Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Green

Tom Green on Bigfoot, letting go, and his new podcasting van

In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.

Tom Green deserves more credit. The Tom Green Show first launched on public access in Ottawa, Canada, in 1994 and ran for 50 episodes before getting picked up by Canada’s Comedy Network in 1997. In 1999, it premiered in the states on MTV, introducing audiences to bits like Undercutters Pizza, Soccer Hooligans, and the Slutmobile, and tracks like “Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)” that became mainstays on shows like TRL. The show only ran for about four years, but in that time fans got to known Green as they followed his journey through testicular cancer (via The Tom Green Cancer Special and the song “Feel Your Balls”) and saw him in movies like Charlie’s Angels, Road Trip, and Freddy Got Fingered.

On The Tom Green Show, as well as during his subsequent appearances on shows like The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Celebrity Apprentice, and Celebrity Big Brother Green connected with the audience by being authentically himself. He furthered that connection by generating his own stories and his own media, something he forayed into early attempts at podcasting starting in 2010, through the chat show he began hosting on TomGreen.com, and through various outlets starting in 2006, like his YouTube channel.

Green’s latest way to connect is via The Tom Green Interview Show, a new podcast he’s producing in partnership with Audio Up Media. For the Interview Show, Green has hit the road in a souped-up conversion fan/podcast studio, aiming to interview people and broadcast from all across the United States. The A.V. Club caught up with Green as he waited for some work to be finished on the van in Salt Lake City. An extended version of the interview can be found on The A.V. Club’s podcast Push The Envelope, but a full transcript of his answers to our always thought-provoking 11 Questions are below.


1. If you made a candle, what would it smell like?

Tom Green: Cotton candy.

AVC: Do you like the smell of cotton candy?

TG: I just randomly picked something because I don’t really have much of an opinion on that.

Maybe broccoli? I just think it would be really funny to have a broccoli-smelling candle.


2. What is your favorite album from high school?

TG: Probably A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory.

AVC: You did some rapping for a time in your youth. Are your skills still tight or have they been totally lost?

TG: Oh, yeah. I’m actually making a record in the van. Actually, that’s one of the things that is cool about the van. I have like a full recording studio in the van to record music. So I’m actually doing doing some some new tunes while I’m on the road.


3. What conspiracy theory do you think is the most plausible?

TG: Well, Sasquatch, I would say. I don’t know if you want to call that a conspiracy theory, but I would say that Bigfoot is probably real in my opinion. That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

AVC: Do you think there’s just one or do you think there’s a family of repopulating Bigfoots out there?

TG: No, no, no, no, no. It’s a species of animals. If there was just one, they would have been gone long ago. No, it’s like a species that’s not been discovered. They’re very careful about getting discovered. But, you know, they discover new species like every year. Tons of new species. They discovered a new species of monkey last year. An entire monkey, which is crazy.


4. What’s the first time you were disillusioned by politics?

TG: I don’t really have an answer to that question, actually. I’m sort of trying to stay out of the political noise these days. I think part of the reason why I’m doing this road trip, honestly, is because I just want to get away from the news. A lot of the places I’m going don’t have cell service. It’s kind of nice to just get away from the phone and get away from all this nonsense for a minute.

That’s what I want to show my audience. I want to bring my audience along with me when I do that [so that they can] relax and just get away from all this crap for a minute.


5. Who would you call if you needed help burying a body?

TG: Well, I don’t really think I would have to. My personal opinion is if I ever had to bury a body, I’d probably do that by myself.

AVC: And then call the police.

TG: Yeah, I’d just want to keep that kind of stuff to myself.


6. What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

TG: I remember when I was in the seventh grade, I replicated Ralph Macchio’s shower costume from Karate Kid. You remember in Karate Kid when he goes to Halloween dance and he dressed as a shower? It’s so he’s not seen by the bullies, you know? It’s glorious.

And I know it wasn’t my idea or anything, but I still thought it was kind of fun because everybody loved Karate Kid at the time. So it’s really questionable whether I was dressed up as a shower or whether I was dressed up as the Karate Kid. So people would say, “What are you dressed up as?” And there’s clearly a curtain around me. They’d say, “Are you a shower?” And then I’d say, “No, I’m the Karate Kid.”

So that was that’s probably my favorite one. I wasn’t dressed as a shower. I was dressed as the Karate Kid. It was the whole hook. That was the whole gag. I was the Karate Kid.


7. If proximity to your industry were a moot point, where would you most like to live and why?

TG: Well, it’s an interesting question, considering what I’m doing right now. I’ve made a point to create this mobile studio environment so that I can kind of be anywhere. And I’m really enjoying that because I’m having a good time traveling around the country and going to all of these amazing places that I otherwise haven’t had a chance to see. So it’s been pretty cool.

As far as places go, I mean, look, I’m Canadian. I’m American, too, by the way. I became a U.S. citizen last year. I live in Los Angeles now. I like Los Angeles, but I could see myself being in Canada someday, too. Definitely once a Canadian, always Canadian.

AVC: I suppose that’s the whole point of the van: You can have your career anywhere, really. Proximity is a moot point.

TG: Exactly. A fun thing about this van is that it’s got a full studio. I can do what I want to do anywhere. The technology exists today that allows you to do this kind of stuff, which is kind of cool.


8. How did you learn about “the birds and the bees”?

AVC: As in, did you learn from school? Did your parents sit you down? Did you learn it from some kid down the street?

TG: It was a kid on the street. I don’t know. I don’t know. Let’s go with the kid on the street.


9. What’s the pettiest hill you’re willing to die on?

TG: I’ve been trying lately to not let little things bother me. As I get older, I’ve found a lot of comfort in not getting completely annoyed unnecessarily by little things. So I would say pet peeves in general are something that I’m not willing to let be the hill that I die on.


10. What pop culture or media do you turn to when you’ve had a bad day?

TG: I love listening to David Bowie and Joy Division, so that’s some music I often go back to whenever I like listening to something familiar. Yes, I’d say that I like to pop on a Joy Division record when I had a bad day. I’m listening to their greatest hits album now.


11. If you could find out the day you were going to die, would you want to know?

TG: It would depend on the day. I don’t think I would want to know if I was going to die tomorrow. Maybe if I was gonna die in 50 years, I wouldn’t mind knowing. That would definitely take the pressure off, because I do feel like a lot of times in life that I’m very driven to try to accomplish things that I want to do before I die. Not knowing definitely when that is makes that a lot more complicated.


Bonus 12th question from Dulé Hill: How do you stay fit in the midst of this pandemic?

TG: Well, for one, I’m definitely pretty busy, with all the traveling and loading and unloading of the van and and all of the moving around. There’s a lot of film equipment and technical equipment involved with this venture. There’s a lot of organizing big cases of electronics and gear and stuff.

Every time I get to a campsite, I’ve got to unload and load the van up again, which I was at first thinking was kind of a drag, but now I just sort of say it’s my daily workout routine, lifting up boxes into this van. My version of the gym is loading and unloading my van every day. It’s pretty exhausting, but it actually ends up being kind of worth it, obviously, because I’m having a blast.

AVC: What would you want to ask the next person?

TG: Any question about anything?

AVC: Any question about anything.

TG: Why did you do this interview? Can they explain what it is they want to get out there into the world?

Marah Eakin is the Executive Producer of all A.V. Club Video And Podcasts. She is also a Cleveland native and heiress to the country's largest collection of antique and unique bedpans and urinals.

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