Paul F. Tompkins
Tompkins at the LA podcast festival in October 2012
Paul Francis Tompkins
September 12, 1968
Janie Haddad (m. 2010)
Paul Francis Tompkins (born September 12, 1968) is an American comedian, actor, and writer. He is known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Best Week Ever, later renamed Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins.
He is known for his numerous appearances on podcasts, including his 200-plus appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! He has also been the host of the Fusion Channel talk show No, You Shut Up!, The Dead Authors Podcast, the online Made Man interview series Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins, the Earwolf podcast Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins, and The Pod F. Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment" in 2011.
He is also a main cast member of the Superego podcast and was a regular player on Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast, which ended in 2015. Tompkins is the voice of Mr. Peanutbutter, an anthropomorphic yellow labrador, on the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman. He has also appeared in drama films like There Will Be Blood and The Informant!
In 1986 Tompkins first performed comedy at 17 years of age at The Comedy Works in Philadelphia (a club now located in Bristol, Pennsylvania) where he performed as half of a sketch comedy duo with Rick Roman. Tompkins attended Temple University; however, he dropped out and left for Los Angeles, California in 1994.
Tompkins met actor Jay Johnston in L.A. through their mutual friend, actor and director Adam McKay. McKay and Tompkins had become friends in Philadelphia, where they had both started to perform stand-up at around the same time. McKay later moved to Chicago and met Johnston; Johnston moved to L.A. at around the same time as Tompkins and McKay introduced the two. Tompkins and Johnston went on to create a live sketch comedy show called "The Skates" that was seen by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross and helped get them hired to work on Mr. Show with Bob and David in 1996.
Tompkins's comedy career has included stand-up, sketch comedy and a variety of other live performances.
Tompkins stand-up comedy performances are of a storytelling and observationalist style. His shows often consist of extended riffs and long anecdotes. Tompkins deals with topics of the bizarre and the absurd—such as a rant about peanut brittle, a discussion about cake versus pie, and smashed coins—in addition to recounting stories about his own life experiences and family. His comedic style has been described as alternative comedy; Tompkins has stated that he is not bothered by the label and that he likes the term.
Tompkins is known for his style of dress during his live comedic performances, always performing in suit and tie, sometimes in pinstripes and with a bowtie; his look has been described by some in the press as "dapper". Tompkins has described his look as "foppish" and "just this side of Cedric the Entertainer."
Tompkins is based in Los Angeles and performs regularly in the city. Since 2002 he has performed a monthly show called The Paul F. Tompkins Show at Largo, an L.A. nightclub and cabaret. His show has featured such guests such as Fiona Apple, Jack Black, Dave Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Aimee Mann, and Weird Al Yankovic. Since its inception in 2005, Tompkins has taken part in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, a staged production in the style of old-time radio that is also held monthly at Largo. The show began podcasting in January 2011; in October of that same year the show's podcasts moved to the Nerdist Industries podcast network created by Chris Hardwick. Tompkins is a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) Los Angeles. His comedy album "Impersonal" was recorded live at the UCB Theatre. He also performs monthly at the "Dead Authors" show at UCB Theatre in support of the nonprofit organization 826LA; Tompkins plays the role of H.G. Wells who serves as the host of the show.
Tompkins has toured in the US and Canada and prefers to perform in independent venues, rather than conventional comedy clubs. Starting in 2009 he embarked on his "Tompkins 300" tour; Tompkins had been preparing for his one-hour Comedy Central special You Should Have Told Me at the Laughing Skull Lounge theatre in Atlanta, Georgia—a small theatre that seats about 74 people. In order to fill the seats for the recording of his special, Tompkins required about 280 people in the audience over the course of four nights for the recording of his show. Tompkins decided to announce on Twitter that he needed 300 people to fill the seats each night; Bob Kerr, a Canadian comedian, saw the Twitter post and asked if Tompkins would like to perform in Toronto. Tompkins advised Kerr that if he was able to get 300 people to state that they would definitely see his show he would come to Toronto. Kerr then started a Facebook group called "I Wanna See Paul F. Tompkins in Toronto" and managed to get 300 people to join. In October of that same year Tompkins performed at The Rivoli theatre in Toronto, the same theatre in which the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall got their start. Facebook groups were subsequently started in other North American cities and in 2010 he stated that he had stopped promoting his shows on the radio. In 2011 he said that the Facebook 300 groups had become his main method of booking comedy shows.
