It's not the Green Tom Show,
This is my favorite show!
Because it is my show!
If this was your show,
You'd probably like it more than I did,
That's just because it was your show,
But it's not your show!
It's The Tom Green Show!"
The Tom Green Show was a sketch comedy show, hosted by none other than Tom Green, a former stand-up comic, and a member of Canadian rap group Organized Rhyme. During the show, he is usually accompanied by two of his long-time friends: Glenn Humplik, his old friend from working in radio, who occupied the couch, and Phil Giroux, whose sole purpose was to sit in the window with a cup of coffee and laugh at random jokes. After a pilot was produced to sell to CBC, it eventually wound up debuting on The Comedy Network in Canada, where it ran for two seasons.
Within those two seasons, Tom Green became a notorious figure in Canada, whose brand of shock humor, surrealist humor and street comedy wound up disturbing many grown-ups while developing a cult following among teenagers and young adults alike. One particular headline-making incident involved Tom showing up on a late night talk show, Open Mike With Mike Bullard, and presenting Bullard with his show's mascot, Racky the Raccoon (a dead raccoon he found and kept for months).
Tom's following got significant enough that he was soon picked up by an American network, MTV, which gave Tom much more exposure and another three seasons, where America became hip to his unique brand of madness. At the height of his fame, Tom even released a song free on his website entitled "The Bum Bum Song," which went straight to #1 on Total Request Live (which Tom himself personally retired no sooner then it did stating he "wanted to be fair to the other artists"). Tom wasn't above lampooning his own public image - for instance, he did one show in Canada with Monica Lewinsky, fresh off the heels of her scandal with then-president Bill Clinton. It sounds like a recipe for outrageousness, but the show promptly wound up centered around Monica's interest in handbags.
This incarnation of the show ended with a one-hour special devoted to Tom Green's sudden diagnosis with testicular cancer, and subsequent surgery, a much more sobering approach than fans were used to from Tom. The show halted production after that, but it returned in 2003 as The New Tom Green Show. Armed with a late-night talk show format, it lasted several weeks before being cancelled by MTV, since it wasn't the direction the network wanted to go in. Tom went on to host a talk show in his basement entitled Tom Green's House Tonight, and currently tours as a stand-up comic.
Tom Green, and this show, is often remembered as one of the more grotesque footnotes of The '90s, and it doesn't help that Jackass debuted and succeeded Tom Green as the next big thing in shock humor. The show was #41 on TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time. And on top of that was his poorly-received feature film which he directed and starred in, the infamous Freddy Got Fingered (which, like The Tom Green Show, is still a Cult Classic in some circles). Yet Tom Green still has lots of supporters out there to this day, who hail him as a Ur-Example of the Troll, and he's better remembered in his native Canada than elsewhere. You might still find him showing up in odd places - for example, in 2020, he was a guest judge on Canada's Drag Race, of all shows.
Provides Examples Of:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Inverted. Throughout the show's run, Tom found numerous ways to make his parents uncomfortable, such as leaving a severed cow's head in their bed (because his father likes The Godfather), painting a pornographic picture on his father's car, and even putting a statue on their lawn depicting domestic violence, then a second one depicting a sex act.
- Bloody Hilarious: One skit involved Tom walking down the street covered in (fake) blood carrying a mangled bike.
- Broken Record: "I'M GONNA THROW A PIGGY OFF THE HILLLLLLLLL..."
- Coming from Tom it crosses into Madness Mantra.
- Candid Camera Prank: Played with in that the victims of Tom's nutso pranks often know they're on camera, but they're still dumbfounded and often outright offended as to what's going on.
- The Chew Toy: Sweet Jesus, Glenn Humplik had it even worse than Tom's parents. From having his hotel room investigated for drugs at 5am, to making Glenn do trapeze with a hangover, or even just following Glenn around on the street insisting that the camera gets a shot of him peeing.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Tom's style of comedy was just utter madness. Seriously, if you weren't there in the late 90s, you can't imagine what Tom Green's reign of terror was like.
- Cringe Comedy: With extra cringe.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Tom receives one of the biggest swearing fits in television history from a cranky old man, simply for asking where he's going.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Tom's targets in public, whose reactions to his behavior ranged from obvious discomfort to incoherent rage. His parents looked especially mortified to be in his skits.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even Tom Green doesn't find racist humor funny
- Fan Disservice: Tom really did have a minor sex symbol status. This from the same guy who sucked milk straight out of cow's udders.
- Ho Yay: Parodied In-Universe, in the most over the top manner possible.
- Humiliation Conga: To a random teenager on a cruise ship, and then the waiter, with help from Tom's instructions over the PA system, to the other passengers:
- Large Ham: Tom devours scenery with a grotesque fervor in nearly every skit.
- Large Ham Announcer: When Tom tried his hand at announcing a baseball game.
- Manchild: A recurring theme of Tom's skits was that he (or rather, his on-air persona) had the maturity level of a child.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Usually they're already dead.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: A major part of Tom's skits.
- Only Sane Man: Glenn, of course.
- Overly Long Gag: "Tom Green Orders a Sandwich." It's just him at a Subway store, asking to have toppings added to his sub for several minutes, until the employee making the sub finally cuts him off. By the time he's finished, the toppings are about 4 times the height, of the sandwich itself.
- Pimped-Out Car: Parodied with the Slutmobile, one of his more infamous skits. Tom had a lesbian sex scene painted in great detail on the hood of his father's car, much to his parents' horror.note
- Potty Emergency: Once while on the street, Glenn had to pee, and Tom was adamant that the cameraman get a shot of him peeing. Glenn simply could not pee on camera, and eventually had to flee the scene entirely so he could get to a bathroom and lock them out.
- Sanity Slippage: Invoked and Played for Laughs. Being incredibly unhinged was part of his schtick.
- Spiritual Successor: Some call Tom this, in comparison to Andy Kaufman. Jackass was one to The Tom Green Show.
- Straight Man: Glenn.
- Stylistic Suck: "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)." Briefly the number one song in America!
- Surreal Humor: Tom Green once claimed that the best part of his show was that people didn't understand it, and if they did, "it would suck."
- Too Much Information: Claiming that it's embarrassing to buy condoms, he decided that this time, he'd bring the camera with him. He then details to the staff exactly how he plans on using the condoms. This kind of goofy subversion was a Tom Green specialty.
- Unwanted Gift Plot: A deconstructed, Reality Ensues version. Tom once painted his parents' house plaid. It was so hideously gaudy that his father threatened to sell his car, and his mother locked herself in a room and refused to speak to him.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Holy SHIT.