David Spade in an ‘Instagram World’ (and back in Aspen)
IF YOU GO …
Who: David Spade
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Friday, March 16 & Saturday, March 17, 7 p.m.
How much: $75-$205
Tickets: Belly Up box office; www.bellyupaspen.com
David Spade’s a busy guy these days.
The “Saturday Night Live” alumnus has three movies due out this year along with a new talk show, “Verified with David Spade,” and a new audio book.
But the comedian still makes time for stand-up. He will headline Belly Up on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, during his third stop in Aspen in the past 13 months.
“Verified,” announced this month by Comedy Central, will feature Spade’s commentary on pop culture through the lens of social media – something like a 21st-century version of his acerbic old “Hollywood Minute” bits for “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live.”
“Everyone’s on their phones looking at Instagram and all social media every day but there’s no show about it,” Spade says in the show announcement. “It’s time people look up from their phones and see a show about what’s on their phones.”
The new memoir, titled “A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World,” touches on similar territory — exploring Spade’s status as a 50-something guy navigating the young-person’s game of social media and online dating.
“It’s about how everything is changing and my generation is starting to get out of touch,” he told The Aspen Times last summer. “Like, I used to play the guy in the show. And now I’m the guy’s dad. Things are changing just enough that I can talk about what it was like then and what it’s like now. It’s enough to do a nice, wispy book with about three punchlines.”
Spade says that his 2016 memoir, “Almost Interesting,” sold much better as an audio book than it did in physical form or as an e-book. So he decided to try going audio-only. It will be available from Audible in July.
“I would get feedback from people — even on Instagram — where people are like, ‘I heard it on the way to work!’ ‘I heard it on the subway!’” Spade recalls. “I never thought about that. So I said, ‘Let’s just skip the book part and do an audiobook. Who cares? We’ll put it right in their ears because that’s what people are doing.”
Spade said he’s never listened to a podcast, but otherwise he’s been pretty good at navigating the rapidly changing comedy scene (he concedes he’ll probably be hosting a podcast like everybody else before too long). Spade has taken a liking to Instagram stories and tries to go where his audience is going. He’s surprised by how easily comics and performers can be forgotten these days if they don’t.
“You blink and it’s been five years and nobody knows who Chris Farley is,” he said. “I talk to girls and I’m like, ‘You don’t know who Led Zeppelin is?’ and they’re like, ‘I don’t know who Maroon 5 is, dude. You’re old, understand? Is there a problem?’ And I’m like, ‘No, all good. Order your sushi.’”
Perhaps it should be no surprise that Spade has become a regular onstage at Belly Up over the past year. As he told the Times last summer, he tried and failed to become an Aspen ski bum in the early 1980s.
When Spade was in high school, his older brother and two friends did a few winter tours of duty working on the mountains and in a ski shop downtown. When Spade graduated in 1982, he attempted to follow them and live the dream in Aspen.
It didn’t go so well.
He and a friend tried to hitchhike here from San Diego, failed, called Dial-a-Ride (“it was like the Uber of its time”) and eventually rolled into town.
The pair briefly got a gig installing sprinklers, lost that job, then tried to scrape together some cash as strippers through the Strip-O-Gram service.
“Obviously, this was back when I was more ripped,” Spade recalls. “He was actually ripped. So I was just like, ‘Well, I’ll just tag along.’ That didn’t work, shockingly, so we had to go home.”
His buddy’s dad bought a plane ticket home for his kid, but Spade had to hitchhike.
“It was scary,” he said. “I was 17. I had my white Lacoste alligator shirt on and Quiksilver shorts. It was raining and I was like, ‘I’ll for sure be found in a wood chipper somewhere.’”
Spade survived the ordeal, of course, and made it back to California to launch his comedy career, land “Saturday Night Live” and make movies like “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.”
His more recent stops in Aspen have been cushier than that harrowing first one.
“Since then I got a little richer,” he said. “So I could go back and ski.”
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