Comedian Tom Green is done pranking his parents, who have retired from his barrage of more-than-annoying stunts. Green’s fans will quickly recall such pranks as the “slutmobile,” a not-safe-for-work piece of sexual art Green had airbrushed on the hood of his parents’ car.
The paint job was shot for his controversial, yet popular, MTV show, “The Tom Green Show,” which first aired on the channel in 1999.
“I hope my parents like my gift,” the viewer hears Tom saying of the $400 paint job while hiding in a box within view of the car, video camera in hand.
His father, upon walking out the front door, stops for a second to stare at the hood.
“Holy Christ,” his father mutters, quickly deciding to walk to work.
As the elder Green hurriedly walks down the residential street, he says, “It’s completely untasteful and ridiculous.”
“It’s not obscene, it’s love,” Tom calls to his father as the elder walks away, briefcase in hand. “Those women are love.”
Sitting in The Ainsworth lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel before a Friday night show, Green, 42, insists he’s an adult now.
“It can be annoying, but that was the whole point,” Green said of the pranks he pulled on his parents during his youth. “I was trying to annoy them. I have a real good relationship with my parents now. I don’t pull pranks on them anymore. I’m an adult now, they’re retired and pranking is something that I did in the past.
“I had fun doing it, but I’m more focused on doing this stand-up comedy and TV show.”
His Las Vegas stand-up act pulls from his earlier days as a prankster, his stint as a rapper (“Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)”), and from his role in “Road Trip,” where he attempted to teach a snake how to eat a mouse by putting the rodent in his own mouth.
“I was improvising and stuck the mouse in my mouth and had to do it a whole bunch of different times,” he recalls. “It was worth it, because it was one of those things that was memorable about the movie ‘Road Trip’ and people bring it up often. They say, ‘Why did you put that rat in your mouth?’ and I say, ‘It’s a mouse. I’m not crazy.’
“I was a pretty outrageous kid and I was always trying to do shocking things to get a reaction out of people. That was one of those moments. I look back at that fondly.”
Fans of the Razzied “Freddy Got Fingered” flick Green wrote, directed and starred in also get a chance to participate in a fun game of memory.
But if you’re easily offended, you’ll have to cover your ears when Green tries out some of his dirtier jokes. He’s friends with Andrew Dice Clay, who has a show right after Green’s on the same stage, so you can imagine the level of filth the jokes take on. A woman sitting next to me, who told me before the show she was a fan of Tom Green’s comedy, walked out when he started on his dirty joke segment. If she had stuck around, she could have shouted out her favorite “Freddy Got Fingered” line for Green to act out.
“Daddy, would you like some sausage?” being the obvious first choice.
But despite his earlier claim of adulthood, Green says his Vegas stand-up show is anything but.
“I don’t want people thinking they’re coming to some sort of serious thing,” he says. “It’s really over the top and silly and loud and outrageous. I may be older and talk about some real issues and, in a sense, that’s different than what I was doing, but I don’t like making people think it’s some sort of older version.
“In a lot of ways, I look at the stand-up shows as the funniest things I’ve ever done. The MTV show was hilarious, but this has got a lot more to it. Something about being in a live environment is always fun.”
Green takes on social media in his stand-up, and the impact it has had on society as a whole. To keep his stand-up fresh night after night, Green says he is always writing new ideas.
“I’m always thinking of new ways of adding new elements to the show,” he says. “I need to keep it fresh for myself, not just for the audience, but for myself. I don’t want to do the same thing every night. I really enjoy the process of writing comedy, so it’s actually a good place for me to come and inject new ideas into what I’m doing.”
When he’s not on Vinyl’s stage at the Hard Rock Hotel, Green’s working on his AXS TV show that airs live Thursday nights from Los Angeles.
“It’s fun,” he says of “Tom Green Live.” “I love interviewing people and the long format interview show. It’s a real great time. It’s not like an over-the-top, outrageous show, compared to my old (MTV) show, but I think it’s a really funny and interesting show.”
At times during Green’s stand-up, fans will feel as though they have returned to the turn of the century as he performs his popular — and still funny — jokes from his youth.
“It’s the energy of the audience,” Green said of his stand-up show. “It’s a nice sort of experience to be a part of the comedy as opposed to just watching it on television.”
The Tom Green Show performs at 7:30 p.m. on select dates at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Tickets from $44.