Comic Actor Tom Papa ’90 Headlines Film & Media Studies Symposium on Feb. 27 and 28

Acclaimed comic actor Tom Papa ’90 will give the keynote address at the annual Film and Media Studies Symposium, Just for Laughs: A Mini-Course on Film and Television Comedy, on Wednesday, February 27, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium.
Monday, February 11, 2013

There’s something funny going on at Rider this month.

Acclaimed comic actor Tom Papa ’90 will give the keynote address at the annual Film and Media Studies Symposium, entitled Just For Laughs: A Mini-Course on Film and Television Comedy, on Wednesday, February 27, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Sweigart Auditorium.

Papa, the former host of NBC’s The Marriage Ref and the star of Comedy Central’s highly rated 2012 stand-up special, Tom Papa Live in New York City, will share his experiences about preparing for a life in comedy and the media as part of the two-day symposium on February 27 and 28. The event is sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program, and the Department of English Cinema Studies concentration program.

Handpicked by comic legend Jerry Seinfeld to open for the latter’s stand-up act on tour, Papa has since become a laughs luminary in his own right, starring in such major motion pictures as Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!, with Matt Damon, and in the animated feature The Haunted World of El Super Beasto, opposite Paul Giamatti. A 1990 Rider graduate who appeared in a number of student stage productions, Papa is also the host of the popular comedic talk show Come to Papa on Sirius/XM channel 99, which airs Fridays at 6 p.m. Eastern.

The annual symposium will feature film screenings, faculty roundtables, student/faculty presentation panels, a student film festival, and addresses by author Kevin Lally and noted film scholar Dr. Thomas Doherty. Lally is the author of Wilder Times: The Life of Billy Wilder, a biographical look at the Academy Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter whose credits include Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. Lally will speak on Wednesday, February 27, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium.

Doherty, a professor of American Studies at Brandeis, is a cultural historian with a particular interest in Hollywood cinema. His presentation, “Hollywood Comedy Before, Under and After the Production Code,” will examine the rigid set of moral censorship guidelines to which the film industry adhered between 1930 and 1968. Doherty, a senior Fulbright scholar who has lectured abroad and had commentary published in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, will speak on Thursday, February 28, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Sweigart Auditorium.

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Tom Papa '90 is the host of the popular comedic talk show Come to Papa on Sirius/XM channel 99.