STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Tom Papa

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Tom Papa! If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Don’t let the fact that Tom Papa’s recent Comedy Central Presents special was directed by Rob Zombie fool you – strip away the brilliant theatrical intro and you’re left with an absolutely hilarious hour of stand-up that more than holds its own.  That’s not quite surprising when you consider Papa has been Jerry Seinfeld’s opening act for over ten years.

While I’ve never really gotten into the reality show Papa hosts, The Marriage Ref, I have an appreciation for the show if that’s what it took to get this guy the attention he deserves.  While this is the third Comedy Central Presents special Papa’s done, for the most part I can’t help but feel that he’s been biding his time as Seinfeld’s ace-in-the-sleeve, just waiting to be played.

A good deal of Papa’s material stems from his life as a family man and father of two daughters. His take on familial norms today versus when he was a kid is not only hysterical, but is totally clean (as is all of his material).

“And how irresponsible is of the parents to tell the kids that they shouldn’t get their own friends their own age,” Papa quips. “We’re not friends! I have sex with your mother!”

Whether listening to or watching Papa, it’s clear to see he’s a seasoned and highly-skilled professional who has mastered stage presence and timing.  It’s been six years since Papa’s last (and debut) CD, Calm, Cool & Collected – but again, I feel like he was just waiting for his moment. And lucky for us, that moment has come.

Live in New York City gives us a polished, suited Papa who is unabashedly honest and candid about both his own personal life and society in general.  In addition to his articulate story-telling, he weaves in some classic one-liners that will stay in my head for a very long time:

“Old sperm makes old sperm kids. “

“Life is a pair of skinny jeans, and you’re a big fatass.”

The bottom line is this – Tom Papa is more than just a very funny comedian. He’s not only downright hilarious, but he simply exudes comedic expertise. There are some comedians I see who, during a set, will have a tendency to add a slight upward inflection at the end of a joke – almost a subconscious way of gauging audience acceptance. It’s not that Papa doesn’t care, it’s that he’s so good at what he does that he simply doesn’t need the audience to tell him that.

Pick up Tom Papa: Live in New York City today on iTunes and get ready for a good time – there’s virtually no way possible to not enjoy it!

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