During a 1994 interview with comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, The Today Show's Katie Couric became so rattled at Goldthwait's paranoiac, high-decibel responses to her questions that she repeatedly entreated him to calm down and relax. After the commercial break, a frowning Couric looked directly at the guys in the NBC control room and asked, "Why didn't you tell me he always talks like that?" Indeed, Goldthwait has never spoken when shouting will do -- at least not professionally. A popular attraction on the comedy-cabaret circuit in the early '80s, Goldthwait made his film bow as gonzo gang leader Zed in Police Academy 2: The First Assignment (1985); he revived the character -- this time as a good-guy police cadet -- in two Police Academy sequels. Though we've been treated to generous helpings of Goldthwait's marine-raiders comic style in such TV series as Capitol Critters (1992) and Unhappily Ever After (1995), his funniest appearance thus far has been his briefest: in the satirical MTV special Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful (1992), he offers a 30-second parody of Kevin Costner's aw-shucks cameo in Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991). Having previously directed his own concert video Is He Like That All the Time? (1988), Goldthwait extended his directorial activities to the 1994 theatrical feature Shakes the Clown (1994), a grimly amusing look at the underbelly of show business. While promoting Shakes on May 9, 1994, Bobcat Goldthwait made his bid for media immortality by impulsively setting fire to Jay Leno's guest couch on The Tonight Show -- an act which resulted in shocked outrage from both Leno and NBC, but did not prevent them from using this inflammatory vignette in their advertising.
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His career geared increasingly towards the small screen for the majority of the '90s, Goldthwait would stay in the public eye with a variety of guest appearances on such popular shows as Tales from the Crypt, ER, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as additional roles on such animated efforts as Buzz Lightyear of Star Command; Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist; Duckman; and Lion of Oz found his services as a voice-over artist in ever-increasing demand. The trend would continue as Goldthwait lent his distinctive vocal inflections to such shows as Crank Yankers and Lilo and Stitch: The Series at the turn of the millennium, though it seemed as if his career was increasingly coming into its own behind the camera as the comic began directing episodes of Chappelle's Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Goldthwait's 2003 comedy feature Windy City Heat would debut on Comedy Central to the delight of fans everywhere. He directed Sleeping Dogs Lie, a low budget film about a man who must confront his fiancée when she finds out about some of his past behavior. In 2006 the newly empowered filmmaker's surprisingly tender yet shockingly outrageous romantic comedy Stay would make an impression on audiences at the Sundance Film Festival when it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at that year's proceedings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi