Tom Papa - Just for Laughs hits Centennial Hall

Comedy tour showcases top comedic talent

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

John Wing and Tom Papa

“I got a new jacket, cleared my calendar and I’m heading north. I’m excited,” comedian Tom Papa proclaims.

The New Jersey native is packed and ready to make his London debut this Sunday as part of the Lipton Just for Laughs Comedy Tour.

After being discovered in a New York comedy club seven years ago by legend Jerry Seinfeld, Papa has become a well-recognized face in comedy. His resumé includes more than a dozen late-night talk show appearances, his very own (albeit short-lived) sitcom Come to Papa, and an appearance in the film Analyze That. Papa most recently contributed his voice talent to the upcoming animated film Bee Movie, which stars Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.

“I love voiceovers. I don’t have the greatest memory,” Papa jokes.

The modest comedian’s memory isn’t that bad considering his stand-up routines are unscripted. Instead of reading lines, Papa’s insights into the frustrations of everyday life are what keep audiences coming back for more.

“[My comedy] is observational about the human condition. I find it very difficult to be a human sometimes. I kind of explore that,” he says.

Being a husband and father gives Papa a lot of material to work with. However, those familiar with Papa’s comedy will know he does not always have the kindest words to say about his loved ones.

Take for example the comparison of his pregnant wife to a horny snowman, or calling his two-year-old child annoying and advising the audience to never have kids. Lucky for him, his wife understands the nature of his business.

“She was a comedian as well. She knows, unlike a lot of her friends, there is a lot of exaggeration in comedy,” he says.

While the funnyman may exaggerate details of his life, the demanding schedule of a high-profile comedian is not an exaggeration. Papa will be making stops in 15 Canadian cities and performing 18 shows in 17 days during his run with Just for Laughs.

Although we often hear from celebrities how physically and emotionally draining touring is, Papa takes his schedule in stride and appreciates the wonders it does for his home life.

“I think the best part of touring is that you get to leave and come back [home] again. It’s kind of an unnatural thing to be home all the time,” Papa explains. “It gives you something to come home to.”

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