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Friday, August 27, 2010

Paul F. Tompkins To Play the Firebird, Transform Comedy Industry

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 11:54 AM

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When you open up your door to 'the world,' you're not always going to get the best people, but it means everything to me that I actually have funny fans. People that actually make me laugh. That's a neat thing.

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So you've done one episode of the Pod F. Tompkast on iTunes. Gonna do more?

Yeah. The big long ones are gonna be on a monthly basis. Then there will be shorter content in the weeks between.

You've been all over the map lately - roles in The Informant! and There Will Be Blood, your live theatre variety show, the Comedy Central special in June. Is stand-up your first love?

I love it all, but stand-up definitely is my first love. Since I was a kid, I thought it was the most fascinating thing, somebody standing by themselves telling jokes. And as a kid starved for attention, that was certainly the most attention somebody was getting.

There seems to be a glut of really dry stand-ups these days. But your delivery is theatrical. Was there someone growing up you really looked at?

When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Steve Martin. It was like he was almost doing a play up there. It sounded very written, and not in a negative way. But the other comedians who were conversational, they seemed very cool to me, too. Because they were confident and relaxed. And I was not that at all.

So these Facebook 300 shows - how has that brought you out?

Well, I've evolved into a more story-telling-type comedian. And as much as I like telling a a story, I don't want them to be trapped in amber. I want there to be room for them to breathe, and a huge component of it is the emotion behind them. I want people to be in the moment.

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