HI, I'm Paul F. Tompkins. I host No, You Shut Up! on Fusion.

I host a bunch of podcasts. And I'm a stand-up comedian.

"No, You Shut Up!" airs Thursdays at 10PM pt/et on Fusion (which can be a little tricky to find, so here's a handy guide)

  • DirecTV: Channel 342
  • Dish: Channel 244
  • Verizon FIOS: Channel 108 - SD only
  • CableVision/Optimum: Channel 697 -HD/Channel 156 -SD
  • AT&T Uverse: Channel 206 -SD/Channel 1206 -HD
  • Google Fiber: Channel 105
  • Apple TV: Fusion Channel

Or you can just use the channel finder: http://fusion.net/tv-channel-lineup/


Victoria's helping me get started. Go ahead and AMA.


Update: Hey guys, thank you SO MUCH! I cannot believe the amount of questions. I wish I had more time to answer more of them! I can't believe it's been 2 hours already, but I've gotta go. Please do watch "No, You Shut Up!" tonight at 10 on Fusion. And I guess that's it!

Comments: 1309 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

PeterAtencio331 karma

Hi Paul, big fan. You've worked with a lot of very talented directors. However, of those (the very talented ones) which of them would you say was the most handsome? Just curious, I certainly don't have a horse in this particular race.

PaulFTompkins285 karma



amazing_rando237 karma

  1. Any further information on this picture?

  2. Any chance of John C Reilly or Ice-T making another podcast appearance soon? Haven't heard them around in a while.

PaulFTompkins206 karma

1) There is further information! I am not at liberty to divulge it. 2) Only time will tell..

nspannaus193 karma

Growing up, did you realize that growing a mustache and having excellent taste in clothing would help define you as a person?

PaulFTompkins262 karma


NoQuarterPast190 karma

This next act asked me to read this: Which was your favourite Speakeasy interview and who would you most like to interview that you haven't already?

PaulFTompkins237 karma

So difficult to pick a favorite! I loved chatting with Tony Hale & Judy Greer spring to mind. I'd love to interview Stephen Colbert.

Yeeaaaarrrgh161 karma

Huge fan, Paul! Will we be seeing a Beyond Belief TV show? Please say yes!

PaulFTompkins160 karma

Fingers crossed!

witty_llama137 karma

If you had to choose one of your characters to live as for the remainder of your life - including all of their CBB canon (eg, cake boss being bit by a cake scarab) - which would you choose and why?

PaulFTompkins337 karma

Garry Marshall. He seems the happiest and most easygoing and just generally seems to LOVE LIFE.

dillonjames00114 karma

If you had to try and convince someone to watch No, You Shut Up! in 5 words, what would those 5 words be?

Also, I just wanted to say thank you. I spent my last vacation with my wife doing an impression of you doing Werner Herzog. Thank you for giving me a new way to annoy my wife.

*I was doing the impression. On a vacation with my wife.

PaulFTompkins279 karma

What have you got 2 lose?

POOP_DICK_98 karma

Hey Paul it's been a while! I have 2 questions

1) You are a part of what, in my opinion, is the funniest podcast episodes ever made, the "Travel Bug" episode of The Andy Daly Pilot Podcast Project. Personally i love it when we can hear you guys laughing in the background and that episode had the most off mic laughter i've ever heard in a podcast. I know you've done about 900 by now but What's the most memorable or fun podcast appearance you've ever been a part of?

2) My brother Alex introduced me to comedy podcasts which led me to know how funny you are. It also led to me telling my friends and them telling their friends and so on and so forth. I'd say you have upwards of 10-15 new fans because of my brother. So could you say something nice to him? Maybe along the lines of "Thanks Alex! I owe all of my success and happiness to you!"?

PaulFTompkins253 karma

That first question is just impossible to answer! I absolutely love podcasting. It has brought so much joy into my life, and getting to do something like Andy Daly's show-- I mean, that's just the best. I am a lucky guy. All of that laughter is 100% genuine.

Alex, recruit more people. 10-15? I'm running a business here.

Jchronz76 karma

Hey Paul! If you had to pick one, what would be your favorite memory of working with Bob Odenkirk?

