He might support his family on the nostalgia of his fans, but Goldthwait has no tender feelings about the past. "I don't give a shit about the good old days," he says. "People seem to remember me from movies that I wouldn't watch. People make fun of Police Academy, but I was in way worse movies—at least those achieved what they were going for. [Hot to Trot] was a horrible experience. But I was probably 25 when I made that, and I had a kid, and they would be like, 'We'll give you x amount of money.' And why wouldn't you? That was your goal. You were supposed to be in movies. I was making those movies at the same time my friends were graduating college. The only difference is the mistakes they made in college aren't on cable."
Now that he's writing his own scripts and working outside of the constraints of the industry, Goldthwait is making comedic films that feel wildly different from the current mainstream interpretation of the genre. "[Stand-up] is how I pay my rent. It affords me to keep making small movies and not having to [direct] scripts where people crap themselves. Whenever I get sent a comedy, people crap themselves. Before and after Bridesmaids."
If he did make those movies, he'd come at them from a different angle. "21 Jump Street, at the end, the guy picks up his severed penis in his mouth," he says. "If I was writing that movie, the whole movie would have been about that incident—like, what led up to it, how did it happen, the trauma. We would explore all sides of it, his home life, how it got portrayed in the media. And that would be enough for the movie."
It's an inspired idea for a sequel, but that's a job Goldthwait is unlikely to get. He's proud enough of having jumped off the industry carousel that he made it the focus of the commencement speech he delivered at his daughter's Hampshire College graduation.
"The whole thing was about how important it is to quit and to quit as often in your life as possible. You keep quitting, and then, eventually, you end up where you don't want to leave."
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