Tompkins wrote and performed in his one-man show, Driven to Drink which aired on HBO in 1998. He appeared on 6 episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien between 1998 and 2008 as well as two episodes of Conan in 2011 and 2012. He has recorded three comedy albums: Impersonal in 2007, Freak Wharf in 2009, and Laboring Under Delusions in 2012. His stand-up appearances on the Comedy Central network include being featured in episodes of Comedy Central Presents in 2003 and 2007, hosting an episode of Live at Gotham in 2009, performing on John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show in 2010, and recording two original one-hour comedy specials—You Should Have Told Me which aired in 2010 and Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions in 2012. He also appeared in the RiffTrax live broadcast of House on Haunted Hill.
Tompkins wrote for and performed on Mr. Show with Bob and David from 1995 to 1998; the show's writers, including Tompkins, were nominated for an Emmy Award in 1998 for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program".
Tompkins's work with Mr. Show's creators Bob Odenkirk and David Cross also led to his recurring role on the Tenacious D TV series. Tompkins played the character of a nightclub manager who is duped into reading Tenacious D's ridiculous introductions during their open mic performances. He revived the role in the comedic band's film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny released in 2006.
Longtime friend Adam McKay consulted Tompkins regarding the screenplay for Talladega Nights. Tompkins also played the MC of a cat show in McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Tompkins has appeared on television programs including NewsRadio, Frasier, Weeds, The Sarah Silverman Program, Pushing Daisies, Community, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Tompkins played the role of Prescott in Paul Thomas Anderson's film There Will Be Blood (2007); Anderson had previously cast Tompkins in a small role in the 1999 film Magnolia after watching Tompkins perform at Largo. Tompkins also played FBI Agent Anthony D’Angelo in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! (2009). He has a recurring role in the Canadian TV series The L.A. Complex as a fictionalized version of himself. He also appeared in the music video for Nick Lowe's song "Stoplight Roses" and in the Ted Leo and the Pharmacists song "Bottled In Cork". Tompkins wrote for Real Time with Bill Maher in 2003 and 2009, in addition to being a show correspondent in the show's first season. In 2011 Tompkins was asked to write humorous recaps of American Idol episodes for New York magazine's online blog Vulture.
Tompkins has done voice work for many animated television series including Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, King of the Hill, and Bob's Burgers, in which he voices the recurring character Randy. He lent his voice to a character in an unaired 2007 episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force titled "Boston" that was supposed to be the premiere episode of the show's fifth season, but it was pulled by Turner Broadcasting System to avoid further controversy surrounding the 2007 Boston bomb scare. Tompkins later appeared in an episode during the show's 7th season. He was also the voice of one of the thugs in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2010 computer animated film Tangled. Tompkins was the voice of Benton Criswell, a character in MTV series Super Adventure Team which featured marionettes in the style of the 1960s British series Thunderbirds; the role was credited under the stage name Francis Mt. Pleasant. He was the voice of a puppet in ads for the Ford Focus. Tompkins played Mr. Peanutbutter in the 2014 Netflix original animated series BoJack Horseman. Tompkins voices the recurring character, Gladstone Gander, in the reboot series of DuckTales.
