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What You Probably Didn't Know About David Spade

There are comedians like Jim Carrey who thrive on over-the-top and exaggerated gestures. Then there are those like Adam Sandler, who employ a shouty and deliberately loud approach to get their punchline across. David Spade, though, is something of an anomaly in the comedy scene. As a cool and collected customer, he never looks like he'll buckle under the audience pressure or try to fill an awkward silence. It's a tactic that has served him well, helping him achieve a successful TV, film, and stand-up career that doesn't look like it'll come to an end anytime soon. And much like his buddy the Sandman, bad reviews aren't his Kryptonite, since he has survived even the most brutal of criticisms.

Behind the deadpan delivery and affable nature, however, is an intriguing individual who has experienced the ups and downs of show business, and lived to laugh about the weird and wonderful tales. Whether it be a failed film that demands an apology or even his own acting abilities, there's no disputing that Spade is unafraid to set the record straight and to practice radical honesty when required. So let's get serious for a moment and explore the untold truth about his illustrious career and life.

David Spade doesn't think he has an acting range

"Joe Dirt" and "Grown Ups" aren't exactly revered comedy films that are cited as necessary inclusions in the National Film Registry. Between them, they have an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 10%, and that's a similar trend for most of David Spade's films. The actor doesn't embark on publicity tours that defend his low-brow comedies or call out reviewers for their lack of understanding of the material. Instead, he embraces the demographic he caters for and plays to his abilities as a performer.

In most of his films, though, Spade tends to portray similar characters — something which isn't lost on him. Speaking to Mercury News, he said, "Those characters are just easy to play, and I clearly don't have a lot of acting range. It's kind of tricky. I don't hire me. I don't get to say whom I play ... But I've pretty much come to grips with the fact that I'm never going to be the hero." Maybe one day, he and Adam Sandler will star in a body swap film, where he'll be able to do something different and play the Sandman instead.

He thought his Guy Ritchie interview was a prank

As someone who is deeply entrenched in the entertainment industry, all sorts of opportunities present themselves to David Spade. In 2017, he took on the talk show scene when he received the chance to guest host "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and interview director Guy Ritchie about "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" and other timely topics. Unfortunately, the interview didn't go quite as planned, since Ritchie didn't appear to be in the mood for it, replying curtly to most of Spade's questions and seeming like he wanted to be anywhere else but there. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the experience was as awkward for Spade as it was for the audience watching at home.

Later that year, Spade returned to "Jimmy Kimmel Live" as a guest, and discussed the infamous Guy Ritchie interview, telling Jimmy Kimmel he thought the talk-show host had set it up as a prank from the get-go. "I thought he tricked me," Spade said. "I thought you put in a guy to be tough on me, and see what I would do. And obviously I was floundering. I thought it was a cheap trick." It was no prank, though; Ritchie just didn't appear to be feeling the interview that day.

David Spade didn't want to play Tiger King

The year 2020 left its mark on humanity. Not only did the pandemic shut down most of the world and put people indoors for long stretches of time, but it also resulted in the rise of unexpected phenomena and unlikely entertainment hits. Netflix's "Tiger King" in particular was a surprise success. The documentary series was almost too outrageous to be believed, but it became a worldwide sensation and inspired a live-action film to be greenlit. The moment the news dropped that a "Tiger King" movie was in the works, the internet had its say on who should portray the role of Joe Exotic: David Spade. According to the directors of the documentary series, Exotic himself would have picked Spade — or Joe Dirt as he referred to him — to play him too (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Spade admitted to ET Online that he didn't see the similarities between Joe Dirt and Joe Exotic until someone pointed it out to him. He also revealed his true thoughts on playing the Tiger King in a film. "I don't know if I could," he explained. "That's why I don't really push it or jump in on it, with all these funny debates. It just looks too fun."

George Segal said David Spade transformed Just Shoot Me!

