Comedian Tom Green goes 'where laughs take me'

Contributing Culture WriterSeptember 20, 2012 

Tom Green will do five shows Thursday through Saturday at Comedy Off Broadway.

COURTESY OF TOM GREEN

  • IF YOU GO

    Tom Green

    When: 7:15 p.m. Sept. 20; 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Sept. 21, 22

    Where: Comedy Off Broadway, The Mall at Lexington Green, 161 Lexington Green Cir.

    Tickets: $22 Sept. 21, $25 Sept. 22.

    Learn more: (859) 271-5653. Comedyoffbroadway.com.

For those with even the tiniest bit of pop culture awareness, the name Tom Green might conjure up a barrage of unusual images.

After all, we are talking about the Canadian comedian and host of the public-access-show-turned-MTV-hit The Tom Green Show. This is the show where sketches and candid-camera bits had Green doing everything from humping a dead moose to writing a song called Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song), dedicated to planting his posterior on various objects. Then there is Freddy Got Fingered, one of several films starring Green at the peak of his popularity in the early '00s that has earned a critical scorn as rabid as its cult following.

After one look at any of Green's outrageous work on the big and small screens, there's no doubt he's committed to what he's doing. Now, that same dedication has gone into his venture into full-time stand-up comedy.

He is at Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington this weekend.

"I tend to really focus on things. That's always been a part of my personality," Green said. "It's really fun to take on a new thing now that's really something fun and exciting."

Technically, stand-up comedy isn't completely foreign to the 41-year-old comedian and talk show host. He first gave it a shot when he was 15, before throwing all of his energy into his talk show. But he said there was a gnawing feeling in recent years that brought him back to writing material for the stage.

People coming to see Green perform stand-up comedy might be in for a surprise. It turns out guy who once sang "Daddy, would you like some sausage?" while playing keyboard with various meats tied to his body in Freddy Got Fingered actually has some pretty insightful things to say, whether he's making light of broken relationships that might include his brief marriage to actress Drew Barrymore or talking about his bout with testicular cancer.

Then, there's his love/hate relationship with the Internet. Green has been blogging since the mid-'90s, and people are able to relive his most famous bits thanks to YouTube. However, when it comes to Facebook, Green uses his zany, over-the-top brand of humor to produce a vicious commentary about social media and how it jeopardizes people's privacy.

"It seems a little shocking to me that you don't hear more mainstream debate about how social media is changing for the worst what it means to be a human being," Green said. "I think there's a lot of comedy to be found in that."

As Green tours the world doing stand-up, he's made sure to keep busy with other projects. In addition to producing his online talk show Tom Green's House Tonight in his living room, he recently filmed a few scenes for an upcoming movie based on the Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys, and is writing and directing an untitled prank-driven movie.

His stand-up comedy got some wider exposure thanks to recent appearances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and his first-ever stand-up special, Tom Green Live, which was released recently on Showtime.

Despite wanting his comedy to offer some interesting insight and to get people thinking, Green said his show is up-tempo and high-energy and will offer behind-the-scenes stories and possibly re-create a few old bits. His comedy is now meant to appeal to the fans of his earliest work and the people who first encountered Green during his guest appearances on various reality shows, like his short-lived stint working for Donald Trump on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice in 2009.

"I always get people who come up to my show and say, 'Wow, I didn't expect to like it so much,'" Green said. "That's what I kind of like about my shows ... it's a real mixture of people, and I play people's expectations off of each other."

Especially since reigniting his passion for stand-up, audiences are guaranteed that Green won't be any less, well, Tom Green-ish.

"It's actually the most unfiltered and unedited thing that I've ever done," Green said. "I go where the laughs take me."

Blake Hannon is a Mount Sterling-based writer.

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