LOOK WHO’S BOBCAT
Bobcat Goldthwait is calling the shots at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and has been working as the show’s di rector for six months.
Remember Bob cat? The chubby- cheeked wild man from the 1980s who shrieked his way to fame as a stand- up comic and later as a mo- vie star.
De spite six months of solid and stable ratings under his watch and things on “Kimmel” running smoother and funnier than ever before, ABC officials have remained mum about Bobcat’s new job.
“If I ran a network, I don’t know how quick I would be to announce that I was the guy now at the reins of your late-night talk show,” jokes Bobcat, 42. “Look, it would probably make them look like they were crazy.”
Then again, Goldthwait says he’s never made much of an attempt to change his wild public image.
“People really don’t have any idea hard-working and how serious I take this or any of my directing jobs,” he says. “I’ve always been a Groucho Marx fan and I never wanted to hear or see Groucho talking serious, so I’ve never presented that side of me to the public √≥ I can understand why people would perceive me as an insane person.”
But instead of the growling, snarling loon people remember, Bobcat is now soft-spoken and slim √≥ but still gut-busting funny. And aside from donning a different, strange hat every day at work (he greets a visitor after the show wearing a large, black Mexican sombrero), he leaves all the strange stuff to Kimmel.
Whatever his secret, it’s working.
Since Bobcat joined the show, the ratings have soared, especially among the network’s most coveted group of viewers (ages 18-39). The numbers even jumped 50 percent with tough-to-attract teens √≥ maybe not such a good thing for a show that starts at 12:05 a.m. on school nights.
His late-night gig began on an unpromising note: The show’s former director had a heart attack on Bobcat’s first day on the job. “I had nothing to do with it,” he laughs. “Seriously.”
Kimmel says the cast and crew love having Bobcat in charge.
“He knows where to go with things and more important where not to go,” Kimmel says. “He comes to writer’s meetings; he understands subtlety; and he adds funny moments to the show, whereas a lot of other people wouldn’t.”
Goldthwait is no stranger to calling the shots behind the scenes.
He spent four years directing at Kimmel’s old Comedy Central gig “The Man Show” and called the shots for segments of “Chapelle’s Show.”
LOOK WHO’S BOBCAT