Success for Tom McTigue… Comedy, TV Shows, & Commercials

Fun Interview and short comedy set with Tom McTigue. Tom was a regular Headliner at the clubs and very funny. He went on to have more than 20 TV appearances, a couple Movies, and most financially rewarding, several hundred National commercials. Listen to one of the best, talk about acting, standup comedy, and how he made a career of it all.

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Podcast Transcript:

Announcer: 

This is another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee, celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business, stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here’s your host and emcee Scott and words.

Scott Edwards: 

Hey, and welcome to this week’s show. We got something fun for you one of my favorite headliners in the history of laughs This guy is an actor. He’s a stand up comic, you recognize him from over 20 appearances on television, he’s done a few movies, TV commercials, but I personally respect him and know him is one of the best stand up comics. In the business. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Tom McTigue. And the crowd goes nuts. Good to have you here, Tom

Tom McTigue: 

Cruise. It’s a huge crowd. I’m not used to crowds like this from someone that

Scott Edwards: 

started right off the bat. You know, we have not talked in way too long. But we did work together a lot in the mid and late 80s, and then into the 90s. And I meant every word I said when it comes to comedy headliners, you are definitely one of the best and one that always brought the crowds to their feet. And, and Jill and I were just talking about you the other day, there’s bits that we still quote from 40 years later. But let’s, man, let’s not jump ahead. Now makes

Tom McTigue: 

me that makes me feel very, very good. Oh, really appreciate it. Your your room was really instrumental in my being able to step into stand up comedy full time, I can tell you that story. Or if you want to talk about something else. Well,

Scott Edwards: 

let me let me lead in by just saying I know that you’re at heart an actor, you were doing some acting before you got into comedy. And then after your stand up career, you really took off as an actor. But tell the audience briefly how you went from doing some stage shows and plays and ended up in comedy.

Tom McTigue: 

I was I studied acting briefly in high school. And then when I went to college, I sort of stumbled into a an Acting Program at Washington State University and then moved to New York after my sophomore year and studied at HP studios there and then was living in Seattle. And at the time I lived in Seattle, I went through a breakup a relationship breakup and was wandering around my little broken heart and Seattle and discovered the comedy underground and Seattle. And yeah, and it was just magical. Because for the time that I was there, you know, the hour, hour and a half that I was watching stand up, I forgot about how sad I was, you know, and it was like alchemy. I couldn’t believe it. And so I became enamored of the, of the art form and started just palling around with comedians. I’ve never considered myself a comic and but we’re just fascinated with comedy and comedians. And yeah, so I was hired to do a traveling show. That was the literally, and I don’t exaggerate, it was, it was the worst production ever put up. It was it was called Bloody Jack. And I think it was billed as a magical musical romp through the life of Jack the Ripper. It was just good. It was so bad. And and so that was a stage show I was hired to do out of Seattle, and it went bankrupt in its first week or two. We played the Oakland civic auditorium for a paid audience of one. I think that’s a 2000 seat room. So, so this, so the show goes bankrupt, and I am stuck in Oakland, at a really nasty hotel in a really nasty neighborhood with the rest of the cast. And we’re waiting for money to come. And there was a guy for money to come to get us back up to Seattle, and there was a guy in the cast. I don’t know if you ever hired him or not how he cursed him. Did you ever hire him? No,

Scott Edwards: 

I don’t even know the name was the Bay Area. No.

Tom McTigue: 

No, he was a Seattle guy. But he was. He was really funny. He was a member of the cast. And while we were waiting to get back up to Seattle, he would entertain us in this little piano bar attached to the hotel by singing funny songs. And I said, God, you’re really funny. I know some comedians I know a little bit about the comedy scene. All right for you and you can do that on stage and all managers And so we got back up to Seattle, and I was hustling and he was hustling and we wound up getting him gigs around the Seattle area. And, and then on a dare, I had gotten into an argument with a local comedian. And I said, Man, you’re not funny. And he said, you know, and he said, you couldn’t do it. And I said, I’ll show you. So the next week, I cobbled together, you know, five minutes of drag, and bombed, but was hooked. And that’s how I got into stand up comedy. Do you remember what it was? I think it was 81. Scott, I’m not sure. But I think

Scott Edwards: 

early it is because I know you didn’t make it to laughs until the mid 80s. Now, how did you end up working for me? How did we meet?

