Bobcat Goldthwait has lived a lot of life, as Consequence recently learned during an interview for our Crate Digging series, and he’s had a lot of long-running connections with unexpected figures. This includes the band Nirvana, as Kurt Cobain was a big fan of the comedian’s oddball comedy.
Goldthwait talked a bit about his relationship with Cobain in his 2021 documentary Joy Ride, which showcases the bond between the comedian and long-time frenemy Dana Gould, with archival footage from both of their lives interwoven with scenes of stand-up. “I opened for Nirvana, which is always weird for people to hear,” he says on stage in the film. “Kurt was a fan of my stand-up and people were like ‘What?’ It’s like finding out that Jimi Hendrix really loved Buddy Hackett.”
The documentary then segues to a clip from an April 1990 video interview with Cobain and other Nirvana band members, including original drummer Chad Channing. Speaking with Consequence Goldthwait describes the excerpt like so: “There’s a clip where Kurt was saying nice things about me. And then [Channing] chimes in — he says ‘I think he’s a nice guy, but I don’t think he’s funny.’ And then Kurt looks at him, like, ‘Really? Well, not cool man.'”
That’s where the clip ends in the documentary, but that wasn’t the end of the conversation in real life, as Goldthwait explains: “In the real clip, there’s a beat and Kurt goes, ‘You’re the next to go.'” You can actually see the full interview (including Cobain’s cutting aside) on YouTube, which plays out just like Goldthwait describes — with Channing awkwardly going along with Cobain’s not-quite-a-joke.
Channing left Nirvana in May 1990, just weeks after this original interview was shot. Goldthwait’s explanation for ending the footage where he did is an exceptionally empathetic one: “I didn’t put that in the movie because I felt that [Channing] probably already felt like he was the Pete Best of Nirvana. I didn’t wanna dog pile.”
Later on, Goldthwait would go on to have a much closer relationship with the new drummer for the band, some kid named Dave Grohl. “I shot this commercial with them for In Utero, and when I met Dave for the first time, he goes, ‘I’m the drummer. Yeah, I know I’m taller.'”