Pauly gained national attention in 1990 when his MTV precedent-setting show, Totally Pauly, became an immediate hit and continued to run for four years, opening the floodgates for television and film roles.
He made his feature film debut in the wildly popular Encino Man, the first in a three-picture deal with Disney Studios; Son-in-Law and In the Army Now, followed. Starring roles in Jury Duty, Bio Dome, with co-star Stephen Baldwin, and the Curse of Inferno continued to ensure Pauly's popularity with audiences worldwide. His first comedy album, The Future of America, was named Best Comedy Album by the COllege Music Journalists in 1991. The National Association of record Merchandisers nominated his second album, Scraps From the Future, for a Best Sellers Award. The third recording, Pink Diggly Diggly, taped live at The Comedy Store, paved the way for the fourth.