Tom McTigue: 

So the only Booker, I mean, I was doing little road gigs, like on Vancouver Island and, and in Canada, and then around the Seattle area. And, and the only, you know, like West Coast, Booker was John Fox out of San Francisco who owned the comedy underground or booked the comedy underground, and then also had a room in like Tahoe. And then the punch line in San Francisco.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, John was a definite Booker at the time. We crossed paths a few times. Yeah. And

Tom McTigue: 

I guess he also had a room in Sunnyvale. So having worked in Seattle, I wound up getting, I don’t know whether they were middle gigs or opening gigs from him. And I was in my car. I just drove my car and I park it outside of whatever town he’d hired me to be. And then, I mean, I’d just pitch a tent in a campground shower and the crap campground showers and then drive into town and do the gig. Not and, and so I was close to Sacramento. And I knew there was a club in Sacramento and I popped in to your club. I think Danny Johnson was working that evening, and Danny and I had met in Seattle, and I said, Hey, I’m here. I’d like to do a guest that and very graciously, you allowed me to do a guest that and I punched it. So you said hey, if you want, if you want, I think I think you initially hired me to middle, maybe to open but I think you hired me to middle and end gave me like four weeks. And I was like, oh my god, this is great.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I had multiple clubs. And I was able to offer comics, because I like to bring people back. So they got a reputation in the town. And you probably were a fee track because I’m embarrassed to say that by the late 80s Especially I was doing so much time I didn’t I got rid of the opening acts and just had features guidelines

Tom McTigue: 

you did you were so tedious. You just kept doing the same thing. Everything and you wouldn’t get off. You gotta Yeah, no any 45 minutes from the end. And by the time he got off, there was no time left. You know, like I just wore the crowd out when you enjoyed it. You know, it was your club, do whatever you want, you know, but you were famous. I don’t know if you know that you were you were pretty famous among comedians, for eating a whole lot of stage time.

Scott Edwards: 

The club owner that took up stage time. That’s it the nice reputation.

Tom McTigue: 

Well, you know, if it’s your club, it’s your club, right? Who’s gonna argue? Well,

Scott Edwards: 

it was great having you come into the club and I didn’t remember how you got started, but boy, our relationship really took off you were one of our go to guys. And you always wild the audience’s you were a great writer.

Tom McTigue: 

Well, thank you. I really I mean, I love love stand up. And yeah, I still I still love it. But the, you know, the, the, the life of traveling from town to town and doing shows and sleeping in condos or hotels or, you know, it just wears on you it’s it’s it’s a terror guys. Yeah, there are guys who who can do it and I think still still do it to a degree. You know. But it just, it just wears you down. And so I did. I did stand up. I don’t know. I would say a couple of weeks out of every month and at some point there I transitioned in 86. I think I transitioned down to LA from Seattle. And then I do a couple of weeks on the road and then I’d stay home for a couple of weeks in Audition. And then I go back on the road and then I audition and

Scott Edwards: 

it was really with acting that was your your pedestal that you leapt from you you always wanted to be you in your heart of hearts was an actor, which is interesting because a lot of Stand Up comics. Start off and stand up and want to or ended up being actors. And you were kind of an actor that ended up being a stand up, you’re almost the, the opposite of what most of the guys did

Tom McTigue: 

was a little bit of a hybrid. And I don’t know that I was that my heart was always in acting. I mean, I really

Scott Edwards: 

adored a lot of Sam bass in the 90s, buddy.

Tom McTigue: 

Well, I get Yeah, I mean, I got I got very fortunate but but, you know, I, I think that there were all these guys who were looking at stand up as a vehicle to get a sitcom. And I and I, I would probably fall into that, you know, I mean, I was hoping for sitcom fame, or, you know, more of whatever, but I really love stand up just for itself. I mean, it was so immediate, and it was totally controlled by, by you, the artist, you know, you could say what you want, do what you want to shape it the way you wanted it to be in there were no, no other hands in the pie, you know?

