Pauly Shore

Active - 1988 - 2021  |   Born - Feb 1, 1968 in Hollywood, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Tracie Cooper

Self-proclaimed "weasel" Pauly Shore was born into a family of comics -- his father, Sammy Shore, opened for Elvis Presley in the 1970s, while his mother owned a prominent Los Angeles comedy club. Banking on having inherited the funny gene, a then 19-year-old Shore began making the rounds at his mother's club and others. Despite landing small roles on 21 Jump Street, 18 Again!, and For Keeps in 1988, Shore was primarily known for three things: kinky hair, geeky California slang, and unflinching, purposely obnoxious horniness. Combined, these traits were a veritable mating call to MTV, who promptly created Totally Pauly to showcase his talents for appreciative teen audiences and fellow sexually charged twentysomethings. Sure enough, Shore's schtick paid off, and 1992 found the young comic starring opposite a young Brendan Fraser in Encino Man. The film's success surprised critics and Shore detractors alike, and led to a series of fish-out-of-water roles in various comedies. In Son-In-Law (1993), for example, Shore played an eccentric L.A. native who was temporarily forced to give up his California style for life on a small-town farm; in In the Army Now, Shore stepped into the shoes of an eccentric L.A. native whose scheme to reap the benefits of military life without ever stepping in harm's way backfires, to the surprise of no one. He had similar roles in Jury Duty (1995) and Bio-Dome (1996). Sadly, the decline of Shore's act coincided with the suicide of his girlfriend, porn star Shannon "Savannah" Wilsey, whose face had been seriously injured in a car crash. Though he continued to perform on television and live comedy showcases, Shore changed his style for The Curse of Inferno (1997), a slightly more serious comedy detailing the crisis-in-conscience of a dim-witted bank robber. In 2000, Shore fared relatively well in The Bogus Witch Project, a joyfully campy spoof of the The Blair Witch Project (1999).

Movie Highlights

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  • Name was inspired by the Paulee Body Shop and a Montgomery Ward, L.A. locations his mother passed en route to the hospital.
  • Influenced heavily by Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Roseanne Barr and other frequent performers of the '70s and '80s at the Comedy Store, a comedy club owned by Shore's mother.
  • Broke into mainstream pop culture as the Weasel, the Dude-speaking, laid-back host of Totally Pauly on MTV.  
  • Awarded back-to-back Razzie Awards for Worst Actor in 1995 for Jury Duty and in 1996 for Bio-Dome.
  • Considered for the role of Leonard on CBS's The Big Bang Theory.
  • Turned out several self-produced projects in the 2000s, beginning with the mockumentary Pauly Shore Is Dead.