Funny Man David Spade Enjoys Staying Busy

Veteran Comic Bringing 'Catch Me Inside' Comedy Tour To PAC, Admits SNL Jump Started His Career

Jeff Walker,  Entertainment  Writer

Actor and comedian David Spade began his comic journey nearly four decades in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. Although he attended college he soon decided it wasn't for him. "I started out at community college and moved on to Arizona State. But I only did two years total. I was going to school for business, maybe to go into advertising like my father, but it didn't feel right." aaaaaaaadavidspade1

Spade admits he wasn't lighting the world on fire or rolling in the big bucks, but he was making a living doing stand-up. Sensing his career was beginning to take off lead him to quit school. "I was okay with my decision, but it didn't go over well with my mom."

Spade's formative years came during the 1970' and 80's. He recalls always loving to laugh. "I just liked anything funny. I liked what the other kids thought were funny. I watched TV shows like 'M*A*S*H' and 'Archie Bunker' (All in the Family) because they were different and made us laugh."

Were there any comic actors or stand-up comedians that influenced a young David Spade. "Back in the day I had comedy albums from guys like Steve Martin and George Carlin. I liked what Billy Crystal was doing. Even then it never crossed my mind that I would make a career out of comedy."

After cutting his teeth in around Scottsdale including places like Greasy Tony's Pizza in Tempe, Arizona, Spade decided it was time to move on, testing the comedy world in Los Angeles. "Back then there wasn't a lot of comedy clubs where I grew up. I knew if I wanted to make it, I had to go to a bigger market." Not long after arriving in L.A. a talent agent caught his act at The Improv in Los Angeles casting him in a small role in the Police Academy 4 (1987).

Spade's big break came when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live. It was fellow SNL alum Dennis Miller who petitioned hard to have Spade join the cast. "Dennis did me a big favor." Still Spade had to find his way on the popular late night weekend comedy sketch show. "I get on the show and they want me to write skits for everybody else. First of all, I had no clue how to write a skit. And then they want me to write for Mike Myers and Dana Carvey."

Although it was chaotic joining the show, especially with a proven line-up, Spade welcomed the opportunity. "Listen, being on SNL was a blessing. Was I ready, maybe not. When you're doing stand-up and cutting your teeth and you go to Saturday Night Live, it's kind of like skipping college and going straight to the pros." He jokingly throws in, "Oh wait, I did skip or at least drop out of college."

Spade spent most of his first year on SNL behind the scenes. He had to share his big breakout on the show, even though he suggests he was more suited for the bit. "I had developed this really good impression of Michael J. Fox." The popular TV and film star was set to host SNL in March of 1991. "I thought this is going to be it for me, then Lorne (Michaels) comes to me and says can I teach Dana how to do that impression. I'm like 'what the'." While Dana shared more time with Fox during the opening monologue, Spade joined them in the final few seconds.

Spade along with Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and Rob Schneider were dubbed the 'bad boys of SNL' during their time together (1990-95). Like a long list of former cast members (Belushi, Akroyd, Murray, Murphy, & Crystal) Spade admits his contemporaries got more face time skyrocketing their careers post SNL. "They were all super funny and you could tell they were going to make it big."

Apparently it all worked out for Spade on SNL. "I paid my dues." Some of his memorable skits include 'Hollywood Minute' and 'Spade In America'. "Eventually I gained traction." No doubt his six years on SNL helped pave the way for a decent run on the big screen. He joined Farley in two highly successful movies 'Tommy Boy' and 'Black Sheep' before starring in 'Joe Dirt' and 'Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star', two films he co-wrote.

Spade would go on to hone his comedic skills on prime time television, spending seven seasons on the NBC sitcom 'Just Shoot Me!' (1997-2003) while enjoying another seven year run on 'Rules of Engagement' (2007-13). All total Spade has appeared on close to 50 televised TV shows, including hosting 'The Showbiz Show' and 'Lights Out With David Spade', both on Comedy Central. He credits his time on SNL for affording him the opportunities. "Obviously the show opened up many doors for me."

Amazingly Spade has managed to appear in over 40 films during that same time period including blockbusters such as 'Grown Ups' and 'Grown Ups 2', two films starring fellow SNL cast mates Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, as well as Kevin James. Both films were produced by Sandler's 'Happy Madison Productions.

His most recent movie 'Outcome' just wrapped. The dark comedy directed by Jonah Hill stars Keanu Reeves, Cameron Diaz, and Hill, and is set for an Apple TV release. "I can't explain it. I've been very fortunate. Honestly I just like to stay busy."

While Spade has conquered the big and small screen, as well as stand-up comedy during more than 35 plus years in the industry, he and Dana Carvey dipped their comedic toes into world of podcasting recently. The long time friends began hosting 'Fly on the Wall' back in 2022, adding a video format 'Superfly' earlier this year. Guests on the podcasts include fellow comedians and former SNL cast members.

He welcomes being in control and being able to do his own thing. "What I love about the podcast is I can be myself. So can Dana. There are no real bosses. When you're shooting a movie or TV show you're dealing with a director and a producer." He adds, "I'm just dealing with Dana. We can talk about what we want for as long as we want. Honestly, we're having a blast."

Spade admits as a stand-up comic you have to establish your own style. "Some are corny, others are offensive or in your face. I had to develop my own persona, but I'd definitely say it's dry humor."

His stand-up routine will bring Spade to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Sunday June 2nd. Although it's is where he got his start, he admits writing new material comes with its own challenges. "Of all the things I do, discipline is one of the last fun things I do. Obviously I keep up on what's happening around me. But so do a lot of comics, so I do my best to put my own angle on it."

A good bit of Spade's comedy comes from his own day to day trials and tribulations. "I came up with a bit just trying to open a two inch bottle of tabasco sauce. Often the everyday things we all experience tend to be the funniest. I just try to put my own spin on things."

What does the veteran comedian feel about the whole PC (politically correct) movement when it comes to comedy. "In this social media environment we live in it can be frustrating. You can get yourself in trouble. There's a lot of people kicking and screaming about what people say anymore." He goes on to say. "The comedy clubs are supposed to be the safe place for comedians, where we can say what we want. The clubs are the place we're supposed to break some eggs." aaaaaaaadavidspade3

Fans of David Spade can bask in his comic genius when he brings his 'Catch Me Inside' comedy tour to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Sunday June 2nd. It's a busy weekend in the south for Spade, performing in Atlanta on May 31st followed by a show in Savannah on June 1st. 

For tickets to the North Charleston show visit