Stand up and be counted…

stand-up

Stand-up comedy is often used as a route to more glamorous realms. Most talk show hosts in the US and some in the UK are or have been stand ups. Many actors too and even movie stars herald from stand-up. Michael Keaton. Eddie Murphy. Woody Allen. Tim Allen. Steve Martin. John Candy. Kevin Hart…

But few ‘stars’ make this journey in reverse. To go from a lofty, better paid, more cushy area of show-business to the exposing stage of the stand-up comedy club – the profession which is often called the hardest of them all. Certainly harder than acting; whereby in the vast majority of cases, it is roles that make stars and not the other way round. What I mean by this is; Hans Solo made Harrison Ford a star and this was Mr Ford’s great fortune. Not that he isn’t a worthy exponent of his ‘craft’ – but just whoever snagged that role in that franchise was likely to become a ‘star.’

So it is with some surprise that I read on-line that Tom Holland fancies becoming a stand-up comedian.

Really? Why?

Perhaps Tom has developed a taste for the live audience from his few appearances at Comic-Cons – where undoubtedly, he gets some hearty laughs. But still… as Tom says himself, these are captive audiences and wholly partisan.

How might he fare with an unsuspecting comedy club crowd?  Albeit, most will recognise him and there will be much excitement when he arrives on-stage but once any mania subsides, will begin the process of actually being and saying funny.

Not that I don’t think he might have the required chops.

Anyone who has read Eclipsed, will know that I have form in under-estimating the capabilities of my first born.

And more latterly, I have been called out for being jealous and bitter about Tom’s success and as such, is it any wonder that I am sceptical of this possible career move.

Truth be told – Tom is a young man already – financially independent and the architect of his own destiny. He might well choose to whet his comedy feet and it would not surprise me at all if laughs and gigs start to roll in.

I have never felt a need to write a sequel to Eclipsed – for myriad reasons but the central one being what would I write? But if Tom does add stand-up star to his CV – something I have never myself achieved, then who knows… A Total Eclipse by Dominic Holland might yet be conceived and perish the thought.

As ever, I remain a hands-on dad and I will help Tom in this quest (if asked, of course.) He might well use star power and call in more illustrious comics than his old man.

But let me say this…

Although I will support my son in whatever he pursues – pertaining to stand-up comedy – I do hope that I will never be required to support him literally.

But that said, stranger things have happened in my show-biz life, so strap in everybody.

 

16 Comments

  1. Tamara September 9, 2019
    Reply

    I recently saw an interview in which Tom said you are the person he most looks up to in life,ect and spoke very highly of you and your work ethic, as a parent seeing so much of your son due to a 12year old daughter all I can say is l hope one day my daughter’s can speak of me as highly as Tom does of you, instilling in him great family values and being so grounded must be a massive achievement to you both, but l think he should stick to comic con and leave the stand up to the expert (you) but hey who knows what the future brings
    We are actually coming to London from Australia and are hoping to catch one of your shows
    Also, Please read my private message l promise it’s not a marriage proposal for Tom
    Love ya work by the way

    • MJ September 9, 2019
      Reply

      I agree with what Tamara has written. I see so much respect and love your son has for you and he seems to be very down to earth and kind (I hope to see that in person next month when I take my daughter to meet him at one of said Comic Con). I think that’s why he is dearly loved and admired by so many—kind, funny, respectful, and a handsome dear boy. I say, well done to you and your lovely wife. I hope my children will someday feel the same about their mom

  2. Regina September 9, 2019
    Reply

    Isn’t there a big name star who recently started doing standup? I vaguely remember seeing something about that on a talk show in the not too distant past (on Graham Norton maybe??). Anyway, if Tom is as clever as you are, I see him being very successful in stand up.

    • Dom September 9, 2019
      Reply

      your comment is kind but your logic deeply flawed, because if I am ‘clever’ and it denotes Tom’s future success and stardom – then it begs the question, how come I am not a blinking…

    • Pamela September 9, 2019
      Reply

      I also saw the clip of an interview where he spoke so highly of you and also pitched a TV series where you would teach him how to be a comedian. You quickly responded “No, son!”. When my son decided to join the Army, we were not thrilled, but supported him in his decision. He has since been deployed to Iraq as a sniper (worried he wouldn’t come home the same man as he was when he left. Thankfully he did) and Afghanistan as a Blackhawk medic helicopter pilot! Hence the gray hair!! All we can I guess is guide and support them in their decisions!

  3. Dan R September 9, 2019
    Reply

    As mentioned, this sort of journey to stand-up comedy isn’t a particularly common one so it will be interesting to see how Tom would fare. Although, if he has a similar way with timing/humour as you do I’m sure he’ll do more than fine!
    Also, I always enjoy seeing your Instagram stories as a notification for a blog update so please keep doing them!

    • Dom September 9, 2019
      Reply

      then it’s a good job that you don’t know me!

      • Kenisha September 11, 2019
        Reply

        See
        Even in talking to other people you are a comic. This goes to show what a great conversation would be. You see I can be quite awkward when talking to others so I appreciate someone who keeps a conversation going.

  4. Lorraine September 9, 2019
    Reply

    All of the above comments are grounded in the fact that you and Nikki have raised not one but four fab young men who are an absolute credit to you both. It is nice that Tom, albeit very successful still wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps you have obviously taught your sons to reach for the stars and have led by example. I love your very frank and honest views but you’ve done very well as parents if your children eclipse your own success. It’s all we could wish for them. Long may it continue for you and your fab family

  5. Theresa Garnett September 9, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Dom your stalker fan here again (I AM joking..) If Tom does go into stand up he may do well. The determination he has shown in any role bodes well for any future endeavours. But…that determination and tenacity of spirit is not luck, it’s clearly attributable to having supportive, loving and encouraging parents. From what we see and hear via social media etc you have raised 4 boys to be very proud of; credits to their parents. My daughter adores Tom and often laughs at his Instagram posts but for me – you’ll always be the funnier ….

  6. Shaina D September 11, 2019
    Reply

    Funny yet interesting point made about how comedians don’t start out on the big screens.
    I watched something recently which I believe you would enjoy- it tracked the success of comedians before and after they became really famous. At a point, when they have peaked in their successful they become less funny and less relatable. Comedy is all about relating to the audience, and once you are making 7 figures, it’s hard to joke how your lamborghini broke down. Since most people can’t relate to the daily struggles of the comedian millionaire, they lose their appeal.
    And in that way, I guess Tom can never fully eclipse you in the comedy realm, as he defiantly doesn’t live a life near as normal as you (albeit your life probably isn’t too typical).
    Just an interesting thought.
    Yet another great blog.
    Best regards,
    Shaina D

    • Dom September 11, 2019
      Reply

      excellent points – I particularly look forward to Tom’s ‘isn’t flying a drag’ routine!

  7. Val September 27, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Dom,

    Love your blog and your down to earth commentary. It must be a heady mix of elation to see your child succeed beyond your wildest dreams but slightly terrifying that he’d want to do so in your own area of expertise. I mean seriously, you’d think he’d want to stay in his own (much more glamorous) lane! As a parent myself who is trying to raise decent human beings, I think a book about what you and your wife did to raise such decent young men would be amazing. I’ve always wondered what the secret sauce is when we see such well mannered and kind kids. It’s a delightful contrast in a world that seems so full of people who’ve forgotten their manners, are disrespectful to others (Twitter is so full of nasty commentators), so naive and self centered. I think the appeal for your eldest has at least some of that appreciation for a well brought up young person. As a mom, I’d be worried too because the world can be a cruel place. It requires bravery and determination to withstand the barbs and navigate the obstacles. And some good advice from Dad for good measure. Wishing the best for your family. And keep on laughing! It’s at least one very important ingredient to a happy family. – Val in Atlanta, GA

    • Dom September 27, 2019
      Reply

      thank you Val – I am in the throes of prepping to give a TED talk and your kind comments are timely.

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