Tompkins was a contributor to the "Us People's Weekly Entertainment" segment of The Daily Show in 1998. In 2003 he was a writer and correspondent for Real Time with Bill Maher in the show's first season and wrote again for the show in 2009. He appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn in 2004. In 2004 he also became a pop culture analyst on VH1's Best Week Ever; in 2008 the show was retooled and relaunched as Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins with Tompkins as host. From 2006 to 2008 he was a regular guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. In 2008 he appeared on Lewis Black's Root of All Evil and took part in a panel on Larry King Live in an episode titled "Politics & Humor".
Tompkins has appeared in documentaries such as Jamie Kennedy's Heckler (2007) and Doug Benson's Super High Me (2007). He also appeared in The Bitter Buddha (2013), a documentary about the career of actor and comedian Eddie Pepitone.
In 2010 Tompkins launched his podcast called The Pod F. Tompkast. The podcast was a mixture of Tompkins discussing various topics, clips from his live show at Largo, and segments where Tompkins voices a variety of celebrities speaking with one another. Comedian Jen Kirkman was a regular contributor on the show. The podcast ended in 2012.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour comedy show at Largo began podcasting in January 2011; in October of that same year the show's podcasts moved to the Nerdist Industries podcast network created by Chris Hardwick. The show ended in 2015.
In May 2012 Tompkins started a weekly web series called Speakeasy. Hosted by the Break Media site MadeMan.com, the series features Tompkins interviewing various guests in the entertainment industry, such as Ty Burrell, Nathan Fillion, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Hardwick, Oscar Nunez, Weird Al Yankovic, and Alison Brie. The interviews are conducted as casual conversations between Tompkins and his guests over cocktails at various bars in the L.A. area.
Tompkins has appeared well over 200 times as a guest, and occasionally as a guest host, on Comedy Bang! Bang! (formerly Comedy Death-Ray Radio), a weekly audio podcast hosted by Scott Aukerman, a comedian who also wrote for Mr. Show with Bob and David. The show's format mixes conversation between the host and guests, and usually includes improv games. Some guests play characters or impersonate certain celebrities, usually for the entirety of the episode; Paul F. Tompkins has impersonated celebrities such as rapper Ice-T, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Buddy Valastro from the reality television series Cake Boss.
In addition to Aukerman's Comedy Bang! Bang!, Tompkins has appeared on the podcasts of other fellow comedians such as WTF with Marc Maron, Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny, Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo's Ronna and Beverly podcast, and the Superego podcast with Jeremy Carter, Matt Gourley, and Mark McConville. Tompkins has also been a regular guest on the radio show and podcast The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling.
In 2015, Tompkins created his own podcast on the Earwolf podcast network called Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins. This podcast is similar to the Pod F. Tompkast; however, Spontaneanation is fully improvised and in-the-moment, as opposed to the Tompkast, which was highly produced. Spontaneanation begins with an improvised monologue, accompanied on piano by Eban Schletter, much like the Pod F. Tompkast. The next segment is an interview with one of Tompkins's famous friends. The final segment is one long improvised story performed by Paul and guest improvisers, based on ideas discussed in the interview segment. The podcast ended in 2019.
Tompkins is married to actress Janie Haddad Tompkins.
In 2017, Tompkins stated on Twitter that he was once a Catholic, but later went on to become an atheist.
