Tom Papa has made himself a regular guest on multiple late night television shows including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2009 he starred opposite Matt Damon in the Steven Soderbergh film The Informant. He has also worked with Jerry Seinfeld, writing and voicing in Bee Movie as well as hosting the NBC’s The Marriage Ref. His latest stand-up special, Tom Papa Live in New York City was directed by Rob Zombie and premiered on Comedy Central on January 8. It is available in stores and on Itunes.
By all appearances, Papa is a normal guy. He’s a balding forty-four year-old man married with kids. The thing that stands out about Tom is his moxie. His on stage command of his material, humor and middle aged angst. (Can forty year olds have angst?) Much of his hour seems to take its strength from the fact that things are so much more confusing and fucked up now than they used to be. Whether that be social media, his marital relationship or his horrendous new roommates that he calls his children.
On Internet usernames: “You ever create so many usernames and passwords to protect your identity…that you don’t know your own identity?” Tom’s right. My username is hardly ever a variation of my actual name and more often than not it seems a lot closer to one of his monikers, “Monkey47.” Of course any discussion of the Internet these days eventually leads to Facebook. Tom reveals what is perhaps the greatest irony of Facebook by pointedly saying, “A Jewish kid in America creates Facebook, and it helps the Egyptian government collapse.” Perhaps history doesn’t repeat itself, it just tries to find the best way to make us laugh.
Papa Tom (see what I did there) recalls how different his parental life is from even one generation ago. His idea of becoming a father was the model his dad set for him: “I’m gonna make people and rule over all of them.” That schematic no longer works. Now he likens his marriage with his wife as being “business partners in a non-profit organization.”
Tom talks about his desire to be fat, his compulsion to lie to his wife all the time and even a diabetic cat. Which, according to him, was not even a thing ten years ago. Apparently all that ended up being was a condition known as “New Cat.”
This is Tom’s first album release since 2005’s Calm Cool and Collected. Tom personifies so much of the daily struggle of people his own age with such candid frustration and humor it’s hard to turn him off. He achieves his comedy with a scant use of expletives and dirty jokes but mostly uses his humor to engage the audience in relatable experiences.
Follow Papa on Twitter here @TomPapa.
Filed Under: Comedy Reviews
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com