Comedian Tom Segura Wants to Know Where the Bodies Are, Garth Brooks (2024)

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“I can’t believe what my life is,” says Tom Segura.

Segura has good reason to be proud. The 44-year-old comic has grinded away for decades to become one of the most successful (and prolific) comedians around. He co-hosts a pair of popular podcasts — Two Bears One Cave with pal and fellow comic Bert Kreischer, and Your Mom’s House with wife/comedian Christina Pazsitsky; penned a bestselling book of humorous essays; sells out stand-up shows across the country; and just released his fifth Netflix stand-up special, Tom Segura: Sledgehammer, which is one of the best of the year. Oh, and he recently sold a pilot to a top streaming service and has not one, not two, but three feature films in various stages of development.

He knows how lucky he is, and credits his “very, very supportive wife” and “two great kids,” all of whom he uses as hilarious comedy fodder in Sledgehammer, whose topics include everything from gay fantasies with Brad Pitt and the awkwardness of showering with his young son to the loss of his beloved father. It’s the work of a comic at the top of his game, replete with long, artful setups and knockout punchlines.

The special also incorporates one of his most cherished topics: A conspiracy theory he’s helped mainstream — “Where are the bodies, G?” — about the curious connection between country music legend Garth Brooks’ tour dates and people who have gone missing in those places. (Brooks has thus far refused to address it.) It’s become so widespread that fans have resorted to brandishing signs at Brooks’ shows saying, “Where are the bodies, Garth?”

One bit that didn’t make Sledgehammer concerns a truly wacky interaction with one of Segura’s neighbors in Austin, Texas, who must be Ted Cruz, and we talked about that and much more over the course of our chat.

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to the actor’s strike.

I think Sledgehammer is far and away your finest special yet and feels like the culmination of decades of honing your stand-up.
Thank you. Obviously, it’s subjective, and people are open to feel any way they want about what you put out, but I feel that way as well. I feel like it’s without question the best one. I’ve been talking to my friends about this, but we got married to this thing of shooting your special and then trying to get your next special out, and we were on this two-year turnaround. Because of the pandemic forcing that year to go to waste — and I still worked, doing rooftop shows, backyard shows — I ended up doing stand-up for another year, so this was a three-year turnaround. And it is unquestionably so much better. I shot this in November. If I could have shot it in April, it would have been better. Letting those things marinate, tweak, and turn makes them better.

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One joke that you cut is the Ted Cruz-neighbor-interaction one. I’m curious why you cut that. Did you not want to deal with the bullsh*t that came from it?
I’ll tell you exactly why I cut it: I look back on older specials, and in my opinion, they’re all too long. I look back on stuff and go, “I should’ve cut that.” When I was editing this thing, I wanted it to be as close to sixty minutes as I could make it and wanted to trim anything that feels filler-ish, feels dated, or doesn’t feel evergreen. So, I ended up cutting three bits and trimming 12 minutes from the special. The Cruz one really popped online, but it didn’t feel evergreen — as much fun as it was to tell and the pop was so great.

Can you walk me through that surreal day? It’s one thing to find out that Ted Cruz lives in your neighborhood, but it’s quite another to have this bizarre exchange with him.
To be fair: I do end the bit saying, “It may or may not be Ted Cruz.” I try to leave it up in the air. It was a surreal interaction — that somebody is going to literally start the conversation with, “Are you the comedian?” And I go, “Yeah.” And he goes, “Where do you think the term ‘motherf*cker’ comes from?” And I was like, “What?!” And he was like, “That’s your joke, right?” And I was like, “What?!” And he goes, “That’s your joke. I was watching your thing. Isn’t that your joke?” And I was like, “What part of that is my joke?” And he goes, “f*cking your mom…” I mean, I had no idea where this sh*t was going. And he goes, “Do you think people do that? How many people do you think do that?” And I really did go, “More than you want it to be.” And then he goes, “Yeah, but… how many do you think?” And I was like, “How many people f*ck their moms?” And he was like, “Yeah.” And I go, “I dunno, man.” And then he went right into “daughter-f*ckers.”


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Does this interaction take on a new dimension given the p*rn video his Twitter account liked? It was incest-y “stepmom” p*rn.
[Laughs] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Guy’s a creep!

