Tom Green on stand up, social media, and Trailer Park Boys

The Canadian comic’s Q&A with Emma Teitel

Tom Green. (Danny Moloshok/AP)

Tom Green, the man who brought you Freddy Got Fingered and the Bum Bum Song, has abandoned his traditional antics for a tour on stage. He’s got Canadian stand up shows lined up for the new year, as well as a role in the next Trailer Park Boys movie. Here he is, on all of that, below.

Emma Teitel: What are you wearing?

Tom Green: Blue jeans and a t-shirt. I’m just relaxing around the house. No need to dress up.

E.T. I’ve heard that you’re trying to get more “mainstream” and “sophisticated” with your comedy. What exactly does that mean? Less rodent tasting?

T.G. I wouldn’t use those words myself. I’m just talking [in my stand up] about issues and subjects that I think are relevant to people, and making jokes out of them: things like social media and technology. I’m making a point not to do a prop-driven, prank-driven show. It’s been a cathartic experience for me doing stand up because I like to interact with my audience.

E.T. Why social media?

T.G. I’m in a unique position because I’m 41 years old and I very clearly remember a different, Internet-free, cell-phone-free world. I’m so glad that I didn’t have that stuff at the time. I was always amazed by new technology, right back to when I was in high school–using computers to make music. All that stuff was brand new. When I was 15, I’d work a summer job to buy a new machine to make hip hop beats [with his rap group, Organized Rhyme.]

As soon as we started posting things online, getting the feedback from the public was interesting to me. But I was doing it because I was trying to get my comedy out there for people to see, and I could put up with all the positives and negatives [of public feedback.] Then all of a sudden Facebook comes along and people are posting a video because they can. Every single person is aware of every single person’s life. It creates a scary world. I like to make people laugh about things they’re actually worried about—make a funny situation out of something dark and scary.

E.T. How did you hook up with the Trailer Park Boys?

T.G. At the Montreal comedy festival a few years ago, we met up, had a few drinks, had some laughs. I’ve run into them several times since then. They asked me to be in their movie. That was really fun, I’m a big fan of theirs. We shot up in Northern Ontario. I’m playing myself in the movie; wasn’t much of a stretch. I knew the character pretty well.

E.T. Do you like Rush?

T.G. Yeah, of course. Every Canadian has to like Rush.

E.T. Favourite song?

T.G. Tom Sawyer, cause it’s got the name Tom in it.

E.T. If you could address the Canadian people en masse, what would you say?

T.G. Love and enjoy your Crispy Crunch bars and your Coffee Crunch bars and your Littlest Hobo reruns, and cherish those things. Embrace those things. It’s what makes you different.

E.T. Was the raccoon you sawed in half a real raccoon?

T.G. I don’t give away trade secrets.

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