10 Punk & Power Pop Albums Bobcat Goldthwait Thinks Every Music Fan Should Own

Featuring The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Go Go's, and some great stories

Bobcat Goldthwait Favorite Albums
Bobcat Goldthwait, courtesy of the artist, illustration by Steven Fiche

    Crate Digging is a recurring feature in which we take a deep dive into a genre and turn up several albums all music fans should know about. In this edition, comedian, actor, director, and one-time punk rocker Bobcat Goldthwait shares some very personal picks.

    This was the plan: With Bobcat Goldthwait about to release his new comedy album Solider for Christ, we asked the celebrated iconoclast/comedian to pick his 10 favorite comedy albums for a new installment of Crate Digging. Here was the problem, as Goldthwait explains to Consequence: “When I started thinking about comedy albums, there were comedy albums that definitely influenced me, but unfortunately I really don’t like the people anymore.”

    Goldthwait wasn’t shy about saying who, exactly, he was talking about: “Those early Bill Cosby albums, I loved, but I really, really don’t like Bill Cosby. And then another album was Woody Allen — again, I don’t like these people.”


    So we pivoted, and it turns out Goldthwait’s relationship with music is far deeper than you might realize. Not only does the comedian have plenty of stories about opening for Nirvana on tour and hanging out with David Bowie, but he was also in a punk band at one point himself, and has a deep love for the music of the mid-’70s and ’80s, a category he says “they would call punk rock or new wave. If there is anything that most of these albums have, is that they’re very snide.”

    Looking back on an adolescence spent discovering these brash new sounds, Goldthwait says that he and his lifelong friend Tom Kenny (yes, the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, and a frequent collaborator to this day) “are always wondering — why were we so angry? We were these white middle class kids that had a pretty good ride. And we were nice to most people and adults. But we just had this rage that was percolating for no good reason. Anarchy in the mall.”

    Says Goldthwait, about the music of this time: “Elvis Costello, The Ramones, these albums were a big deal, because they weren’t getting played on the radio. People now have like a soft spot for bands like Journey, but fuck off, man. That was really horrible music. It was just ponderous guitar noodling, and that was what was on the FM radio then. So it’s funny how now they get played on the radio — I mean, radio doesn’t exist as much, but there’s an awareness to them now that there wasn’t then. You had to find it.”


    Goldthwait’s Crate Digging list thus reflects both Goldthwait’s teenage years discovering these artists, as well as a lifetime working in entertainment, where the lines between genres and mediums so often dissolve. It’s also confirmation of an adage you might have heard before: All comedians want to be rock stars, and all rock stars want to be comedians. Goldthwait says that it’s “a hundred percent” true, laughing: “I remember once, like years ago, hearing about Springsteen going to an open mic and trying to do standup at the Stone Pony or something like that. And I think he ate it.”

    Here are the albums that Goldthwait picked, a selection he edited a fair amount prior to our conversation because “I had to think hard about what albums I bought and listened to over and over, that then changed how I saw the world.” Accompanying his thoughts on these records are some incredible stories.

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