Are you worried about having this guy as your neighbor?
I’ve got some weird neighbors, man! I try not to think about it.

Well, at least it’s not Garth Brooks that’s your neighbor. Which brings us to one of the greatest feuds of all time. You mention, “Where are the bodies, G?” in the new special, and now it’s really taken on a life of its own.
They had it on the jumbotron at his Houston concert, which was f*cking amazing — the fact that it went on the jumbotron, and then they cut away from it immediately? Because you know there was a camera operator like, “Oh…” and then someone went, “Cut that sh*t, now!” It’s really taken off. And I always like to point out that these are alleged accusations, and that some very savvy detectives online have managed to point out the dots between these people who have gone missing and his tour dates. I know there’s an FBI task force investigating this. That’s been confirmed. And I know he has a lot of land, so that would be such an arduous endeavor if they’re trying to find anything on his property. But I do think it’s right of him, or his camp, to at least address this. The fact that they don’t address this has been a huge mistake, and then it’s just gonna grow from here.

Have you pitched a docuseries to Netflix looking into this?
No. But someone pitched me something. I wrote this book that was a collection of essays and short stories, and it was a New York Times bestseller and did well. When your book does well, they get really excited and are like, “You should write another one!” And I was like, “f*ck no! I’m not writing another one for a long time.” And then one of the agents pitched me about writing a book about a country music star that is a serial killer. And I was like, “Man! You’re gonna get me to write another book, aren’t you?” I got so excited about the story. Thank god I was on tour.

This conspiracy theory about Garth Brooks is particularly wild given his Chris Gaines-sex addict alter ego.
It’s so creepy! And there are so many people who have no idea about that. And when you show them it, they think it’s Photoshop. They’re like, “What the f*ck is that?” And you’re like, “No, no, no — this is real.” Did you hear that he announced he’s going to do five more Chris Gaines albums? Five! That means he’s going to be doing Chris Gaines when he’s seventy! It’s crazy, dude!

Your feud with Garth Brooks started about five years ago on the podcast you host with your wife, right?
It really started from a legit place. His announcement that he was joining Facebook is, and will forever be, one of the most bizarre, cringey, creepiest videos I’ve ever f*ckin’ seen. He’s in his hotel room and he’s like [affecting a creepy voice], “Well, I guess it’s official. I’m on Facebook now. I didn’t think it was gonna be like this.” And you’re like, “What?!” And then he’s like, “I didn’t know what this was gonna be like, and then I talked to one of my people and they were like, ‘Think of this as a conversation.’” And then he takes his voice down a register and he goes, “I like that. It’s wiping out the walls between you and me.” And then he takes it down again and goes, “I really like that.” There are famous people, but he is out-of-the-stratosphere famous. And I know he puts on great shows. But when you get to that level of fame, I am convinced that you have an inability to see the world objectively and interact with people — because people don’t interact with you normally. I can’t imagine what Garth’s real life is like. It’s gotta be weird as sh*t.

Now he hates you with the fire of a thousand suns. I heard he blocked you on Instagram.
It’s confirmed, dude. I’ll tell you this: I don’t want to sell out who has told me, but there is one hundred percent confirmation that he is extremely well-aware of what’s going on, he knows who I am, and he f*ckin’ hates my guts! [Laughs] My friend said that when people bring me up to him, he pulls up the video of me breaking my arm and he goes, “Karma.” I think he doesn’t even realize that that’s a couple of years old. What I would say to him would be: “Karma would be justice for all the people that have gone missing.”

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You incorporate the loss of your father into Sledgehammer. Did joking about it help you process the loss?
Yeah it did, man. My dad and I were super close. We talked every day. He was very sweet and very supportive. He loved my career. He was a superfan. He would check in and be like, “I was on your website and you have sixty-three sold out shows!” And I was like, “You counted them?” Talking about it was a way to deal with it. I have bits about him in almost every special, and he loved bits about him. So, the fact that I get to do a bit about him that murdered at so many shows, I know that he would have loved that.

