Paul F. Tompkins

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Paul F. Tompkins
Paul F. Tompkins in March 2012.jpg
Paul F. Tompkins in March 2012
Born Paul Francis Tompkins
(1968-09-12) September 12, 1968 (age 45)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Janie Haddad (2010–present)

Paul Francis Tompkins[1] (born September 12, 1968[1][2][3]), best known as Paul F. Tompkins, is an American comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher and Best Week Ever,[3][4][5] later renamed Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins.[1][6]

He is also the host of The Pod F. Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment" in 2011.[7]

Early life and career[edit]

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[3][8][9] In 1986 Tompkins first performed comedy at 17 years of age at The Comedy Works in Philadelphia (a club now located in Bristol, Pennsylvania) where he performed as half of a sketch comedy duo with the late Rick Roman.[9][10][11][12] Tompkins attended Temple University; however, he dropped out[10] and left for Los Angeles, California in 1994.[9][10][12][13]

Tompkins met actor Jay Johnston in L.A. through their mutual friend, actor and director Adam McKay.[10] McKay and Tompkins had become friends in Philadelphia, where they had both started to perform stand-up at around the same time.[5][10][14] McKay later moved to Chicago and met Johnston; Johnston moved to L.A. at around the same time as Tompkins and McKay introduced the two.[5] Tompkins and Johnston went on to create a live sketch comedy show called "The Skates" that was seen by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross and helped get them hired to work on Mr. Show with Bob and David in 1996.[5][9][12]

Career[edit]

Live comedic performance[edit]

Tompkins' comedy career has included stand-up, sketch comedy and a variety of other live performances.

Tompkins stand-up comedy performances are of a storytelling and observationalist style.[4][15][16][17] His shows often consist of extended riffs and long anecdotes.[3][6] Tompkins deals topics of the bizarre and the absurd[3][4] — such as a rant about peanut brittle,[6][18] a discussion about cake versus pie,[18] and smashed coins[16] — in addition to recounting stories about his own life experiences and family.[3][14][15][18] His comedic style has been described as alternative comedy;[9][18][19] Tompkins has stated that he is not bothered by the label and that he likes the term.[20]

Tompkins is known for his style of dress during his live comedic performances, always performing in suit and tie,[6][14] sometimes in pinstripes and with a bowtie;[15][21] his look has been described by some in the press as "dapper".[15][16][18][22] Tompkins has described his look as "foppish" and "just this side of Cedric the Entertainer."[18]

Tompkins is based in Los Angeles and performs regularly in the city.[14][19] Since 2002 he has performed a monthly show called The Paul F. Tompkins Show at Largo, an L.A. nightclub and cabaret.[3][23][24] His show has featured such guests such as Fiona Apple, Jack Black, Dave Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Aimee Mann and Weird Al Yankovic.[3] Since its inception in 2005, Tompkins has taken part in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, a staged production in the style of old-time radio that is also held monthly at Largo.[25][26][27] The show began podcasting in January 2011; in October of that same year the show's podcasts moved to the Nerdist Industries podcast network created by Chris Hardwick.[28] Tompkins is a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) Los Angeles.[29] His comedy album "Impersonal" was recorded live at the UCB Theatre.[30] He also performs monthly at the "Dead Authors" show at UCB Theatre in support of the nonprofit organization 826LA;[31][32] Tompkins plays the role of H.G. Wells who serves as the host of the show.[31]

Tompkins has toured in the US and Canada[33] and prefers to perform in independent venues, rather than conventional comedy clubs.[34][35] Starting in 2009 he embarked on his "Tompkins 300" tour;[8][22][33] Tompkins had been preparing for his one-hour Comedy Central special You Should Have Told Me at the Laughing Skull Lounge theatre in Atlanta, Georgia — a small theatre that seats about 74 people.[8][22][36][37] In order to fill the seats for the recording of his special, Tompkins required about 280 people in the audience over the course of 4 nights for the recording of his show.[8][22][35] Tompkins decided to announce on Twitter that he needed 300 people to fill the seats each night;[8][22][35] Bob Kerr, a Canadian comedian, saw the Twitter post and asked if Tompkins would like to perform in Toronto.[8][22][35] Tompkins advised Kerr that if he was able to get 300 people to state that they would definitely see his show he would come to Toronto.[8][22][35] Kerr then started a Facebook group called “I Wanna See Paul F. Tompkins in Toronto” and managed to get 300 people to join.[8][22][35] In October of that same year Tompkins performed at the The Rivoli theatre in Toronto,[8][35] the same theatre in which the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall got their start.[22][38] Facebook groups were subsequently started in other North American cities[22] and in 2010 he stated that he had stopped promoting his shows on the radio.[39] In 2011 he said that the Facebook 300 groups had become his main method of booking comedy shows.[3]

