History of the Andrew "Dice" Clay Controversy


In the 80's, Andrew Dice Clay was one of the biggest comedians in America. He came into prominence with a brash, offensive persona known as "The Diceman." His material was heavily homophobic and misogynistic. He was banned from MTV and there were protests of his appearance on SNL.

Then his entire career came crashing down.

Born Andrew Clay Silverstein; Dice was the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden for two consecutive nights. He often stated that his stage persona was a character created from the guys he grew up with in Brooklyn. One of the things his stage character hated was homosexuals and women.

On September 6, 1989, MTV aired its 6th annual Video Music Awards. Andrew Dice Clay came out to introduce a live performance by Cher. Before he did, Dice did three minutes of stand up - which resulted in being banned for life by MTV. Apparently, his usual rampant misogynistic nursery rhymes didn't cut it with the show's producers.

Dice was nice scheduled to host Saturday Night Live - to promote his upcoming movie: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (spoiler alert: the movie flopped). In protest, cast member Nora Dunn and musical guest Sinead O'Connor boycotted the show.

As Dice greeted the audience and joked about the controversy, several gay activists began heckling him. “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Clay go away!” they chanted before being led out by security.

Dice talked about the controversy and addressed his critics on the Larry King Show.

The breaking point came was when Dice appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show  - and had a slight meltdown - at which time he welled-up in tears and broke character

After The Adventures of Ford Fairlane flopped, Dice's career began to cool. His act didn't evolve with the changing social attitudes (making fun of homosexuals and women were no longer in fashion for Dice).

Even to this very day, Dice still defends his controversial act:

"I just really commit to what I do as a performer. It's not about being misunderstood, I think my career took off at a time when the world was changing a lot. Women were really fighting for their rights, gays were coming out of the closet, so I was like a lightning rod for every group looking for publicity. And that's what really caused a lot of craziness in my life."