January 13, 2010, by
Comedian Tom Green's pop culture heyday came almost a decade ago with his quirky MTV show, his gross-out film "Freddy Got Fingered" and his brief marriage to actress Drew Barrymore.
He’s had a much lower profile in recent years, his more notable recent work include a Web talk show and an appearance on last year’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Now he’s embarking on his first standup tour since he was a teen-ager. He comes to Roswell’s Funny Farm Comedy Club this weekend.
I spoke to him last week while he was in Edmonton, Canada for the start of his tour.
AJC: What was your stand up like when you were a teen?
Green: I remember doing jokes about cereal. I’d dress up in my dad’s suit and wear khakis and Adidas sneakers and look like [David] Letterman except I was 15. When I was 16, the local paper did an article on me. I considered myself a professional comedian because the club would pay me $20.
AJC: Why did you stop?
Green: I was 18. I had gotten an offer to do a weekend of shows in Montreal. But I had a rap group at the time. We were going to record in New York City. I cancelled the Montreal dates and did hip hop. [Green had a briefly successful career in music in Canada.]
AJC: What got you back into standup?
Green: I’ve been sort of dreaming of getting back into this the past 10 years. I had just never rolled up sleeves and done it. I’ve been interviewing standups for a long time. I spent six months writing in Los Angeles, practiced at local clubs.
AJC: What will we see?
Green: I do have some funny stories doing crazy stunts over the years. I talk about my personal life, what’s going on with my Web TV show. I’ll occasionally go into the audience, be frenetic. I like that flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants thing. If someone says something, I’ll engage them pretty aggressively. I’ll take them down!
AJC: Why do you think Donald Trump dumped you so early on "Celebrity Apprentice"?
Green: People were expecting me to be a little different. They were expecting me to be humping a moose. But I came with my game face on. I was a threat. The other celebrities ganged up on me. It was all very Machiavellian.
AJC: Who did you get along with?
Green: The only two guys I got along with were Dennis Rodman and Andrew "Dice" Clay. After Dice got fired (the first week), he said to me, "Tommy. You want to get fired. You don't want to suck up until the end." Think about it. We were working long 16-hour days. Everyone was being a jerk… Honestly, I was kind of happy to be out of there. As soon as I was gone, it was a relief.
AJC: What’s it like having a TV studio in your house?
Green: I’m living in a public access studio. All the spare bedrooms are edit bays. There are wires on the roof. It’s pretty ridiculous. When I feel a little overwhelmed, I just don’t do a show for a week or so. Take a moment to be by myself.
AJC: How do you get guests on your show?
Green: It's gotten easier over the years. It's much looser than regular TV talk shows. I love to have someone like Harland Williams, a free-styling hilarious friend of mine. Norm MacDonald. People who don't want to work with a safety net. It doesn't feel as contrived.
Here's some moments from his online show at www.tomgreen.com.
If You Go
Funny Farm Comedy Club
Friday January 15, 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., $25
Saturday January 16, 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. $25
Sunday January 17, 7:30 p.m., $20
11000 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell
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About the Author
Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution