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Paul F. Tompkins

Paul F. Tompkins: Comedian, writer

August 08, 2008|Libby Molyneaux | Special to The Times

Since moving to L.A. from Philadelphia in 1994, Tompkins has amassed credits as a writer and performer on HBO's "Mr. Show With Bob and David," "Tenacious D: The Greatest Band on Earth" and "Paul F. Tompkins: Driven to Drink," along with numerous appearances on VH1's "Best Week Ever" and MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." On Saturday night, he'll perform his eponymous "Paul F. Tompkins Show" at Largo at the Coronet.

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Franklin, my dear: I love that strip of Franklin Avenue between Bronson and Tamarind, so my weekends are fairly Franklin-centric. Friday night will often have me performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, perhaps on the panel of a live version of the old "Match Game" hosted by Jimmy Pardo. Afterward, I'll meet people for drinks, next door at Prizzi's Piazza or a few doors down at Birds. Prizzi's is a little quieter, so I'll usually end up there, but every once in a while one gets a hankerin' to get blind drunk, which is [why] Birds exists. One time I saw a woman wearing a football helmet behind the bar smashing a clock with a plastic bat. This was the owner.

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Hold the hipsters: Saturday morning is the best time to go to the 101 Coffee Shop at Franklin and Argyle, because all the Friday night drunks are sleeping. The staff is excellent, but I think they judge me because my girlfriend pays every time we go there, and I think they think I'm a deadbeat. Maybe I care too much about the opinions of strangers.

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Lucky charm: Saturday night may find me at Tom Bergin's Tavern, the "House of Irish Coffee." House. Not home. There are thousands of cardboard shamrocks on the walls emblazoned with the names of patrons, and I am proud to say I have earned my own -- although my name is misspelled on the thing. As you enter, look for a shamrock on the left, above the light fixture, that has a bright orange Band-Aid covering up the H that does not belong in my name.

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Like old times: Sundays, my girlfriend and I like to watch what we call "elderly television" ("CBS Sunday Morning," "Meet the Press") and stay in and cook breakfast. I always break the yolk. Early Sunday evening will find me back on Franklin at La Poubelle to have cocktails with a small group of highly intelligent and sophisticated friends for a weekly "salon." We start off debating the issues of the day, but then everyone drinks too much and the evening devolves into round-robin character assassination.

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theguide@latimes.com

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