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By Krista

Tom Papa

Interview with Tom Papa of "Boom!" on FOX 6/8/15

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: Boom! Conference Call
June 8, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT

Joanna Wolff
Tom Papa


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Boom! Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we’ll conduct a question and answer session with instructions being given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, today’s call will be recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host and facilitator, Ms. Joanna Wolff. Please go ahead, ma’am.

Joanna: Thank you, Steven. And thank you, everyone, for joining the Boom! conference call with host, Tom Papa. The series premieres Thursday, June 25th at 8:00 p.m. on Fox. And now I’ll turn it over to Tom, who will begin taking your questions.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our first question will come from the line of the Examiner. Please go ahead.

Megan: Hi, Tom. Thank you so much for taking the call today. I just had a quick question. How did you get involved in the show and to be a host? How—were you approached by it, if you always wanted to host a project like this?

Tom: Yes. I’m a comedian first and foremost. And comedian’s kind a have a lot of success with hosting all these shows like Steve Harvey, and Howie Mandel, and Drew Carey, all people like that. And I hosted The Marriage Ref at NBC and did a show on National Geographic, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo. So, I’m always kind of hosting these different things. And I’d done a couple of events for the people over at FOX. When this one came up, they just gave me a call.

Megan: Is this the most slime one you’ve ever done?

Tom: This is definitely the craziest show I’ve been involved with.

Megan: Cool. Thanks.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Christina Smith. Please go ahead.

Christina: Hi. Thank you so much. Okay. Could you talk a little bit about working with the different contestants and the teams, like what that relationship was like? Did you have a lot of interaction with them or kind of how you enjoyed that aspect of the show?

Tom: Yes. It was really fun. It’s kind of like Family Feud in a way, where you have these teams of three; they’re either friends, or co-workers, or family members, and they kind of all come on and they really want to win some money and it was kind of a thing that really threw me. Like, as a comedian, I just want to know that the show is going to be fun and can I be funny on it? Is it something I would think people would like?

But then in the middle of it, these people are so close to winning like $500,000. And this is life changing amounts of money. And I really found myself like protecting these people, and rooting for them, and trying to make sure that they didn’t end up with a big “Wile E. Coyote” slime bomb exploding in their face, and that they would possibly go home with some actual money. I actually—I became very, very protective of the contestants.

Christina: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question will come from the line of Brian Smith. Please go ahead.

Brian: Hi, there. Thanks for taking the time on the call today. I kind of had a follow up to the hosting question, like what is hosting Boom! or what makes hosting Boom! different than something like The Marriage Ref?

Tom: I’ll tell you what makes it different, there’s two things. One is on The Marriage Ref there was a lot of celebrity-driven stuff which can be fun but it also can be a little annoying especially when you’re trying to book guests. On this one, I’m the only celebrity, so, I really like that. And, as a comedian, just to deal with like regular people and do crowd work, that kind of thing, that’s really fun.

The other thing that’s different is on The Marriage Ref, I didn’t have to go through 20 different suits because people were exploding gigantic slime bombs. I literally heard through my earpiece—“We have to make these bombs bigger and get Papa.” The people that were making these bombs were not very nice people. I literally went through 20 suits in the making of this show.

Brian: Well, thanks very much.

Tom: Sure.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of The Fresno Bee. Please go ahead.

Rick: Thank you. Hey, Tom, there was a time years ago when hosting a game show was about the same as being a car salesman and yet that’s changed. I mean, you mentioned it earlier that a lot of comedians are hosting these shows. When did that change? Do you know when it sort of became respectable to be a game show host?

Tom: Yes, I’m not really sure. I think just when the formats of these shows kind of changed. Like those early shows it was very, very kind of cheesy and daytime, and they were very kind of limiting in what the hosts would do. They would just be kind of cornily [ph], if that’s a word, making stuff up. But now you’re interaction with these people, you’re keeping it going, there’s like a personality behind it, they’re a little edgier, they’re made for primetime. And it seems like in the hands of a comedian, that’s really going to give the show kind of a chance to thrive. I think it’s the games themselves actually changed. And it was like, okay, we need somebody that’s funny, and will move it along, and won’t be cheesy. I mean, nobody in today’s culture is going to stand for a guy with like a little stick mic and right back to you and going to winky [ph] at the camera. You wouldn’t last very long.

Rick: Tom, did you pick up the rhythm pretty quickly? I mean, as a comedian, you’re doing your work by yourself. But in this case you had to give—you have to make the guest look good and all that sort of stuff. Did the rhythm come faster or did you find you had to start pulling yourself back a little bit?

Tom: Yes. The rhythm like dealing with the people, and kind of having fun with them, and going back and forth, that all was pretty quick. But learning like the actual game play, there is that kind of thing, like as a comedian, you kind of want to fool around the whole time. But then you have these people that have a chance to win all of this money and you have to keep it clear in your head all the game play. Okay. So, this bomb is worth $200,000, there are 5 wires, you’ve got to hit the correct 4-1. All that little kind of stuff, that took a little time. You don’t want to be like, have someone out there about to win all this money and they don’t because I just wanted to get a joke in.

Rick: Right. Thanks, Tom. I appreciate it.

Tom: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question will come from the line of Krista of The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Krista: Hi, Tom. Thanks for taking the call today.

Tom: Hi.

Krista: What drew you or attracted you to this show?

Tom: Well, anytime I look at a show, it’s do I think it’s going to be a good, new kind of show, like will people be excited to buy it? But also, as a host, I want to make sure that I’m going to be able to be myself, and have a chance to be funny, and let my comedic side of me kind of come out. And, as a comedian, you’re always writing jokes, and you’re always trying to come up with stuff that’s really funny and clever. Whenever I’m doing standup specials and that kind of thing, that takes a lot of work and you know you can be funny because you’re sitting down and doing it. With this show I said to myself, well, if it’s my job to be funny, if I’m standing next to somebody who just had a chance to win some money, and now we’re covered from head to toe in a green, guacamole slime bomb, I’m pretty confident I can come up with some jokes on that.

Krista: Thanks. And I look forward to watching it.

Tom: Alright. Have a good time.

Moderator: And once again, ladies and gentlemen, there are no questions in queue at this time. (Operator instructions.)

And we have a question from the line of Please go ahead.

Alice: Hi. How are you today?

Tom: Good. How are you?

Alice: Good. Thanks for making time for this call. I was just wondering, what was the best part of working with all the different contestants and the teams as you were hosting this?

Tom: The best part was when you really like the people. Certain people come on and they’re, I wouldn’t say you don’t like them but if a slime bomb were to hit them you wouldn’t be that upset. But the real fun part is when you have like—there was a—I don’t want to give anything away, but there’d be certain teams that come on who you really like and they really want the money for—because they’re going to do something really great with it. And, the momentum builds, and the suspense builds, and you’re there alongside them. And to actually see them make the right moves, and actually pull it out, and actually go home with some money, and like be really completely satisfied with the whole process, and you’re kind of excited because you feel like you’re—you can’t—I don’t know that answers to the questions, but you’re not helping them, but you’re kind of cheering for them, and helping them calm down, and kind of guide them along to make sure that they don’t freak out and do something dumb. Those moments were really the best.

Alice: Great. Thanks so much.

Tom: Sure.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our Q&A session for today. I would like to turn the conference back over to Ms. Wolff for any closing comments. Please go ahead.

Joanna: Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Tom, for your time, and for the great questions, everyone. Just a reminder, the series premieres Thursday, June 25th at 8. And that should be a good time. Thanks.

Tom: Thank you.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference call for today. On behalf of today’s panel, we would like to thank you for your participation in today’s Boom! Conference Call. And thanks for using AT&T. Have a wonderful day. You may now disconnect.



(Host on BOOM!)

With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, Tom Papa has found success in film, television and radio, as well as on the live stage.

Papa currently can be seen alongside Clive Owen in Steven Soderbergh’s cable series “The Knick.” He was featured alongside Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in Soderbergh’s Emmy Award-winning 2013 cable film “Behind the Candelabra.” Personally chosen by Jerry Seinfeld, Papa hosted the series “The Marriage Ref.” He also has been seen on “Inside Amy Schumer”; in a recurring role opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus on “The New Adventures of Old Christine”; and starring in his own series, “Come to Papa.”

Papa starred opposite Matt Damon in Soderbergh’s 2009 feature film “The Informant,” and opposite Paul Giamatti in Rob Zombie’s animated feature, “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto,” as the voice of “El Superbeasto.” He appeared in the movies “Top Five,” “Analyze That” and “Comedian.” He also had a voiceover role and was a writer on Seinfeld’s animated feature, “Bee Movie.”

His first one-hour special, “Tom Papa Live in New York City,” premiered in January of 2012. His second one-hour stand-up special, “Tom Papa: Freaked Out,” was directed by Zombie and was named one of the 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2013 by

Papa is host of the hit SiriusXM show, “Come to Papa,” which airs on channel 99. The weekly, one-hour program features extended interviews with comedians, including Mel Brooks, Ray Romano, Carl Reiner and Seinfeld. The program also features Papa hosting a live, scripted radio play, with top comedians playing the roles.

When not touring, Papa lives in New York and Los Angeles with his wife and family.


We are so excited to share with you the premiere episode of our brand-new, fun-filled, slime-soaked, trivia-driven quiz show BOOM!, debuting Thursday, June 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. BOOM! is a general knowledge quiz show that challenges teams to defuse a series of ticking slime-bombs by dramatically cutting the wires relating to the correct answers and leaving the wrong answers untouched. If they get it right, the players win big money, but if they get it wrong or run out of time… BOOM! The contestants – and audience – are showered with anything from “macaroni and cheese” to “maple syrup.”

The show is based on Keshet International’s smash-hit format which premiered earlier this year, becoming Israel's highest-rated game show launch ever. So, naturally, we wanted to spread the love and let you (and the rest of America) in on the fun! 

We hope you have a blast watching! 

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