Article published in Dropline.biz on July 18, 2005
Pauly Shore is
By Dino M. Zaffina
Pauly Shore is back and stronger than ever with his new comedic reality show, Minding the Store. Pauly brings the audience into the inner workings of the world famous The Comedy Store, and on the road while he tours the country doing what he does best, “stand-up.”
This California native, born and raised in Hollywood is the youngest son of the legendary comic, Sammy Shore, and Mitzi Shore who was the brains and determination in the success of The Comedy Store.
Pauly Montgomery Shore was born in February 1968 into a family of two older brothers and an older sister. Older brother “Scotty” lives in San Diego near his next oldest sibling, “Sandy” who teaches stand-up comedy. His next oldest brother, “Peter” lives in Chicago, from where he helps Pauly run The Comedy Store.
Pauly makes a joke about his name in his comedy routine where he says, “Pauly is a gay name, and my initials stand for PMS.” Pauly was given the name of Paul, but ever since he was born his mother called him Pauly. His middle name “Montgomery” was given to him when one day as his mother was driving down the street and she saw a “Pauly’s Automotive” next door to “Montgomery Wards.” This type of child naming was not unique to the Shore family. Mitzi came up with the name of Pauly’s older sister, “Sandy Sea Shore” while Mitzi was driving by the ocean.
Although he grew up in a celebrity environment, Pauly had a normal childhood, attending regular elementary and high schools. Pauly said, “I’m Jewish by the way.” He went on to say, “so I went to Temple Emanu-El, an all Jewish nursery school, then West Hollywood Elementary. I wanted to go to Hawthrone, a Beverly Hills high school, so my mom bought a house in Beverly Hills, and a couple of comedians lived at the house as my guardians, so I was able to attend Beverly Hills High.”
Even though Pauly went to Beverly Hills High, the school with the drama department that produced some of the most successful feature film, television, and stage actors and actresses, he decided to join the dance company.
Pauly’s first stand-up gig was on September 28, 1985, at the Alley Cat Bistro in a shopping center next to Sears in Culver City; he was only 17. The restaurant provided a venue for a comedy night, so Pauly decided to take a shot. His father drove him to the event. The place was packed and during his time on stage Pauly brought the house down with his comedy and use of props. Sammy made a comment during the second episode of Minding the Store, “the place was packed and you went out there and killed the people.” During his interview Pauly said, “What my dad didn’t say was that for the next ten times after that I didn’t do well; I bombed. I did well at the beginning, but it was up-and-down.”
It wasn’t until a year had passed from the Bistro that Pauly started performing at The Comedy Store. “I wanted to get honest feedback” he said. “I stayed away for awhile. I got my own apartment.” When asked if other comedians, famous and not yet established, were helpful and/or supportive, Pauly answered, “No.” He went on to elaborate by saying, “That’s the beauty of the comedy store, it’s a college. It’s a place where you just kind of shut-up and learn and you just watch and you do. There’s not a classroom where you say, ‘How do you do this?’ No assistance. The best way to learn is to tape record your act.” When asked if his mom was tougher on him then the other comedians or if she was supportive to him, Pauly gave a straight-forward answer, “She definitely wasn’t supportive.”
Although Pauly had been acting in several movies in the late ‘80s, and had starring roles in the Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge in (1989) playing Buzz and Wedding Band in (1990) playing Nicky, he received a big break when he was hired by MTV in 1990. When asked what brought him to MTV, Pauly replied in jest, “The drugs were there.” He later recanted his joke and said, “No; I watched MTV as a kid in the mid-80s, it was very kind of like East Coast, very conservative, all the VJs, were very New Yorky, East Coast, there was no fun. I just knew that I had to get on there.”
Pauly first started on the show as a late night VJ and later on some afternoon bits. MTV then gave him the show, Totally Pauly which was only supposed to run for three months, but it ran for four years.
In 1992, Pauly received an opportunity to star in an even bigger feature film, Encino Man where he played Stoney Brown. Other film credits include: Class Act (1992); Son-in-Law (1993); In the Army Now (1994); Jury Duty (1995) with the famous quote, “Run O.J., run!”; Bio-Dome (1996); The Curse of Inferno (1997); and many other film and television credits, including his directorial debut in Pauly Shore is Dead (2003) which starts off with Pauly’s (real-life) sitcom, Pauly being cancelled. The rest of the movie is a make believe story about what happened to him afterwards.
Running the day-to-day operations of The Comedy Store came to Pauly about four years ago. Pauly said, “My mom is getting older and she’s not around as much and I didn’t want to see the business go under, so me and my brother had to go in there.” He is talking about his brother Peter. “But, Peter lives in Chicago, so he kind of runs it, by FedEx, writing checks and other things.” Pauly is the hands on administrator, he stepped in to revive it to the empire that it once was. “The comedy store is really cool. It has the vibe. Comedians like Chris Rock will stop by and say hey, I’m going to go up and do ten minutes” said Pauly.
When asked who came up with the idea of Minding the Store, Pauly said, “The concept was always my concept. It was my own show running the club and doing my life. I focused it with the producers, the Shapiro people. Once we went into the room, I am the one that sold it to TBS.” Regarding the name of the show, Pauly said, “The Executive Vice President of TBS is a guy named Steve Koonin, he is the one that came up with the title.” Koonin is also the Chief Operating Officer of TBS and TNT.
