Tom first realized the value of making people laugh when he paid for his entire college education with one joke — the one that begins, “Mom, Dad … I want to be a doctor.” Tom’s parents still laugh about this joke and are fond of repeating it to their friends, as well as to strangers they meet in restaurants and on airplanes.
After two years of pre-med, Tom switched to a self-directed major called “Random Courses That Do Not Involve Studying Organic Chemistry.” By creating his own major, Tom enjoyed the rare distinction of graduating at the top and bottom of his class simultaneously. His valedictorian speech was very short, as he was the only one in attendance.
After college, Tom worked as a writer and editor for a magazine published by the National Safety Council. But after publishing some humor essays in Newsweek, OMNI and Playgirl, he quit in a blaze of optimism to become a freelance writer. He soon discovered that occasional bylines in national magazines did not impress landlords or credit-card companies, so he decided to look into alternate careers that offered more security. He chose acting and standup comedy.
Eventually Tom became a regular on the comedy-club circuit, appearing in major clubs such as Zanies, The Ice House, and Yuk-Yuk’s, as well as in a lot of bars and bowling alleys he’d rather not talk about. He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in several sketch-comedy shows, a few plays, and his own original play, “Quest for the Ultimate Cool,” about a guy who wastes several years trying on different personas in a misguided effort to become somebody cool — not that anyone in Los Angeles could relate to the idea.
Tom also booked a sitcom role in his very first Hollywood audition, as a doctor on “Encore! Encore!” — which was canceled by NBC the day after the audition, proving that Tom has comic timing even when it’s not a good idea.
Tom still appears in clubs and on cruise ships, and is known for a clean, cerebral style. He is also the writer/director of the comedy-documentary “Fat Head: you’ve been fed a load of bologna.” The film’s official site can be found here.