Tom Green Live

I did the Tom Green Live webcast in July. Here’s what happened.

What’s there to say? Let’s see. Let me start by saying that all of the guys who worked on the show were extremely kind – including Tom Green. I was like a deer stuck in the headlights the whole time. In a sense I’m happy that things devolved the way that they did because I really had nothing that interesting to say. I wish I could be super animated and crazy and on but a lot of times I feel sort of overwhelmed by those situations and feel like “serious guy” which I’m not at all but it’s hard to be funny on cue. It’s a skill and I’m very appreciative of those that do it well. I think it’s something that you get better at. Tom Green has a really nice house up in the Hollywood hills. He’s got a bunch of extremely nice young guys who work for him and help him put his show on. I was driven to the show by one of his guys who told me that some of Tom’s friends had planned a surprise birthday hello during the taping of the show and that Tom didn’t know about it and that I shouldn’t say anything. Sure. That’s fine. The show starts. Tom Green does a bunch of shtick. I’m backstage (which is really just TG’s kitchen) waiting to be called on to the show. I’m reading his autobiography which is actually very interesting and candid. He brings me out. We have banter. It’s awkward. Banter is awkward. There’s some phone calls. “When is the State DVD coming out?” Etc. It’s fine. A big part of me is already thinking, “Why did I agree to do this?” Actually, I know the answer. I thought it was radio or podcast or something and for some reason I’m much more comfortable with that. But we’re talking. TG is being pretty funny.

Then his buddies come in with the birthday cake and the pornstar.
Things change. Quickly. Very quickly.

Pornstars have a certain affect on a room. Especially when the room is comprised entirely of young single men. Let’s just say that the focus shifts towards the pornstar. Especially when the pornstar is…

a) Young.
b) Extremely attractive.
c) Smells like perfume.
e) Scantily clad.
f) Sexually provocative, as evidenced by constant biting of lip, gazing wide-eyed, giggling, fluttering eye lids, etc.
g) Not wearing underwear and making sure this is known to all.
h) A pornstar.
i) There to have sex with Tom Green and everyone knows it.

Suddenly, talking about the Baxter and Stella with me seemed less of a priority: for Tom, for me, for the pornstar, for everybody. Sexual energy could turn any room upside down. Watch the show. You’ll see what I’m talking about. Tom Green and the pornstar proceed to get extremely drunk in front of my face. They are having wierd sexual banter that’s making me uncomfortable and kind of turned on. I mean there’s this 20-something year old porn star sitting next to me on couch with her skirt up so that Tom Green, and by proxy, I can see how much underwear she’s not wearing, and I”m kind of freaking out and wishing I was either dead, or “taking her”. I mean it’s only natural to feel that way. I refuse to pretend that I was immune to her.
It was like some wierd Bret Easton Ellis novel. Los Angeles; house on the hills; fading superstar; young porn actress; video; dudes; lots of alcohol; danger; superficiality; an agent lurking in the shadows. I was trying to do my “I’m from Brooklyn, I’m smart and normal” thing. That doesn’t fly in LA, at Tom Green’s house, with a half-naked drunken pornstar, writhing around on a chair…it was too much.
Tom Green is acting like a cliche crazy person: ranting, raving, putting his tie around his head, screaming at people, cursing, making lewd remarks, eyes bulging out of his head. Was it theater? Was he pretending? I suppose that’s the, would the word be “genius?”, of Tom Green. He’s very committed to his shtick. I liked him. He was funny. Very strange. Not disappointed. I felt like a total geek next to this Goldshlager swilling, tie around his head, pornstar flirting, ranting, raving, Hollywood recluse…
He managed to ask me a few questions about comedy in between bizarre pornstar interludes. I just wanted to hide. What could I do though? I was in the middle of nowhere. Not walking distance. No cabs or anything. In retrospect I should have just gotten up and walked away. Not because I objected or anything. I respect TG. It’s his crazy show. He can do whatever he wants. I should have walked away because it’s what the moment called for. Next time I’m on a show in the Hollywood Hills with a lunatic and pornstar I’ll remember to do that.

