• By: Dan Donovan

Ottawa’s Tom Green performs Isolation

Ottawa comedian Tom Green isn’t letting COVID-19 slow him down. His latest endeavour, a song to fit the mood of the world at the moment, was released last night on his Instagram. Isolation is soothing and smooth and goes down like a late-night limoncello — sweet and calming. The song has a trance-like effect with its rap echo and slow snare drum. You start humming it in your head for some reason — somehow, like most of Green’s stuff . . .  . it works.

The comedian and actor has always had cred and chops as a rap artist. Most Ottawans first recall him as MC Bones, a founding member of the Ottawa based hip hop group Organized Rhyme along with Greg Campbell (a.k.a. DJ Pin or Pin The Chameleon) and Geordie Ferguson (a.k.a. DJ Signal). They signed with A&M Records in 1991 and released their debut album Huh!? Stiffenin Against the Wall in 1992. Their video for their first single Check the O.R., won the MuchMusic Video Award for Best Rap Video in 1992 and was nominated for a Juno Award in the category of Best Rap Recording in 1993. They toured with The Barenaked Ladies, Dream Warriors and Maestro Fresh Wes, amongst others, before disbanding in late 1993.

Tom Green got his start as a stand-up comedian at just 15 years old. Even though he was only in high school, his satirical and shock-talk comedy was original and got the attention of Ottawa Yuk Yuks owner Howard Wagman, who saw the talent in the kid, and gave him the stage. (Wagman remains an Ottawa treasure and Canadian comedy legend. He has been a significant force behind the success of dozens of Canadian comedians over the last four decades).

Tom Green would go from performing at Yuk Yuks’ weekly new talent night to eventually hosting the shows, opening for main acts and then becoming a main act. Green has always stayed in touch with his Ottawa roots. He returned twice in the past year. In August 2019, he performed at Ottawa’s Yuk Yuks to sold-out shows in support of the late great Ottawa comedian Mike MacDonald, who died far too young in 2018, from complications related to a liver replacement.

Yuk Yuks now hosts an annual fundraiser in honour of Mike MacDonald for the ‘Be A Donor’ foundation. During his summer visit, Green weighed in on the controversial Chateau Laurier extension, to the great delight of the majority of the people in Ottawa who are very much against it. He hosted a picnic at Major’s Hill Park and told the hundreds of people who came out (and the local media) that the Chateau Laurier is “an incredible world-class place. You can’t recreate that. That’s something that we have that shouldn’t be messed around with.” He returned December 31,2019 to host a New Years Eve show at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre.

Between his gigs at Ottawa’s Yuk Yuks and his side gig rapping, Green would eventually turn his zany act into a full-blown live-to-tape cult television show at Rogers Ottawa. The show’s local success was noticed by the bigshots in the United States and this would lead to being signed for “The Tom Green Show” on MTV, and is reboot, The New Tom Green Show. Movies and fame would follow, including the now cult classic, Freddy Got Fingered. His other films include, Road Trip, Charlie’s Angels, and Stealing Harvard.

Green lives in Los Angeles and is in demand as a stand-up comedian. He is standing down at the moment like everyone else. However, as always his Isolation seems to be working for him . . . . and us too. Check out The Tom Green Podcast on YouTube!