Tom Papa

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Tom Papa
Born (1968-11-10) November 10, 1968 (age 52)
OccupationComedian, actor, producer, writer, TV/Radio Host
Years active1993–present

Thomas Papa Jr. (born November 10, 1968) is an American comedian, actor, and radio host.[1][2] He hosts the Sirius XM Satellite Radio show Come to Papa and, in July 2019, he and Fortune Feimster started hosting the Sirius XM show What A Joke with Papa and Fortune. Papa hosted the show Baked on the Food Network and was the head writer and a performer on the radio variety show Live from Here, hosted by Chris Thile where he delivered the "Out In America" segment.

Early life[edit]

Papa was born in Passaic, New Jersey,[3] and grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey, and later Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, where he graduated from Pascack Hills High School in 1986.[4][5] He is a graduate of Rider College. He has two daughters, and a sister who works at the non-profit organization, City Green.[6] Papa is noted to have played football and track while younger.[7]


Stand-up comedy[edit]

He began in New York City in 1993 playing open mics and hosting at the Stand Up New York comedy club. He toured with Jerry Seinfeld after meeting him at the Comedy Cellar in New York. In 2005 he released his debut comedy album Calm, Cool, & Collected. His successful one-man show Only Human opened at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.

He has recorded five stand-up specials. Live in New York City and Freaked Out were directed by Rob Zombie. His fourth special, Human Mule, aired December 2016. All of his specials stream on Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. Papa has appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Joe Rogan Experience.

Papa's catchphrase is "Have you ever...? I have!"[citation needed]


Papa hosts the Sirius XM Satellite Radio show Come to Papa, with other comedians occasionally serving as guest hosts. In July 2019, Papa and Fortune Feimster started hosting What A Joke with Papa and Fortune, interviewing comedians and other celebrities, the first live programming on the Sirius XM station Netflix is a Joke.[8]

Papa writes and performs the monthly Come to Papa Live, a version of a classic radio play combined with standup, music, and sketches. Come to Papa Live is alternately hosted between The Village Underground in New York and Largo in Los Angeles. Guests on Come to Papa Live have included Matt Damon, Sarah Silverman, Joel Mchale, Andy Richter, and Jim Gaffigan. Tom first appeared as a panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't tell Me" on June 30, 2018. He appeared as the guest for The Official Podcast on YouTube on August 30, 2018. [9] After Chris Thile took over A Prairie Home Companion from Garrison Keillor, Papa was a key contributor to the show, now re-named 'Live From Here', that included the regular segment "Out in America with Tom Papa." He worked behind the scenes as head writer.

TV and film[edit]

Papa had a recurring role as Luff in the HBO and Cinemax series The Knick, starring Clive Owen. He appeared in Chris Rock's movie Top Five, and starred as Ray Arnett alongside Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra, which aired on HBO on May 26, 2013. This is his second film with director Steven Soderbergh.

Papa played opposite Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh's 2009 film The Informant!. He also played the title character of El Superbeasto and starred opposite Paul Giamatti in the Rob Zombie animated feature The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. He played himself in Comedian, and lent his voice to the animated feature Bee Movie.

In 2010, Papa hosted NBC's The Marriage Ref,[10] which ran for two seasons.

Papa's other TV appearances include Inside Amy Schumer, The Jim Gaffigan Show, a recurring role on The New Adventures of Old Christine, hosting the FOX show Boom! which aired in summer 2015, VH1's I Love the '70s, I Love the '80s, and I Love the '90s series, National Geographic Channel's US version of the British game show Duck Quacks Don't Echo.[11]

In 2020 Papa appeared in an hour long comedy special for Netflix entitled "You're Doing Great!"[12] and published a book of the same name.[13]





  • Breaking Bread with Tom Papa (2020-)
  • Come To Papa (2013–2020)
  • The Official Podcast (2018)


  • Calm, Cool, & Collected (BSeenMedia, 2005)
  • Tom Papa: Live in New York City (Comedy Central Records, 2012)
  • Freaked Out (2013)
  • Human Mule (2016)
  • You're doing Great! (2020)


  1. ^ "Behind the Candelabra". HBO. 2013.
  2. ^ "EPIX "Comedy Unbound" Summer Season Continues with Tom Papa". The New York Times. June 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Roura, Phil. "Tom Papa Enjoys His Gig as Host of Seinfeld-created Show, 'Marriage Ref,' But Standup's Not So Bad", Daily News (New York), February 20, 2011. Accessed June 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Tom Papa Headlines for Sister’s Benefit, Pascack Valley Community Life, May 26, 2011, [backed up by the Internet Archive as of December 13, 2013]. Accessed June 24, 2015.
  5. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Bergen County Native Tom Papa Has a New Game Show", The Record (Bergen County), June 24, 2015. Accessed June 24, 2015.
  6. ^ "City Green". "City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization, based in Clifton, New Jersey".
  7. ^ Rogan, Joe
  8. ^ Venta, Lance (2019-07-10). "SiriusXM Debuts Morning Show With Tom Papa & Fortune Feimster On Netflix Is A Joke Radio". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  9. ^ "'Wait Wait' For June 30, 2018 With Not My Job Guest Fabien Cousteau". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  10. ^ Rohan, Virginia (3 March 2010). "North Jersey native Tom Papa makes the call on married couples' spats in a new comedy show". Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  11. ^ Duck Quacks Don't Echo,
  12. ^ Crowley, James (4 Feb 2020). "TOM PAPA IS HOPEFUL AS EVER IN HIS NEW NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL 'YOU'RE DOING GREAT'". Retrieved 10 Feb 2020.
  13. ^ "You're Doing Great! | Tom Papa | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved 2020-03-03.

External links[edit]