40 Comments

  • Posted September 20, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    Sometimes sexual tension is better than the real thing. Had your Baxter made its way into her underwear lacking, Stella, your memory of the situation might be very different.

    Thanks for updating!!

  • E
    Posted September 20, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    now i want to know which pornstar! why is LA so wierd?

  • Posted September 20, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    whoa. tom green is amazing.

    awesome bloggio.

    peace,
    MB

  • Posted September 20, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Wasn’t it kind of rude of Tom Green’s people to do that to you when you’re there to plug your stuff? That just seems inconsiderate to me.

  • Posted September 20, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    my god Sho- that’s the craziest thing i’ve ever read. i started watching that show when it was first on, and knew it was quickly degenerating into something. but i didn’t know it was that. i’m sorry you had to go through such a horrid experience… but at least it’s a… funny story?

  • bob f
    Posted September 21, 2006 at 3:21 am

    Wacky story.
    That’s why they call it La La land out there.
    OK, neither I nor anybody I know actually call it that but…

    It sometimes slips my mind that TG was actually married to Drew freaking Barrymore. How many people can say that?
    Alright, probably a bunch when it’s all said and done, but still.

  • Emily
    Posted September 21, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    Sounds awkward. I’m glad I didn’t watch it or I would have been embarrassed for you.

  • Posted September 21, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Courageous blog post. It’s not easy for comics to admit they feel unfunny. That’s like a deli food prep guy feeling inadequate about his pickle handling skills. Love that Bret Easton Ellis twist in the post. Great to have you back.

  • mckinleyfagw/ben
    Posted September 21, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    Make friends with Conan, or something. You are far more the shit than Tom Green. I heart you!

  • Posted September 22, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    You are funnier than Tom Green.

  • Kelsey
    Posted September 23, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    you should post a link so we can watch the tomfoolery.

  • Zelda Rubinstein
    Posted September 23, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    An otherwise intelligent man with a hard-on for cartoonish sexbots barely functioning above mental retardation? Astounding!

  • b
    Posted September 24, 2006 at 2:26 am

    wait, tom green is still a blip on the radar? my whole world is shattering….
    this kinda reminds me of some real life experiences, where you’re out with a friend, and she meets someone and then they’re flirting and you’re like ‘uhhh i should go’, but don’t for some reason….third wheel stuff. but that shouldn’t happen in tv land.

  • Posted September 24, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    That is fabulous. How did you score such a sweet gig?

    Also, the commentary on the Stella DVD was great. Very funny.

  • Posted September 25, 2006 at 1:05 am

    If it weren’t so late, and the world didn’t need me to be productive to survive, I would go find that video because it sounds really interesting.

    I only watched one of his podcast show things when Michael Mcdonald from Kids in the Hall was on it. That show actually ran pretty smoothly. Even though Tom Green is a pretty akward interviewer.

  • Posted September 25, 2006 at 11:37 am

    I think the “I’m from Brooklyn, I’m normal” schtick is by far the best schtick in town. You is down, Sho’!

    Tom Green is a wash-up, has-been who’s been playing that crazy guy card way too long, it’s gotten old. I’m sorry, but that’s the inconvenient truth.

    I propose you have your own show, Sho. It could be like Sid Caesar’s Your Sho of Shows or Wunder SHOzen. Or something like that. Who needs Tom Green?

  • Billy Reno
    Posted September 25, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Comedy is the new rock and roll chief. Make Nikki Sixx proud! Man up and adapt. At least you weren’t asked to drip candle wax on her tits!

  • Patrick
    Posted September 26, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    Mich,
    All in all that sounds like it went down hill. If your on someones show it’s really a common curt to allow you to plug. But Tom Green really can’t hold it I guess. The Stella DVD is %100 though.

  • Charles
    Posted September 26, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    Sounds awkward. Luckily, awkward moments are good for laughing about later. Thanks for the great Stella DVD and years of hilarity.

  • Posted September 27, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    Michael,I Love You!!

  • Kent
    Posted September 28, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    What a great post. It’s really nice to read something personal from you, since you maintain a pretty polite-but-guarded attitude towards your personal life for the most part. I hope to see more like it

  • Kelsey
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Michael, buddy, can we talk?
    You gotta update your blog more often. Some people(me) have no lives and like to live vicariously through the wonder that is you.
    cheerio!

