Comedian Tom Papa joined Boston Public Radio Friday to share his insights on food, comedy and the joys of leading a simple life.
Papa has a new stand-up special out on Netflix, called “You’re Doing Great!” as well as a new book, "You're Doing Great! And Other Reasons to Stay Alive.”
"I thought I was just being funny when I wrote it, and then it ended up being actually some kind of guide book,” he said. “The book is this very hopeful take on life, from the early days back in January 2020 — the before times, when we were all feeling stressed out.”
Papa went on to discuss the book's thesis.
"I was just remarking that we have this weird perspective of what life is supposed to be, and you have to adjust your expectations and realize, if you’re healthy and you’ve got your family, and you’re living this simple life — that’s really what wins. It’s the bigger stuff that’s kind of an illusion," he said. "But I didn’t realize how small of a life this was gonna actually become.”
Papa said he hopes the underlying message of his Netflix special, which focuses on the value and challenge of keeping optimistic, resonates with viewers.
“Comedy a lot of times is very cynical and very negative, and I don’t really live that way,” he said. "I am pretty optimistic. Being hopefully is easy when things are easy and times are good. It’s when we’re really tested that you really have to dial in.”
“That’s what the special is about," he continued. "It’s about hope, and it’s about enjoying it, and laughing at how ridiculous and how hard things can be. But ultimately, I even say in the special, 'I don’t know any of you, but I’m telling you, you’re doing great.'”