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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Houston Improv goes Green

Funny man Tom Green makes a stop in Houston this weekend as a part of his comedy world tour. Cougars, would you like some sausage? | Courtesy of Tom Green comedy

Comedian Tom Green is returning to the Houston Improv this weekend as a part of his worldwide comedy tour. He’s had his own show on MTV and hosts a “web-o-vision” talk show, which he broadcasts from his own living room. The Daily Cougar had a chance to talk with Green about his tour and career as a comedian.

Q: You’ve been on tour for a year now, how are things going?

A: It’s been great. I’ve had a great time. I’m getting to do something that I’ve always really wanted to focus on and figure out. I’ve figured out that the more you get on stage, the easier it gets and the more fun you have. I’m coming up with all sorts of new stuff to talk about, which I really enjoy. It’s not just about getting the laughs, I also try to talk about something real with people.

Q: What is your writing process like?

A: I’m always thinking of things that seem kind of ridiculous — things about my life. When I’m out with my friends we throw ideas around and whatever hits me that seems like it would be good on stage, I write it down and then I try it out on stage. When it’s on stage, I try and figure out what makes it funny — the timing, rythym and stuff like that.

Q: How do you incorporate a rowdy crowd into your stand up?

A: Well it usually happens with a drunken crowd, but it doesn’t really change what I’ve planned as far as the show goes. I’m not really afraid of anything because I’m a high-energy performer. Getting heckled isn’t something that happens every show — but it does happen occasionally, which is fun for me. It gives me a chance to tell people to f**k off. You just don’t get to do that in real life.

Q: Who has been your primary inspiration as far as your comedy goes?

A: When I was first getting started, it was David Letterman. I also really liked SNL and Monty Python. I’ve been just a really big fan of comedy throughout the years.

Q: A lot of the people that go to your shows are fans of “the Tom Green show.” What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on film?

A: Well, I used to do a lot of crazy pranks on my parents. We always tried to think of the craziest thing we could do.

Q: Do you think any of your stunts went too far?

A: Not really. For me it wasn’t, but to my parents, it was. It’s hard to be original now, though. That’s why I love stand up so much — it’s about you on stage and engaging with a live audience. It takes a lot more to pull that off.

Q: What were your goals when you started your tour?

A: When I started the tour a year ago, I just wanted to be successful and conquer it. I feel like creating the perfect standup show isn’t possible, but I’m always trying different things. I’ve always had this fear of failure as a standup comedian. I’ve always thought, “I know I can do this.” I’ve just always been afraid of it. I feel really happy about everything. I think at the end of the day, it’s just been a great experience.

Q: You’ve been highly successful as a comedian. What would you say to young people that also aspire to be performers?

A: I would say that it’s a tough business. To succeed, it takes a lot of work. As with anything in life, you have to be really honest with yourself and ask yourself how important that thing is in your life. You have to work for a long time before you might have your first success. You can’t just say that you want to do something and party every night and just cruise through life. If you want to be a comedian, an actor, a journalist — you have to make it your everything. When you wake up, you have to think about what you’re going to do to achieve your goal.

When you’re young, you have a lot of desire and guts, but you don’t know everything yet. You just have to keep learning. You’re going to hit road blocks, you’re going to apply for jobs that you won’t get. You just have to work hard and never quit. If you never quit, you will keep getting better, and eventually you’ll be where you want to be.

Green will be performing at the Houston Improv Jan. 21 and 22 at 8:30 and 10 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

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