Tompkins wrote and performed in his one-man show, Driven to Drink which aired on HBO in 1998.[4][10][13] He appeared on 6 episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien between 1998 and 2008[8][10][13] as well as 2 episodes of Conan in 2011 and 2012.[10] He has recorded three comedy albums: "Impersonal" in 2007,[5][11][30] "Freak Wharf" in 2009, and "Laboring Under Delusions" in 2012.[32] His stand-up appearances on the Comedy Central network include being featured in episodes of Comedy Central Presents in 2003 and 2007,[10][32] hosting an episode of Live at Gotham in 2009,[10][32] performing on John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show in 2010,[10][32] and recording two original one-hour comedy specials — You Should Have Told Me which aired in 2010[10][18][40] and Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions in 2012.[10][18][40][41] He also appeared in the RiffTrax live broadcast of House on Haunted Hill.

Acting and writing[edit]

Tompkins wrote for and performed on Mr. Show with Bob and David from 1995 to 1998; the show's writers, including Tompkins, were nominated for an Emmy Award in 1998 for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program".[4][42]

Tompkins' work with Mr. Show's creators Bob Odenkirk and David Cross also led to his recurring role on the Tenacious D TV series.[9][14] Tompkins played the character of a nightclub manager who is duped into reading Tenacious D’s ridiculous introductions during their open mic performances.[9] He revived the role in the comedic band's film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny released in 2006.[10]

Longtime friend Adam McKay consulted Tompkins regarding the screenplay for Talladega Nights.[9] Tompkins also played the MC of a cat show in McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.[13][14][43]

Tompkins has appeared on television programs including NewsRadio, Frasier, Weeds, The Sarah Silverman Program, Pushing Daisies, Community and Curb Your Enthusiasm.[3][5][6][8][10] Tompkins played the role of Prescott in P.T. Anderson's film There Will Be Blood (2007);[5][6] Anderson had previously cast Tompkins in a small role in the 1999 film Magnolia after watching Tompkins perform at Largo.[5][6][13] Tompkins also played FBI Agent Anthony D’Angelo in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! (2009).[8] He has a recurring role in the Canadian TV series The L.A. Complex as a fictionalized version of himself. He also appeared in the music video for Nick Lowe's song "Stoplight Roses" and in the Ted Leo and the Pharmacists song "Bottled In Cork" Tompkins wrote for Real Time with Bill Maher in 2003 and 2009, in addition to being a show correspondent in the show's first season.[10][13][14] In 2011 Tompkins was asked to write humorous recaps of American Idol episodes for New York magazine’s online blog Vulture.[3][44][45]

Tompkins has expressed in interviews that he dislikes writing (particularly writing for others), preferring instead to perform in front of a camera.[9][11]

Voice acting[edit]

Tompkins has done voice work for many animated television series including Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, King of the Hill and Bob's Burgers.[10] He lent his voice to a character in an unaired 2007 episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force titled "Boston" that was supposed to be the premiere episode of the show's fifth season, but it was pulled by Turner Broadcasting System to avoid further controversy surrounding the 2007 Boston bomb scare.[46] Tompkins later appeared in an episode during the show's 7th season. He was also the voice of one of the thugs in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2010 computer animated film Tangled.[10] Tompkins was the voice of Benton Criswell, a character in MTV series Super Adventure Team which featured marionettes in the style of the 1960s British series Thunderbirds; the role was credited under the stage name Francis Mt. Pleasant. He was also the voice of a puppet in ads for the Ford Focus.[40]

Political and social commentary[edit]

Tompkins has appeared on several television programs devoted to discussing politics, popular culture and current events; however, he says he does not consider himself to be a political comic.[47]

Tompkins was a contributor to the "Us People's Weekly Entertainment" segment of The Daily Show in 1998.[8][10][14] In 2003 he was a writer and correspondent for Real Time with Bill Maher in the show's first season[13][14] and wrote again for the show in 2009.[10] He appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn in 2004.[10][32] In 2004 he also became a pop culture analyst on VH1's Best Week Ever;[1][48] in 2008 the show was retooled and relaunched as Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins with Tompkins as host.[1][6][48] From 2006 to 2008 he was a regular guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.[5][6][11] In 2008 he appeared on Lewis Black's Root of All Evil[32][49] and took part in a panel on Larry King Live in an episode titled "Politics & Humor".[10]

Tompkins has appeared in documentaries such as Jamie Kennedy's Heckler (2007) and Doug Benson's Super High Me (2007).[10] He also appeared in The Bitter Buddha (2013), a documentary about the career of actor and comedian Eddie Pepitone.[10][50][51]

Paul F. Tompkins later became the host of a discussion show called No, You Shut Up! by The Jim Henson Company under its Henson Alternative banner.

