27 Responses to “Standup”
  1. SnowDog says:

    Wow! You’re the first comedian I’ve heard since Cosby, who can be incredibly funny without having to swear and curse.

    Bill Cosby is my idol. I appreciate the comparison — but that man is in a league of his own. Simply amazing.

  2. Don Bassford says:

    was interested in booking you for a show in springfield il. let me know how to contact you. thank you.

    I’ll send you an email.

  3. Katie says:

    Come to CINCINNATI! We have the funny bone in newport and go bananas!

    I haven’t done a road trip since the girls were born, but someday …

  4. James says:

    Just saw your Fat Head documentary.

    You’re an idiot.


    Thank you for the well-reasoned critique. I of course always pay careful attention to reviewers blessed with such obvious intelligence and powers of perception.

  5. Todd Clemens says:

    Hi Tom,

    Is there any chance you could send me your food log for both the month of fast food and subsequent month where you ate all the “bad” food? I loved Fathead and was hoping to see if I could replicate your results.


    The fast-food log is linked on the blog under Helpful Links (left sidebar). I didn’t keep a log for the saturated-fat pigout month, just cut all sugar and starch and ate lots of fatty foods.

  6. Sara says:

    Hi, I just saw your movie. You did a wonderful job, it was really eye-opening. I was wondering if you have heard of or read the China Study and what is your opinion on the research linking animal fat to cancer.
    Thank you!

    The China Study is a classic example of a researcher torturing his data to make it say what he wanted to hear:

  7. Jason says:

    Hey Tom,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Fathead. I’ve been doing a low carb diet for a few months now and the results so far have been incredible (40lbs lost). I’ve been trying to get my father to read some of the books on low carb nutrition but the man won’t read anything without Spider-man on the cover. Thanks to your film I finally got him excited. So if nothing else, my sincerest thanks for that. Please pay no attention to the brainwashed masses who spend all day attacking something they’ve never tried and venomously defend something that probably isn’t working for them either.

    My best to you and your family.

    Thank you.

  8. Andrew says:

    Just watched “Fat Head” simply awesome. It’s hard to make a documentary of this type so interesting. I therefore salute you on actually making it funny AND thought provoking. So kudos for that.

    I’m just started in stand-up comedy and find work like yours and other, “clean” comedians, inspiring as I try not to swear in my act. So thank for the inspiration and laughs. and heck if you have any advice It’d for my “Career” choice, I’d be most thankful!

    Thank you, Andrew. Sorry to be so slow approving your comment. I got swamped this week and didn’t check this blog, since I haven’t written in awhile.

    Advice: watch the comedians you admire. Ask yourself what made you laugh. Nearly all humor involves some form of incongruity … exaggeration, mix and match (Woody Allen as a boxer), inappropriate behavior, etc. Watch for those. Write material, find amateur nights, try it out. Don’t quit if you aren’t funny at first; most comedians will happily tell you about their awful first months trying to figure out what works. Write more material, keep honing existing material, and keep at it.

    • Andrew says:

      Thank you for the encouragement! Keep up the good work.

      P.S. just getting a reply is awesome. so I’ll excuse the “delay” ๐Ÿ™‚

      These are good books, by the way:

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for those links! This was a comedy contest I did in November. FIgured I enjoyed your videos I;d share mine. It’s about 6 minutes. You are amazing to do everything you do and still make time to respond to random kids on the web.

        You’re off to a nice start, Andrew. Finding those little absurdities and oddities in life shows a comic mind at work. Do you mind if I offer a mini-lesson or two in structuring bits? (This is a compliment from me to you. If I didn’t see potential, I wouldn’t bother.)

        First one’s easy: Jerry Seinfeld once described comedy as using words to paint mental pictures that happen to be funny. Specific words paint a clearer picture than general terms. Instead of “a character from Lord of the Rings,” I’d pick a specific character name and use it. That’s a good rule to keep in mind when writing material.

        Setup and timing … you want your setup to be brief, but with all the information necessary to set up a SHORT punchline, with the surprise as close to the end as possible. For example:

        How your wife’s family helped out with the wedding … You already know the rule of threes, which is good. It’s already a funny bit, but I believe you can kick it up a notch up by making the punchline shorter — and thus, punchier. The “surprise” moment is that her sister is a stripper … but as it’s currently structured, you have to talk past the surprise, which stretches it out and reduces the impact:

        “One of her sisters bought her the dress, one of her sisters bought her the flowers, her other sister was a stripper; I saved money on the bachelor party.” (Full seven words past the surprise. Even if the audience feels an urge to laugh on “stripper,” they’ll stifle themselves because you’re still talking.)

        Next time you’re on stage, I’d suggest setting up by saying your wife’s family pitched in and saved you a lot of MONEY … get that word out there in the setup so you don’t need to say it in the punchline. Then you can reduce it to:

        “One of her sisters bought her the dress, one of her sisters bought her the flowers, and one of her sisters was the stripper at my bachelor party.”

        Shorter, punchier. By the time the surprise sinks in, you’ve already got “at my bachelor party” out, so they’re free to laugh.

        Next, you could try (it’s always a matter of trial and error) kicking up the “surprise” factor another notch with:

        “One of her sisters bought her the dress, one of her sisters bought her the flowers, and her mom was the stripper at my bachelor party.”

        Even shorter, therefore punchier, with an even bigger surprise factor — more incongruity. (There’s that word again.) The risk will be producing a big groan instead of a laugh, but I’d sure try it once.

        • Andrew says:

          WOW!! I was not expecting such a detailed response! I always felt the sister is a stripper line was too l6ng but couldn’t think of how to shorten it, so obvious now.

