Hard to believe the show that gave us “hug it out” and made us forget Aquaman and Medellin weren’t real movies is coming to an end.
During its seven seasons, HBO‘s Entourage effectively blurred Hollywood and reality. So it’s fitting that a crazy “real Hollywood story” would lead to legendary comedian Andrew Dice Clay landing a regular role in the eighth and final season, premiering July 24.
Long story short, a lien that an ex-wife put on a house Clay was trying to sell led to a gambling binge in Vegas (“I lived the movie The Hangover for like four months in Vegas,” he says) in which he won big and then eventually lost it all. Feeling down, he went to meet his son at a Starbucks. There he ran into an old friend, screenwriter Bruce Rubenstein (Bullet), whom he hadn’t seen in 14 years. The Diceman hardly imagined that he’d walk out of that Starbucks with a “big deal thing” and a career rebirth.
“[Rubenstein] sits down with me, we start talking,” Clay explains. “You know how everybody plays with their phone constantly? He goes, ‘Dice, I got to be honest. You were the biggest thing in the world, and then I didn’t see you. How come you were never even on a show like Entourage?'” It turns out that Rubenstein is friends with Entourage executive producer/writer/director Doug Ellin. “[Rubenstein] goes, ‘Well, you know, Doug Ellin loves you.’ And I go, ‘Really? How do you know?’ And he goes, ‘Because we’re emailing right now. He wants a meeting with you today.'”
Ellin had more than just a walk-on role in mind for Clay. He’ll play himself throughout the season, and voice a character in Johnny Drama’s (Kevin Dillon) new cartoon series Johnny’s Bananas.
“It’s weird when you wind up on a show that you’ve been a big fan of all the years,” Clay says. “It’s like I knew all the guys.”
And it’s as if all the guys already knew Dice. Being the new guy among a tightly knit group of stars Adrian Grenier, Dillon, Kevin Connolly and Jerry Ferrara wasn’t a problem. “No. 1, they’re like the nicest guys I’ve ever worked with,” Clay says. “It’s fun to work with them because they’re very giving when it comes to working on a scene, as far as if it’s not their close-up, they give you as much energy as if it is their close-up. They’re just pros. They’re really great at it.”
It’s something they’re definitely going to miss doing together. “I remember Kevin Dillon going, ‘Man I wish there was just one more season. I love this show.’ The feeling is that they’re really going miss it. They all love doing it together. It really has that ‘we’ve become family’ type of feeling around everything.”
Dice’s welcome to the family was a warm one, despite his being late to the first script read through. “The day of the table read, I was late,” Clay says. “I walk in and everybody’s already at the table. And thank God I just killed it. As were doing the scenes, Doug Ellin was poking like, you know, at the laughs I was getting and everything. HBO execs are up there, [Mark] Wahlberg is there, all the big shots involved in the show were there for that read through. Doug Ellin was thrilled because I knew the script already. I really nailed it.”
The buzz surrounding his role has also led to renewed interest in his standup comedy — all thanks to a chance encounter almost out of a Hollywood script.
“And here I am on the last season of Entourage, kicking ass and taking names.”