The trickiest joke in Sledgehammer is the one about showering with your young son.
The truth is: I showered with him when he was three. But I tried doing the joke and attributed it to my current three-year-old, but it worked better saying it this way [about his six-year-old]. And of course, the joke I say is wildly inappropriate — and is not what happened in real life — and people go, “You can’t joke about that!” It’s one of the only jokes that would bother people. I would find out after some of the shows when people were like, “I had a great time, but that joke… I didn’t like that.” And I’d go, “OK.” It lands, but it’s a taboo, inappropriate world to joke about. There’s something very fun, when you’re a comedian, about getting into a joke subject that you’re not supposed to. That’s always appealing. That’s why people do race jokes. It’s not, “I want to tackle this subject.” It’s because it’s forbidden and forbidden is always appealing.

One of your first jobs was logging transcripts for reality shows. How painful was that?
Horrible. It is such a mind-numbing thing to do. And you would see it break people. The logging of a reality show is such an important part of it because those moments and conversations are a lot of times very manufactured. You have to log everything that is said so they can do “frankenbites,” where they cut lines together and make them appear to be one sentence. I worked on My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss and Trading Spouses — and there was this thing that went viral called “God Warrior,” and I remember hearing that from one of the edit bays. It f*cking exploded. It was very hard to stomach logging reality shows, though. I really hated doing it.

You had a very passionate reaction to when Chris Rock got slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars. Not only was it a fellow stand-up but also one of your comedy idols.
Yes, dude. I’ll admit that it was a one hundred percent genuine emotional reaction, but I took that sh*t personally. I took it personally as a comedian. I still can’t believe that someone would be like, “Yeah, that’s what you get.” Like, what the f*ck are you talking about? For probably the softest Chris Rock joke of his career? Anybody justifying that is insane to me. But the fact that it was an idol of mine bothered me more. I was like, “f*ck you.”

And then they let Will Smith stay and give this tearful, unhinged Oscar speech.
The whole thing is crazy. It puts on display how crazy the world of Hollywood really is. It serves it up on a platter: Look how bananas this thing that people celebrate really is. Look at how twisted, and dark, and f*cked up it is. And what does it say about us that we admire it? I’m team comedian, always. I don’t think that you can ever justify hitting a comic for a joke, and I certainly don’t think it’s cool that he did it to Chris Rock.

You were a podcasting early adopter, and I enjoy your podcast with Bert Kreischer because it’s just two funny dudes cracking jokes. But a lot of comedy podcasts nowadays seem like they’re leaning into this edgelord territory, almost like knockoffs of Joe Rogan’s pod. I don’t know where this trend of comedy podcasters seeing themselves as philosophers/political pundits began, but how do you feel about it?
My thing is like, gravitate toward what pulls you in and what you’re good at. There are some people who are just really good at podcasts. There are skillsets involved in this. I think it’s amazing when someone can do an entertaining podcast alone. I tip my hat off to them. Bill Burr can do that. Tim Dillon can do that. Theo Von can do that. You can tell who wants to be a “comedy-philosopher” and doesn’t have the intellectual substance to do it well. But everybody else can tell too.


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Can you tell me a little bit about Fat Astronauts, the film project that you and Bert are trying to do together?
It came up on the podcast. Bert floats this idea and we end up talking about it off-mic more extensively; talk about it more with some producers; talk about it more with Etan Cohen, who wrote Tropic Thunder; talk about it some more; and [Cohen] sends in a draft [of a screenplay] I read that is hilarious. The feature world is peculiar. It’s not a straightforward business. There are so many variables. I’ve heard nothing but excitement from the whole camp about doing this, and I’ve been told everyone is gung-ho about doing this, but I’ll reserve my real excitement for the day I’m on set doing it.

And you sold a pilot to a streamer as well. How does it feel to finally be making the transition into acting?
Truly, dude, it’s always been what I wanted to do. I moved to Los Angeles to become a comedy actor, and stand-up was just working for me, and obviously I enjoy it, so I kept doing that. But I never stopped wanting to be an actor. And I like writing and creating, so that was that project. When I took it out [to studios], they were like, “You can act!” And I was like, “No sh*t! I’ve been trying to do this for f*ckin’ twenty years, but I’ve been on the road!” I’ve taken out two other features and those are actively moving along. If those things can move forward it would be really fulfilling for me.

Comedian Tom Segura Wants to Know Where the Bodies Are, Garth Brooks (2024)
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