One day, as the world prepares for the zombie apocalypse, we will look back upon our history and ask the hard questions about our time spent on this floating rock. The most important one of them all will be, which is the most underrated sitcom? If "Just Shoot Me!" isn't a serious part of the conversation, then we must know we have failed with the precious time we have had on Earth. Running for seven seasons, the Steven Levitan-created comedy was an unofficial precursor to "The Devil Wears Prada," as it explored the inner musings of life at the office of a fashion magazine.

David Spade portrayed assistant Dennis Finch on the show, though there was a different actor initially cast for the part. Spade was only roped in for the pilot reshoot, and the rest is history. George Segal, who played Jack Gallo, revealed in a special cast reunion (via Entertainment Weekly) that Spade was the secret ingredient which changed the sitcom for the better. "That show did not come together until David joined us," Segal said. "That was the spark that brought that show to life."

David Spade doesn't want to work as hard as Adam Sandler

Captain America and Bucky Barnes. Batman and Robin. Adam Sandler and David Spade?! Yes, these two comedians are like their own version of the dynamic duo, as they combine their comedic powers and team up on a regular basis to deliver the chuckles in films such as "The Do-Over" and "The Ridiculous 6." Of course, it helps that they're friends and enjoy working together, which makes their time on set feel more like a working holiday than a hard slog. However, Spade revealed in a chat with The Los Angeles Times that he isn't quite the intense workaholic that Sandler is, explaining he's far more comfortable with a steady job than trying to do everything at once.

"Every movie we're working on, he's writing the next one at lunch. With me, I don't work that hard," Spade said. "I'm not as thirsty to do a million movies or 20 tours. I don't want to chase my tail for the next 20 years. I don't think I could be on the real road like Joan Rivers or something." At least Spade has Sandler working on all the projects, so there's certainly no shortage of work there.

He loved working on the Hotel Transylvania movies

When it comes to animated films, it's difficult to determine what will and won't succeed at the box office and, most importantly, connect with the fans. After all, who could have predicted the incoherent, yellow minions from "Despicable Me" would be the equivalent of printing an endless supply of money? Similarly, Genndy Tartakovsky's monster-inspired "Hotel Transylvania" proved to be a major hit for Sony Picture Animation, and David Spade, who played Griffin in the four animated films, attributed its appeal and success to the fact that everything came together in the right way.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he explained how sad he was that the series concluded after "Hotel Transylvania: Transformania," since he would have been happy to have done more pictures in the future. Spade simply loved the experience of working on these films. "We've all had a nice time with it," he said. "It's a fun thing to do. It's always good to be part of something that works and we have all been reminiscing about how much fun it has been to do." That said, is an animated franchise ever well and truly gone? Spade may still get his wish to play his invisible man spoof character yet again.

David Spade's ex-assistant attacked him in his home

While David Spade's life has been filled with a lot of hearty laughs and good times rollicking with friends on set, he experienced a particularly scary encounter in the early 2000s. As per the AP, Spade's former assistant David Warren "Skippy″ Malloy attacked him with a stun gun at his home on a November morning. Subsequently, Malloy pleaded guilty to the charges of assault and agreed to undergo counselling for substance and psychological issues after the incident.

Reportedly, Spade suffered only minor injuries from the event, but nothing that left lasting physical damage. The actor revealed that Malloy had not only been his assistant but also his friend, believing the unexpected incident to have been a result of the man's psychological issues. Malloy's legal counsel argued that the former assistant was "in a psychotic state due to cocaine" that he had ingested on the morning of the assault and it had impaired his decision-making abilities altogether.

He almost replaced David Letterman

The name David Letterman is synonymous with talk shows. As an icon of television, Letterman built up a reputation as one of the most amsuing and engaging personalities in the history of entertainment. After the legendary Johnny Carson retired and NBC didn't offer Letterman "The Tonight Show" gig in 1993, choosing Jay Leno over him and exacerbating a feud in the process, he departed the network and headed off to CBS to do "The Late Show With David Letterman."

