Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins

Be it wasting some time in the evening or skiving off for a bit of “me-time” in work, one of my go-to places to rest my procrastination cap is a collection of interviews called “Speakeasy” on the Made Man channel on Youtube.


This body of work is the collation of 20 minute interviews by the always delightful Paul F. Tompkins. Paul has been ‘in the business’ for many years and started his stand-up career at the young age of 17 in his native Philadelphia. Moving out to LA in 1994, to pursue his chosen profession, he created a sketch comedy show called ‘The Skates’ with Jay Johnston (who you may know as Officer Taylor in Arrested Development – the cop who always catches Michael Bluth at inopportune times).


He met Jay through mutual friend Adam McKay (director of Anchorman and Talladega Nights).Upon seeing the show, and liking it very much, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman) and David Cross (Arrested Development’s never-nude Tobias Fünke), invited Paul to join the team at their hit sketch show ‘Mr Show with Bob and David’ in 1996.


While being in (very) good company Paul also excelled in the stand-up circuits of LA. He has toured up and down North America and made an impression with many directors and producers earning him many acting credits in such films and TV series as Anchorman, Dr. Katz, Bob’s Burgers, Community and even There Will Be Blood. In 2010 he started his podcast, excellently named The Pod F. Tompkast, unfortunately this ceased early last year.


Paul is a man of impeccable taste, not only in dress sense, but in the guests he invites to interview. It is the variety of actor and comedian that brings me back each week to see who is next to sit and share a drink with Paul at the bar of the Speakeasy.The guests that appear may not be exactly A-listers (for the most part) but each is recognisable in the realm of the entertainment world.


Speakeasy - Headstuff.org


Every one of his guests seems completely at ease and open, as if they are just having a chat in the bar with a good friend. This actually happens to be the case for several of the interviews.I am a bit of a TV junkie myself and an avid movie goer so it is great to see some of the ‘other guys’ actually having an insightful conversation about how tough it is to get started in the business; how you sometimes have to do a movie just to pay the bills and ultimately how they love what they do.


A small selection of the TV and Film stars are B.J. Novak (The US Office, Saving Mr Banks), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Kaitlin Olsen (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead), Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men), Julia Stiles (The Bourne Trilogy, 10 Things I Hate About You) and Aaron Eckhart (Thank you for Smoking, The Dark Knight).


Also his connection and love for all things comedy means we have the pleasure of listening to him banter with the likes of Zach Galifianakis (so much fun they made two), Aziz Ansari, Bill Hader, Key and Peele (another procrastination hub of mine) and many more.


This really is a pleasure to watch each week and I hope it brings a little bit of joy to you, be it during work, curled up on a couch or chilling out with some like-minded friends at the weekend.


You can find the list of full interviews here.

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