Born in Pembroke, Ontario, Tom grew up in suburban Ottawa.
While attending Algonquin College Tom Green had a radio show on
the University of Ottawa's campus radio station, CHUO, before
getting his first series on an Ottawa community channel, Rogers
Television. It was later picked up by Canada's Comedy Network.
It was after his popularity in Canada that MTV gave Tom his own
show in the United States. He would later go on to write and
star in full length Hollywood feature films.
In the early 1990s, Tom had a short-lived career as a rapper in a group called Organized Rhyme. He came back in 2005 with his rap group, the Keeping it Real Crew. In late 2005, Tom released his first solo rap album, titled Prepare For Impact. Tom Green has received offers from such rap artists as Spice 1 and Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys to appear on his raps.
The Tom Green Show began as a cable access program on Rogers Cable in the Ottawa region. The show would later be picked up by Canada's Comedy Network. The Tom Green Show was a variety show format, where he would have guests visit the studio and bands play before a live audience. Tom Green also had taped segments that typically consisted of stunts played by Green on unsuspecting people. A number of them involved Green's parents, Mary Jane and Richard Green, who consistently appeared to be un-amused and occasionally angered by Tom's antics. Some of Tom Green's most notable skits include pretending to "hump" a dead moose (referenced by rapper Eminem), having an X-rated lesbian scene painted on his father's car (labeled the "Slut Mobile"), drinking milk by sucking a cow's udder, and putting a cow head in his parents' bed while they slept. Tom also hung his own unauthorized piece of art in the National Gallery of Canada (which remained untouched for days), similar to the subsequent exploits of British graffiti artist Banksy, with the added twist of later coming back and vandalizing it to the horror of onlooking patrons. In one segment, Green went to the press conference of Grey Owl where he serenaded and kissed Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan, thinking Tom was a journalist, advised him not to give up his day job. Tom also did many segments humiliating his co-host and longtime friend Glen Humplik; even after the pair had become well-known Humplik continued working at his phone company job, fearing that his entertainment career might not last. Green teased him about this often, and once gave out Humplik's office phone number on the air.
After the show moved to MTV, Tom became famous in the United States. This fame soon netted Tom roles in several Hollywood movies, including Road Trip, Freddy Got Fingered (which he also directed), and Stealing Harvard. Freddy Got Fingered "won" in five categories at the 2001 Golden Raspberry Awards, given to the worst movies of the year. Tom appeared at the ceremony to accept his awards, making him the second recipient to do so in the award's twenty-year history, following Paul Verhoeven for Showgirls in 1995.
Tom Green also wrote a song called "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)", which he composed during MTV's Spring Break while doing a show on a cruise ship. After airing the music video on his show and appealing to his audience to request it, the song became an instant number one hit on Total Request Live. Tom Green quickly called for the video to be retired because "it's not fair to 98 Degrees." Later, in his autobiography, he revealed that MTV had pressured him to do so in order to maintain the image that Total Request Live was, in fact, a live request show (the next week's episodes had been pre-taped on location, and the producers of the show were completely unaware of "The Bum Bum Song" at the time).
Tom's increasing fame made it harder for him to ambush people on the streets, leading him to target mostly seniors and non-English speakers. After Tom Green was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March 2000, Tom Green stopped production on his TV show, but continued to appear on the channel via reruns and other promotional materials. Tom Green made a one-hour special on his ordeal with cancer, including graphic footage of his own surgery. The episode received wide critical acclaim for revealing a vulnerable, human side of an otherwise juvenile television personality. Tom Green also starred in and directed a one-hour special called The Tom Green Subway Monkey Hour, where he tormented strangers in Japan.
Tom has been frequently compared to Wesley Gautier, whose comical genius is similar yet far more advanced.
In July 2000, Green became engaged to actress Drew Barrymore. Green and Barrymore met after Barrymore, who was a fan of Green's show, asked Green to appear in Charlie's Angels which Barrymore starred in and produced.