Scott Edwards: 

And, yeah, the instant gratification is really important. I mean, as an actor, you’ll go out in front of a camera, and it may not air for months, and then it’s edited and you really don’t know what it’s gonna come out to be in when you’re live on stage. Good or bad. You know it?

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, you’re there’s, there’s nobody to blame. And there’s nobody to share, share the victory with you know, it’s yours. And it’s really cool. You know, I mean, it’s very addicting and, and I’ve always, you know, always done stand up from the time I started I, you know, I mean, to this day, I, you know, I’ve been watching my my schedule sort of fall apart. I don’t know if it’ll come back or not for me. I mean, I you know, we were talking a little bit ago about the the tedium of road life and travel. And it’s, you know, the older you get, the more you hate going through customs and security claims and leaving your home. And, you know, I’ve got two dogs, a cat, three kids and a wife, you know, I mean, my, my life is here, it’s full. And to be Yeah, to be away from all of that, just to me, isn’t. doesn’t, doesn’t seem to be worth it much anymore. I love going to Vegas for a week or two a year. And, and, but I don’t know if I’ll pick up on ships again or not. We’ll see.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, let’s get back to we’ve kind of jumped ahead. Let’s go back to your beginnings because you were very popular in the club you had. What was interesting is where you had Seinfeld talking about common things. And you had Larry Miller, who was the long story guy, he could tell a story over a half an hour, then you’d be laughing all the way through it at different points. You were somewhere in between, again, kind of a hybrid, but you had great stories, and I was alluding to it earlier, Jill and I still talk every time we see a motorcycle, motorcycle gang it’s a motor scooter gang.

Tom McTigue: 

The Hells Angels from France

Scott Edwards: 

and then the pop by pi bit my not saying that right? And then and then one of our favorite closes of all time. Had to be your bit that ended up I was wondering how you loaded that thing.

Tom McTigue: 

Oh my god is That is so funny. That wasn’t even mine. That’s like an old old joke. And I think I learned that joke about loading the deck in the glass of milk I I think I got that joke from Playboy party jokes.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah, it fits so well in the whole bit. You did about burning chubby I in everything. It was hilarious.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, I dressed it up but I mean, in Playboy party jokes it was a guy that went into the doctor or something and said I you know, I burnt my I don’t know how that’s so funny.

Scott Edwards: 

I always thought you wrote that.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah. No, it’s an it’s an old joke. And and yeah, it just worked into it worked into a closer and apparently not enough people read the jokes and Playboy party jokes for anybody to call me out on it. But yeah, that’s an old Playboy party joke.

Scott Edwards: 

Hey, well, you made it yours and that was what counted I know that the potpie bit and a few others made are not an album you did but you had you had a number of what I was trying to kind of make clear to the audience was that there’s some comics that just do joke joke joke joke and there’s others that tell they’re more Rhinology and tell stories and you were kind of a hybrid in the middle and always very entertaining never had any trouble filling time now if he started off as a feature for me. Did it feel like it took a while to to get enough time to headline?

Tom McTigue: 

No, no, I think that happened probably within a year or at the very outside to with you. I was always really aggressive because the money was the money was in the headline spot you know and and I was always like Looking at it as a as a means of supporting myself. So if it was the headline spot that paid the bigger bucks, then that’s the spot I won or not. It was I wasn’t trying to be a dick about it. But I always made a very conscious decision if I was middling to make it a very difficult act to follow. And, and at some point, you know, I mean, even even really great headliners, whether it was, you know, Jeff Altman, or or Danny or any of the guys that were headlining at that time. They didn’t want to follow me, you know, it’s no fun. It’s no fun watching somebody beat up a room for 30 minutes, and then you get up and have to change the pace in order to follow

Scott Edwards: 

your room. Right? Right. But it does, it does happen. And that just shows the quality of a good solid headliner, which you end up becoming, you can follow anybody I felt. Once you got you worked at the club for a number of years. Do you have any stories from the last days?

