For those of you who don’t remember, Tom Green was the vacant face of MTV about 10 years ago, he was the pre-cursor to Jackass and other ‘gross-out’ comedy and starred in a handful of Hollywood flops. Tens years later after a battle with testicular cancer, appearances on Celebrity Apprentice and his own web chat show he is touring the world and going back to his stand-up roots.
For this show, Green seems to have left the shock value antics behind him brilliantly paying reference to it only. Despite being 40, the Canadian has kept his frenzied charm, staring hysterically at individual audience members whilst lamenting the lost innocence of finding printed pornography in the woods, the addictive and destructive qualities of social media and thanking the crowd for coming out in the rain (about 15 times). The performance showed an assuredness and love of the craft which earned him his name in the first place. This confidence was on display when Green noticed a reviewer scribbling notes in one of the front rows, asked for the note pad and read the critic’s notes. After noticing the word ‘disjointed’, the former Mr Drew Barrymore proceeded to start the show again leaving out some of the more off-the-wall behaviour of his previous introduction. The crowd loved it. Green obviously has a loyal fan base in Adelaide two ladies returning for this second night and promising to attend the show again the following evening.
Whilst there was some hypocrisy in his criticism of the internet when the comic’s chat show (advertised and plugged throughout) is now on the web only and despite his claims to being ‘experimental’ and immediately stating he got into comedy just so he could have fun, Green’s fun is infectious and not self indulgent. Whilst his irreverent and shocking antics over the years have not being to everyone’s taste, there is a sincerity in his desire to do something new. Like Andy Kaufman before him, this is a comedian who likes to push the envelope not just for fun and to shock but for the art form. Green talked candidly about his fear of death when faced with his cancer diagnosis in a touching final thought about living life to the full. Go and see Tom Green at the Royalty Theatre, Adelaide and comedy are lucky to still have him.