His bum is on tour

Tom Green brings his standup act to Minneapolis.

Tony Libera

WHAT: Tom Green

WHERE: Rick BronsonâÄôs House of Comedy, Mall of America

WHEN: Oct. 7 âÄî Oct. 9

TICKETS: $38.95

 

Tom Green may always be remembered for the depraved, MTV-endorsed stunts he pulled at the turn of the century, but that doesnâÄôt deter the former shock humorist from exploring new territory. HeâÄôs released rap albums, written and directed films and hosted his own Internet talk show from his living room since 2006. For the better part of this year, Green has been trying his hand at standup comedy, globetrotting as far as Australia where he consistently sold out shows.

A&E spoke with Green about the tour, his MTV days and his turn to standup comedy.

Is your live show mostly standup? I saw video of you shredding in Seattle.

That was kind of a bit of a goof in Seattle. I do do a couple songs on guitar at one point, but just âÄòcause we had this huge rock stage in Seattle with all the lights and smoke, I thought, letâÄôs turn up the smoke and go a little crazy. But for the most part my show is about 95 percent standup and 5 percent music.

WhatâÄôs the makeup of your audience like?

ItâÄôs definitely a broad mixture of people, which is really fun. ThereâÄôs certainly a lot of young people there and people in their twenties who watch my web show and remember movies like âÄúRoad TripâÄù and my MTV show.

The showâÄôs not just for people that consider themselves fans of my previous work, but itâÄôs also anybody thatâÄôs just a huge fan of standup comedy âÄî people that normally go to comedy shows will probably really get it.

Most people donâÄôt necessarily know you as a standup comedian. What made you want to do standup?

I actually started doing standup comedy when I was a teenager, did that for a few years, and then stopped and started my show on public access.

I was in a rap group before that. Then I made some movies after my show went on MTV. So, IâÄôve done all sorts of things, but itâÄôs always been rooted in standup comedy. ItâÄôs something that IâÄôve really enjoyed doing my whole life and IâÄôve just decided, finally, to do it full-time and really to focus on it.

ItâÄôs been said that youâÄôve moved toward the straight man role in the last few years. Do you think thatâÄôs true?

Yeah, itâÄôs true on my web show, because on the web show IâÄôm inviting comedians on. If people notice, I sort of think of comedy from a very structured perspective. ItâÄôs sort of a straight and zany approach to things. If I have a comedian on the show, IâÄôm going to be the straight man and IâÄôm going to set the comedian up to be as funny as they can possibly be. If you start trying to compete with your guest to see whoâÄôs funniest, it usually shuts the guest down. ItâÄôs not really a good way of interviewing a comedian, because then they feel pressure and their not having as much fun.

So, IâÄôm definitely the straight man on my web show, but when you come to my standup show itâÄôs completely different. And thatâÄôs, I think, a big part of the reason why I started doing standup again, too. ItâÄôs fun being the straight man, but I really kind of was missing getting up on stage and just being a complete goof and being really ridiculous and crazy. So itâÄôs nice to be able to do both, you know?

ItâÄôs also been said that youâÄôre going for a more wholesome image with your movie choices, etc.

No, the thing is IâÄôve never really pursued movies. ItâÄôs not something I ever saw myself doing. I got the opportunity to do a few of them, and I really enjoyed doing them, and people really liked the movies, so I certainly donâÄôt say I donâÄôt want to do movies. And when people ask me to do âÄúBob the ButlerâÄù or certain things like that I would always jump at the chance, because I like trying all sorts of different things. ThereâÄôs no grand design to only do family movies, or something like that. I have a movie that IâÄôm writing right now, which is going to be crazier than âÄúFreddy Got Fingered.âÄù

How much flack do you get for your antics and for the stunts you pulled in the MTV days?

I think I recall at one point that Joe Lieberman might have said something about the show, so that was kind of interesting. But I never really got flack from people. I think at the time the show was so off-the-wall that people were just generally amused by how crazy it was.

There were a couple newspaper reviewers that maybe gave me a hard time, but everybody pretty much liked the show. The movies, I got some critical flack, but the television show was a hit.

So, you wouldnâÄôt take any credit for the corruption of AmericaâÄôs youth today?

Well, people give me credit for that all the time, and IâÄôm happy to take it.