As I've gotten older, I've gotten more picky about what I take in in the way of entertainment. Stuff that never used to bother me in my younger days (casual sexism, fatphobia, etc. etc. and so forth) - rather, stuff that I could "get over" or "set aside" (ahhh, privilege) - now instantly puts my teeth on edge. Stuff I never would have noticed or that I would have accepted as simply being a part of life, a part of existing in society as we know it, has become glaring, blaring sirens of "here comes some fucked up shit that's going to make you feel bad, feel uncomfortable, feel angry, feel ostracized".
As a result, my consumption of movies, television, and entertainment in general has decreased considerably. I listen to podcasts mostly, which can be minefields but thankfully the ones I choose to listen to rarely blow up in my face. It's through podcasts that I discovered that Paul F. Tompkins is just ridiculously amazing. I knew who Paul was, though I'm not quite 100 percent sure how - I would wager it was through VH1's assorted "I Love a Decade" shows or "Best Week Ever" with a hint of his brief appearances on "Mr. Show". But that's not important right now.
What IS important is that when I listen to or watch something involving Paul, I don't have to worry that he's going to suddenly crap out some sort of sexist, racist, homophobic, fatphobic bullshit when he opens his yap. He's a walking, dapper (seriously, this cat loves him a suit and coordinating clothing and cufflinks) safe space. And he's not afraid to discuss issues like sexism or homophobia in public and how shitty it is on the eight billion and counting guest spots he's done on assorted podcasts. I know it probably seems like a "duh" sort of thing, but remember - this is a white guy in entertainment. You just don't hear 95 percent of white male performers kicking back and having a serious discussion about how women are being shat upon from a great height in public. He's a white guy who obviously LISTENED TO THINGS PEOPLE WHO WEREN'T WHITE GUYS HAVE TO SAY and THOUGHT ABOUT IT TO BOOT. And that's fucking amazing.
The other thing that makes my greasy little heart go squish even more is that he is a fellow that loudly and proudly adores his wife, Janie Haddad Tompkins. I mean, LOOK AT THIIIIIIIIIIIS:
When you listen or watch his stand-up or listen to him on a podcast, he's not doing 10 minutes on "the ole ball-n-chain" or what a gutwrenching nightmare being married is or AUGH WOMEN RIGHT?!?. He makes no secret about how cool and awesome his wife is and how much he appreciates her and that is so fucking heartening, particularly in our current climate where on some days it feels like being a woman is the worst thing in the world; where it seems like almost every male comedian would rather spend his stage time bitching about what bitches us bitches are and that they only reason they're married is they don't want to get screwed over paying alimony; where I feel compelled to write a gushy, dorky blog post about a comedian being a decent human male person because holy shit, it feels SO RARE SOME DAYS.
Anyway. Paul F. Tompkins is a fellow you should not just know, but buy his items of entertainment! Such as...
His shiny new DVD, "Laboring Under Delusions"! http://goo.gl/mVXMi (the physical); http://goo.gl/oXRco (digital)
He does a kickass podcast, the Pod F. Tompkast, and that is FREE, readers - go to iTunes and subscribe!
He appears on, like, loads of other podcasts too, from Comedy Bang Bang to Superego and you should look at trackpft.com to find out what ones he's been on.
He's on Twitter and you should follow his stylish self at @pftompkins ! As is his wife Janie, who is a delightfully funny, smart actor-woman in her own right - @janiehaddad !
And now, I'll return to behaving like the mature 40-year old woman I am that doesn't write Tiger Beat-esque gushfests about men I don't know.