In the first episode of Minding the Store, we see Pauly disgusted with the attendance at The Comedy Store. He wanted to create a show that would attract an audience to the club’s theme room, so Pauly decided to revive an earlier idea of a “special” that his mom did in the late ‘80s, called Girls of The Comedy Store, with one exception; his show was going to be the Hot Girls of The Comedy Store.
The Hot Girls of The Comedy Store idea was first opposed by the club’s talent booker, Tommy Morris, who is more of a spy for Pauly’s mom. Later, while arriving back to the Store, Pauly noticed that the marquee was now blank. His initial reaction was, “I was pissed and that happens a lot with her. She’ll get wind of shit that I’m doing, since she’s the boss, she’ll make a call and I’ll have to go up against her.” Pauly telephoned his mom and explained that he had a sell out show for that evening for the Hot Girls of The Comedy Store, so is mom agreed to try it for that one night only.
L to R: Dean Gelber, Tommy Morris, Pauly Shore, Marlon Hernandez, Marc Hatchell, and Sara Wasserman
The Hot Girls of The Comedy Store show started out slow and not really that funny, but it later picked up, one after the other, as very funny comediennes commenced their performances. Some of the funnier moments are attributable to the auditions that were held at the Store with the assistance of two of Pauly’s comedian friends and Tommy. One friend, Brian Holtzman, was extremely mean to the women that were being rejected. Brian’s justification to Pauly and the other deciding members was that he did not want to waste anytime if they were not right for the part. When asked if the aired portions were the meanest that Brian was, Pauly replied, “Meaner! A lot meaner.”
One of the funniest moments in the audition is when a female comedian walked out to center stage, and Brian greeted her with a “Thank you very much.” The comedienne greeted Brian back with a “You’re welcome.” Brian repeated, “Thank you, thank you.” At this point the comedienne realized that Brian was asking her to leave. All she could say was, “Oh” and she walked off the stage, turning back once in disbelief. Although it was a sad and uncomfortable moment, your initial reaction is laughter. Surprisingly, Brian was not beat-up by any of these women. Pauly said, “they were just kind of scared.”
When Pauly originally proposed the idea to his confidants and Tommy over coffee, he said that he was going to go out on a limb and bet the guys that he could get at least one really funny hot chick comic. The Store’s manager, Ari Shaffir, replied, “There is no way.” This caused a bet of $100.00 between Pauly and Ari. When Pauly was asked if Ari paid the bet since the show was a success, Pauly responded by saying, “No, he’s a Jew, he won’t pay me anything.”
In the second episode, Pauly meets up with his father at a public spa. While in the hot tub, Pauly makes an offer to his dad to go on the road with him to do two nights at a comedy club in Austin, Texas. Sammy Shore is a very funny man; he is a legendary comic. Sammy was on the Ed Sullivan show and he opened for Elvis Presley all over the world. Sammy and Mitzi opened the comedy store in 1972.
Pauly said, “I like that episode, it is an awesome episode.” When asked if it was strange to be hiring his dad to open for him he said, “It was a little weird; he is my dad.”
During Sammy’s routine, he makes mention of all of Pauly’s movies and that he was not given a part in even one of them. When asked if he would like to work with his dad in a movie or a television show, Pauly said in jest, “No, I like making him suffer.” He went on to say, “Yeah, I would if it was the right part, for sure. Yeah, definitely, I got to get my own part first.”
Since in the second episode Pauly claims to have a sexual obsession, he was asked if he would have a difficult time not dating the ladies from the Hot Girls of The Comedy Store. Pauly candidly said, “Yeah, I would have problems.”
When Pauly was asked if he would continue to go on the road doing his stand-up even after he revived his acting career, he said, “Yeah, I love the road, but only if I have all new material. I don’t like to go out and do things that I’ve been doing. If I can create a new act, I would love to be out there.”
In the second episode we see how good Pauly is with children. He said, “kids are awesome.” He further states, “I have a niece, my brother has a daughter and I play with her. They are also expecting another baby.”
Pauly was asked the big “M” question. He answered by saying, “Committed first, then marriage. I think that it is the girl. I think that if you find that one and you all of a sudden fall in love and you take a long time to get to know each other. I don’t know, I haven’t been down that road, but I would go for it. It’s like bungee jumping.”
Watch Minding the Store. It premieres, Sunday, July 17, 2005, 10:00 p.m./9:00 p.m. central. Audiences can’t miss with this one. It is funny and very entertaining! Plus, there is a money back guarantee of $1.00. The show is giving back $1.00 to any person who watches the entire episode and does not have any humorous reaction (e.g., snicker, chuckle, gasp, or even a smile). Pauly says, “The audience will lose it once the Brian stuff comes on. I think once my friend starts to rag on the girl comedians, it all kind of builds up to that, that’s when people smile and laugh.”
To find out how the money back guarantee works, go to www.tbs.com for rules and regulations. The money back guarantee is only up to 250,000 people.
For more information on Pauly Shore, The World Famous Comedy Store, and Minding the Store visit their official websites at:
Articles Written or Co-Authored by Dino M. Zaffina
© 2022 Dino M. Zaffina. All rights reserved.