Comedian Tom Papa

3rd April 2020

Comedian Tom Papa wants you to focus on the small victories. The little triumphs in everyday life that add up to winning the war against cynicism. His new Netflix special, You’re Doing Great! sums up his philosophy perfectly.

Episode notes

(Photo courtesy Tom Papa)


Comedian Tom Papa on his new special, You’re Doing Great!

Tom Papa is a busy man. In addition to publishing his second book, You’re Doing Great! And Other Reasons To Stay Alive, he co-hosts the radio show What a Joke with Papa and Fortune on Sirius XM, hosts the podcast Come To Papa, is a frequent panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and is also a writer and performer on Live From Here — formerly, A Prairie Home Companion.

Thankfully, even with such a full schedule, he found the time to gift us with his new comedy special on Netflix, You’re Doing Great! This special is signature Tom Papa. It’s a hilarious and surprisingly warm and encouraging take on the pressures of modern life. In it, Tom talks about everything from the highs and lows of marriage and parenting to the futility of diets to the fantasy of abandoning suburban life for the freedom of his teenage dreams. There’s a lot of pressure to be better than the next guy on social media and Tom expertly explains how chasing that goal is why so many people are convinced that they’re failing at life. Although, mostly his message is about how we should all be a little easier on ourselves. That comedic approach — choosing positivity– is a pretty rare find in stand-up, but Tom says that’s just who he is. It has helped him carve out and claim a unique space among his generation of comics that has served him well over the years.

This week Tom joins Bullseye to talk about his new comedy special, his comedic influences, and why he has always been comfortable with being “kinda lame” and how he learned resilience from his Nana. That’s all on the next Bullseye!

You can pre-order Tom’s new book, You’re Doing Great!: And Other Reasons To Stay Alive, and find links to his other work on his website.

Tom’s comedy special You’re Doing Great! is streaming now on Netflix.

In this episode...

Senior Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow


  • Tom Papa

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

Get in touch with the show


Senior Producer


Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...

Liked Comedian Tom Papa? Listen to these next...