Tom McTigue: 

God I? Well, there’s a there’s a ton of stories. There was one. I remember I hope I’m remembering this Well, I believe I was in the green room and and Mac and Jamie were there and we were sharing stories and Mac was a little thrown because a woman had come back into the green room and was talking to them and she had unzipped her pants in the greenroom and hold them down not to expose her or her vagina, but she had like right on her. Right above her pubis. She had two nipples. And she had she was thanking them because she had gone through a mastectomy, a double mastectomy, and they had saved her nipples by sewing them onto her down by her pubis, right? And I remember being in the green room, and Jamie was his eyes were just like, as big as saucers, because you wouldn’t believe what that woman just did. I know, I saw, you know,

Scott Edwards: 

it’s funny. I now that you mentioned the story. And that’s a great story. I remember that story, but I totally had forgotten it. But what a bizarre thing to do. And at the same time, if you’re going through cancer and discectomy makes perfect sense that you’d want to save something for the reconstruction. That’s a

Tom McTigue: 

great date. They saved them there. And then I guess when she had a reconstruction, they put them back where they were supposed to be. But yeah, she was she was thanking them because the way she got through chemo and and, and the whole removal and reconstruction of her breast was attending comedy shows. And Mack and Jamie I think were her favorite act and are one of her favorite acts. And she just wanted to express her, her joy to them. But But I think, you know, when somebody unzips their pants, you don’t expect to see nipples. Unless they’re really old. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

That’s so funny, though. That’s a great story.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah. And then I had, I mean, there, there were, I was there so often, Scott, I think I did the downtown club twice or three times a year. And I think I did Citrus Heights two or three times a year. So I was up there six times a year anyway, I had a lot of people that I knew up in the area and and had a lot of fun. But they’re, you know, they’re the run of the mill. Stand up comedy during the 80s, early 90s stories of, well, an awful lot of fun, but

Scott Edwards: 

we used to do things. I mean, I know you’re you used to be an avid water skier, I think we took the out skiing once on the boat. And I don’t know if you ever made any of the bowling knights but we used to have some fun away from the club. And I know that we always enjoyed having you in town. So I’m sure that you are a part of some of that. Well, I

Tom McTigue: 

remember doing that. And that’s true. You guys did a really good job of making the club sort of a familial place. You were adamant that nobody got to sleep with your waitresses. That was like a bridge that you couldn’t cross. Which, you know, on on the one hand, you’re like, it was annoying, but on the other hand, it worked out really well. Because Because you could come back and there wasn’t any, you know, you hadn’t left any dirt behind. You know what I mean?

Scott Edwards: 

That’s interesting. We did it for the protection of both the comics and the waitstaff at the in the it’s been mentioned a couple times in the podcast. We had a younger staff, mostly women, and it and we were told by the comics that guided us through the opening it was people like Sagat and channeling and stuff. They were the ones that said, protect your staff because as you point out, you don’t want to poison the water. If you’re going to have somebody come back over and over and over and they get involved, it makes it muddies everything. It’s not as clean. And so there was many reasons it was called rule number eight, it was kind of famous rule number eight, no messing with the staff. And I heard after the fact that it rule number eight had gotten broken a few times. But overall, it was there for a reason. And it did it.

Tom McTigue: 

I think it probably got broken a few times. But there were there were clubs, that I go to that. I mean, it was like a buffet, you know, the staff was there with the implicit knowledge that the comics were there to pick up. And the comics knew that the waitresses were there to pick up and it was those clubs lasted a long, long time. And I don’t think there were any big problems from it. But I’m sure that you know, you’d go into town. And if you’d been with a waitress and you know, then you were with a different waitress or a different, you know, or no, we just created a lot of a lot of

Scott Edwards: 

you meant, yeah, you worked with Danny and a few other guys. Was there anybody in the business you really looked up to or liked working with?