|1998||Win a Date||Dylan|
|Jack Frost||Audience Member|
|1999||Magnolia||Chad, Seduce & Destroy||Voice|
|2002||Run Ronnie Run!||Safari Guy in TV|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||Cat Show Competition Host|
|Nerd Hunter 3004||The Chief||Short film|
|2006||Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny||Open Mic Host|
|Tenacious D: Time Fixers||Club Owner||Promotional film|
|2007||Super High Me||Himself||Documentary|
|There Will Be Blood||Prescott|
|2009||The Informant!||FBI Agent Anthony D’Angelo|
|2011||T is for Tantrum||Jerry||Short film|
|2014||Jason Nash Is Married||Dr. Glen|
|2015||The Dramatics: A Comedy||Anton Campbell|
|Hell & Back||Annoyed Lost Soul||Voice|
|2019||Between Two Ferns: The Movie||Burnt Millipede|
|1996–1998||Mr. Show with Bob and David||Various||Featured cast seasons 1–4; also writer|
|1997||Tenacious D||Paul||5 episodes|
|1998||The Daily Show||Himself||Contributor|
|Driven to Drink||HBO stand-up special|
|Super Adventure Team||Dr. Benton Criswell (voice)|
|1999||NewsRadio||Justice of the Peace||Episode: "Wedding"|
|Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Paul (voice)||Episode: "Vow of Silence"|
|2000–2001||DAG||Sullivan Pope||Main cast; 16 episodes|
|2003||Comedy Central Presents: Paul F. Tompkins||Himself|
|Frasier||Steve||Episode: "The Harassed"|
|Real Time with Bill Maher||Himself|
|2004||Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn|
|2005||King of the Hill||Professor Twilley (voice)||Episode: "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Clown"|
|Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show||Various|
|Too Late with Adam Carolla||Himself|
|2006–2008||Countdown with Keith Olbermann||Regular contributor|
|2007||Comedy Central Presents: Paul F. Tompkins 2|
|The Sarah Silverman Program||Paul / Police Officer No. 1||4 episodes|
|2008||Best Week Ever||Himself (host)|
|Larry King Live||Himself|
|Lewis Black's Root of All Evil||6 episodes|
|Pushing Daisies||Gunther Pinker||Episode: "Oh Oh Oh... It's Magic"|
|2010||Aqua Teen Hunger Force||Police Officer / Angel (voice)||2 episodes (1 episode was pulled)|
|Community||Robert||Episode: "Mixology Certification"|
|Nick Swardson's Pretend Time||Various||Episode: "I Just Got Voodoo'd"|
|True Jackson, VP||Royce Bingham||Episode: "True Fear"|
|2010–2012||Regular Show||Various||5 episodes|
|The Life & Times of Tim||Donnie / Kyle Zander (voice)||2 episodes|
|2011||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Andrew Berg||Episode: "The Divorce"|
|Raising Hope||Jeff||Episode: "The Cultish Personality"|
|Last Man Standing||Chester McAllister||Episode: "Last Baby Proof Standing"|
|Up All Night||Dave||Episode: "Week Off"|
|2011, 2014||Talking Dead||Himself||2 episodes|
|2011–2019||Bob's Burgers||Randy / various (voice)||9 episodes|
|2012||Key & Peele||Congressman||Episode: "Dueling Magical Negroes"|
|Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions||Himself||Stand-up special|
|The L.A. Complex||Paul F. Tompkins||6 episodes|
|2012–2016||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Various||14 episodes|
|2012–2013||Adventure Time||Various voices||2 episodes|
|2013||Ghost Ghirls||Antonio||Episode: "Something Borrowed, Something Boo"|
|2013–2016||No, You Shut Up!||Himself (host)||58 episodes|
|2013–2017||@midnight||Himself||Recurring contestant; 15 episodes; Tournament of Champions winner|
|2014–2020||BoJack Horseman||Mr. Peanutbutter / various (voice)||Main cast; 71 episodes|
