Tom Papa speaks about working with Rob Zombie on his new show ‘Freaked Out’

Rob Zombie Tom Papa

Comedian Tom Papa’s latest show Freaked Out, aired this past Friday in the US.  Papa – who Zombie fans will remember as the voice of El Superbeasto – called upon his friend to direct the latest comedy special.  In this interview with Splitsider, Tom talks about how he and Rob met, how they came to work together and the style that Rob Zombie brings artistically to a Tom Papa show.

To find out when Freaked Out is on next check out:

To read the interview extract 

How did you get involved with Rob Zombie? I know he also did your last one.

We became friends years ago, through mutual friends who brought him along to see my standup. That same mutual friend had a wedding, one of those travel weddings where you’re there and you don’t really know anybody. Rob and I kind of knew each other so we just hung out the whole weekend and became really good friends. And then he had this idea for an animated movie he wanted to do, El Superbeasto. It was like this big Mexican wrestler, a big dominant guy, and he thought it’d be funny if I was the voice of it. And then we ended up writing it together. We spent all summer working together and it was a blast. He’s a big comedy fan and we just had so much fun working together, when I was doing my first special, I was kind of thinking out loud about it and he was like, “I’ll do it. I would love to do it. I’ve never done a special before.” And he’s done all his movies, of course, and lots of music videos. I really wanted it to have a real film look. I wanted it to be special. Being with a guy who’s artistic and thinks that way and on the same wavelength as I was, it just worked. So when I was doing the second one, I didn’t even ask anybody else. I was just like, “Let’s do it again.”

It has a sort of old-school variety style. Was that your idea?

Yeah! I just liked all those design elements. We both were talking about how there’s a trend in show business to not give a shit. Everyone comes out on The Tonight Show in a t-shirt. It’s just this kind of boring attitude. We were talking about how, when we were kids, you wanted to get in show business because it was fun and bigger-than-life and exciting. So let’s make the special like that. Some people are giving us money to make something. Let’s make something. So we created this crazy, Gong Show-like set and the dancing girls and the whole thing. It just felt fun and fresh. And also, the title of it is Freaked Out. I feel like we live in a nervous time and everybody’s very cautious. It was like, “Let’s go back to the time when you could celebrate and be confident and enjoy yourself.” That era means that to me.

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