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Tom Green live in Picton

By Jaykob Storey [1]

BELLEVILLE — Best remembered for the off-beat comedy of the Tom Green Show [2]in the ’90s and his appearances in popular films during the early 2000s, comedian Tom Green is bringing his live show to the Regent Theatre [3] in Picton on Wednesday.

Speaking with QNet News, Green was more calm and down to earth than his comedic persona would suggest. While he’s not doing the prank and shock comedy that made him a star, he definitely doesn’t want people to think of his show as typical standup.

“I’m putting my own spin on standup, and doing it in my own way,” says Green. “It’s an outrageous, ridiculous, outside-the-box and absurd show… The way I’m choosing to perform is definitely quite a bit different than a traditional standup comic.”

This sentiment was echoed by Green’s agent, John Schneider (brother of comedian and actor Rob Schneider).

“What Tom used to do on the Tom Green Show or Freddy Got Fingered [4], was a deconstruction of how we view comedy. He would get up on stage and squawk like a bird until they took him off. (He) mastered that and now he’s mastering classic comedy.”

In his act, Green tackles a variety of subjects including relationships, politics and technology. “I like to talk about things that affect my life and try to make light of them, so that perhaps we can make them more funny for myself and for other people.”

When Green first returned to the stand-up circuit, technology was of a particular focus on his work. “Being 45 years old, I have very clear memories of being an adult without a cell phone, without Facebook, without internet and I miss that world. It was a much better world. You were more connected with people and with the world around you, because you weren’t constantly distracted by what’s going on electronically.”

When speaking about his earlier comedy, his influences come from some unexpected places. “I was very inspired by the culture of skateboarding and that sort of aggressive, in your face, punk rock attitude… Barging down streets on skateboards and getting reactions from pedestrians, and then I combined that with the absurdity of Monty Python and the sarcasm of David Letterman.”

“As soon as technology became available to get a video camera and go out and do man-on-the-street comedy, without any rules and without any television network telling you what to do and just doing it. I really gravitated towards that and got my hands on a video camera and just started having fun.”

If that approach sounds familiar to you, you’re not the only one. Green believes that in some ways, his work was much like a precursor to Youtube, where people independently produce their own content, without the constraints of a studio. The similarities are not just in the approach to producing the content, but also the approach that many Youtubers take to comedy.

“I think that there’s definitely been people that have gone and been influenced by the show. I’ve seen every video that we ever made on the Tom Green Show, remade shot for shot like a dozen times.”

“I’ve become sort of used to it, and I actually feel flattered in a way. You know, ripped-off and flattered at the same time. It’s interesting.”

For the last seven years, Green has been taking his show around the world. Starting with standup when he was 15, he says of coming back to it, “I’m having a blast.”

To fans attending his show upcoming shows, he had this to say, “Just expect to see a hilarious and crazy night. My show is really high energy and ridiculous and fun. I do a lot of interaction with the crowd and improv and I try to bring the crowd into the show. Come out and be ready to laugh, we’re gonna have a blast.”

Following his show in Picton, he will be performing at multiple venues in Kingston over the weekend and will continue with a Canada-wide tour from there.