Paul F Tompkins
September 12, 1968
Comedian Paul F. Tompkins got his start doing standup in his native Philadelphia in the late 1980s. Moving to Los Angeles, he joined the writing staff of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross's highly influential sketch comedy, "Mr. Show," where he worked alongside future comedy stars Jack Black, Tom Kenny, Brian Posehn, Scott Adsit, Dino Stamatopoulos, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Short stints on "The Daily Show" and "Real Time with Bill Maher" followed, but Tompkins got his most widespread attention as a regular VH1 contributor, first as one of the talking heads on the cable channel's popular "I Love the 80s" miniseries and its many spinoffs, and then as one of the key figures on the weekly commentary show "Best Week Ever." As that series began to lose viewers in 2008, the producers reformatted the show to make Tompkins the host, much like Joel McHale's role on E!'s "The Soup," but the new version of the show lasted only a few months before its cancellation. Although Tompkins remains primarily a stand-up comedian, he does occasional film work, including small roles in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia" (a part eventually excised from the film) and "There Will Be Blood"; Tompkins regularly plays the famed Hollywood nightspot Largo alongside Anderson's longtime musical collaborator, Jon Brion.