EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has picked up Pauly Shore’s revealing road documentary Pauly Shore Stands Alone and slated it to air December 4. The feature-length film directed by and starring Shore tracks the popular ’90s actor and comedian as he embarks on a stand-up tour across the Midwest while grappling with aging, fading fame and his relationship with his mother, Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore, who has Parkinson’s. Unlike his 2003 directing debut Pauly Shore Is Dead, the new documentary peels back the curtain on the raw, more serious side of Shore’s life on the road. (Watch the trailer above.)
“A lot of these people don’t know that ‘Son-In-Law’ grew up among comics like Sam Kinison,” Shore told me from his latest stand-up stop in Orlando. “The tour was booked, and I was going through a peculiar time. I was happy on the road as opposed to being home, which is difficult because of my mom’s illness. I just hired a crew and shot it. It’s almost like a singer going through a breakup – they have to write a song. For me, the film was my way to express myself more comfortably.”
Comedy can be a lonely world for many of the greats. Bringing a small camera crew and a producer on the road with him to capture the quiet moments was a form of therapy for Shore, who at age 46 is still best known for such ’90s comedies as Encino Man, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome and his “Weasel” surfer persona. “Down to my core of who I am, I’m a stand-up comic,” he said. “A lot of comics go through personal things and have to put on a smile. I’m always doing shtick – I’m a comic, obviously. I wanted to show a side of me that wasn’t doing any shtick, and this was the first time I let that shtick down.”
Shore also recently launched his own website with a podcast, in which he interviews a celebrity friend and then has a second guest do running commentary on their chat. His first episode features screenwriter-actor-comedian Rick Overton with a commentary by Ed Begley Jr in a tribute to the late Robin Williams. The idea came about following a private gathering at the Comedy Store, where friends who knew Williams held a no-cameras memorial. “I tried to re-create this experience for people who weren’t invited — what the memorial was like, what people were talking about,” he said. “It hurt everyone because he was so loved by so many people. Everyone was sad that he was so sad.
“Comedy is a lonely existence,” he continued. “It can not be sad as well, but a majority of comics are by themselves a lot among a bunch of strangers. I’m interested in these people, my friends.” Shore’s podcast “Pauly Shore Is Interested” can be heard here.