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you should be more interesting. Any time you're in front of people, especially as a comedian, your job is, at the least, to be interesting and engaging.
This Paul Thomas is a master of comedic alchemy. In his sketch roles, he's a hot rock star, a loopy Civil War vet and a cooking show host who creates the "Rum Emanual." Saturday's performance will feature Thomas' stand up, famous for mining everyday life for its best absurdities.
If I have an idea, a bit, I put it on my phone. I used to just write a note. Then I'll organize it on an Excel sheet. So any little thing, whether it's a line or an idea for something, since I do songs and sketch and stand up and scripts, has a place somewhere. Sometimes I Vans Pink Neon
Q: One of your short films is "Being Civil," where two war vets, a Confederate and a Union soldier have to live together. How did you think of that?
Q: Please tell us about your short film, "The Making of a Chicago Comic," about getting your start at an open mic at a Thai restaurant. Is it true?
Q: How did you decide to become a comedian?
A: I finished grad school (in sports administration) and I was working on the East Coast. Comedy was something I'd never thought of before, but once I hit the nine to five world, I needed some creative outlet. I learned that Chicago had comedy classes and decided to move here. That was in 1999.
A: You hope people think, "This guy is smart." I like stupid stuff, but I like to do it smarter, as smart as possible. If I ever stop laughing at farts, done! But I like to think that I can find a smart way to present it.
look back at my old Excel sheets and see I still have that idea from something from ten years ago. That actually happened to me recently. I was looking at some old stuff and thought, I need to use that somewhere.
Q: So you're standing in line at the DMV. Is your mind thinking funny thoughts while other people are thinking, why is this taking so long?
the window, I already have the bit in mind and I'm working on how to phrase it so that it's as efficient as possible. I love the language. In a storytelling sense, you really have to.
Q: How do you come up with your material?
A: I do. Everything I say makes sense.
I'm fascinated with that entertainment wise, like "Breaking Bad," "Dexter," where you have anti heroes, these really flawed characters. In order to sell a show a lot of times it seems the person you follow has to be morally corrupt. I want to push that further.
I'm also a mimic. I'll see somebody, how they walk and think, what's their life like? Like high school teachers. We all know these high school teachers or some teacher you had along the way who were just insane or had mannerisms you couldn't make up.
So if you have a funny thought, don't just dismiss it. There have been times where I've tried something in my stand up and it just didn't work with my voice or my style. Then I've put it into a solo (sketch) character and it worked instantly. That's a nice thing about doing different types of comedy. You can find a place for something that might not work in another way.
Talking with Paul Thomas
Paul Thomas will tell you up front. He is not the Paul Thomas who is a porn star. Neither is he Paul Thomas the Australian footballer. He is also not the bassist for the band, Good Charlotte. This is all good news for Wilmette where Paul Thomas, the comedian, will headline Comedy at the 'Mette on September 10.
When I was in high school, I'd get mad when the teacher wasn't interesting. It would frustrate me because I thought, your job is to be engaging. It's your chosen profession to get in front of people and yes, to teach, but I never quite bought into that old thing of teacher goes up there and Mbt Kisumu Chocolate Sandal just talks and students have to write everything down. And then I would get in trouble for talking and my whole thought was, Vans Duck Boots
Q: What does your comedy say about you?
A: I like stuff that seems real, but it's absurd. It's not like, oh, it's Hitler babysitting. It's grounded in reality. I heard Jon Stewart say once, you're hardwired for it. It's a way of looking at the world, commenting on a situation. Anybody you know who's funny, they do that. And the more you do it, the more you can get stuff out of little things. My brother probably was the biggest influence on me. He's ten years older. Just him telling stories about what happened that day showed me anything can be funny.
Q: Do you really speak Thai in that video?
It's about maximizing the laughter. If you're doing a one man show in the theater, there's a lot of forgiveness. You can have a minute without a laugh because hopefully, you're propelling the story forward. I don't want to be like that. I treat everything like stand up, even my solo sketches. When you're in a theater, the crowd came to see you. They're going to clap and laugh after each scene. But I want as many laughs as possible with that thing. If anything guides me, it's that thought of maximizing. Everything. That's always my goal. To treat everything like stand up where it's really got to be efficient and hit.
That's like my next (web series), actually. I've got the same thing, kind of a reality show, called "Ped Crossing" which has about twenty five Chicago comics in it. We started shooting it about a year and a half ago. It's a reality show following a really creepy guy.
A: Well, good. That's what I wanted. I was driving one day and I had that thought in my head, a Thai heckler. It made me laugh. That one is my favorite video. When it screens somewhere the audience really likes it. It exemplifies my sensibility, what I like to do, and that's have stuff that seems real, but it's absurd.
When I do stand up, I don't riff usually in front of an audience. I really work on my wording. At home, when I'm sitting in a room and staring out Vans Sk8 Hi Mte
Q: I was convinced. It looks real.
A: I wouldn't call myself the class clown, but I could make people laugh in class. I was a serious student. Just got in trouble for disrupting a little bit.
A: That's a satire of "I hate reality shows." They do reality shows about everything, so that one of something that's just impossible. It's making fun of the whole genre of reality TV and the lengths you go to find any subject to make a show about.
A: No. I'm probably pissed off like everybody else.
Indeed, this is very good news because there is no way those other guys are as funny. This Paul Thomas is the comedy equivalent of a triathlete. His work spans stage, music and film. Comedy Arts Festival. His one man shows are in demand from coast to coast. Comedy and arts festivals feature his short films. In August, Chicago's Independent Arts and Music Festival showcased four of them. If all this isn't enough, he is the front man for the comedy rock band Lola Balatro and a web series he created will debut in October.
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