|2015||WordGirl||The Royal Dandy / Dr. Clocktormocktor (voice)||Episode: "Royally Framed" / "WordGirl vs. Tobey vs. the Dentist"|
|The Thundermans||King Crab||Episode: "A Hero Is Born"|
|Kroll Show||Andy Downpour||Episode: "The Commonwealth Games"|
|Rick and Morty||Lawyer (voice)||Episode: "A Rickle in Time"|
|Paul F. Tompkins: Crying and Driving||Himself||Stand-up special|
|W/ Bob & David||Various||4 episodes; also writer|
|Drunk History||Himself||Episode: "Las Vegas"|
|Moonbeam City||Kitch Legstrong (voice)||Episode: "Stuntstravaganza"|
|2016||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Captain Orleans||Episode: "The Cruise"|
|The Late Show with Stephen Colbert||Himself||2 episodes|
|Great Minds with Dan Harmon||Edgar Allan Poe||Episode: "Edgar Allan Poe"|
|HarmonQuest||Teflonto||Episode: "The Quest Begins"|
|2016–2018||The Venture Bros.||Blue Morpho / various (voice)||4 episodes|
|Take My Wife||Paul||3 episodes|
|2016–2019||Bajillion Dollar Propertie$||Dean Rosedragon||34 episodes|
|2017||Adam Ruins Everything||Jenkins||Episode: "Emily Ruins Adam Ruins Everything"|
|Get Krack!n||Richard Templeman||Episode #1.8|
|Blindspot||Booky Bentley||Episode: "Adoring Suspect"|
|Black-ish||Dr. Reagan||Episode: "Sugar Daddy"|
|Life in Pieces||Richard York||Episode: "Thirty-Five Teacher Escape Lottery"|
|2017–2018||Speechless||Dane Richmond||2 episodes|
|2017–2019||DuckTales||Gladstone Gander (voice)||4 episodes|
|2017–2020||Tangled: The Series||Shorty (voice)||42 episodes|
|2018||Another Period||Cole Bottoms||Episode: "Shady Acres"|
|2018–2019||Big City Greens||Justin / various (voice)||2 episodes|
|2019||You're the Worst||Himself||3 episodes|
|Nature Cat||Chandler (voice)||Episode: "Magical Mushroom Mystery Tour; A Midsummer Day's Dream"|
|American Dad!||Nordstorm Manager (voice)||Episode: "Eight Fires"|
|Talking Tom and Friends||Reece (voice)||Episode: "Supermodel Tom"|
|Lodge 49||Farrell Higgins||Episode: "Le Reve Impossible"|
|Star Wars Resistance||Flanx (voice)||Episode: "From Beneath"|
|Room 104||Louis||Episode: "Crossroads"|
|2020||Criminal Minds||Brian Garrity||Episode: "Saturday"|
|Brockmire||Harold K. Finnegan||Episode: "Union Negotiations"|
|The Twilight Zone||TBA||Episode: "Ovation"|
Tompkins is known for his many podcast appearances, as well as hosting a few of his own. He is often referred to as the mayor of podcasts.
|2006–2007||The Sound of Young America|
|2006–2017||Never Not Funny|
|2006, 2011–2012||Guys With Feelings||Various|
|2007–2011||The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling|
|2008–2009, 2011||Comedy and Everything Else||#14, #37, #68, #85, #86, #127, #128|
|2009–2020||Comedy Bang! Bang!||250+ episodes||Guest, guest host|
|2009, 2011||WTF with Marc Maron||#150|
|2009||Kevin Pollak's Chat Show||#41|
|Jordan, Jesse Go!|
|The TVA Podcast||#163|
|KUCI: Naked Comedy|
|2009–2012||Am I Right?|||
|2009–2013||A Bit of a Chat|||
|2009–2018||Stop Podcasting Yourself||#140, #171, #194, #205, #257, #325, #349, #429||Guest|
|2010||Host and Guest||#44|
|Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident||#13|
|Hold Your Applause|
|2010–2013||The Pod F. Tompkast||All||Host|
|2010, 2012||Comedy Film Nerds||#16, #120|
|2010–2012, 2014||The David Feldman Show|||
|2010–2014||Doug Loves Movies|
|Sklarbro Country||#17, #195.5|
|2010–2020||Superego||Guest (2010–2013) / Official cast member (2014–2020)|
|2010, 2012||The Nerdist Podcast||Guest (2010) / Guest co-host (2012)|