  • v.
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    fuckin’ awesome

  • Joanne the man
    Posted October 2, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    I met you at your Toronto stand-up show with Eugene Mirman and we discussed this. It never stops being a weird story.

  • Sam Smith
    Posted November 4, 2006 at 8:03 am

    I actually just watched this episode. Tom pulled it from “reruns” but it’s still talked about.

    Pretty intense, but hilarious. You looked calm, when I would’ve started to get uptight.

    Tom was drunk and I believe was genuinely upset that night.

    Cool to hear your post thoughts on it. Take care.

  • Posted November 7, 2006 at 2:32 am

    As come-lately as it may be, I just saw the clip on Youtube. I can’t imagine what you could’ve done to make things less uncomfortable, and it did seem pretty inconsiderate of the crew to pull that so early on. You’re just spectacular, though.

  • E
    Posted November 8, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    i just saw the video on youtube last night. if i was that pornstar i would have shoved my pussy in your face instead hah. youre so much cooler and sexier than tom green!!! no contest at all. xxoo

  • Sara
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    I also just watched the clip on Youtube. Even if Tom Green was doing a shtick, he shouldn’t have hung up on people with legitimate questions for you. I think his first priority should have been hosting. I understand it’s an internet show and it’s live and Whooo, crazy but there needs to be some order there.

    If I ever have a talk show, I’ll invite you on, and I won’t be drunk or mean.

  • Annie
    Posted November 19, 2006 at 2:05 am

    Someone posted it on Youtube recently, and I felt uncomfortable for you. Very sad. Just like a train wreck though, I couldn’t stop watching, and sat there like a zombie until it was finished. I’m sorry. :)

  • matt
    Posted December 12, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    Showalter, you should go back on the Channel, maybe with Ian Black to take on Green, the crew and Neal Hamburger. I think both of you are brill comics, it’s a shame that the porn star brought an out of control element. In any case, could have been worse, did well given the scenario.. anyway, trying it again may prove to be untouched, or maybe you can walk out on the show if it goes bad again. ;-)

  • Megan
    Posted December 13, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    I just caught the vid on YouTube…it was totally weird. Tom Green is crazy. I was so uncomfortable, I left the room…then I realized I could just navigate away from the site.

  • Posted February 24, 2007 at 6:57 am

    Hi all

  • Kurt
    Posted March 6, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    hey…he wasn’t doing a “shtick” or anything, he was generally pissed off and frustrated. go check his blog out, he has a post about it. maybe do a little more research before you start accusing people of shit….it wasn’t his fault.

  • earl
    Posted March 23, 2007 at 4:28 am

    even before the pornstar came out, just from watching the beginning of the show, i could tell that this show wasnt really going anywhere. TG USED to be funny (its a shame). YO SHOW! I saw your new show on collegehumor; hundred times funnier than this podcasted TG show.

  • Posted June 3, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    tom green flicked me off on national television after i asked him about something personal. so no worries show. i got him GOOD.

  • Posted June 19, 2007 at 3:28 am

    People grow… sort of.
    Tom got tired of acting like a dumbass all of the time and licking, prodding, dangling around cow feces.
    That being said, everything I’ve watched of his since the New Tom Green Show has had the most awkward and depressing atmosphere.

    Michael, you were a brave, brave man. You are loved.

    That being said, when are you going to have a new episode of the Showalter Showalter?

  • Posted October 30, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    You don’t really need or want that lifestyle, it might hurt y’all slowly more…….Just tell him you
    don’t wanna repeat something your not too proud of z7uas.

  • josephsachs
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Hi michael

    I felt really weird and bad for both you and tom while watching the show. I think it’s a shame things turned out the way they did. I hope that you can resolve things with tom and still be FRIENDS haha

  • Shanise
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Just watching the video on youtube made me feel uncomfortable! It was hard to watch.

    I’ve been in frighteningly awkward moments like that before. When moments like that occur, either (a)leave the room and hide, or (b)not say anything.

    I LOVE YOUUUU.
    :D

    ~shanise

  • Jon
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Sounds bizarre. Crazy story.

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