Tom Green has been a “silly” guy for over 20 years now. He’s hosted TV shows, starred in movies, written a book, and a wide variety of other comedic things. Regardless of the medium, Green has always preferred to do his own thing rather than what someone else is telling him to do.
Green, who performs at Stand Up Live the weekend of August 27, has finally found an outlet where his productions can be as much his own as his stand-up routines.
“I always kind of worked in different, alternative edges of the comedy scene,” Green says. “I looked at technology and the things that could change what I do. Now, I can build a worldwide audience without being on TV, I call it Webovision.”
For Green, moving to the Internet solved a lot of the problems he faced when on MTV. The Ontario native’s show wasn’t even aired in Canada (where it was created on public access TV), whereas his web-based show reaches around the globe. Then there’s that whole bit about not having to deal with censors anymore..
“It’s owned by me, so there’s no censorship, no rules, it’s not changed in any way,” Green says. “You get a direct window into my mind.”
Aside from the lack of rules the show needs to follow, it’s also far more interactive than a standard TV show. Viewers can Skype or call in, and the comedians and guests are encouraged to come on to say and do almost anything they want, because Green certainly will.
“[The lack of censorship] is not even really about being able to swear, because I try not to swear much,” Green says. “It’s more about creative freedom. It can get really silly sometimes. Like I’ll have an electric frying pan on my desk, and if I feel like making a grilled cheese during an interview, I can just do it. I don’t have to run it past anyone. On TV, I would’ve had to make sure all of the producers thought it was funny, too."
Of course, whether it’s on the Internet or television, Green’s broadcast shows have always differed from his stand-up. That's partly because of all the production and technology that goes into broadcasting a show, but there’s also a more philosophical difference.
“There are elements of my stand-up in the TV shows, but it’s like comparing apples and oranges,” Green says. “When you’re bringing a live show to a different audience every night, you can perfect it and craft it. With the TV shows, you’re making a new one every time, so after you finish one you just kind of throw it away and start over again.”
That’s not the only reason Green likes doing stand-up. Even though he made a name for himself on screen, there’s nothing quite like entertaining a live crowd to bring him back to why he started doing comedy in the first place.
“The live experience in front of a crowd is very rewarding, because you get to see how happy it makes everybody,” Green says. “That’s what I like to do. It goes back to being the kid at school as the class clown. You did it to make everyone laugh.”
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As far as what you kind of topics you’ll hear if you see him live, it’ll be a little bit of everything. Green covers everything from social issues in society to “things that are strange” to relationships and dating in the era of social media. Why should you care to listen to Tom Green talk about relationships? Well, how many other comics can say they’ve been married to Drew Barrymore?
Tom Green will be performing at Stand-Up Live from August 27 through 30. Tickets cost $22, with a two-drink minimum, and are available on the venue’s website.