Follow TV Tropes


Funny / Tom Waits

Go To

  • "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy", among many others.
    • In an interview he explains that when he went to a record store, he didn't get recognized at all. When he went to the dump, "Twelve guys surrounded my car."
      • In another interview, when asked what his first instrument was, he replied, "I don't know... probably a box, or something."
      • For that matter, go to YouTube, search for "Tom Waits interview". Any one out of the whole bunch will contain a crowning moment of funny. The fireplace-shovel with the image of the devil on it, for instance. "It's like some kinda primitive e-mail."
    • Advertisement:
    • "Step Right Up" , "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Pasties and a G-String" from Small Change.
      • "The Piano Has Been Drinking" has the line "the owner is a mental midget". The off-key piano playing just seals the deal on the song.
    • It borders on Cloud Cuckoo Lander behavior, but — another CMOF came during the episode he guest-starred on John Lurie's fishing show. The two spend a couple days in Jamaica fishing for snapper, and the first time Tom catches one, he gives in to the impulse to put it down his pants. And leave it there for a while.
  • While on the surface level, it's heartbreaking, if you have a dark sense of humor, Tom's rendition of "Children's Story" in his scratchy, monotone voice and ending with, "Okay, there's your story. Night-night." can be hilarious.
  • It may be meant as a scathing satire, but many fans still say that "Frank's Wild Years" from Swordfishtrombones is pretty damn funny.
  • Advertisement:
  • The spoken word piece "Missing My Son" from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. - though it's just his own variation on a well-traveled urban legend that he's stretched into a "Shaggy Dog" Story, there's just something about his delivery, as well as the fact that the deliberately underwhelming punchline is followed by a brief pause and a deranged-sounding wheeze of a laugh.
  • Watching a video that 'lip'synchs his song to footage of Cookie Monster.
  • The increasingly ridiculous promises Tom makes for the unexplained product he's hawking in "Step Right Up."
  • The name of his song "That Feel" from Bone Machine, thanks to Memetic Mutation.
  • Much of Waits' jokes and delivery during Nighthawks at the Diner.
  • He has a song called "The Fall of Troy". Naturally, hardcore band The Fall of Troy named their first single "Tom Waits".
  • Advertisement:
  • The "I was a chef" part from the "Hell Broke Luce" music video, with Waits wearing a chef's hat and a giant spoon on his left hand.
  • "Diamonds On My Windshield" from The Heart of Saturday Night has the lyric which contains the expression: "colder than a well-digger's ass". Notable in that it's his first overtly humorous lyric in his overall discography.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: