Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait on the Bill of Rights, Ted Nugent, Westboro Baptist Church, and His Film God Bless America

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You were involved in a punk band in the early '80s?
As a kid I was involved in band like when I was 13. I graduated from High School in '80 so punk started breaking when I was a sophomore. So yes I was in bands that were punk when I was a kid. It was fun. In order to see the Ramones, I got a job working for the road crew so I actually roadied for the Ramones back in the day because I was actually assembling the PA so I could see their shows. It's funny when I think back, "Wow, you saw the Ramones way early."

What was the name of the band?
The first band was the Dead Ducks. I'm still in touch with some of the Dead Ducks.

Did you perform standup between the bands at the shows you played?
Yeah, I'm a terrible singer. Once I got kicked out of the band I just basically became the MC and the comedian. I like to say I started doing standup when I was 15 but reality I started when I was 13.

You're getting back into comedy after retiring from standup recent years, correct?
Well I did quit for awhile, but I have a new Showtime special that's on now called "You Don't Look the Same Either." I continue to do standup when I'm not making my small movies. That's basically it, I don't really have much of an agenda but I'm either in production making a movie or I'm on the road doing standup. And I do my movies on my own terms. So I do them, they're very low budgeted. I'm not really interested in appealing to everyone, it's never my goal. I'm just trying to make movies that interest me in making. So that's why I make them really small. I'm not competing with Battleship and I'm not bitter that I'm not Kevin James.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.