Tom Green, who once had an X-rated lesbian sex scene painted on his parents’ car for a joke, denied that he’s going more mainstream with a standup comedy act he’s bringing to Red Deer.
Only the target of his humour has changed, said Green.
He’s no longer harassing his long-suffering parents, as he did during his former MTV show, but is taking on Facebook instead.
“There’s a lot more negative to Facebook than positive,” contends the comedian, who hates how it’s affecting the way people relate to each other.
For instance, the unmarried Los Angeles-based resident blames the social networking site for breaking up a lot of marriages.
“Do you want an ex-boyfriend or an ex-girlfriend sending your husband or wife secret messages that say, ‘How’s married life, wink, lol?’ ” Green says in a video from his world tour that stops on Tuesday, June 14, at the Memorial Centre.
Life was a lot simpler when each household had only one telephone land line, said Green, who then launches into a profanity-laced tirade from a wife who answers a phone call from her husband’s ex-girlfriend.
“That’s how you’re supposed to keep a ****-in’ marriage together!” he concludes.
Green is much more low-key and circumspect when he’s not performing, saying Facebook is causing divorces because “people are finding comfort in online relationships in a way that’s never been possible before.”
The 39-year-old believes firing off a flirtatious email to an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is a lot easier than working through problems with a spouse.
“It’s a complex thing, keeping relationships together — especially now that you’ve got these more anonymous, no-strings-attached options,” said the man who was once famously — and briefly — married to actress Drew Barrymore (with whom he no longer has contact).
Discovering that Green is a Facebook hater is kind of funny, since he considers himself an Internet innovator.
He’s had his own website since 1995, is a dedicated blogger with what he calls the first-ever web talk show, and is in the process of starting the first Internet Comedy Network with some partners.
“While I hate Facebook, I love to Twitter,” said Green, who urges fans to follow him on @tomgreenlive.
The self-described “military brat” grew up mostly in Ottawa, and became known for bizarre humour through his MTV program The Tom Green Show.
Before it ended in 2003, the comedian had pretended to hump a dead moose, drank milk straight from a cow’s teat, and hung his own unauthorized work in the National Gallery of Canada, later returning to vandalize it in front of horrified onlookers.
He also put a bovine head in his parents’ bed as they slept because his dad was a fan of The Godfather movies.
Remarkably, he and his parents have a good relationship, said Green — especially as his mom and dad no longer have to experience the conflict between being constantly surprised or horrified on television and trying to be supportive of their son’s career.
Green believes the root of all humour is dark, and the comedian’s role is to play up life’s oddities, revealing some basic truths.
“My show is very silly and fun, even though it’s got some serious themes that it addresses,” he said.
“It makes a point about the world we’re living in at this age, but it makes the point in a very extreme way. There’s some shocking language because I’m being completely blunt about saying things that are usually not talked about openly and in public.”
So how is his current standup act not more mainstream than past stunts, such as humiliating his parents on national TV?
Green said having a show on MTV is pretty darned mainstream, when you think about it — even if his defunct series ended up pioneering the idea of mixing private life with television, which has since become the foundation of shows such as Jackass and The Osbournes.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $36 from Ticket Central at 403-347-0800.