          And character from Lord of the rings I could either say “After a hobbit” or “name my child Frodo” (Actually Samwise, but I think Frodo would be funnier.)

          My sincerest thanks! I think I’ve taken enough of your time. Thank you for being so patient with me.

          “Frodo” is funny. Happy to share some advice. Experienced comics did likewise for me back in the day.

          • Andrew says:

            Just wanted to thank you again for the advice I took your notes and it streamlined the first few bits very well. I hope to make a new video soon I’ll send you a link if you’d like. But it really did make those jokes go smoother so Thank You!

            Glad it helped.

  9. Teresa says:

    Hi Tom,
    First of all, just want to say thanks for making the FatHead documentary, which is informative and funny at the same time (like “the guy from the CSPI”!). Also appreciate that you take time to reply to almost everyone leaving comments here, and give advice to other aspiring comedians. You are great! Keep up with your good work and keep feeding us with intelligent jokes!
    One more thing, isn’t WordPress great? I am also using it for my website.

    I try to answer most comments out of respect for people who take the time to write them. It’s also fun to keep the conversation going.

    Some very good comedians gave me excellent advice when I was starting out. I promised myself I’d pay it forward whenever I have a chance.

  10. Phil says:

    I just want to say thank you for throwing some truth out there with Fat Head. The film makes me feel better about making the right food decisions. I guess breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. I myself had lost 115 lbs at my best (eating an egg for breakfast through the duration). I’ve put a few back on when evil oatmeal crept in. I thought I was doing myself a good deed by cutting the egg out of my diet that had all the cholesterol. I suppose I’ll be going back to my egg, apple, lots of protein, very little carb eating lifestyle. Excellent work good sir!! Thanks again!!

    115 pounds lost is a heck of an accomplishment. Get back to those eggs and I’m sure you’ll shed whatever you’ve regained.

  11. Javin says:

    Wow, this was pretty cool! I actually did stand up (three times) when I was younger and in the military. They had an open mic night at a comedy club in Canada just north of Fort Drum. First night was so/so, second night I actually got enough laughs I thought I’d give it a shot, third night I very literally heard the single cricket that was somewhere in the corner of the room… Literally.

    I’ve already started looking into these books myself, and as a fellow nerd, Andrew, I enjoyed watching your video! Definitely see the potential there.

    And Tom, it kills me that none of your stand-up stuff is on Netflix, and there’s only 3 videos here. :/ I love good, funny, and clean comedy. Where can I see more of your stand-up?

    Finally, I also noticed someone talking about a booking. I have absolutely NO idea what something like this costs, but as I’ll be proposing to the girlfriend soon (a fact she’s not aware of yet. I figure if I can catch her off guard it increases my odds) we would most likely want to do something out of the ordinary for our engagement party or reception. If I may ask, what’s the going rate, assuming you have to travel?

    I’d have to think about that one. Depends on the travel, set length, etc.

    • Javin says:

      Indeed, I’m sure that working wedding reception isn’t something that is on your list of “things I REALLY wish I could do before I die” It was more of a thought that came out before I re-read it and was like, “Wow… I would be pretty insulted if I were him.”

      Perhaps a wedding isn’t the best venue for a family wide education (coz let’s face it, you KNOW I wouldn’t be able to stop talking about “Big Fat Fiasco”) but I really am impressed with the information I’ve learned between Fat-Head, Big Fat Fiasco, and my own research spawned by seeing those.

      Sorry to glush. As mentioned elsewhere, it’s a scotch evening.

      I fully understand scotch-induced glushes.

    • Andrew says:

      Thank Javin for watching the video!

  12. Josh says:

    I just watched your movie on Hulu, well done. When I saw it was an hour and forty five minutes I thought, I’ll just watch ten or fifteen to see where you’re going with it… well one hour and forty five minutes later I enjoyed the whole movie. The stand-up bits are funny too.

    If you ever play the clubs in Vegas, I’d love to do a profile of you on my site.

    Thank you, Josh.

  13. ericka says:

    I just saw this movie, very informative and funny.

  14. Dave says:

    Hello Tom,

    I just finished watching your Fat Head documentary and you pieced together a lot of questions I have asked over the years, thank you very much for this. I questioned the Super Size me every second I watched it, too many things just did not add up. I always looked at the dude as a wolf in sheeps clothing, I mean with a hidden agenda. I obviously do not know you, but you come across as sincere and true and again, I just wanted to thank you for your time, effort and money spent on this documentary.
    Take care,


    Thank you, Dave.

  15. Fred Harmes says:

    You’re not funny. Andrew Dyce Clay is much funnier.

    It’s “Dice,” genius. But I see your point. If only I had the brains to write material about @#$%ing girls balls-deep while standing in line at the bank, I’d be a great comedian.

  16. Karl Ivers says:

    As the only person that doesn’t use profanity, in an office of 10, I often wonder about the percentage of people who react positively to it compared to those of us who find it offensive. Thank you for having higher standards. P.S. You showed great discernment in selecting Kevin Ivers to do your post production computer work on “Fat Head.” BTW. I’m his dad. Thanks for your help for him. Don’t tell him I mentioned him. Blessings and success.

    Thank you, Karl. Kevin is a very talented and very fine young man, and we were blessed to find him.

  17. Chris says:

    I agree with James, you’re an ignorant idiot. Was it to promote your “comedy”, or the fast food companies paying you big bucks the reason you made this? Worthless…

    It was to explain to people how wrong the standard dietary advice is and where it came from. Nobody paid me to make the film.

  18. Joseph Arechiga says:

    Hi Tom,
    Did you write TTS?
    I maintain it now and was trying to lose some weight and watched Fat Head.
    Is this you.
    If so pretty cool that I’m 0 degrees of separation. H aha.
    Great movie.

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