Comedy Foot Soldier – Tom McCaffrey

by Dustin D'Addato on May 14, 2009

When it comes the indie comedy scene in NYC this week’s Comedy Foot Soldier, Tom McCaffrey, is member of the royal family, funky hats and all (see picture below) When he’s not out performing (which is virtually every night) the dude is all over Comedy Central’s programing (Premium Blend and Shorties Watching Shorties to name a few). He ‘s rocked VH1, CNN, TRU-TV and even stars in an indie comedy movie (‘Happy Life’, exec. produced by Abel Ferrara). And his full length comedy CD ‘Lou Diamond Phillips?’ was voted one of 2008’s Top 10 Comedy Albums by Punchline Magazine.  He’s got a cool relaxed vibe on stage that makes the audience feel comfortable and a sense of humor that just about everyone can relate to.  Here’s what he had to say when we sat him down for our Comedy Foot Soldier Questions:

What’s the most important thing you learned since you started doing comedy?
It’s a very slow process and you’re never done learning. Also it’s not nearly as easy as it looks.Tom McCaffrey

How did you know you were meant to be a comedian?
I was very funny as a kid but I resisted doing stand up for a long time but people kept telling me I should do it. So I finally did it and after about a year people were very encouraging. Also nothing else was panning out for me in my life.

What’s been your brightest moment as a comedian?
Well I recorded a full length CD last year and released it under an indy label on Oct. 18 2008 and it got chosen by Punchline Magazine as one of the 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2008 alongside Todd Barry, Mitch Hedberg and Louis CK. That was definitely a highlight. Also one time Dave Attell told me I was funny.

What’s been your darkest moment as a comedian?
So many to choose from. One time a drunk guy in a bar flicked a lit cigarette at me onstage. The worst part is that that is like the 7th worst comedy experience I’ve had. One time I did a show in Huntington Beach, CA and I had been doing comedy like maybe a year and a half. It was in a nightclub during happy hour and no one there was expecting a show. I literally got heckled after my first sentence. I then got everyone in the club to hate me and want to fight me in less than 6 minutes. I left the place and everyone was staring at me. It was a strange experience to have an entire club full of people hate you. I almost quit comedy that night. I remember sitting in my car listening to angry rap music feeling like I had experienced something most people in the world will never experience.

What is your favorite thing going on in comedy right now?
I think there are so many things. I don’t have one favorite. Great stand-ups, great films, great online vids.

What is the scariest thing going on in comedy right now?
Scariest? The ‘Scary Movie’ franchise I guess.

Who do you think is today’s most underappreciated comedian/comedy actor?
I think Todd Barry is underrated. I know he’s successful but I feel like people take his comedy skill for granted. I also think Will Arnett is hilarious. I don’t know if he’s underrated but he’s unbelievably funny.

What’s the best advice you ever received as a comedian?
I haven’t been given a lot of advice to be honest. I feel like most people aren’t going out of their way to help other comics. One time a guy told me to be more personal. I guess that was good advice but I feel like it’s hard to give advice in comedy. You sort of have to find your own way.

Tom McCaffreyWhat’s the worst advice you ever received as a comedian?
Someone told me I had to develop a better character onstage. That was pretty fucking insane.

What is your craziest show experience?
I described it in the earlier question when I talked about Huntington Beach, CA. That show still haunts me. A close second is when I was doing a college and a woman in the audience yelled at me that she was a comedian and that I was too dirty and that she was funnier. I then asked someone to get another mic and give it to her so that we could battle. Someone handed her a mic and she of course had nothing to say.

What is the biggest source of your comedy?
Stupid people in the world. Luckily there are many out there.

How would you describe your comedy?
Hilariously brilliant and modest.

Quick Hitters

I would like to be known for…my originality and integrity.

Shoot me if I ever…try to shoot you.

I think most comedians are…egomaniacs.

The one thing I have never seen a comedian do, but would love to is…Nothing. I have seen it all.

Tom McCaffreyMy favorite comedy bit that I was not involved in is…Paul F. Tompkins’ Peanut Brittle snakes in a can bit. Just brilliant.

My favorite comedy bit that I was involved in is…my joke about the movie ‘Mask’. It always makes me laugh. Just brilliant. Also the rap vid I made with Carolyn Castiglia called ‘How to Rob Comics’. I got to pull a gun on Janeane Garofalo.

People often say they are attracted to a sense of humor. I think that is…True, yet not as true as people think it is.

I would like to plug…MY CD ‘Lou Diamond Phillips?‘ And the indy movie I star in called ‘Happy Life’.

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