Skip to content

Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions (2012)

by on 2013/04/08

laboring_under_delusions_2012“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”

* * * * *

Once again I blame Hacker Renders. Blame! He’s the one that Skyped me the link to The A.V. Club story “13 stand-up routines about real-life celebrity encounters.”

One of the comedians was Paul F. Tompkins. Mr. Tompkins recounted variously his cringingly hilarious encounters with Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of There Will Be Blood, with Weird Al Yankovic taping Tompkins’ TV show Best Week Ever and with “the most famous person in the world” Tom Cruise running lines during rehearsals for Magnolia. Again, forced by Hacker Renders to listen, I did.

Then I listened again. Then again. Then a whole bunch more times after that. Then I really snapped. Since those wheezing moments of hilarity, I have tried to stuff as much Paul F. Tompkins into my eye and ear holes as was possible over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve become a (greater) bore. Rambling on and on about Paul F. Tompkins, I poorly retell his stories, extol his many virtues, frighten people with my wild-eyed fervor. When I am not doing that, I’m sitting in my office, chuckling quietly to myself like a scary person, listening to his Pod F. Tompkast on iTunes. (I’m just getting started but …Alec Baldwin is stingy and he has a mediocre phone).

One of the pieces I snagged in my Paul F. Tompkins acquisition bender was the DVD Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions.

Oh my goodness, (spoiler alert) I loved it. I officially love Mr. Tompkins’ comedy medically unsafe amounts. He’s hilarious, nattily dressed and has a lovely moustache. Like an old-timey raconteur filled with post-modern self-loathing, Tompkins tells a story about forgetting how “arms go” and awkwardly toppling over an entire table filled with cups and bottles on the set of Magnolia. He spoke to my nervous, clumsy side which isn’t really a ‘side’ so much as my entire being.

His stories of toiling in dead-ended retail jobs (including stints at Hats in the Belfry and Beta Only) while struggling to make a living doing the thing he really loved – comedy – was both relatable (I worked for an eternity once at an office supply store in my university years) and poignantly hilarious.

I seriously can’t recommend this guy enough. I will now continue my acquisition spree and locate his other standup albums/DVDs including Impersonal, Freak Wharf, Sir, You Have Fooled Me Twice, and You Should Have Told Me.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to conclude this review by saying that I have a problem… an addiction if you will. Miss_Tree my favourite teenager, politely asked me, yesterday over Shanghai noodles in a restaurant, to stop talking about Paul F. Tompkins.



She has also pointed out that I having started to talk, just a little bit, like him.

Stentorian, like a strangely learned carnival barker, but always extremely, extremely amusing.

I’ve been accused of worse things.

And I won’t stop. Not even for a minute.

* * * * *

90 minutes

Unrated (but totally safe for kids unless your kids are afraid of guys with moustaches)


  1. Absoluter genialer Artikel. Werde jetzt öfter die Seite besuchen Vielen Dank und Grüsse aus Köln

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A Goth’s Month in Review: April 2013 | Geek vs Goth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: