Tom Green Likes Cheese, But You Wouldn't Know That From Our Interview
After touring all around the world, Tom is now bringing his act to the Irvine Improv and from Thursday (October 13th) through Sunday (October 16th), and you can take in all of his funny first hand for yourself.
Whether you choose to laugh with him, or laugh at him, you can be certain there will be plenty of laughs (and cheese in there somewhere)!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): When did you realize that shocking people while videotaping it would make your life more fun?
Tom Green: I've just always liked goofing around. I'm a goofball that's always been doing goofy stuff. I took television broadcasting after high school, back before YouTube and before there where phones and cameras everywhere so it was kind of an interesting time. You had to figure out how to get your hands on video camera equipment. We made all of these crazy videos and put them on a public access station and MTV picked up the show so, it was pretty exciting. It was a dream so I've definitely had a lot fun.
Do you think there is any comedy that is off limits, like a tragedy or something?
Oh yeah, like stuff that is not funny. I don't think tragedy is off limits because that's obviously an important part of comedy, and things that are scary to us as human beings. That is why we laugh, the relief of not worrying about certain things that are on our minds. That's what comedy is for but I like to joke about things that are going to make everyone feel good and happy. I want the audience to have a good time.
I saw the video where you traveled to Afghanistan and it looked scary as shit, but you seemed pretty calm. Where you scared inside?
Yeah I was scared actually a little bit. I guess nervous is more the word but I was excited too. I don't think I was every really afraid, just more nervous. I was able to say, I'm out here for a week and the odds are in my favor so, it was really just an honor and a privilege to be there to perform for the military troops who are over there year round. It was also just kind of interesting for me because I grew up in a military family in Canada so, I've always been interested in the idea of going in a combat zone like that and it was great to be part of it.
I loved the camera angles in the video and it was fun to watch but...I was terrified for you.
Yeah, it's a pretty cool video. Part of me just really wanted to have that documented. When are you ever going to go to Afghanistan you know?
Ummm...I'm never going to go there, I'm a wuss for sure. How do the crowds differ around the world?
It's really a lot of fun everywhere to be honest with you. When you go do comedy, people are coming out to have a good time. I think the biggest buzz for me is how similar the crowds are as opposed to the differences. The similarities are more surprising. I can talk about very similar themes in England, Scotland, Australia, in Canada or the United States and people pretty much respond the same way. Everyone is addicted to their Facebook page, stuck on their text messages, watching crappy reality TV shows and pissed off about the economy so it's pretty much across the board. Everyone is going through the same thing which I find very interesting so, I make fun of that a little bit. I think it's been really fun to tour around the world though because it does give me perspective on things I am talking about in my show too. I like to talk about things that are universal themes. I've been having a great time touring and doing shows around the world. I'm having a lot of fun doing it.
I didn't know you where such an amazing rapper and that you had a rap album back in the day! Do you have a rap name?
Yeah, I had an album when I was a teenager and it was released in Canada. I was MC Bones rocking the microphone. I'm like a king on the throne only thing is, I stand alone.
I'm elated right now...
[Laughs.] My group from 20 years ago just got back together and we did a reunion show in Montreal for the "Just for Laughs" comedy festival.
Any plans for another album? Part deux perhaps?
Ummm...you know there probably will be some more music coming at some point because I have a studio in my house so I'm making music. I just recorded some new music with some friends of mine and I may put it out at some point on the internet but it's really just a more of a fun hobby. There is so much video of me rapping and doing ridiculous things on YouTube that's its sort of impossible to even tell you what to look at. It's very strange with this world of technology but it's pretty fun.
That's pretty funny because I get people asking me about that one all over the world so I may have to put something out! I'll have to drop some singles or something!
Will you be doing any songs in Irvine?
It's possible. I also enjoy when I'm in a comedy club to do stand-up more. It's just the perfect environment. Sometimes I'll do some music but I haven't been doing it for about a year in my stand-up. The last time I was in Irvine I did a little rapping and I had my guitar but I'm not sure.
You've had tons of guests on your internet show but has there been a real stand-out guest amongst the greats?
You know it's been cool because of the amount of people who have done the show, it's really positive you know? I've really had a lot of great guests but it was great to have Ed McMahon several times before he passed away. He did an amazing job and was really nice to me and I thought that was really awesome having grown-up watching him and Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. It kind of inspired my show. I was pretty honored to have him up at the house and I've had lots of other great people, it's always cool. I'm probably going to start an internet network in the near future so we can do more shows, just not out of my living room!
It's got to be overwhelming for you to have all of those people where you live, no?
Yeah, yeah. That's why I want to do a show not in my living room because I think I'll have a little more fun if I'm not in my living room. But I was already having a lot of fun.
Do you pick the guests or do the guests pick you at this point?
Well the show is on hiatus right now but when we were shooting it, it was kind of like we'd call them, people call me. We did it a very casual way which made the show fun.
So with this comedy tour you kinda came full circle huh?
Yeah pretty much. I just decided I wanted to start doing it again and take it a little more seriously and actually tour and travel the world. So that was a goal and it's sorta working out because I've been touring for a couple years now and I'm having a great time! I'm glad I invested my time into figuring out how to do this because I really love it. I'm gonna probably be touring a lot for the next couple of years.
Well the feedback has been awesome, you're like the American dream but Canadian.
[Laughs.] It's been cool and great to be able to have people come out to the show and have a great time and respond on the internet. It's been building as I travel and I think a lot of people have been watching the stuff on the web for the last few years and they're coming out and having a party! It's a pretty good time!
Well I for one can't wait! Give us the scoop on the Irvine show.
Jokes! It's gonna be ridiculous. We're gonna drink beers and have a ridiculous time and talk about all sorts of stupid stuff.
What's your beer of choice?
I like it when it's cold.
Fair enough. What is next for you?
I just shot my first stand-up special in Boston, which was amazing.
That's going to be a lot of fun and it's my first television stand-up
special on Showtime. I'm writing a couple of other things right now and
touring. I'm having a good time!
For past episodes of one of the best shows on the web, Tom Green's House Tonight, check out www.tomgreen.com. To witness Tom's obsession with cheese follow him on Twitter @TomGreenLive. For tickets to Green's Oct. 13 to 16 shows, call 949-854-5455 or go to www.improv.com. The Improv is located at 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, (18+ over)