You might remember comedian Tom Green from his wacky and sometimes controversial MTV show, his appearances in raunchy films such as Road Trip and Freddy Got Fingered, or his stint on the reality show Celebrity Apprentice, but before all that he was a standup comedian just trying to make his fellow Canadians laugh out loud at his wild antics and strange social observations.
What you might not know is Green has been at the forefront of Internet comedy for almost a decade and is bringing his often bizarre, but always entertaining, take on the world to the Millroom Tuesday night for his first ever appearance in Asheville. As an added bonus, those in attendance for the 8 p.m. show could become part of the act as both sets will be recorded for possible inclusion in his upcoming comedy special.
“I did standup comedy before I was doing my show on TV,” Green said in a telephone interview from his car while he was driving in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles.
“A lot of what people loved about the TV shows and the movies really does have its roots in standup comedy. With my standup show, I still have the desire to push the boundaries. Standup is a place for people to laugh, but also think about the world we are living in, the media and technology, the things we use in our daily lives like our cell phones and our Facebook pages, the economy, and just the way our lives have evolved in this day and age.”
Green first gained media attention in the early ‘90s as a member of the humorous Canadian rap group Organized Rhyme before he got his own cable access TV show. His controversial attempts at shock humor revolving around publically embarrassing his friends, family members and total strangers became so popular that MTV gave me an intercontinental audience in 1999. After several iterations of the show, he took his comedy to the world wide web in 2006 with a live talk show with celebrity guests broadcast from his living room and many other uncensored comedic adventures on his web site.
It should come as no surprise the man who turned his real-life surgery for testicular cancer into a revealing TV special would embrace the unrestricted avenues the Internet has to offer, but Green says the it more about having something to say than obscenely screaming it to the masses.
“You’ve got to be updating your audience and entertaining your audience, giving them cool stuff to watch all around the world,” he advised potential and podcasters and digital creative types.
“It gives me complete freedom and it’s really awesome. Honestly, I pushed the boundaries with my show at MTV and sometimes when you have a network pushing back at you it creates the reason to push the envelope. For me, the exciting thing about the Internet isn’t so much about doing a show with no rules where you can act as crazy as you want, which you can, but what I like about it is that is really is about building your own business. That’s a fun challenge. It’s exciting. It’s not so much about pushing the boundaries as it is about creating your own little world where you can talk directly to your fans and not worry about being cancelled or people coming in and telling you what to say or do. It’s really a nice feeling to have that liberation to be creative and make comedy on your own terms. I love it.”
Web business aside, Green said Tuesday night’s show will be more about the business of being funny.
“A lot of what people loved about the TV shows and the movies really does have its roots in standup comedy,” he said.
“With my standup show, I still have the desire to push the boundaries. Standup is a place for people to laugh, but also think about the world we are living in, the media and technology, the things we use in our daily lives like our cell phones and our Facebook pages, the economy, and just the way our lives have evolved in this day and age. I’m poking fun and really skewering a lot of that. It’s not just a prank comedy show that is a retrospective of my old work. It really is a new show, but it is also a way for me to continue to push the envelope in a pretty outrageous way. I’ve been doing this full-time for the last six or seven years and gotten to know audiences all over the world, so it really is a polished and hilarious show that makes people laugh. I’m really looking forward to coming out there, seeing you guys, and having a laugh.”
Tom Green @ The Millroom
Tuesday, April 14, show at 8 p.m.
The Millroom, 66 Asheland Ave. Asheville.
Tickets: $20 advance / $22.50 at the door; available at http://avltomgreen.eventbrite.com/
Attendees under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information about this event, visit http://ashevillemillroom.com/calendar/?event_id=232
Jonathan Rich is a freelance writer based in Brevard.