What Makes Andy Dick Tick?

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By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 8, 2006

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. From the curb, the building where Andy Dick lives looks a little seedy. Heartsick patios peppered with crushed butts, a couple of cracked pots holding brownish lumps, which once upon a time were plants. The smell? That would be cat. Successful comedic actors in L.A. don't live in apartments with numbers like 8. So you get a bad feeling.

A few years ago, they were calling Andy Dick comedy's "Angel of Death," because people close to him kept dying. Chris Farley. Phil Hartman. David Strickland. Overdose, murder, suicide, respectively. Then, there was his August performance at the Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, former captain of the Starship Enterprise, when a drunken, on-camera Dick licked people.

"Dick Goes Berserk" is how the San Francisco Chronicle put it, about Dick's public tumble from sobriety. The Web site Gawker went with "Noted Crazy Person Noted for Going Crazy." The New York Post's Page Six called it "Comic's Worst Gross-Out Ever" and then told the apres-roast dressing room story of how Post reporter Mandy Stadtmiller (who is actually a reporter and a stand-up comedian) was "groped" and "appalled" and "horrified" after Dick "offered" her cocaine and "urinated" in front of her. (Dick rebuttal below).

So you ring the doorbell and think: Maybe there will be something really dark and unpleasant inside, something lurching around in a soiled Spock costume, drinking vodkas, with a giant tongue, and potentially hostages.

But inside, surprise, the apartment of Andy Dick is clean and bright, a homage to modernist architectural sensibilities, with gray granite countertops and blond wood floors and low-slung vroomy couches. "I designed it myself," Dick says, seemingly completely sober. (The actor has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse followed by periods of rehab and recovery).

You see, not to worry, he owns the whole building ; he is remodeling the entire structure . It is not seedy and sad. It is not a pit stop on the road to madness, overdose by speedball and premature death. The stucco will be patched and made smooth again! These rooms are actually his offices, where he is temporarily living as he renovates his other, even better apartments. Andy Dick is not spiraling out of control. He is starring in a new movie called "Employee of the Month," alongside Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson and Jessica Simpson's bosoms. He is fine, really.

Dick fusses over some cut flowers. He answers his cellular several times. The ring tone is a rooster cock-a-doodling. He refers to his callers as either "buddy" or "dude." There is a conversation about the rescue of a giant iguana. His personal publicist, with two other publicists in tow (Andy Dick is apparently a three-publicist man), is here, promising to escort him later to a taping of Howard Stern's show on Sirius. (Recall that Dick once famously called in to the Stern show -- before it was on satellite radio -- and while audibly snorting lines revealed he was bisexual). The personal publicist calls him "Dicky." Exit publicists all.

Reporter: Tell us, in your own words, what happened that night. (Meaning: the Shatner roast, which is honestly memorable only because of Dick -- in the way that the previous Comedy Central roast of Pamela Anderson is memorable only because of Courtney Love, who also became unglued).

The roast "is always going to turn on me. Always does," says Dick -- his real name, by the way; he was born Andrew Thomlinson but adopted as an infant by Allen and Sue, the Dicks. Couldn't have been easy growing up, though he was elected homecoming king in Joliet West High School in Illinois.

"They really love to jump down my throat and rake me across the coals. Just love it. People love to hate. I have a love-hate relationship with the world. The world loves to hate me. It really seems that way now," he says. There is a thin line between Andy Dick the person and Andy Dick the character and so when Dick speaks he sounds like the slightly sissy-fussy speed talker he plays in movies and TV.

"But all said and done, I had a really good time that night."

Reporter, confused.


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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