Tom McTigue: 

I loved working with Danny, but I remember I was at the other club, or I don’t know where I was, maybe I just dropped in on a night Danny was there. He and I worked together so many times. And I knew his act. It lasted 37 minutes. And it was exact never changed. never changed. And, and I you know, I mean, back in those days, he’d watched the other comic and they go, I got a tag for you. Or I’ve got this line for you to try to take this bit that way. And I remember giving Danny what I thought were really really good solid tags. And he would always go Oh, yeah, that’s perfect. That’s great. Oh, man, thank you. And then you’d watch him and he wouldn’t put it in. He did the exact thing. 37 minutes and the whole time. I mean, from the time before I was even a comic and just watching stand up. Danny’s 37 minutes didn’t change an iota though is exactly the same. Actually.

Scott Edwards: 

It was a funny 37 minutes but good. I never. Yeah,

Tom McTigue: 

yeah. I mean, you can you can I think if you go on YouTube, you can hear Danny’s I don’t know there’s a little bit of a videotape of Danny from those days, but God he was brilliant. And so I loved working with him. I love working with Dana Carvey Kevin Pollak, both Kevin was a was a real mensch. To me, when I first moved to LA, he really opened a lot of doors for me just because he, a, he treated me like a like a friend like a peer. And because he had the reputation he had, he was able to, you know, get me late night spots at the improv. And once I got a spot and got seen, then they’d give me better spots. So he opened that door for me. And then Jeff Altman opened the door to commercials for me because he was he was represented at William Morris and said, I’ll put in a good word for you got a good luck, and I bet you could do it. So he got me in William Moore.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, it’s it’s really neat. And Kevin Pollak, he was one of those guys, that was a terrific stand up comic, but quickly when in the acting and never stopped still going today. And Jeff Altman was one of those guys that didn’t do a lot of acting, but he was very popular and did concerts and shows and TV a lot. But it’s interesting how they each were able to take it down a different path. And how lucky for you to make those connections worked out really well for you.

Tom McTigue: 

Oh, yeah, I mean, and I, hopefully I’ve been able to, you know, smooth the way for guys that came after me. But it’s, it was just a it was a really neat time. It was such a young industry. There had been the Playboy circuit prior to you know, clubs, and then the Catskills and, and, you know, supper clubs prior to that. But comedy, comedy clubs, you know, where you had, you know, the, the emcee, the middle act and the headliner was that was a pretty new phenomenon in the early 80s. And, and boy, it was so much fun to be a part of it was just a blast. Yeah, and

Scott Edwards: 

that’s kind of the reason for this podcast. I felt like we were really lucky to share that part of our lives, the 80s and the 90s. In my case, were particularly strong, and I felt that was kind of the golden age of stand up and you say Golden Age people think oldies but it really was when if you were a talented writer and you worked the job, it was work you had to write, and you had to perform. And you had to go through the trials and tribulations and the sacrifices of being on the road. But if you were good and consistent, you could become famous. And then your case, it led to more acting, we should mention to the audience that you were a regular on Baywatch in the early 90s. Right. You did a lot of shows like Beverly Hills, 90210. Roseanne, several, I think over 20 TV appearances in the early 90s. And then you ended up doing a few movies quite a career, Tom. Congratulations.

Tom McTigue: 

Thanks, Matt. Yeah, it was it was never the career that I had envisioned it was going to be my, my wheelhouse in terms of income. And in terms of longevity and math. Work was commercials. And I wound up. I think I tried to tally it up one time, and I had something like 385 National Network commercials,

Scott Edwards: 

how many that’ll make a living?

