I was unfamiliar with Tom Papa’s routine before I accidentally saw the trailer for this Netflix special, and I found Papa’s relaxed stage presence instantly compelling. Luckily, his entire routine turns out to be a lot of fun, thanks largely to his relaxed, conversational cadence, which comes across as undeniably paternal (which is all the more noticeable thanks to his amusingly appropriate last name). He’s able to create an effective rapport with the audience thanks to his casually conversational style, and he delivers the titular tagline with equal parts concern and comedic intent. Like Jim Gaffigan, the main focus of his routine is on home life as both husband and father, and his “fun nerdy” dad vibe is endlessly charming and good-natured, all of which makes the experience feel like a satisfying conversation with a soothing, caring presence. Most importantly however, his routine is regularly laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes recalling Phil Hartman’s proto-1990s comedic delivery in the best possible way.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)