Paul F. Tompkins

Paul F. Tompkins
Full name
Paul Francis Tompkins

Paul Francis Tompkins (born c. 1967/1968), best known as Paul F. Tompkins, is an American comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher and Best Week Ever, later renamed Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins. He is also the host of The Pod F. Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment" in 2011. Tompkins' comedy career has included stand-up, sketch comedy and a variety of other live performances. Tompkins stand-up comedy performances are of a storytelling and observationalist style. His shows often consist of extended riffs and long anecdotes. Tompkins deals topics of the bizarre and the absurd — such as a rant about peanut brittle, a discussion about cake versus pie, and smashed coins — in addition to recounting stories about his own life experiences and family. His comedic style has been described as alternative comedy; Tompkins has stated that he is not bothered by the label and that he likes the term. Tompkins is known for his style of dress during his live comedic performances, always performing in suit and tie, sometimes in pinstripes and with a bowtie; his look has been described by some in the press as "dapper". Tompkins has described his look as "foppish" and "just this side of Cedric the Entertainer." Tompkins is based in Los Angeles and performs regularly in the city. Since 2002 he has performed a monthly show called The Paul F. Tompkins Show at Largo, an L.A. nightclub and cabaret. His show has featured such guests such as Fiona Apple, Jack Black, Dave Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Aimee Mann and Weird Al Yankovic. Since its inception in 2005, Tompkins has taken part in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, a staged production in the style of old-time radio that is also held monthly at Largo. The show began podcasting in January 2011; in October of that same year the show's podcasts moved to the Nerdist Industries podcast network created by Chris Hardwick. Tompkins is a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) Los Angeles. His comedy album "Impersonal" was recorded live at the UCB Theatre. He also performs monthly at the "Dead Authors" show at UCB Theatre in support of the nonprofit organization 826LA; Tompkins plays the role of H.G. Wells who serves as the host of the show. Tompkins has toured in the US and Canada and prefers to perform in independent venues, rather than conventional comedy clubs. Starting in 2009 he embarked on his "Tompkins 300" tour; Tompkins had been preparing for his one-hour Comedy Central special You Should Have Told Me at the Laughing Skull Lounge theatre in Atlanta, Georgia — a small theatre that seats about 74 people. In order to fill the seats for the his recording of his special, Tompkins required about 280 people in the audience over the course of 4 nights for the recording of his show. Tompkins decided to announce on Twitter that he needed 300 people to fill the seats each night; Bob Kerr, a Canadian comedian, saw the Twitter post and asked if Tompkins would like to perform in Toronto. Tompkins advised Kerr that if he was able to get 300 people to state that they would definitely see his show he would come to Toronto. Kerr then started a Facebook group called “I Wanna See Paul F. Tompkins in Toronto” and managed to get 300 people to join. In October of that same year Tompkins performed at the The Rivoli theatre in Toronto, the same theatre in which the sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall was filmed. Facebook groups were subsequently started in other North American cities and in 2010 he stated that he had stopped promoting his shows on the radio. In 2011 he said that the Facebook 300 groups had become his main method of booking comedy shows. Tompkins wrote and performed in his one-man show, Driven to Drink which aired on HBO in 1998. He appeared on 6 episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien between 1998 and 2008 as well as 2 episodes of Conan in 2011 and 2012. He has recorded three comedy albums: "Impersonal" in 2007, "Freak Wharf" in 2009, and "Laboring Under Delusions" in 2012. His stand-up appearances on the Comedy Central network include being featured in episodes of Comedy Central Presents in 2003 and 2007, hosting an episode of Live at Gotham in 2009, performing on John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show in 2010, and recording two original one-hour comedy specials — You Should Have Told Me which aired in 2010 and Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions in 2012. He also appeared in the RiffTrax live broadcast of House on Haunted Hill.