Pauly Shore on Stephen Baldwin, Timothy McVeigh and The Weasel

But you did carve out something unique for yourself that extended beyond the Comedy Store. How much of The Weasel character was just your imagination, or was a reflection of a kind of L.A. culture in the early '90s?

It was something I was already doing, but it kind of developed on MTV. Different friends and comedians would call me a weasel, but they would never say "wee . . . zell," like that. That was something that accidentally happened on my show Totally Pauly. The words all kind of happened organically on the show.

You were just making them up on the spot?

Yeah. The first word I was fucking around with was "major." So it was like, "Check out this video it's gonna be may . . . jer." And then I started pausing all my words. It just kind of happened, but it happened organically, it wasn't like I sat in a room thinking, "Okay, how am I going to come up with something?" And when we watched the tape back of the first episode of Totally Pauly we were all laughing, because it was so silly and retarded. Accidentally, not purposefully.

But you were creating a character that was different from every-day Pauly Shore.

No, that was kind of who I was. It wasn't like I dressed like that only on-camera; that was how I dressed all the time. I used to drive around in my purple jeep with my cut-off shorts and boots, handing people my headshot.

After that took off, it seems like you were marketed was as a cultural counterpoint to older, suburban or rural people. The whole idea of Weasel was that he didn't make sense to old people.

My opening joke that I had when I first came out was "I know you people are looking at me thinking, 'Didn't we leave him at home?' But you better get used to me bro, because I'm the future of America. You're going to go take a driving test and be offered English, Spanish or Dude."

Was it a conscious choice to distance yourself from The Weasel after Encino Man and Son in Law? Your characters in Bio-Dome and In The Army Now seem like you turned down the volume on the cartoonishness of it all.

The character of The Weasel didn't make sense in those particular films. It wouldn't make sense in In The Army Now for me to go "hey brah, ooh OOH!" It was more of a leading-man character, like Tom Hanks or Bill Murray. In Bio-Dome it was more of an over-the-top, Beavis and Butthead-type thing.

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Denver Improv

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