Tom McCaffrey began doing stand up comedy in 1999 in New York City and in 2003 he was chosen from thousands of tape submissions to compete in Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots" national stand-up competition. He won the New York semifinals and placed 3rd Runner up in the finals. Since then Tom has appeared on many Comedy Central shows including; “Premium Blend”, “Shorties Watching Shorties”, “The Secret Stash Movie”, “AtomTV" and "The Fresh Faces of Comedy”. He also appears on the “Invite Them Up"CD/DVD compilation produced by Comedy Central Records which includes performances from Demetri Martin and Aziz Ansari. A review of the CD in Punchline magazine singled out Tom’s set as one of the standout performances. This CD was named one of the "Best Comedy Albums of the Decade" by the Onion AV Club. Tom’s other TV credits include appearances on: VH1’s; "Best Week Ever”, VH-1’s “All Access”, TruTV’s “The Smoking Gun Presents”. Animal Planet’s “The A-List”, CNN’s “Not Just Another Cable News Show" TNT’s "World’s Smartest Inventions" and "Hoppus on Music" on Fuse.
His full-length stand-up CD “Lou Diamond Phillips?’ was named one of the “Top 10 Comedy Albums of 2008’ by Punchline Magazine. He was one of the stars of the ESPN.com web series “NFL Writers Room" and has the lead role in the indie comedic film "Happy Life,” executive produced by acclaimed director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant).
Tom just released a comedy/rap CD titled; “Get Rich or Move Back in With my Dad”, which features appearances from various comedians such as; Hannibal Buress and Aisha Tyler. The CD received accolades from the Onion AV Club and three videos from the album were shown on Comedy Central.
Tom was a writer and segment producer on an original pilot produced by Comedy Central called “Masters of the Universities”. He contributed to the column “Say Something Funny" in The Onion, and was a contributor to The Onion News Network. An essay he wrote was featured in the Random House published book "Rejected”, a book which also features director David Wain (Role Models) and comedian Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show). Tom has also blogged for The Huffington Post and BarelyPolitical.com and has contributed jokes to the NY Daily News and National Lampoon.com. He was nominated by TimeOut NY for “Best Joke of the Year 2011.” He interned at Independent Pictures for Ernest Lupinacci from Weiden and Kennedy.
He studied copywriting at SVA.
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'Pseudo Phone Sex with a Comedy Central Executive'
Excerpt from the Book ‘Rejected’ Published by Random House 2009 In 2003
I was getting ready to perform on Comedy Central for the first time on the now defunct standup show ‘Premium Blend’. It was a pretty huge deal to me and I was very psyched and nervous. I was supposed to do a ten minute set. After months of working and reworking my set I got a call from the Standards and Practices office at Comedy Central. Standards and practices are the people who tell you what you can and cannot say on their network. I had given them a tape of the set I was planning to perform. It was a set I had been doing for the last 4 months, which I had perfected. The following is a true (and typical) transcript of that phone call:
Comedy Central: Hey Tom, this is Diane over at Comedy Central. How are you?
Tom: Oh, I’m good. How are you?
Comedy Central: Great. Listen I watched your tape and there are a few problems.
Tom: Problems? Oh?
Comedy Central: Yeah, listen; you can’t do the joke about the gay dream.
I have this joke where I’m talking about a friend of mine who asks me to interpret a dream he had and it’s so obviously a gay dream but I don’t feel comfortable telling him that. He’s like “What do you think this dream I had means? I’m in the forest and I’m making out with these ten hot guys and then they all start licking my balls and I love it.” And I say, “Ahhhh….maybe you’re gonna get a job promotion.”
Comedy Central: You can’t say “licking my balls.”
Tom: What do you mean I can’t say “licking my balls”?
Comedy Central: You can’t say “licking my balls” on the show.
I was sort of surprised although I really should not have been. I mean, looking back, how did I ever think I could get away with saying “licking my balls” on TV?
Comedy Central: Look, we discussed it over here and you can say, “They were all touching my private area.”
Tom: Touching my private area?
That’s like if they told the producers of There’s Something About Mary, “Listen you can’t have him get his penis stuck in his zipper. Instead have him sprain his pinky toe.” It took all the meat out of the joke, so to speak.
Tom: How about “licking my penis”?
Comedy Central: No, you can’t say “licking my penis”.
Tom: “Sucking my shaft?”
Comedy Central: No, you could say “stroking my genitals.”
Tom: Well how about “they were tonguing my nutsack?”
Comedy Central: No, you absolutely cannot say “they were tonguing your nutsack.”
Tom: Well, I watched the show last season and a girl said she gave a guy a handjob so why can’t I say “licking my penis”?
Comedy Central: Well, I didn’t see that episode.
Then it hit me: I am on the phone with an executive from Comedy Central and I’m saying things that I wouldn’t say to a prostitute. I told her that I would simply scrap the joke altogether. It wouldn’t work if it had to be toned down so much. She apologized and hung up. When the show aired three months later, three of my entire bits were cut out. One of them was the joke that I had replaced the gay dream joke with. So ultimately it didn’t even matter. After the taping I met the Standards and Practices woman in person. She wasn’t at all my type but I could tell that she was totally into me.