|2011||The Anytime Show with Dominic Dierkes|
|The Apple Sisters||#1||Guest|
|Earwolf Challenge||#3.2, #3.3||Judge|
|The Mental Illness Happy Hour||#34|
|Gather Around Me||#65|
|Saturn Scene||#2, #3|
|2011–2015||The Dead Authors Podcast||All||Host (as H.G. Wells); guest (as Mark Twain)|
|The Wolf Den||#14, #94|
|The Thrilling Adventure Hour||WorkJuice Player|
|2011–2017||Ronna and Beverly||#2, #42, #95, #116, #158||Guest|
|2011–2018||How Did This Get Made?||#16, #64, #106, #107, #201|
|2011–2019||Who Charted?||#22, #38, #63, #78, #100, #151, #181, #226, #276, #294, #306, #340, #366, #378, #457|
|2011, 2014||Totally Laime||#76, #252|
|The Adam Carolla Show|||
|The Fogelnest Files||#2, #53 (best-of)||Guest|
|The Long Shot Podcast||#418|
|Shortwave with Grant-Lee Phillips||#8||Guest host|
|You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes|
|Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff For Five To Ten Minutes (On Average)|
|2012, 2018||Yo, Is This Racist?||#16, #976, #986.5, #990 |
|2012, 2015||International Waters||#8, #52|
|Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend|
|2012–2013||Pop My Culture|
|Dining with Doug and Karen|
|2012–2014||The Todd Glass Show|
|2013–2014||Analyze Phish||#5, #6, #9||Sometime co-host (with Howard Kremer)|
|2013||Nerdist Writers Panel|
|The K Ohle|
|Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown||S04E03||Recorded at the Soho Theatre|
|The Reality Show Show||#18||Guest|
|2013–2020||Hollywood Handbook||#5, #66, #107, #182, #223, #267, #325|
|2013, 2015||Judge John Hodgman||#103 #228|
|2014||U Talkin' U2 To Me?||#9, #16||Guest|
|The JV Club|
|This Week in Marvel|
|Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia|
|2014–2018||The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project||#001, #004, #008, #009, #012, #014, #016||Guest|
|2014–2016||I Was There Too||#1, #33, #50|
|2014–2019||improv4humans||#147, #181, #229, #328, #341, #401, #413|
|With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus||#1, #33, #58, #104, #138, #152, #164||Guest host|
|2015–2019||SPONTANEANATION with Paul F. Tompkins||All||Host|
|2015, 2018||Pistol Shrimps Radio||6/9/15, 5/1/18||Guest Commentator|
|2015||A Beautiful Podcast||#24|
|WOMP It Up!||#7||As "Mike the Janitor"|
|The Indoor Kids|
|Superego: Forgotten Classics||All||Cast member|
|Worst Idea of All Time||2.30, 2.31||Guest|
|Gilmore Guys||5.07 - "You Jump, I Jump, Jack"|
|The Dinner Party Download||#323: Olivia Wilde, Elvis Costello, Paul F. Tompkins|
|2016||Think Again||#34: A Tiny, Cosmic Threat|
|Earwolf Presents||#41||Guest host (as Andrew Lloyd Webber)|
|Next Level with Chris Tallman||#1||Guest|
|Hoot Gibson: Vegas Cowboy||#3|
|2016–2018||Hard Nation||#3, #54, #104|
|2016–2019||Big Grande's Teacher's Lounge||#1, #10, #14, #28, #S9E1|
|2017–2019||Off Book: The Improvised Musical||#1, #23, #52, #64, #75, #94, #100, #116, #125, #126.5, #127, #128, #129|
|Throwing Shade||#297, #335, #400, #404, #408, #419|
|2017||How To Be Less Old||#131|
|Doughboys||#119 - KFC|
|Strictly Business with Derek Contrera||#5|
|The Complete Wedding||#5|
|Likely Mad as Hell||#4|
|Questions For Lennon||#26|
|Hello from the Magic Tavern||#2.28, #2.60|
|2018||Three Swings With Rhea Butcher||#10|
|Punch Up The Jam||#38|
|2019||Blank Check with Griffin & David||#203||Guest|
|2019–present||The Neighborhood Listen||All||Host|
|2020||Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster||#51||Guest|
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