Since he began his professional career on “Saturday Night Live” in 1990, the perpetually sarcastic David Spade has rarely left the small screen, appearing in shows like “Just Shoot Me!” “8 Simple Rules” and “Rules of Engagement.”
Well before he found stardom, Spade grew up in neighboring Casa Grande and Scottsdale (he is a Saguaro High School alum) and honed his stand-up routine as a student at Arizona State University.
Spade will come back to Arizona to perform at Tempe Improv on Nov. 28 and 29.
Q: What’s it like to come back to Arizona for a performance?
A: The one thing is, I don’t have any Arizona bits anymore. The only thing I can think of is that when I’m out, and you read a story, or someone says a crazy story (and) people are like, ‘Oh, my God, where is that?’ and I say, ‘Arizona,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK.’ Nothing shocks anyone, because there are so many weird stories out of Phoenix.
Q: It might be the climate.
A: I don’t know. People are like, ‘You’re from there?’ And there aren’t a lot of people from here.
Q: What’s life like for you?
A: I’ve always been on a show, pretty much. It’s sort of odd not having a show, and once my show stopped, I was going to do one from scratch, and I didn’t want to do a network show, so it’s very complicated to do a cable show.
It was very tough to come up with it, get a show runner, get the producers together, get people who will work for cheap for cable because we’ll all take a cut, and just try to do something a little different, a little weirder. And that’s taken me probably a year — from meetings and reading stuff to coming up with the idea.
So we’ve got something going, finally, with Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s company, it’s called Gary Sanchez Productions. So they’re the producers, and then I’ve got a writer from ‘Arrested Development,’ and we are writing it together.
We’re going into work today to beat out the outline. It’s still far away; we have to finish writing it, and then if they decide to shoot it, will anyone see it?
So nobody will see me for months. I’m doing a Comedy Central standup special just to have something going in the interim. I’m practicing in Tempe for that; I’ll do it four days later.
Q. So the Tempe shows will be a warm up to see what does and what doesn’t work?
A. Yeah, I don’t want to take the whole time off, so I said I’ll do the Improv, then I can get it together and finalize it and then go shoot it next Thursday when I get home. That’ll be fun.
Q. What’s the new show about?
A. The show is about me as a record manager, as a music manager from the ’90s, but it’s set in present day. It’s a little weirder, and it’s ‘R’ rated for language, nudity. So I’m just trying to do something different, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll sprint back to sitcoms.
Q. You’re also the voice of Sparx in the video game series ‘Spyro.’ How did you get involved in that and what do you think of doing a video game?
A. The only voice I did was ‘Emperor’s New Groove,’ which I really liked in the old days, and in ‘Hotel Transylvania’ I did a little bit. Basically, I haven’t done much of that, and ‘Spyro’ I almost forgot about it because I never saw it. I was on Twitter and somebody asked, ‘Is that you?’ So I like that; those things are fun, and I thought it was sort of funny when we were doing it.
IF YOU GO
What: David Spade performs a live 21-and-older show
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 and 7 p.m. Nov. 29
Where: Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Drive
Cost: $42.50, plus a two-drink minimum
Information: (480) 921-9877 or TempeImprov.com
• Contact writer: (480) 898-5647 or firstname.lastname@example.org