PaulFTompkins256 karma

One time Bob despised a sketch of mine so much at a readthru, he told me what was wrong with it for a full ten minutes before concluding, "So I guess I'm saying I hate this sketch and it's trying to kill me," as he dropped it on the ground.

PeterQuilt71 karma

Who is the funniest person you know?

PaulFTompkins211 karma

My wife.

nspannaus65 karma

What advice would you give to a young, aspiring astronaut?

PaulFTompkins248 karma

Invest in one of those helmets, they are VERY important.

ThaaaFudge64 karma

Thanks for doing this! You're definitely one of my favorite comedians today if not my favorite, and I can't thank you enough for making me laugh for the past four years on Superego, Thrilling Adventure Hour, CBB, and any other show you're on.

Random side plug, we're doing a March Madness-type bracket for the best episodes of Comedy Bang Bang over at /r/comedybangbang and your episodes are crushing it. Maybe you could maybe vote on your favorite episodes over there maybe. Maybe

I guess my question would have to be

1) What can you tell us about the Mr. Show reunion coming up?

2) Will we be seeing any of your charac's on the CBB TV show this summer?

3) What were some of your biggest influences in comedy growing up?

PaulFTompkins191 karma

1) Nothing! 2) Oh yes-- at least two. 3) There's one guy in particular who meant a lot to me as a kid from Philadelphia, but I don't quite see him the same way anymore since I learned something unpleasant about him! I am, of course, referring to Todd Glass.

prince_rakeem63 karma

I have a question...

Hey Mr Tompkins,

I am a huge fan and just wanted to thank you for all the time you put into your craft. Like many others I have a ridiculous commute everyday to work and university and your podcasts and stand up specials have really helped with not only eliminating the dread of travel but also the loneliness of being surrounded by so many strangers in the city.

You have an amazing ability to make me look insane as I smirk to myself on the bus or just laugh hysterically while I walk down the street. So I just want to say thank you, and my question ultimately is, can I buy you a drink next time you come to Sydney?

P.S. I love the version of Danny's song you sing at the end ep 23 of the Pod F. Topmkast

PaulFTompkins108 karma

Buy me no drinks! I am forbidden to accept gifts of any kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Long story.

Podcasts help ME a lot, too.

pumpkinoatmeal59 karma

Hi Paul! Your BioShock Infinite petite miracle on the Andy Daly PPPPPPP is still one of my favorite things ever. So, bird or cage?

PaulFTompkins114 karma

Tried 'em both and was SUPREMELY annoyed it made no difference. At least I didn't have to feel like a racist with that one.

madesense58 karma

Your interviews on "Speakeasy" on youtube have been great. What do you think makes for a better interview?

That time when you didn't have a mustache was pretty weird.

PaulFTompkins101 karma

I'm sorry anyone had to see me without my mustache. So sorry.

I am lucky on Speakeasy because I can listen in a way that late night hosts can't; they have to be looking for jokes and keep the comedy going. I can listen to what my guest is saying with no agenda other than, what more can I find out? In either case though, being present is the key.

TilikumHungry52 karma

Werner Herzog was asked on his AMA if he had ever heard your "Werner Herzog," he answered "No, should I?"

So my question is: Have you ever heard Werner Herzog's "Paul F Thompkins" character?

PaulFTompkins106 karma

Does it sound anything like "Paul F. Tompkins?"

steve19yzerman45 karma

Since you are a fan of the Comedy Bang Bang podcast yourself, who is your favorite character that someone else plays?

PaulFTompkins153 karma

I am a huge fan of James Adomian's Tom Leykis, Lauren Lapkus' Traci Reardon, and anything Andy Daly ever does.

angelfromthecoast45 karma

Hi Mr. Tompkins, I'm a big fan and I'm really enjoying No, You Shut Up!, it has filled the Colbert-sized hole in my heart ever since his show ended and I must say that Hot Dog and Armond Mite are some of my favorite characters. Since it is a topical show, I'm curious as to how the show is made from week to week. Can you give us a little 'sclusie about what goes on in making an episode of NYSU?
Also, what is the hardest you've ever laughed while doing a podcast?
And do you have any tips for aspiring improv comics?
Lastly, my most important question, how did you first hear of U2?
Thanks for doing this!