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, it was great. And I mean, at one time, in probably early 90s, maybe late 80s, or probably early 90s. I had 22 National Network ads airing at the same time. I remember watching watching the NBA Finals one year, and on a commercial break. All the commercials were my commercials.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, no way. Yeah, it’s three. And you made money. Oh, yeah. That’s, that’s not just exposure. That’s great money. No, it’s

Tom McTigue: 

wonderful. And, and so commercials really were, what I, what I really one ad I had some, a couple of television sitcom pilots and a couple of, you know, a number of guest star roles. And, and then a couple of films but but the the real, at least financial success came out of just doing commercial after commercial after commercial. I was I got to look the way I look, you know, and, and I was able to sell, but I think I was in the right demographic to write, write, write, sell everything from, you know, from beer, beer commercials, like the young single guy look to the young married dad look. And that transitioned into the middle dad look. And you know, and commercials were really lucrative at that point. They weren’t. I mean, that whole business has totally changed. I have no idea how people make a living at it cuz Oh, really watches commercials. You know, I mean, commercials or nothing. Now, I gotta almost like,

Scott Edwards: 

I want to share with you that Jill was just saying, right before I called you that and we saw actually on one of those, like best commercials ever TV shows. But there’s one where you were doing a car company and you’re racing your child on a tricycle and you’re in the car. She thought it was four votes. Yeah.

Tom McTigue: 

It was. It was Volkswagen and, and the kid. I forget his last name was Angus. He became he was the kid on Two and a Half Men.

Scott Edwards: 

No. Yeah. Well, that commercial still is to Jill is one of the most endearing the look and the way you came across in that commercial as the young dad racing as you know, you’re in the car and the sons and the tricycle. People out there in podcast land. If you envision this, you’ll probably remember the commercial it did run a ton, but it was so sweet and so funny kind of at the same time. She used never forgotten and still thinks it’s it’s one of the highlights of your career.

Tom McTigue: 

Well, you know, it was a really sweet commercial, you know, and he was great. And the directors were great. I’m trying to remember Jonathan Dayton and Valerie ferentz. They’re a husband and wife directing directing team they did. I’m not sure what their whole IMDb is, but they were the directors of Little Miss Sunshine. You remember that?

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. Very successful. They,

Tom McTigue: 

yeah, they directed that ad. But God I got to work with some brilliant directors, you know, I mean, and, and, and cinematographers I did a number of spots with Yanis Kaminski, who was the cinematographer for most of Spielberg’s stuff, he did Schindler’s List and a number of other ones and, and Bob Richardson, who was the director of the aviator, I mean, there were really really good directors and in between films, they do come Marshalls and I get to work with some of the best. There was a lot of fun.

Scott Edwards: 

What a great career. And it’s interesting, because I’ve already interviewed at least a dozen comics, and I’m planning to interview more. And I got to say, Tom, you’re probably the only one that was able to make an income in a living from TV commercials on top of all your success as a stand up comic. And of course you did. I’m sure you made some money on Baywatch and a few of those shows. But the idea that nationals was really the pinnacle and supported you I think is a, you know, it just shows that show business as a lot of different avenues.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, there were, I mean, with within my, I guess the, the, the balls that I juggled at that point were stand up, commercials, voiceover and legitimate, whether it’s TV or film. So those, all those balls were what I was juggling in order to make a career. And so when any, you know, one or two of those wasn’t in the air, the other ones were and they were sort of pulling the financial train. So I was I was really lucky to have, you know, really good representation, man. I had the best commercial agents, I had the best theatrical agents. And, you know, I was lucky enough to land a lot of big campaigns, whether they were on air campaigns or voiceover campaigns, and then, and that lasted pretty much through, I would say, through the 90s, it was really flush. And then, you know, age and the business changed a little bit, and it got a little bit slower, but it was still a good living through the first part of the 2000s. But then it got it just started getting really slow. And around that time was when I moved to Texas. And you know, and when I moved here, it was really like, alright, it’s over. You know, and, and, oddly enough, within a year of winding up in Texas, I landed the biggest voiceover campaign in my career, just auditioning out of my closet in my house.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, you were all Pro, so that helped.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, but I mean, you know, voiceover is one of those things where you just audition into the ether, you know, you you read for these things and send off the mp3. And you most often never hear back, you know, nobody says Good job that was close. It’s down to you. And the other guy you just never hear, you know. company called Bojangles. It’s a chicken firm, like Popeye’s or Church’s fried chicken. They’ve got about 500 stores up and down the East Coast. But I had that campaign for radio and TV, just the voice for nine years, when I probably did. I probably did 20 spots for them a month.