Podcasts, webcasts and radio[edit]

In 2010 Tompkins launched his podcast called The Pod F. Tompkast.[32][52] The podcast is a mixture of Tompkins discussing various topics, clips from his live show at Largo, and segments where Tompkins voices a variety of celebrities speaking with one another.[7][32][53][54] Comedian Jen Kirkman is a regular contributor on the show.[7][19][53]

The Thrilling Adventure Hour comedy show at Largo began podcasting in January 2011; in October of that same year the show's podcasts moved to the Nerdist Industries podcast network created by Chris Hardwick.[28]

Dead Authors, a live show that Tompkins hosts at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles, also began podcasting in September 2011.[55]

In May 2012 Tompkins started a weekly web series called Speakeasy. Hosted by the Break Media site MadeMan.com, the series features Tompkins interviewing various guests in the entertainment industry, such as Ty Burrell, Nathan Fillion, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Hardwick, Oscar Nunez, Weird Al Yankovic and Alison Brie.[56][57][58] The interviews are conducted as casual conversations between Tompkins and his guest over cocktails at various bars in the L.A. area.[56][57][58]

Tompkins has appeared several times as a guest, and twice as a guest host, on Comedy Bang Bang (formerly Comedy Death-Ray Radio),[5][19][22] a weekly audio podcast hosted by Scott Aukerman, a comedian who also wrote for Mr. Show with Bob and David.[59][60] The show's format mixes conversation between the host and guests, occasionally including game segments and interspersed with comedy music recordings by artists like Weird Al Yankovic, The Lonely Island and Flight of the Conchords. Some guests play characters or impersonate certain celebrities, sometimes for the entirety of the episode; Paul F. Tompkins has impersonated celebrities such as rapper Ice-T, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Buddy Valastro from the reality television series Cake Boss.[19]

In addition to Aukerman's Comedy Bang Bang, Tompkins regularly appears on the podcasts of other fellow comedians such as WTF with Marc Maron,[19] Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny,[45] Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo's Ronna and Beverly podcast,[19] and the Superego podcast with Jeremy Carter and Matt Gourley.[61] Tompkins has also been a regular guest on the radio show and podcast The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling.[19][45]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Discography[edit]

Podcast and radio appearances[edit]

