voices. We began by discussing the benefits of being able to tell so many stories over one season. Listen below!
In the new eight-episode scripted anthology series, each twisted episode contains plenty of thrills and satire. Guest stars include Michael Ian Black, Bridget Everett, Dave Foley, Seth Green, Melissa Joan Hart, David Koechner, Danny Pudi and others.
Goldthwait, however, doesn’t make an appearance. “I do these movies, I do this series because I love telling stories,” he said. “At this age, I’m not interested in reinventing myself or being considered… I just want to tell stories. I’m on my own trip.”
Goldthwait has become a prolific director in recent years, and credits that focus to his time helming, of all things, three years of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “You had to create these worlds, parodying a single-camera show or a sitcom or a horror film. That prepared me more. I think Kimmel was my ER experience,” he said. “The writers would write something at 4:00 and then we shoot it and we edit it, and then I’m not sure it’s loaded so we can call it on camera. It was really exciting but trying to get things good and funny, but it was really about stabilizing.”
The exec producer said the truTV series was also inspired by his early love of “The Twilight Zone.” “I couldn’t stop watching it,” he said. “I loved the satire in them. The more political ones I really liked.”
Goldthwait doesn’t shy away from satire or politics in “Misfits & Monsters.” In one episode, “A Face in the Car Lot” (inspired by the classic film “A Face in the Crowd”), a used car salesman becomes a Trump-like president — so much so that even when it’s revealed he’s a werewolf (and yes, eats a toddler), his followers approve.
Curtis Bonds Baker
Another episode takes on sexism: “A very famous chimp that masturbates in front of women and this female reporter tries to break the story,” Goldthwait said of the episode. “Men won’t listen to her, in fact, the chimp will do it when a guy is there and he can’t see it. After years of this, a man accidentally puts on a woman’s glasses and he sees it, and he breaks the story, and he becomes a hero.
“The topical nature of that story isn’t what interests me as much as there’s a hypocrisy from my fellow peers, and I’m not even talking about the abusers, there’s a hypocrisy where they knew this stuff was going on and they facilitated it and now they’re saying, ‘hey we’ve got to listen to women.’ And it’s bullshit because they knew what was going on.”
Goldthwait said he has refused to work with at least two different men over the years “because they’re predators. So I can sleep at night. Every day there’s a new person in the press, and it’s just, at the end of the day the message is, men have to shut up and listen. If you comment on that, you’re not shutting up and listening. Just shut up!”
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.
Special thanks to KROQ’s DJ Omar Khan for the new theme song!