Scott Edwards: 

ratable Tom, that’s a page I was. It was

Tom McTigue: 

brilliant. And then. And then at some point, I was here and got an audition for boyhood. And I didn’t it wasn’t even called boyhood. It was just, I think it was called the 12 year project or something like that.

Scott Edwards: 

We should tell people you’re referencing the movie you’re in in 2014, or that’s when it was released.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, yeah. And it was a good movie. And it won the Golden Globe. It was nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. It was this amazing film that turned into, you know, a very worthy project. But at the time I auditioned for it had already been filming for seven years, right? It follows a boy from the time he’s eight until he’s 18. And so I’ve already been filming for seven years, and I just went into it thinking Christ, nothing films for seven years. This is a vanity project. You know, it’s never gonna see the light of day. So I went in, and I did did my part and didn’t think much about it. And then a year or two later, when it got released, it started getting all this buzz. And that was probably the highest profile thing in my career, you know, and

Scott Edwards: 

graduation.

Tom McTigue: 

Thanks. It was a lot of fun, you know, and it’s a nice if that’s the last big media thing I do. It’s a nice tip of my hat to the business.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, exactly. And I do want to bring this all back to comedy. So how would you feel that being a stand up comic and the successful headliner, you were did it help you in negotiating some of these other projects that you did in the 90s and 2000s that were more acting but I’m sure your experience on stage and your quality of writing and your personality had to have been shaped somewhat by those years on stage.

Tom McTigue: 

I negotiate not negotiating in terms of contracts, but negotiating just getting around the part or getting through the audition that sort of negotiating. Is that what you’re talking about? No, I think guys,

Scott Edwards: 

I met the experience. You know, I hate to sound Hotty Totty. But I, one of the reasons I’m doing this podcast is I think there’s a real art form, to stand up, there’s a talent, there’s some immediate reaction from a crowd, you have to really work at it, there’s a lot of sacrifice. You have to be able to write and be creative, you can’t steal. And you were able to do all that in the 80s. And I was just curious, if some of the lessons you learned as a comic, in in the world of comedy, did it bridge over to your acting, and offer you any foundation for your future?

Tom McTigue: 

I think absolutely. You know, I mean, I It’s all of it is intertwined. But the stand up comedy gives you this opportunity to stand in front of a roomful of strangers, and have to be fearless, you just sort of step out into the void, and you start entertaining them. And so the experience that I gained from stand up was invaluable in auditioning, you know, you’d walk into a room, and it was just a room with, you know, maybe five or six or 10 people in it, but it was my job to entertain them, whether it was my script and ad libbing or their script. You know, it was pretty easy for me to hold their attention and make that an enjoyable process for them to. And I think that’s oftentimes what lands you depart. People go, oh, man, remember that guy who came out and did that thing? You know?

Scott Edwards: 

And I think it gives you confidence.

Tom McTigue: 

Right? Yeah. I mean, it was, you know, there. I used to forget auditions. I mean, I’d go in and at the height, I was probably doing five a day, you know, you you’d have a suit in your car, and you’d have jeans in your car, and you’d have a T shirt and a button down shirt. And, you know, you’d go from one to the other and change in the car in the parking lot when you got to the next audition. And, and, and I remember early, I tell my mom I auditioned for, I don’t know, Folgers or whatever it was. And then the next time I talked to her, she got to sell her name. Did she get that Folgers audition? And you know, I didn’t remember whether, whether even it got to a point where like, I’m not going to tell my mom diction for anything. Because she remembers all of that. Right? And if he’s looking for you, yeah, but if you’re not, if, if you’re thinking about the audition you had two weeks ago, you know it hoping that the phone’s gonna ring. God, that’s a painful existence, because the phone mostly doesn’t ring. You know? You forget about it. And then, you know, I got to a point where I knew I’d booked stuff, pretty much walking out of the audition.

