Tommy boy

Just because Tom Segura is laid back and conversational doesn’t mean that he won’t get riled up over his perception of the world.

 Tom Segura insists that everything is on the table when it comes to his sets.

Tom Segura

Tom Segura insists that everything is on the table when it comes to his sets.

Spencer Doar

What: Tom Segura

When: 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

Where: Acme Comedy Co., 708 N. First St., Minneapolis

Cost: $15

Ages: 18+

 

Tom Segura looks like a comedian — he’s disheveled, slightly overweight and not the most attractive.

“I’m a sad, sad soul, OK?” Segura said. “I’m sitting here now ready to make the cleaning lady laugh.”

The traveling comic has found a home in Los Angeles, residing there for the past 11 years. While taking improv classes with the Groundlings, Segura was convinced to do standup by fellow classmates already bitten by the bug.

“My initial goal was pretty sensible: I’ll move to L.A., do the Groundlings and then be in movies and acting,” Segura said. “You know, I’ll be a movie star or on SNL within a year.”

Needless to say, that didn’t happen, but success has not been elusive. He has appeared on Conan, recorded his own half-hour special for Comedy Central, released two albums and performed at festivals in Melbourne, Las Vegas and Vancouver. His favorite project is his weekly Wednesday podcast, “Your Mom’s House.”

What can be a difficult comedic terrain for some in the City of Angels was not for Segura.

“People tell me L.A. is a tough place to do standup, but that’s for people who plan to do standup,” Segura said.

Originally born in Cincinnati, Segura spent his early life moving around and clowning it up to avoid bullying. His travels even included a stint in Minneapolis. In fact, his first comedy album, “Thrilled,” was recorded at Acme Comedy Company. Quite a rookie effort, the album is worth a look just for the cover parody of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” His most recent album is titled “White Girls with Cornrows.”

He has the aesthetic of Artie Lange mixed with Rodney Dangerfield, though he’s in better health than the both of them and much more tuned down.

“I tell a story about going to the doctor who accused me of doing cocaine,” Segura said. “He said I had really high muscle enzymes, which means either I’m an Olympic athlete, which I’m clearly not, or I do cocaine.”

In some ways it’s the usual fodder for comedians, but Segura’s strength comes from his conversational nature and his ability to gauge the crowds’ reaction and react with the appropriate amount of disbelief. It’s a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction approach to comedy.

He seems content with his current trajectory, saying that in five years his goal is to simply be closer to the beach. That, and to continue maintaining his freshness. He quickly realized that his misery on tour was related to not being excited about his material.

“I saw a guy doing the same jokes he was doing eight years ago,” Segura said. “I’m amazed he doesn’t lose his mind.”

His set at Acme will include 30 to 40 minutes of new material peppered with some of his tried-and-true bits.