In addition to hosting his own podcast, The Pod F. Tompkast, since 2010, Tompkins has made regular appearances on various podcasts both as a guest and guest host. Some of these podcasts include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Ryzik, Melena (October 14, 2008). "A Pop-Culture Show Looks for Attitude With Heart". New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "James Bonding #001: Dr. No with Paul F. Tompkins". Nerdist.com. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wenzel, John (May 25, 2011). "Why So Serious, Paul F. Tompkins?". Reverb. The Denver Post. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Birmingham, Steve (April 22, 2005). "Battleship Paul F. Tompkins". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chen, George (Jan 16, 2008). "San Francisco Bay Guardian". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Heisler, Steve; Wolinsky, David (March 12, 2009). "Who the hell is Paul F. Tompkins?". A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Joe, Berkowitz (April 6, 2011). "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Fraser, Garnet (October 25, 2009). "300 tweets summon a joker to Toronto". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
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  11. ^ a b c d Downs, Gordon (July 26, 2007). "Paul F. Tompkins". Impose Magazine. Impose. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c Rapa, Patrick (August 17, 2010). "Stay Classy, Philadelphia". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Paul F. Tompkin's bio at TheDailyShow.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Boller, Jay (June 25, 2008). "Paul F. Tompkins: Punk rock comic". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d Malik, Asmaa (July 26, 2011). "Just for Laughs 2011: Paul F. Tompkins at Katacombes, July 25". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
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  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Marsh, Steve (November 6, 2010). "Dapper Comic Paul F. Tompkins Keeps His Wardrobe 'Just This Side of Cedric the Entertainer'". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Davidson, Phil (August 3, 2011). "Talking to Paul F. Tompkins About Podcasting, Mr. Show, and How Therapy Improved His Standup". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  20. ^ Gillette, Amelie (March 7, 2006). "Interview - Paul F. Tompkins". A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
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  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Riemer, Emily (December 3, 2009). "Catching Up With... Paul F. Tompkins". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  23. ^ Kharakh, Ben (August 22, 2006). "Paul F. Tompkins, Comedian". Gothamist. Gothamist LLC. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
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  25. ^ Chris Hardwick (August 24, 2010). "The Nerdist, Episode #33". nerdist.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 2:34. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  26. ^ Ohanesian, Liz (December 3, 2010). "Thrilling Adventure Hour Interviews: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  27. ^ The Thrilling Adventure Hour's official website. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  28. ^ a b Thrilling Adventure Hour: Beyond Belief - "White Hunter, Drunk Heart", Thrilling Adventure Hour's first podcast episode on the Nerdist network including comments from the creators Acker and Blacker. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  29. ^ Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre performers list. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Zaino III, Nick A. (June 1, 2007). "Paul F. Tompkins: Impersonal". Laughspin. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b Ziemba, Christine N. (February 19, 2010). "Pencil This In: Punk Rock Pix by Ruby Ray, Dead Authors and Alice in Wonderland". LAist. Gothamist. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Paul F. Tompkins' New Labor of Love: Comedy Central's Original One-Hour Stand-Up Special "Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions" Premieres Saturday, April 21 at 11:00 P.M. ET/PT" (Press release). Comedy Central. April 3, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b "Paul F. Tompkins' New Labor of Love: Comedy Central's Original One-Hour Stand-Up Special "Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions" Premieres Saturday, April 21 at 11:00 P.M. ET/PT" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 3, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  34. ^ Birmingham, Steve (June 4, 2010). "Battleship Paul F. Tompkins - Wherever 300 on Facebook say 'Come,' this comic goes". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
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  37. ^ You Should Have Told Me (2010) at the Internet Movie Database
  38. ^ Knelman, Martin (July 16, 1989). "Television; Canadian Comics Take Aim at Cable Funny Bone". New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  39. ^ Chris Hardwick (August 24, 2010). "The Nerdist, Episode #33". nerdist.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 30:28. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  40. ^ a b c Peitzman, Louis (April 20, 2012). "Paul F. Tompkins Works to Make You Laugh in Laboring Under Delusions". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  41. ^ Bromley, Patrick. "Paul F. Tompkins Laboring Under Delusions special review". The Spit Take. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  42. ^ Awards for Mr. Show with Bob and David at the Internet Movie Database
  43. ^ Thorn, Simon (March 11, 2007). "Interview with comedian Paul F. Tompkins". TalkHumor.com. WickedInfo com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  44. ^ Tompkins, Paul F. (January 20, 2011). "American Idol Recap: Paul F. Tompkins's First Take on the New Season". Vulture. New York magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b c Rutherford, Robert (May 26, 2011). "Paul F. Tompkins". A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  46. ^ Johnson, Casey (December 15, 2008). "Exclusive Interview With Meatwad, Er, Dave Willis, Of 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force'". starpulse.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Paul F. Tompkins: Something personal". Punchline Magazine. June 9, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  48. ^ a b Graham, Mark (June 8, 2009). "Exclusive: VH1 Shelves Best Week Ever, Possibly Permanently". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  49. ^ Stasi, Linda (March 12, 2008). "'Evil' Laugh - Lewis Black's 4-star Farce". New York Post. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  50. ^ Laughspin Staff (March 8, 2012). "Watch the 'Bitter Buddha' trailer with Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, more!". Laughspin. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  51. ^ McCracken, Kristin (February 26, 2013). "The Bitter Buddha: At 54, Comedian Eddie Pepitone Is Finally Ready for His Close-Up". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  52. ^ Chris Hardwick (August 24, 2010). "The Nerdist, Episode #33". nerdist.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 42:03. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  53. ^ a b Theo (July 28, 2011). "Comedian Paul F. Tompkins Racks Up a Dozen Podcasts". Midnight Poutine. Freshdaily. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  54. ^ Horgan, Richard (July 11, 2011). "Comedian Paul F. Tompkins Racks Up a Dozen Podcasts". Fishbowl LA. MediaBistro. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  55. ^ The Dead Authors Podcast. Retrieved May 31, 2012
  56. ^ a b "Break Media Unveils New Original Series "Speakeasy" Featuring Host Paul F. Tompkins". Sun Herald. May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  57. ^ a b Gadino, Dylan P. (May 3, 2012). "Paul F. Tompkins hosts chat show 'Speakeasy' with guests Ty Burrell, Nathan Fillion and more!". Laughspin. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  58. ^ a b "Break Media Unveils New Original Series "Speakeasy" Featuring Host Paul F. Tompkins" (Press release). Break Media. May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  59. ^ "IFC Announces Two New Shows To Premiere In June". Paste Magazine. Wolfgang's Vault. January 9, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  60. ^ Greenberg, Rudi (October 28, 2011). "The Pod Complex". ExpressNightOut.com. Washington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  61. ^ Brumby, Arian (May 23, 2012). "An Interview with Paul F. Tompkins: A Very Fancy Man". Austinist. Gothamist. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  62. ^ MaxFun Intern (27 March 2013). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 103: Gas, Grass, or Justice". Maximum Fun. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 

External links[edit]