The Tom Green Show
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The Tom Green Show is a North American television show, created by and starring Canadian comedian Tom Green, that first aired in September 1994.The series aired on Rogers Television 22, a community channel in Ottawa, Ontario, until 1996, when it was picked up by The Comedy Network. The second season began airing on December 4, 1998. (In 1996, Tom Green also produced a pilot episode for CBC Television, although the CBC did not pick up the series.)
In January 1999, the show moved to the United States and aired on MTV. The series stopped production in March 2000, due to Green's diagnosis of testicular cancer, but continued to appear on the channel via reruns and other promotional materials. In 2002, it was ranked #41 on TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time. In 2003, the show was revived as The New Tom Green Show. In 2006, Green launched Tom Green Live, a live call-in show for his website, which was later renamed Tom Green's House Tonight.
The show was hosted by Tom Green, along with longtime friends Glenn Humplik and Phil Giroux. Derek Harvie, who co-wrote the show with Green, occasionally appeared in the segments. Many of the sketches were targeted at his parents, both of whom appear to be embarrassed and not impressed by their son's antics.
Much of the show's humor was Tom Green's signature brand of shock comedy; numerous sketches featured feigned bestiality, or Green performing bizarre or shocking acts in public, such as sucking on a cow's udder, and throwing plastic baby dolls at passing cars. This content was highly controversial, and the show quickly garnered many detractors. Perhaps most controversial was Green's treatment of his parents, who were often the targets of his pranks. In an infamous sketch, Green woke his parents in the middle of the night by placing a severed cow's head in their bed, a reference to a similar scene in The Godfather. During an interview with his parents for their 30th anniversary, he turned the discussion into asking questions about their sex life.
Despite the show's reputation for scatological and transgressive humor, several sketches featured Green performing in a responsible and respectful way, making fun of his juvenile persona. The most famous of these sketches was "People Helpers", where Green and a crew member seriously assisted wheelchair users.
Recurring characters and sketches
The show also had a few recurring characters and sketches, including Billy Bob (a redneck who loved caramels and shaking his leg), Hockey Guy (a hockey player who would skate up in front of people and clumsily fall down), and a police station sketch.
He also explored the quirks of his friends. Green drew attention to Giroux's unusual laugh and discomfort with the smell of copper. One sketch aired when Glen had to urinate, but couldn't because Tom and the camera crew were in proximity (but still reasonably far away). They aired clips from a lengthy argument of whether a bear or a cougar would win in a fight.
"The Bum Bum Song"
When the show moved to MTV, Green released a single called "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)", encouraging visitors to download the song off his website, burn it onto CDs and distribute it to friends. After airing the music video on his show and appealing to his audience to request it, the song became an instant number one hit on Total Request Live. He quickly called for the video to be retired because "it's not fair to 98 Degrees." Later, in his autobiography, he revealed that MTV had pressured him to do so in order to maintain the image that Total Request Live was, in fact, a live request show (the next week's episodes had been pre-taped on location, and the producers of the show were completely unaware of "The Bum Bum Song" at the time).
In one episode aired in early 2000, Green visited his parents in Canada with Monica Lewinsky, and used the occasion to fool local reporters into thinking that they would make an important "announcement" together, which turned out to be a related to Monica's new interest in designing fabric handbags.
In 2000, Green made a one-hour special out of his testicular cancer surgery. It focused on his reaction to the cancer diagnosis, as well as his family's, and footage of the actual surgery was included in one scene. The episode received wide critical acclaim for revealing a vulnerable, human side of an otherwise juvenile television personality.
The New Tom Green Show
The show was briefly revived by MTV in 2003 as The New Tom Green Show, which was retooled to have more of a late-night talk show format, but was cancelled by MTV a few months after its premiere due to plummeting ratings. The show ran for 51 episodes from June 23, 2003 to September 5, 2003.
Tom Green Live! / Tom Green's House Tonight
On June 15, 2006, Tom Green launched Tom Green Live!, a live call-in talk show broadcast on his website TomGreen.com. It began as a partnership between Green and ManiaTV!. In 2008, the show was renamed Tom Green's House Tonight. The show takes place in Green's own living room in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley.
Rumored Hitler segment
A frequent rumor says that the show was cancelled because of an alleged segment where Green shows up at a Bar Mitzvah dressed as Adolf Hitler. Green, however, has repeatedly denied that such a segment exists. He mentions the rumor in his 2004 autobiography, Hollywood Causes Cancer, stating that it started when some Boston teenagers were caught videotaping themselves performing that particular stunt and, when asked by security, they used the name "Tom Green". Green says, "I would never do a mean-spirited, anti-Semitic joke like that — it's both abhorrent and not funny...To this day I still get asked about it, and it's annoying. So again, for the record, it didn't happen. There is nobody on this planet that has ever seen this bit on tape because it does not exist. If it did exist, it would have certainly reared its ugly, hateful head on the Internet by now. But it won't, because it doesn't exist. I've never put on a Hitler costume. In fact, I've never even been to a Bar Mitzvah."
- "The Tom Green Show" (1994)
- "The Tom Green Show" (1999)
- "50 Worst Shows of All Time". TV Guide. 2002.
- "The Opie & Anthony Show", February 16, 2010
- Season 1, Episode 1: Tom Brings Monica Lewinsky to Canada
- The Tom Green Cancer Special (2000) (TV)
- Subway Monkey Hour (2002) (TV)
- "Tom Green on TV.com". tv.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- The Hitler/Bar Mitzvah rumor at snopes.com