PaulFTompkins89 karma


It's difficult to stay topical as we shoot a week before we air, so we look for stuff that people will probably still be talking about in a week's time. We shoot the show all in one day at Univision studios near the "Los Angeles International Airport" neighborhood. The writers work on it from Monday to Friday, prepping for this week's recording and looking ahead to the next. I get together with them on Fridays to go over everything in person. We shoot on Tuesdays and it starts all over again.

Bernard_Shakey_43 karma

Have you started recording for BoJack Horseman season 2? Please remind me also how many words is Mister PB?

PaulFTompkins79 karma

Recording for Bojack Horseman Season 2 is completed! It is now being animated.

obamunistpig43 karma

When you decided to do an AMA, did you realize you'd get over 600 questions in less than half an hour?

PaulFTompkins229 karma

Technically, it's ten actual questions and 590 "When did you first learn about U2"s

PhakeMustache2941 karma

What an honor 'tis to speak with the man who makes me laugh so hard my commute into DC seems less daunting! My question is: will Dame Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber be gracing us all with his musical genius on your new cast of pods?... because of status.

PaulFTompkins67 karma

Doubtful! The new podcast is not about creating characters in the way I did on The Pod F. Tompkast or as I do on Comedy Bang Bang. The episodes will be self-contained, so any characters are created on it will probably just live for that hour.

PeterQuilt36 karma

What celebrity over 40 are you most afraid of?

PaulFTompkins162 karma

Robert Durst.

MR_BATMAN35 karma

Hey Paul!

Is Hotdog kosher?

Also,how to you manage to host a wonderful TV show while appearing and hosting a seemingly endless amount of other shows and other podcasts?

PaulFTompkins69 karma

I don't know if Hot Dog is kosher-- that is an EXCELLENT question.


ObComp_Productive35 karma

Hi, Mr. Tompkins,

Before I get to a question, I just want to do a little bit of maudlin aggrandizing, if you don’t mind. For an incredibly long time, I lived in household that was… just a slight bit broken. My parents were similar to the way you described your parents in your interview with Janet Varney (Far too Catholic to ever divorce, which would have been the best choice for everyone), plus a little alchoholism and aggressive anger issues (My mother’s small, but she sure knows how to throw porcelain vases!). Last year, during my sophomore year of college, I had a major breakdown that put me in the hospital. After a long time of therapy and some medication adjustment, I felt like I was in a comfortable place. Still, I felt lost, scared, confused, you know that sort of thing. When I talked to my therapist about it, he said that this was probably because I haven’t had the most solid adult role models in my life (Surprise!), and, despite being well off in growth in terms of home and food and company, was slightly emotionally stunted. At around this time, I started listening to more Podcasts- Comedy Bang Bang, Nerdist, Thrilling Adventure Hour. I really enjoyed your work in everything and would always target the episode of an interview podcast with you in it. From the stories you told and what people told about you, I started to consider you a bit of a role model, if you don’t mind me doing so. You work on projects that make you happy, you have a loving marriage, and you’re kind and gracious to people who do the same for you. I have a great amount of respect for you, not only as a performer, but as a person. Then again, I technically haven’t met you, so the only authority I have is what I’ve collected from your published performances, work, and interview. They do say “Never meet your heroes”. Despite this, at the top of my bucket list, I have “Make a podcast and invite Paul F. Tompkins on”. Even if that ever happens, All I can hope for is that the catches your eye and I get a chance to say "Thank you for everything you've done".

I apologize for the gooey sentimentality. I promise you, I give myself 40 lashes from a wet noodle as I kneel before a statue of Jesus made of Muenster cheese.

Now, for a question… Who’s your favorite Author BESIDES H.G. Wells? Also, now that Terry Pratchett has passed on, do you think H.G. will be traveling back

(Also, did you know in the sci-fi show “The Warehouse”, they feature H. G. Wells as a character. However, in their canon, H.G. Wells is a woman! That’s all, I suppose)

PaulFTompkins33 karma

Thank you for being so open! I am glad to have helped ANYONE in ANY WAY, even just by talking on a podcast!

I love many authors. A modern-day fave is Glen David Gold. Pick up "Sunnyside."

kaynov34 karma

HI PAUL! My friend and I are big fans and met you last October and she was so happy she was crying. How did that make you feel? And is that how you know you've made it? When women cry when they meet you?

PaulFTompkins80 karma

It is a strange thing. I am not famous, not by the way fame is measured by the average person. It is very touching to me to have touched someone else's life. It shrinks the world in a lovely way.

Porty97234 karma

Hey Paul, first of all I love NYSU and I absolutely adore Thrilling Adventure Hour. Now that TAH is coming to an end live showswise, I was wondering, have Paget Brewster's and your portrayal of Frank and Sadie changed a lot since the first shows a decade ago?

PaulFTompkins48 karma

They really haven't! It's rare, but it sometimes happens that a character emerges fully formed right out of the box, and that was certainly the case with Frank and Sadie. We are still performing them the way we did a decade ago! And i could do it for decades more.

nspannaus33 karma

Do you have advice for other celebrities regarding how to treat and interact with fans?

...You seem to have it figured out.

PaulFTompkins122 karma

"Be nice."

The answer was right there, in "Roadhouse," all along.

This_Is_The_Life31 karma

Pretty Fancy Tompkins how are you? Thanks for doing this

When will Mr Peanut Butter and co be returning?

Also, please send my thanks to the incredible Werner Herzog for winning for me at his last appearance on Doug Loves Movies.

PaulFTompkins94 karma


thelowdown27 karma

I have a question.

One of my first memories of you is you telling a joke on some late night talk show about local news weathermen having to take shit from the anchors. (I’m trying to predict the future!!)

What is a joke that you’ve heard that you can’t forget?

I have a follow up.

Who was the biggest influence on your comedy?

PaulFTompkins107 karma

Jonathan Katz had a joke in his act where he goes home to Boston and hadn't heard the accent for a while. He's in an elevator and someone said [in a Boston accent] "Call out your floors" and he says, "I'm impatient with the elderly."

I don't think I could point to one person as my biggest influence. Like most creative people, I am a collection of a thousand influences. That said, SCTV had a profound impact on me when I was younger. Still holds up.

SchuylerColfax26 karma

How much fun is it to do the Todd Glass Show? Every week I listen and all I can think is that I'm jealous of everyone in the room.

Also, is there a comedian that makes you laugh every time, with everything he or she says?

PaulFTompkins55 karma

I love Todd so much.

Ron Funches gets me every time.

kant_tell25 karma

Here's a supercut of all PFT's "coming up" bits from the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50ZTkizrVd4

PaulFTompkins38 karma



old_custer24 karma

Salutations Mr. PFT! Very specific question - at SF Sketchfest about four years ago, I saw you do an incredible rendition of "That's Not My Name" by the Tings Tings with Neil Patrick Harris and Gillian Jacobs. Did you by some miracle record this saintly union of heavenly voices?

PaulFTompkins25 karma

It was recorded but the sound was unusable. A TRUE PITY!

Glockade24 karma

Hey Paul! What would you say to a friend who recently had their heart broken?

PaulFTompkins73 karma

"Will you marry me?" Sometimes ya just gotta shock 'em out of it!

sto2324 karma

Did you think about going after the Colbert job? Does that type of nightly chat/magazine/political show interest you at all?

PaulFTompkins64 karma

I would have loved a show like that but I am not on those lists of people. Luckily, the show I CURRENTLY have expanded from 15 minutes to 30, and we were able to expand it from a kind of one-joke idea into a really weird, silly show that I very much love doing. Honestly, check out "No, YOU Shut Up!' It really makes me laugh.

kevincp23 karma

On Dead Author’s Podcast, generally do you prefer those who do research on their respective author or those who completely improv it and/or do you have a favorite example of each?

PaulFTompkins36 karma

BOTH ARE GREAT! Honestly. If someone knows the subject well, they are so confident and relaxed that it's a breeze. If they are completely ignorant of their subject, things get REALLY silly.

griffon2822 karma

Hey PFT! Can you tell us the process that went into producing the Pod F. Tompkast?

PaulFTompkins46 karma

Man oh man. It was involved. I had to write the sketches-- both the Great Undiscovered Project and the Live at Largo sketches-- I had to book time in Eban's studio, book Daamen and, later, guests; had to arrange a phone call with Jen Kirkman, record & edit that phone call; record multiple voices for the aforementioned GUP; then Eban had to edit everything together and get it back to me to upload.

Starkicker20 karma

Hi Paul, can you spill the beans on any upcoming guests for Spontaneanation?

PaulFTompkins36 karma

I could, but I will not!

tubafx18 karma

Mr. F. Tompkins, thank you so much for doing this AMA.

  1. On Laboring Under Delusions, you tell your favorite story from your time on Best Week Ever, involving yelling at Weird Al. What's your second favorite story from your time on Best Week Ever?

  2. What's the worst you've ever bombed?

PaulFTompkins46 karma

1) That time we got canceled! What a great prank! 2) Check out my story about that on my hilarious DVD/CD LABORING UNDER DELUSIONS.

Se7enUnicorns16 karma

When you start doing Spontanenation, will that mean less or more appearances on Comedy Bang Bang? Also, your Santa Claus brought me to tears while at my desk at work, so thank you.

PaulFTompkins15 karma

It will probably be the same amount!

jrm55716 karma

Hello Mr. Tompkins, I saw the other day (i think on instagram?) that the wonderful Steve Agee made you break on stage really hard. Is there another time that you can share with us where you broke character really hard?

PaulFTompkins28 karma

There have been many instances of my breaking onstage, many of me breaking other people, but that Steve Agee thing was just nuts. Look for it on the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast on the coming weeks

MoSFan15 karma

Hi Paul. Ya'll hear them sireens?

I love your work and cannot wait for your next standup album. When will it 'drop'?

PaulFTompkins35 karma

I'll be recording a special/album in Los Angeles this coming June. I hope to have all relevant information shared soon!

supertrashbros14 karma

What podcasts do you listen to regularly? What's a podcast that doesn't exist, but you'd like to listen to/appear on if it existed?

PaulFTompkins49 karma

I listen to a lot of Earwolf stuff, one of my absolute faves being Hollywood Handbook. I also love Stop Podcasting Yourself and Judge John Hodgman. Baby Geniuses. Too many to mention them all!

kdk12k2k1213 karma

Hi Paul. Thanks for doing this AMA.

Could you tell us a little bit about what your experience was like working on There Will Be Blood?

How was it working with Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis?

PaulFTompkins24 karma

You may find out about my experiences on There Will Be Blood via my hilarious standup special LABORING UNDER DELUSIONS or Matt Gourley's amazing podcast I WAS THERE TOO.

KatrinaWaffles12 karma


PaulFTompkins25 karma


Cranberry21411 karma

Have you ever considered turning the Dead Authors Podcast into a television show? It's one of my favorites and I'm so sad to see it go!

PaulFTompkins17 karma

I'd love that, but I cannot IMAGINE what American network would go for it.

Adronys10 karma

Hello Paul, Just a question about your stand up writing process.

Do you write your stories down in full, or do you write the main bits down and improv the sections in between? Thanks!

PaulFTompkins28 karma

I do bullet points and shape them live in front of the audience, then edit or add as needed with successive performances until it hums and it's stored in my head.

Ryno36399 karma

What is your favorite alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverage?

PaulFTompkins32 karma

Beer Ice-cold Coke in a glass bottle Honorable mention: Water

leavesoflorien9 karma

First, thanks for doing an AMA! TAH is my favorite podcast.

You may not know the answer to this question, but I thought I'd at least ask. There's a video on Youtube of Marc Evan Jackson and Mark Gagliardi kissing on stage after singing the Galactic Trail song. Was that really the end of the "Sparks Nevada" story at Mbar? As someone who has only ever listened to the podcasts, I was pretty surprised and am now curious about that plot since it was never in the podcasts.

Also -- your Jib Janeen is amazing!

PaulFTompkins8 karma

It was and it was hilarious. They really went for it.

Atom_Lion9 karma

What would you make if you had unlimited money and resources and creative freedom to do it?

PaulFTompkins37 karma

A weekly variety show.

nevermore900389 karma

Do you believe in ghosts?

PaulFTompkins25 karma


rmarsack9 karma

Hi Paul! We are huge fans of yours and subscribed to Fusion just to get your show. We love it!

Do you have any input on the puppets that are used in the show? Do you write for the show as well?

PaulFTompkins22 karma

I do not have input on the puppets-- we mostly use existing puppets from the Henson Creature Shop. Some of them have been discovered, literally, in desk drawers. But our amazing puppeteers are able to take these misfit toys and create characters and voices for them that are perfect for our show. It starts with the writers having need of a character. They look around the shop to see what we haven't used, then collaborate with the puppeteers on what the character will sound and act like. It's a really great team.


Antonton8 karma

Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to do this! A few questions for you:

  1. Any plans to bring Varietopia back, maybe on a more infrequent basis?
  2. What's one thing you've done in your career that has helped you get to where you are?
  3. Can I be a guest on your new podcast?

PaulFTompkins18 karma

1) Yes! Perhaps a yearly special event. 2) Therapy. It made everything easier. 3) We'll see.

thecricketnerd8 karma

Hi, Paul. I enjoyed your show at JFL in Toronto last year. Will you be coming back any time soon? Also, CBB has ruined me - every time you mentioned your wife in your set I wanted to yell you-know-what but I kept my mouth shut. Do you also have trouble with CBB-related phrases in your life?

PaulFTompkins19 karma

The only trouble I have with those phrases is the trouble OTHER people have with those phrases.

I would love to come back to Toronto. I will need a new hour!

Spacecow7 karma

Hello, Mr. Tompkins! I'm curious: what are your plans, if any, for continuity in Spontaneanation?
Character establishment has been your bread and butter throughout all of your CDR/CBB appearances and The Pod F. Tompkast, with Superego being somewhat of an exception. Will the vibe of the show be closer to CBB/Tompkast or Superego in that sense? Or do I have to wait like an animal to find out for myself??

Also, what's the best accompaniment for eggs Benedict?

PaulFTompkins14 karma

No continuity plans. The episodes will be self-contained. A continuity is WORK to maintain, and the idea of the new show is to be in the moment. Not to say there won't be the occasional callback! It will be closer to Superego in that sense.

ZigZagAddict6 karma

Hello, Big Fan Wondering if you had a favorite character you played on Mr. Show or sketch you wrote? Also what are the key words you use to Identify a Canadian on television?

PaulFTompkins14 karma

Sir Isaac Newton

"Sorry" "About" "Drama" "Latte" "Process" "Pinata"

pettycoat6 karma

What do you like to do in your spare time?

PaulFTompkins12 karma


Say it again!

scottagro4 karma

Who is your favorite character on DownTOWN Abbey?

PaulFTompkins6 karma


formiscontent4 karma

Hey Paul, loving NYSU but I'm curious how it ended up on Fusion. I mean I'm loving Fusion too but the show seems like a curious fit there. Edit: form of a question?

PaulFTompkins8 karma

It was on Fusion when I got there!

RinconDrone4 karma

What can we expect from your new podcast? Something we are all familiar with about yourself (characters, etc.) or something completely new?

PaulFTompkins7 karma

Somethings will be old. Some things will be new. I will not be borrowing anything. Blue makes my eyes pop.

GlanardFrugnor3 karma

Hey Paul! I’ve been a huge fan of yours since getting into Comedy Death Ray in high school, and meeting you after the Toronto CBB show was incredible. Thank you for taking the time to talk to everyone afterwards, it meant a lot. I was wondering if Sponteanation is going to put an end to the Pod F Tompkast once and for all? Will it be a restructured version of it, or something completely new?

PaulFTompkins7 karma

The Pod F. Tompkast will never truly be over. I reserve the right to make an episode of it any time I feel like it. But I am doing this weekly show now, and it's about all I can handle in addition to my various other projects.

I hope everyone will enjoy SPONTANEANATION!