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Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions

Posted by martinteller on May 1, 2012

Gonna have to make this a quickie review, I’m kind of running late tonight and need to post this and get my ass to sleep.  PFT is, as I’ve stated before, my favorite comedian.  Lately he’s been moving away from jokes and getting more into anecdotal material.  He’s drifting closer towards Spalding Gray storyteller territory with each special.  I do love his early, jokier style but the change is perfectly fine with me as long as he can keep it this funny.  The special focuses on the various jobs (“laboring”, get it?) he’s had over the years, from working in a hat store, to a couple of video stores (including, amusingly, one that specialized exclusively in Betamax) to his work with Paul Thomas Anderson and finally appearing on the show “Best Week Ever.”  Having heard Tompkins on countless podcasts, it’s amazing that the only one of these stories I was familiar with is the Weird Al Yankovic tale at the end.  And even that I didn’t mind hearing again, especially in a more carefully constructed format, complete with hilarious gestures (Tompkins is getting to be a master at capturing mannerisms, postures and facial expressions).  It’s all really funny and really interesting stuff.

Like his last DVD, this one has some great bonuses.  In addition to the 74-minute feature, there’s a 16-minute encore with him riffing to the accompaniment of Eban Schletter’s piano, much he like does on his podcast.  Speaking of that, there’s also a 10-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Pod F. Tompkast.”  And I only had time to sample a few seconds of it, but I can’t wait to listen to the audio commentary… done entirely in character as Garry Marshall!  Yay!  Rating: Great


3 Responses to “Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions”

  1. This sounds fantastic. I’m new (relatively) to the stand-up world, and so P.F.T. has been new to me, too, within the last couple of years or so. But I’ve loved his sensibilities, and his humor seems to me to stand out from the crowd; the creativity and storytelling of it is so unique. I’ve been trying to get my husband to listen to the Pod F. Tompkast, but maybe this film will be a better way to get him hooked!

  2. I think it would be. The Tompkast has great stuff, but I much prefer his stand-up (and his many many appearances on other podcasts).

  3. Yes, I’m always happy when I hear he’s the guest on another podcast!

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