In our recent webcam chat with comedian David Spade (watch below), he described his new Comedy Central special “My Fake Problems” as “a real treat to America.” This is the first TV airing of one of his stand-up shows since one that he did for HBO back in 1998. He explained this prolonged absence by noting that most comics stay away from too many TV specials because “a big thing that happens is that comedians get scared because they they have to throw away all their jokes. If you’re Chris Rock or Louis C.K. or Dennis Miller, you do that and then you spend years developing a new hour. I’m too lazy. A lot of comedians are. It’s just so hard to find those jokes that really work.”
One of his best segments is his riff on the Oscars. He wonders why they are so esteemed when a first-timer like Jennifer Hudson wins or a kid like Quvenzhane Wallis gets nominated. How could acting be so tough if newcomers can win the top prizes?
Spade got his big break in 1990 when he joined the long-running “Saturday Night Live” as a writer and cast member. He stayed with that program through 1996, helping to usher in a mostly new cast that final year while including his popular “Hollywood Minute” segment on “Weekend Update.”
Of those years on “SNL,” he readily admitted “he wasn’t really ready for it” and “how I was stressed.” As he elaborated, “I developed writing skills there. It took three years to write a good sketch. I don’t know how I could have prepared for that and the pressure that I put on myself. I think it’s nice of people… that remember I did stuff on there that was funny, because when I was there I couldn’t have been beat down more.”
Just before departing the program, his film career took off by starring with fellow “SNL” alum Chris Farley in “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.” Recently he has been seen in Adam Sandler movies “The Benchwarmers,” “Grown Ups,” and “Jack and Jill.”
While on “SNL,” he received three Emmy Award nominations for variety writing (1990, 1991, 1993). His other Emmy nod was as Best Comedy Supporting Actor in “Just Shoot Me!” (1999). That role on the NBC laffer also earned him two Golden Globe bids (1999, 2000).
Spade’s Comedy Central show is listed on the Emmy ballot under Best Variety Special. You will be able to vote for that category soon, but in the meantime who do you think is out front at the Emmys in his old category of Best Comedy Supporting Actor? Use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions.