Tom Thakkar Makes A Name for HImself

May 11, 2018


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


2018 Moon­tow­er Series

In this week’s install­ment of our ongo­ing 2018 Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val cov­er­age, Valerie Lopez gets reac­quaint­ed with a friend she sat down with 3 years ago, come­di­an Tom Thakkar. In the time since they last spoke, Thakkar has been the def­i­n­i­tion of busy. He’s moved to New York, was a final­ist on the NBC Standup for Diver­si­ty spe­cial, and has his own show at Caroline’s in New York. He also co-hosts the Sir­iusXM show You Up with friend and road com­pan­ion of 6 years, fel­low 2018 Moon­tow­er per­former Nik­ki Glaser. 

Oh, and we should men­tion, he changed his name. For­mer­ly Tom Brady, it turns out there just might be some peo­ple that asso­ci­at­ed him with that oth­er Tom Brady, and it’s a lot less fun than it sounds. After years of con­tem­pla­tion and at the urg­ing of Mike Bir­biglia, he took his father’s name, Thakkar, in ear­ly 2017, and like a but­ter­fly, shed an old per­sona to make way for his real, nat­ur­al per­sona. It does­n’t appear to be a coin­ci­dence that, once he changed his name, his career seemed to reach high­er and new heights.

Thakkar’s ear­ly expo­sure to com­e­dy pro­vid­ed solace in a some­what rocky time in his younger years. Those ear­ly fond comedic mem­o­ries are filled with names like Chris Rock and Todd Bar­ry, and the pow­er they wield­ed to bring out laugh­ter and joy. At age 15, find­ing suc­cess with his friends and fam­i­ly as he toyed with the learn­ings and styles he’d observed from come­di­ans like Bar­ry, he start­ed branch­ing out and test­ing his met­tle on the stage. The thread con­tin­ued with a dal­liance in improv in col­lege, even as his for­mal plans point­ed to a career in med­i­cine. But as oppor­tu­ni­ties grew, with fea­tures and pay­ing gigs pop­ping up, it start­ed becom­ing patent­ly clear that com­e­dy was the road he was des­tined for.

If you can not care, it’s…the great­est gift you can give your­self.”Tom Thakkar

Life had Thakkar hop­ping from point to point across the nation, for rea­sons of var­i­ous shapes and sizes, and all the while he sought out (or, often, was sought out) chances to hone his skills. As with many cre­ative endeav­ors, his time devot­ed to per­form­ing helped buoy him through chal­lenges the uni­verse tossed his way. Work­ing his way from Indi­ana to Ohio, Chica­go to New York, and points in between, at 27 he final­ly land­ed in the Big Apple, exe­cut­ing the plan he’d been form­ing and adapt­ing all along. As things have con­tin­ued to fall into place, he had one of his great­est real­iza­tions in com­e­dy (and life): don’t care so much about whether you’re mak­ing a next career step”, and just focus on hav­ing fun. If you can not care, it’s…the great­est gift you can give your­self”, Thakkar says. 

Thakkar has per­formed with and for some of the biggest names in the busi­ness, and 2017 was full of new heights like play­ing the Bridge­stone Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val, and appear­ing on Conan. Check out the inter­view to hear a lot more about Thakkar’s view of the com­e­dy life, how he got there and what it brought to him. Then catch him on You Up with Nik­ki Glaser on every Mon­day-Thurs­day at 10 ET on Sir­iusXM, and his pod­cast Stand by Your Band with Tom­my McNa­ma­ra, where comics come on and do their best to defend their guilty plea­sure bands and songs. Find much more of Tom Thakkar on Twit­ter and Insta­gram, and keep up with his lat­est dates and shenani­gans at tomthakkar​.com.

Tom Thakkar