Veteran performer Tom Papa, known nationally from his many appearances on late-night talk shows and as the frequent opening act for Jerry Seinfeld, has finally put his best bits on tape. Though his debut disc, Calm, Cool & Collected will seem a bit short — 35 minutes — for his die-hard fans, it’s the perfect introduction for those not entirely familiar with Papa’s work.
His comedy is defined by his professionalism. He’s got an old-school charm that makes him severely likable. He also has a clean yet slightly edgy approach that makes him accessible to both college kids and their parents. Case in point: He talks of the requisite pain attached to breaking up — pretty standard comic fare
But as Papa puts it, the real pain is, “all the secrets they take with them when they go. It’s very unsettling knowing there’s somebody out there that knows you like to be spanked with a naked G.I. Joe.”
He’s hilarious when he rails against well-meaning pop psychologist friends who suggest that you live every day like it’s your last. “I think we have very different ideas of how that last day is going go down,” he says on Calm. “I’m going to be running through all the supermarkets in town stealing all the candy bars [he pauses] having sex with every cashier girl on the way out.”
Papa also has a way of disarming the crowd by constantly putting himself down, whether by talking about his giant head when he was 3, being fat when he was a youth, or now that he’s getting older, sweating from his bald spot when he eats spicy foods.
Though he’s not the type of comic who’ll have you reaching for oxygen halfway through the album, Papa is as solid as they come. His delivery is even throughout, his transitions seamless and his timing is impeccable. He’s the type of comic you need on the bill of every comedy show — just in case the rest lineup are professional bombers.