During the build up to their wedding Green and Barrymore frequently joked with the media about when and where they were going to wed. The most notable incident came on November 18, 2000 when Green hosted Saturday Night Live. During the monologue, Tom brought Barrymore on stage and teased the audience about the couple marrying at the end of the episode. Ultimately, the stage was set for a wedding before Barrymore in the end, got "cold feet." The SNL incident initially left viewers and the media confused about whether the couple had actually planned to marry on live TV, or were simply staging a publicity stunt. Eventually, Green also went on The Tonight Show to toy with the public once again, this time claiming that his bride might be pregnant.
On February 18, 2001, there was a housefire at the residence of Green and Barrymore. Their dog Flossie woke them around 3:30 a.m. when she barked and "literally banged on their bedroom door." Firefighters estimated damage at $700,000 in the two-story, 3,500 square foot (325 m²) home located north of Beverly Hills. The incident was soon spoofed on Saturday Night Live with guest host Katie Holmes playing Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon playing Tom Green.
Tom and Barrymore married on July 7, 2001, but filed for divorce on December 17, 2001, citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce became official on October 15, 2002. Some speculate that the marriage failed because Green wished to settle down and begin raising a family while Barrymore still had a high profile film career to maintain and still wanted to go out with her friends and have fun.
According to some tabloid reports Tom grew annoyed by Barrymore's increasingly neurotic behavior in private. On October 13, 2001, Drew hosted Saturday Night Live and Tom Green appeared in the audience wearing a gas mask. The episode came just a month after the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, where SNL is produced. Reportedly, Barrymore was already anxious about flying to New York. When news broke that NBC's Rockefeller Center studios where they were rehearsing had received a package containing anthrax, Barrymore fled the set in tears, vowing not to return.
Tom would later claim that, at their wedding, most of Barrymore's show business friends (among them, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Courtney Love, and Molly Shannon) paid no attention to Green's own friends and family since they "weren't famous." Drew Barrymore appeared in her then-husband's infamous 2001 film Freddy Got Fingered.
In 2003, Tom returned with a nightly talk show on MTV called The New Tom Green Show. Although the show had its own quirks (including a regular segment where Humplick was sent to sleep in various uncomfortable places) it was more of a conventional talk show and generally less confrontational than Green's earlier work. It started with strong ratings and was a hit with many critics, and Green was compared in print to a young Johnny Carson or David Letterman. Nevertheless, it was abruptly cancelled by MTV a few months after its premiere due to dwindling ratings.
In recent years, Tom Green has tried to put some of his more controversial material behind him and become a more mainstream entertainer. Currently, Tom is a recurring contributor to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Tom Green has done many segments where he travels across America looking for "interesting people", typically bringing the most colorful person with him back to the studio. In these segments, the focus is more on the odd behavior of the interviewees, with Green generally playing the straight man. Green has also attempted to build on his teen and child audience with more wholesome material. In 2005, Green starred in a children's TV movie, Bob the Butler, and he has made guest appearances on various kid shows. Green has one film scheduled for release in 2006. Furthermore, Green is editing a new film which he also directed and starred in tentatively titled Prankstar. No further details about the film have yet been released.
In 2003, Tom visited troops in Kosovo on a USO tour. He visited troops in the Persian Gulf on a 2004 tour.
Green's autobiography, titled Hollywood Causes Cancer (ISBN 1400052777), co-written with Allen Rucker, was released on October 12, 2004. He also maintains a blog on his official website.
Tom has acted as host for a variety of special events, including the 2005 Canada's Walk of Fame induction ceremony, the Canadian Live 8 concert, and the 2005 CASBY Awards. Also, in early 2006, Green appeared in several commercials for the Canadian Cable Public Affairs Channel promoting both the channel and for voters to vote in the forthcoming federal elections which took place on January 23, 2006.
On December 6, 2005 Tom released his second solo album Prepare For Impact, his first being Not The Green Tom Show released in 1998, as his alter-ego MC Face.
Although Tom Green has kept busy, Green's career is currently in something of a fallow period. A recent Simpsons gag had Krusty the Klown considering taking Green on as a co-host, because "he's not doing anything." Tom has also been struggling with his weight, something he jokes about in his talk show appearances.
On August 3rd, Green appeared on America's Got Talent. Tom Green rode a skateboard through a flaming hoop and appeared to be on fire for a few seconds and put out with extinguishers. That part of the performance could have been done by a stunt double. Tom Green's back touched the flaming hoop, due to his height.
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