What better way for David Spade to celebrate his birthday than to stop by the Stern Show for another visit with Howard. Next week, David is making his return to TV with his new nightly Comedy Central series “Lights Out.” In addition to preparing for the show’s big premiere, David continues to rack up likes on his Instagram account and shoot feature films for Netflix. Spade told Howard his movie “Father of the Year,” released on the streaming giant in 2018, wound up being the most-watched Netflix program for two weeks in a row.
“I go, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it.’ They go ‘Believe us when we tell you we can’t believe it either,’” Spade joked of the shared surprise both he and Netflix had after the film’s success.
David just got done shooting his next Netflix movie called “The Wrong Missy” in which his character accidentally texts the wrong girl about going on a Hawaiian vacation with him. Adam Sandler serves as a producer on the film and brought his two kids along with him while on location. Spade’s daughter Harper came with him to Hawaii as well and got to hang with Sandler’s daughter, even securing an invite to her space-themed and star-studded bat mitzvah.
David told Howard he brought his mom to the big event when it rolled around a few months later. Seated at their table was Conan O’Brien, whom Spade knows from their days working together at “Saturday Night Live.” Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman was also in attendance and David’s mother wanted to walk over and tell him “Tootsie” was her second favorite movie of all time, after the 1984 flick “Amadeus.” Conan suggested she flip the order around and tell Mr. Hoffman his film was in her top spot instead.
Providing entertainment for the party was pop icon and repear Stern Show guest Adam Levine who Spade said sent the teenage girls there into an absolute frenzy.
“Every kid is freaking the fuck out … It was Beatlemania,” he told Howard.
For an A-lister like Adam, performing is as good a gift as you can get for the bat mitzvah girl, but Howard wondered what Spade gave to Sandler’s daughter.
“I had Harper make her a present,” he replied, making it clear Adam told him ahead of time he did not want David to give his daughter any money.
That’s not to say Spade hasn’t shown his generosity to Sandler on previous occasions. David recalled once running into Adam and his family while eating out at an upscale restaurant. When Spade went to pay his own check, he thought it’d be nice to buy the Sandlers’ dinner as well. What he didn’t realize was their bill that night was a whopping $9,000.
“The next day, Identity Guard called. They go, ‘We got a stolen card. Someone charged nine grand for dinner … obviously you’re not that generous,’” Spade said with a laugh. “Robin, you could’ve ordered your wine. You’d fit right in.”
When Spade and Sandler were on “SNL” together in the early ‘90s, they were surrounded by some of the most talented cast members in the show’s long history - names like Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Norm Macdonald, and Kevin Nealon. And while David formed close friendships with all of them, he told Howard there was real pressure to try and be as funny as his peers week in and week out.
“That group was sickening. They’re too good. It was too good and I didn’t know it at the time,” Spade said of his “Saturday Night Live” co-stars.
The only other time David said he’d experienced pressure quite on that level was probably his first time on “The Tonight Show,” just months before Johnny Carson was set to retire from hosting the longtime late-night series. Before going out and doing his set, a producer told Spade backstage not to look over at Johnny since there was no chance he’d wave him over to the couch, an invitation reserved for only the funniest comedians. David remembers doing well, in spite of his nerves and the producer’s comment. So well, in fact, Johnny did indeed wave David over to come sit on the couch along with that night’s guest, Martin Short.
“Johnny waves me over and I turn and leave,” Spade remembered. “I’m fucking Lassie – I did what I was told!”
Alone in his dressing room after, Spade said he was downing a big bottle of Pepto-Bismol and continuing to fret over what he’d just done when suddenly there was a knock at the door. He opened it and found Johnny, Martin Short, and “Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen standing there. Carson told Spade face to face how much he enjoyed his material.
“I kind of froze and then he looked at my Pepto-Bismol and goes, ‘I’m trying to quit the stuff,’” David recalled.
David might be a bit more confident these days, but he told Howard about some equally awkward interactions he’s had with fans recently. His last stand-up gig was at a dry Indian casino and his hired driver for the show was an older woman with a gravelly voice that matched her all-around rough demeanor. Spade took her up on her offer to go to a liquor store and sneak some booze inside for him. But what he didn’t realize was she’d be transporting the bottles in her bra.
While driving him back to the airport that night, she asked Spade if they could make a detour in order to stop at her granddaughter’s house so she could meet her favorite movie character, Joe Dirt. David politely declined only to then have his driver hand him her cell phone so he could talk to the granddaughter on FaceTime.
When he was shooting “Father of the Year” outside Boston last year, one overzealous fan had no problem inviting herself into Spade’s van to tell him about her dog, who she claimed was named after Spade’s late friend Chris Farley.
“It’s a chubby little lab. He’s really cute,” the woman told Spade. “He’s crazy like Farley.”
Coming back from the set an hour later, though, David ran into a man with his dog, Ginger. Turns out, that was the woman’s husband and her story about naming the dog Farley was completely made up.
David will get to flex his storytelling ability out a bit on his new show “Lights Out” since he’s opting to do a monologue each night. The show will also incorporate some of David’s viral Instagram videos which made Howard wonder whether cultivating a media presence as popular as Spade’s took an inordinate amount of energy.
“It’s honestly as easy as I see something and … just hold the button and film it and go, ‘That’s funny,’ and just put it out there,” David told him.
With an 11:30 time slot, Spade will be going up against the network late-night shows hosted by some of his friends, like Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. David told Howard he doesn’t see those guys as competition, however. He’s even doing “The Tonight Show” on Monday and has plans to go out for a birthday dinner with Fallon afterward.
“The only good thing about the birthday is he’ll pay for sure,” David joked about Jimmy picking up the check.
Watch David Spade on “Lights Out” premiering Monday, July 29 at 11:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.