Scott Edwards: 

And doing five a day you were paying your dues in the acting business. I have to tell you, Tom, I don’t know anything about the acting business, except what I’ve seen on TV and movies. And they always make it sound look like a real grunge. You got to really dig it out. And like you said, do auditions and sit back and wait for the phone to ring. But it sounds like you took advantage of being able to make a living as a comic and still go out and showcase and do auditions. And that really gave you the opportunities that led to your success?

Tom McTigue: 

Well, I think it did. And I think it did on a number of different levels. Because when you’ve got a livelihood, you know, which stand up was very, you know, is very lucrative, you know, if you worked it, you could make a lot of money doing it. So I didn’t need the commercials and I didn’t need the jobs that I was auditioning for to pay my rent, you know, which gives you a certain degree of ambivalence hire me or don’t hire me, but don’t give me shit.

Scott Edwards: 

Is the freedom to say no.

Tom McTigue: 

Yeah, it’s bad. You know, I’m not trying to be crass, but it’s a little bit of fuck you money, you know. So I found myself number of times, and I don’t remember specifics, but I was in a situation where people were being just kind of rude. And I, I was able to just say, man, you’re just being rude. I don’t want this job. See?

Scott Edwards: 

You know, Well, I’m glad comedy gave me that base. So I want to share with the audience one of your sets. And I’m going to put that on at the end of this. We were lucky enough to work with you many many times over the years and we were able to capture some of that on video and audio recordings that we made from the club. I’ve actually already aired some event material in other podcasts but I have lots

Tom McTigue: 

right when does the checker rock

Scott Edwards: 

will soon deserves any money in it for me, buddy. You’re on the list. This is a labor of love, trust me. But I just wanted to say that thank you, not only for doing the podcast, but for also being a major part of the success of laughs unlimited the years in the mid late 80s and into the early 90s That you are performing regularly at all of my clubs. really help substantiate laughs Unlimited is a major comedy club in the country. And the fact that it’s lasted 40 years and guys like us can get on the phone and talk like we just saw each other a week ago, and it’s been 20 years is pretty incredible. So I appreciate you taking the time and sharing some of your experiences with me today.

Tom McTigue: 

Well, you’re more than welcome. It’s been a real pleasure hearing your voice and getting to catch up a little bit. And I, I think I owe you thanks as well, you know, thanks for running a club and running it well and paying people on time and being an honorable businessman and providing a venue for me and countless other comedians to fly there. ply their craft, you know, I really appreciate it. It was a lot of fun to work at laughs and I’m glad you’re doing well give Joe a hug for me. I haven’t seen either of you’d like to say in in way too long, but I held you both in very high esteem.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, thanks a lot, Tom. And you as well. Thank you that was a really sweet to say. And as I said, you stand out as one of the guys that really made a difference. So let’s introduce the audience to some of your material. Tom, it’s been great chatting with you. I’m glad that you I’m just proud of all the success you’ve had. It’s just incredible. Your career and it sounds like it’s continuing. Is there any projects you’re working on or or that you’re going to be looking forward to in the next year or so?

Tom McTigue: 

I have absolutely no plans. I’m like a trapdoor spider. Now I don’t look very hard for work. But if it stumbles by I tend to jump out and grab it.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, that’s that’s a great analogy. Great picture. All right. Well, I’ll tell you what, ladies and gentlemen sit back and relax. Enjoy some great stand up comedy from one of the best headliners I ever had the pleasure of working with Tom thanks for doing the podcast ladies and gentlemen. Here’s some material live on stage. Tom McTigue Thanks buddy

Tom McTigue: 

was alive celebrating America’s independence from Great Britain employ you got to be careful because apparently now every single year on the Fourth of July more people are killed and wounded by fireworks they were during the entire period of the Revolutionary War very popular we got a we had a rocky beach we won the war if you didn’t wear a rim in the world shimmery gold a British woman she goes into reaching to be Hey, it was a revolutionary war job to say.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was a stand up comedy of Tom McTigue. I know you enjoy that. Thanks so much to Tom for doing our podcast and sharing his comedy and writing talents from back in the 80s and 90s. Ladies and gentlemen, please tell your friends about the podcast, share it, rate it, get it out there. And again. Thanks for listening. Hope you enjoyed the show by

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