Tom Green has enjoyed a lengthy career on the fringes, and sometimes the cutting edges, of broadcast comedy, from his cable access show in Canada, which begat an MTV talk-show, and for the past three years, an Internet-based chat show filmed from his home in Southern California. But now Green is ready for the life on the road of a mainstream stand-up comedian, even if he's not ever quite going to be mainstream. Not that he even wants to.
When I met up with him in Midtown Manhattan this week — Green performs at Comix tonight-Saturday (with upcoming tour dates at Zanies in Chicago, Crackers in Indianapolis, the Improvs in Dallas, Brea and Tempe) — he told me how much he enjoys working on his own terms outside of network censors or notes from executives trying to tell him what he can or cannot do. I told him there was a Tim Horton's a couple of blocks from us, thinking that would make the Canadian native feel at home. What I didn't know was that this Tim Horton's, on the inside, was not the full-service cafe, but rather an express version stuck together with a KFC. But Green is a guy who makes the best of his situation, even if it means chicken for breakfast at 1:30 p.m., and means a site change after my Flip cam ran out of batteries and I ran a block over to Duane Reade to buy a new AA. Roll the clipper!
Here is some of our chat, in which he talks about getting out of the house, stand-up at 38 vs. when he was starting out as a teenager, and defending the legacy of his movie, Freddy Got Fingered. Roll it!
If you noticed he plugged his website a few times. How much does he believe in keeping up with new social media networking sites, whether it's Twitter or Facebook or whatever the next new thing is?
"It's all interconnected with my website, so I kind of like to have that, connected to TomGreen.com, so we can have that content out there," he said. "I always kind of get in a few minutes late, because I never really know what's going to be around. Like, I got into Twitter way too late. I just got into it a few months ago. But I really like it. But I kind of think I got into it a bit too late. There's a Twitter, there's a Facebook, MySpace page, all those things, they're all connected, YouTube channel, but for the most part I really put most of my creative energy into TomGreen.com. The thing is, it's like a hub. It's a hub. It's a channel. We have the studio. We're going to start producing other shows out of there this year. I have a few people who have expressed interest in hosting shows on TomGreen.com. I'm going to actually rebrand it as a universally-themed channel."
So just like Oprah is having her own Oprah Winfrey Network, you'll have a Tom Green Network online? "Yeah. It's not exactly like that. It's definitely going to be very Internet-driven. You know, I think the Internet, you have the opportunity to do a lot of stuff that you can't ever do on television. Like be honest. Keep it completely real and truthful, and not necessarily have to kowtow every second of the way to corporate concerns and interests. The genre is completely different. It's long-format programming. They don't microanalyze and micro-edit every thing you do, every single word that comes out of your mouth. So. I love it. Much better than television."
Speaking of television, this is what happened when Green appeared on morning television with Ch. 11, WPIX-TV in NYC: