Tom Shillue on Storytelling, Building an AudienceWatch
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TOM SHILLUE AND COMEDY CENTRAL "HONEY I'M HOME"Watch
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|2013||Don’t Force It||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Heyday||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Impossible||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||In Vogue||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Dancing Alone||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Trust Your Heart||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Halfway There||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||In Defense of Bullying||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Edgy||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||Lateral Thinking Puzzlers||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2012||Big Room||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2012||Better, Stronger, Faster||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2007||Overconfident||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2013||NickMom Night Out Season 2||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
|2005||Comedy Central Presents Tom Shillue||Buy Amazon | iTunes|
Weekly late night stand-up showcase on NBC
|1999||Premium Blend (Season 3)|
Features multiple comedians
|2008||Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me|
This comic contributed an essay to the book.
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Growing up in suburban Norwood, Massachusetts as one of five kids, Tom Shillue was turned on the comedy early, checking out the comedy albums of Bill Cosby and Bob Newhart from the library. Shillue began to distinguish between the styles of comics early, noting how each would approach a bit.
Later, Tom would borrow one of Newhart’s routines for a Junior High public speaking contest. He performed it well enough to be asked to host the school talent show and received much encouragement from teacher to explore his own talents.
Shillue went on to study at Emerson, a college famous for turning out comedians like Denis Leary and David Cross. Shillue joined the Emerson Comedy Workshop and began studying writing, but found he enjoyed the many performing arts opportunities more. After a short dalliance with a second school, the University of Massachusetts, Shillue dropped out entirely to pursue performing. Tom had already begun attending the Monday open mics at the Cambridge Catch a Rising Star.
In 1993, Shillue moved to New York City and soon began emceeing, thanks to his already strong skills and being both clean in act and appearance. Tom would get temp jobs and cajole his new co-workers to come see him perform and then repeat it with his next short-term gig. Within four years, headlining comics began to ask him to “feature” (appear second) on the bill.
Much like his early influences, Tom tends to a less dark and less neurotic style of stand-up but with the artistry that’s often associated with those “edgier” comics, working many a downtown alternative room along with the comedy clubs. Tom calls himself, “pathologically positive.”
Though Shillue enjoys writing, he finds more of his material on stage. He’ll work with a rough story improvisationally, following an unexpected laugh if it sparks another idea. Later, he’ll listen to a performance and pluck out what works and what does not.
Shillue is also a regular fixture in national commercials and voiceovers. His frequent work in that industry had led him to be a fixture in the New York comedy scene, rather than a road comic.
For his appearance on the Comedy Central stand-up show Premium Blend, Tom used his 8 minute segment to perform a piece that was not part of his regular stand-up, but rather a bit called “I’m an Artist” that he had performed only a few times at the downtown alternative comedy showcase “Eating It.” The piece was well received by the much larger, more mainstream audience both in the theater and on TV.
In 2007, Tom Shillue released his first CD entitled “Overconfident,” The title comes from Shillue’s own admitted inflated self-esteem. Shillue describes himself as “cool… at least in my head.” The Boston Globe later named it one of the top 10 Comedy CD released that year.
In recent years, Tom has begun to focus on performing more autobiographical material, producing a solo show about fatherhood called “Dad 2.0.”