Discussing the stories from his book "Almost Interesting" with Esquire, Spade revealed an interesting detail that he forgot to include in his memoir. "I got offered 'Letterman' when he left NBC," Spade said. He explained how he heard the network had gone to fellow comedians Garry Shandling and Dana Carvey before approaching him, but the execs were looking for someone younger and fresher for the audience. The offer to host the show was reportedly around a million dollars a year. However, Spade had a combination of two worries: he had no idea how to host a talk show, and he lacked the interest to do it. "I always pictured maybe a sitcom or something like that," he recalls thinking. "I want to try that first. I want to go try that. And a talk show feels like the last job you would take. You don't have another job. That is it." So he turned down the offer, leaving everyone shocked by his controversial decision. That said, he explained that he is left with no regrets about it now.

Chris Farley wanted to beat up David Spade

The late Chris Farley was a comedy legend. Having starred on "Saturday Night Live," he shared a friendship with esteemed alumni such as Adam Sandler and David Spade. Sandler revealed on "Conan" that Farley and Spade were the closest of the lot, referring to them as best of friends. However, that didn't stop Farley from getting annoyed with his pal on the odd occasion. As a matter of fact, he confided in the "Little Nicky" actor that he considered smacking Spade more than once.

Sandler explained how Farley had quite the temper on him and would get irritated by the mildest of things that Spade would do around him. Then he'd come over to Sandler and complain about it, stating that he was ready to beat up Spade. Fortunately for Spade, Sandler would diffuse the situation by pointing out that no good would come from his actions. Simply put, there was need for a round of fisticuffs to take place between Farley and Spade.

Family is everything to him

Despite his general aloofness and relaxed demeanor, there is something that David Spade holds closer to his heart than anything else: family. In an interview with Esquire, Spade opened up about the importance of his mother in his life, saying, "Family is the only thing that keeps me from floating around in space. My mother means everything to me."

Spade explained how his father was largely absent when he was younger and only showed up a couple times a year. His mother was the one who looked after and supported him when he needed it the most, even if he didn't realize it at the time. And despite his father seldom being there when they needed him the most, Spade revealed that his mother never disparaged him as a parent and did all she could for her children on her own. As a result, he believes he owes everything to her and tries to show appreciation for her wherever he can. He has constantly cited his mother as his biggest fan, detailing how she has supported him in everything he has done.

He worked on a Joe Dirt animated series

"Joe Dirt" might have been eviscerated in the press, and it didn't exactly light up the box office with "Avengers"-like numbers, but it did something that few films manage to achieve: it developed a loyal and unwavering cult following. The world couldn't get enough of the mishaps of the man with the magical mullet and demanded to see his trashy adventures continue on screen. Thanks to the passionate fanbase, the film received a sequel, "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser," which was released 14 years after the original.

However, things could have been a lot dirtier for fans even earlier than that. As per The Hollywood Reporter, David Spade planned to revive the lovable loser in a TBS animated series. The network appeared serious about the program, too, as then-executive VP of programming Michael Wright said, "We look forward to seeing how he and his fellow writers and producers take this character in new directions as TBS continues exploring the world of primetime animation." Sadly, the plans for Joe Dirt to conquer the animated world were swept out of the door, and there's been no news about it since the announcement.

David Spade apologized for 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

On paper, the concept of 1997's "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" sounds like pure gold. A mobster (Joe Pesci) needs to deliver eight severed heads, but his duffel bag ends up getting switched with a medical student's. Determined to get the heads back, he kidnaps the student's friends — one of whom is played by David Spade. Unfortunately, the severed heads had more life than this comedy film, as it belly flopped at the box office only bringing in $4 million (via The Numbers). It wasn't well received by the critics either as it garnered a 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Years later, Spade used Entertainment Weekly to issue a mea culpa for the movie. "I apologize for a few reasons," he said. "I went into it with high hopes because the writer wrote 'Dead Poets Society.' I guess in my head that meant, 'Do I really have to read it first? I'm sure it's great!'" The actor added that the film had been shot to be rated R; however, it had to be cut to fit a PG-13 rating, which didn't help matters much. Nonetheless, he still owned up for his part in this memorable dud.