Rob Schneider has had a long - if not overly celebrated - career in showbiz. After landing a spot on Saturday Night Live in the early 90's, the comic went from appearing in an episode of Ally McBeal here and Seinfeld there to starring in a run of feature films that included Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (and its sequel), The Animal, and The Hot Chick.
Also, if you've seen more than one Adam Sandler movie in the past 20 years, there's a fair-to-decent chance Schneider popped up somewhere - they've done more than a dozen together. Despite his growing fame, the actor has landed multiple Razzie nominations, including a 'Worst Actor of the Decade' nomination in 2010. A tad harsh, one feels.
These days, the 54-year-old is busy producing, directing, writing and starring in his own Netflix show, Real Rob - a docu-series that mixes the fictional with the factual as Rob plays himself, living his life in Hollywood, with his real-life wife and daughter.
While it is unclear whether creating a series about his own life is a result of extreme narcissism or a leap of bravery, what is undoubtedly true is the actor's passion for the role - not only has he committed to playing the meta-character, but he self-financed the first series too.
"We're all in it together, it's a family investment and we love it. You know, my daughter is five and she thinks every family has a TV show. Instead of a play date she says 'Can I be on your TV show?'" he jokes.
Having worked in the entertainment industry for so many years, both in front and behind the camera, Rob has a particular insight into the recent #MeToo campaign, one which saw multiple actors come forward with accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
On October 10, 2017, he Tweeted "Yes. It happened to me too."
Yes. It happened to me too.— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) October 9, 2017
At this point, it is difficult for those of us outside of Hollywood to tell if real change is happening within the industry, or only superficial ones. Are certain people being blacklisted for only a short time, or are the consequences more damning?
"People are on notice. This Me Too movement means everyone is on guard, and they should be. There's nobody getting away with an abuse of power and the thing is, it's not just in show business - it's in every industry."
Although Hollywood is getting the most attention due to the celebrities involved, Rob acknowledges that abuse has the potential to exist within any industry - and that the online movement has created an incredible level of awareness.
"There's an awareness of it, people aren't just going to shove it under the rug anymore. Wherever you have people in positions of power and people in positions of no power, you're going to have the potential of abuse, but I think there's at least some recourse now - and there's also an awareness that people might get called on it.
"There are different levels of offenses, but it's all bad. You know, it's about making somebody's life miserable and somebody putting up with something that they don't have to - and that's not OK by any stretch of the imagination. I talk about that quite a bit in my act, so I think you'll see exactly how I feel."
"I understand that me making fun of Donald Trump is like making fun of the pilot on your plane - let's not distract the guy that's got the controls. Especially the guy who's got a nuclear football within a hundred feet of him. Let's just keep him calm."
The act in question is the comedian's latest show, An Evening with Rob Schneider. On March 28th, Rob will take to the stage of the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin, and audiences may be surprised by what they get as the California native drops gimmicks for politics.
American affairs have become an international talking point as gun control, Times Up and Trump become trending topics on social media platforms. While millions of Twitter users take to their phones to discuss these matters, it would seem that comedians are facing increasing pressure to use their public platforms in the same way.
"Yes, I get it every day - pressure. I don't know. Who cares what I think, to be honest? I think when people come to see a comedian, if it's an international comedian - if I'm that - I think people expect to see some sort of moral barometer. I think they want to see someone who's not a completely crazy person or someone who's not advocating the destruction of the planet or something.
"I think the good comedians, they should have some sort of moral centre that sort of breaks down what's happening in the world, and that's what I try to do. I'm not trying to be a moralist, I try to come at it from a place of like 'I'm deeply flawed, and here's what I would like to do if I wasn't such a coward.'"
When it comes to politics, it would seem that late night talk show hosts have become the new philosophers in America. Every week, the public tune in to hear Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert commentate on the latest political scandal - not only in an entertaining way, but an explanatory one. This is one trend that Rob believes hampers a comedian's talent.
"I don't agree with any of what they're doing right now, I really don't. I mean it's like once you give away your political position, how you really feel about something, then you can no longer be a true comedian because the audience should have to guess... once you take sides, then you're just preaching to the choir and you're alienating the other side. It's complete and utter cowardice to only make fun of Donald Trump. There's no bravery at all required because you're not risking anything.
"I like to make fun of the other side, the ones making fun of Donald Trump. You know, I can think of 10,000 people I would prefer to be president than Donald Trump, but we didn't get 10,000 choices, we got two - so I try to break it down and understand the choice that was made.
"I mean, I met him, the last time I was with him he said he hated me, you know? So, I'm not a fan of his but I understand that me making fun of Donald Trump is like making fun of the pilot on your plane - let's not distract the guy that's got the controls. Especially the guy who's got a nuclear football within a hundred feet of him. Let's just keep him calm.
"I do think that there's this phony self-righteousness from the left, from the Democrats, and I would just caution people to say, you know, you think people in Syria care that Donald Trump is bombing them (rather) than Obama? I always say, you know, in Syria do you think they care? Are they like 'Barack Obama - those were the good bombs. We miss the days when we were being bombed by a tolerant and well-spoken president.'"
"I think the good comedians, they should have some sort of moral centre that sort of breaks down what's happening in the world, and that's what I try to do."
On the topic of objectivity, Rob believes that nothing in the news can be taken at face value, as it's been "completely adulterated", "agenda based" and "polarised".
"Basically, were in the middle of a civil war in America and the only shots that are being fired are in schools, in high schools, and it's really a touchstone that unfortunately we don't have Abraham Lincoln - we have Abraham Lincoln without a frontal lobe. We don't have real leadership in either party. There are just no adults behind the steering wheel at this point."
Stepping away from the United States, Schneider will be spending some time in the UK and Ireland for his latest tour.
Having visited Ireland once before for the premiere of You Don't Mess with the Zohan, the stand-up said he did one small gig in Dublin that was "OK" but assures you that his upcoming act will be his shining moment in front of an Irish audience. "This show is really good, I'm very proud of it," he said.
Commenting on our current snowstorm, Rob insisted that bad weather was no surprise when it came to our fair isle. Instead, he is hoping for the famous Irish welcome and sense of humour.
"I never go to Ireland for the suntan, I go there for the Guinness beer and the Jameson shots and hopefully a really nice audience who have a good sense of humour."
Alcohol aside, we as a country have a particularly good reputation when it comes to our crowds; whether it be concerts, festivals or sporting events, the Irish just do it better - or do we?
"I would say that there's a very kind audience in Ireland. They can be... when slightly inebriated, the kindness melts away like ice in the glass, so you better deliver the goods.
"The kindness has a time limit, so you've got to be there to entertain. You better get laughs and make them laugh hard, and that's my plan. I'll have a great laugh there - it's a good show and I hope people have a good time with me."
You can do it, Rob.