Comedian Andy Dick plays Lakeshore Theater on June 9 and June 18. Andy is one of the many actors to experiment with a recording career after their star rises high enough to afford them such side projects. Brashly funny and often utilizing a manic personality to get his humor across, Dick was more often infamous for his legendary heavy partying and drug use before an incident with the law helped him change his habits.
Raised in a military family, he knew early on that he was an attention hound and looked to comedy to relieve this feeling. He moved to Chicago to study at the Second City training facility, eventually making friends with actor Ben Stiller, who was developing his own humor and trying to escape the shadow of his famous parents. The two hit it off, and when Stiller had the chance to develop his own Fox television show, Dick was one of the first cast members. Although the show’s cutting-edge humor was a ratings bomb, an Emmy Award helped dull the pain when Fox canceled the show. The various cast members moved on to successful comedy careers, but Dick kept relatively quiet until he was cast in NBC’s News Radio.
Enjoying his first successful national exposure, Dick also started gathering headlines over his hard partying. Rumors of drug use persisted, but appearances in several high-profile movies helped him avoid bad publicity for a while. But everything came to a head when friend and partying buddy Chris Farley was found dead after an especially heavy binge. Dick was crushed, but the worst was yet to come as costar and friend Phil Hartman was shot to death in 1998 following an argument with his wife. Dick’s drug intake grew, and by 1999 he was being investigated after allegedly exposing himself at a Florida concert. Later that same month, he was the last-known person to be seen with David Strickland, an actor who hung himself in a Las Vegas hotel room.Finally, after News Radio was canceled that summer, he was arrested after driving his car into a telephone pole. He was high on cocaine and marijuana and was sentenced with possession of both as well as other charges relating to the incident. Given a choice of either jail or rehab, the actor began a laborious stint in a clinic where he kicked his habits and emerged clean.
After a short-lived series on NBC got him back on his feet, he was asked to start his own show on MTV and soon he had the most popular sketch comedy show the network had in years. With his newfound success, he decided to try his hand at recording an album and put together Andy Dick & the Bitches of the Century in 2002. Five years later he returned with the live album Do Your Shows Always Suck? ~