'MINDING THE STORE' Pauly Shore looks for revitalization with new show
The show revolves around his career, his sex life and the family business.
By L.A. JOHNSON
Whether shvitzing with Dad or begging Mom to let him start serving food at The Comedy Store, Pauly Shore is amusing as he tries to revitalize the family business in "Minding the Store."
The unscripted, half-hour comedy series premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. on TBS.
"At some point, I had to hop on the reality bandwagon," says Shore, 37, who is best known from MTV's "Totally Pauly" and the films "Encino Man," "Son in Law," "In the Army Now," "Jury Duty" and "Bio-Dome."
"It's all about doing something a little different. I'm not bumping into walls. This is who I am now."
Shore's mother, Mitzi Shore, gained ownership of The Comedy Store in her divorce from his father and turned the legendary Los Angeles comedy club into a world-renowned proving ground for famous comedians from Richard Pryor and Robin Williams to David Letterman and Jay Leno.
"The show focuses on three things: the family business, my acting career and me and if I'm ever going to have a marriageable woman," he says.
"Minding the Store" follows Shore's efforts to increase attendance and profits at the club with the help and occasional interference of friends, family, staff, a friendly sidekick and his mom's spy, the club's talent booker, Tommy.
In one episode, Shore comes up with a new theme-night idea: Hot Girls of Comedy. He gets friends and associates to help him with auditions. The girls, it seems, need to be attractive and sexy first and funny second. When Mom learns of the idea, seeing The Comedy Store marquee promoting it, she's alarmed and has the promotion removed from the marquee. He calls her to see what's wrong.
"Is it sexual?" his mother asks.
"No, it's not sexual. ... Hot Girls is not sex," he says.
"Well, that's what it implies," she says.
"It's already booked, Mom, and it's basically sold out, and I'm hosting it, and I can't cancel it," he says.
"You have to tell me about this stuff before you pull it on me," she says.
In another episode, just interacting as father and son, Shore and his father, comic Sammy Shore, are like a modern-day vaudeville team as they broker a deal -- while sitting in a spa whirlpool.
"What about the road? You want to come with me and open with me? We're going to Austin," he says.
"Well, what are you going to pay me?" his father asks.
"I'll pay you a little somethin'," he says.
"Wait, waaait. What do you mean, 'a little somethin''?" his father says.
"I'll give you $500 a night. You'd make $1,000."
"For two nights?"
"Yes, for two nights. And I'll fly you out and [cover] expenses and food and all that."
"OK. You got a deal," his father says.
They shake on it.
"He's crazier than me," Shore says of his father. "People can relate to that. Everybody has a dad or an uncle who is just nuts."
His mother never appears on the show. He's just seen talking to her on the phone about various ideas for the club.
"Just her voice," Shore says. "She's like Charlie from 'Charlie's Angels.'"
Looking for love
In addition to seeing Shore minding the store and doing stand-up gigs, viewers get to see him try to revitalize his acting career.
Shore is a recurring character on HBO's "Entourage." Two years ago, he co-wrote and directed "Pauly Shore Is Dead," a star-studded "semi-autobiographical dark comedy" about faking his own death to gain attention. Now available on DVD, "Pauly Shore Is Dead" will air on Showtime in the fall.
"Minding the Store" viewers also get to see Shore try to curb his sexual addiction through regular meetings with his sex therapist, Dr. Pat Allen.
"Your contract with yourself is not to have casual sex on the road in Austin," she tells him during one session.
Shore has been looking for love, but just in all the wrong places.
"I don't think you'll ever be married. First of all, you like these porno queens," his father tells him in one episode. "It's embarrassing for me to see my son with these strippers on [his] lap."
Shore says he just hasn't found the right person.
"My heart is into family but my honesty is not," he says. "I'd rather be alone and guilt-free than with someone and be dishonest."
Shore's parents haven't yet seen an episode of "Minding the Store" and he's not sure what they'll think of it. He just hopes it gets renewed.