Also Appearing: Mark Sweetman
MC: Heather Henderson
Tom Ryan has been a full time standup comedian for over twenty years. He has made two appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Since he was about 10 years old, Tom wanted to be a standup comedian. The first standup comedy he ever heard was Bill Cosby’s debut album that contained the famous Noah routine. Over the next few years, he also became a fan of David Brenner, Woody Allen and George Carlin. He listened to Carlin’s “FM and AM” album over and over again until he had it completely memorized. He used to recite the entire album to whoever would listen.
At 26, he left an insurance job in his hometown of Philadelphia to move to Florida where he got a job at a local golf course. The job lasted only 3 weeks. Ryan says, “Losing that job was the best thing that ever happened to me because it forced me to confront exactly what I wanted to do with my life.” He took a job as a doorman at the newly opened Comedy Corner in West Palm Beach. It was the lowest paying but most valuable job he ever had. It provided him with a complete comedy education watching acts such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Miller and Bill Hicks.
It was not long before Tom made his stage debut. Within two years he was working full time as a comedian. Since then Tom Ryan has worked steadily at comedy clubs, concert venues, corporate functions and colleges across the U.S. In addition to his Letterman appearances, he has also been featured on Showtime, A&E, Comedy Central and NBC. He has performed as the opening act in concert for B.B. King, Natalie Cole, Jeff Beck, Earth, Wind and Fire, Aretha Franklin, Tim Allen, Steven Wright, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dennis Miller just to name a few.
His original style makes it easy for him to write for special events. He has contributed monologue jokes to the award winning “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher” and regularly headlines corporate events including Continental Airlines, Compaq, Morgan Stanley and Church and Dwight.
Tom believes that the best comedy comes from the most unlikely sources. Here is an example from his act: “I was driving around the other day and my oil light came on. But that little symbol looks nothing like an oil can. When it first came on I thought well, apparently my car is low on gravy.”