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edge staff writer


It’s time for ‘Breaking Bread with Tom Papa’

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We live in a world chock-full of podcasts devoted to almost any subject you can imagine. For foodies, beverage enthusiasts, and those simply looking for genuine laughs and substantive talk, let me direct you toward “Breaking Bread with Tom Papa.” The weekly hour (give or take) of revealing and hilarious chat is hosted by the comedian, actor and author of “You’re Doing Great,” a collection of laugh-out-loud essays about navigating life which shares a title with Papa’s latest Netflix standup special.

Listening to “Breaking Bread with Tom Papa” is a bit like eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between best friends that inevitably takes numerous detours into unpredictable hilarity. Tom’s guest list includes well-known comedians, filmmakers, actors, and food creators all celebrating the true spirit of breaking bread through natural and naturally funny conversation.

In the following interview, Tom Papa discusses how “Breaking Bread” became a lifeline for him during the pandemic. He reveals the most delicious thing he’s ever consumed, drops names of guests that surprised him, and he starts by enthusiastically expressing his love for Maine.

Tom Papa: I was just talking about Maine with a friend of mine last night. I’m planning to head to Portland, Oregon this weekend and he said “I’ve never been to Portland, Maine. Can you get lobster rolls there?” I became like the Maine board of tourism. I said “Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Sit down, let me tell you about it” (laughs). I just love Maine and I can’t wait to get back there.

The Maine Edge: Your podcast “Breaking Bread with Tom Papa” launched just over a year ago and it’s all about things we love - eating, drinking, laughing and enjoying life. It certainly kept you busy during the pandemic.

Tom Papa: Yeah, it was actually a lifesaver. It’s all of those things. It’s about comedy, hosting people, sharing some time and food with somebody. I just love those moments, and as we know, those moments became kind of sidetracked during this last year. Being able to sit down with my comedian friends kept me in touch with everybody for over a year. It became very important to actually sit and have a good laugh. It was as enjoyable for me as it was for people listening to us.

The Maine Edge: This might be the most difficult question you’ll answer today. If you were to single out the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten, what would it be?

Tom Papa: Man, oh man. The most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten was probably my grandmother’s lasagna. We have such a huge family, I’m one of 21 grandchildren, and she was able to crank out this meal that would just transform your life, and she did it out of this tiny little kitchen. She had this little room in the back with a long table and everybody would kind of go through in shifts. In the winter, the windows would steam up from all of the bodies and the food (laughs). The impact of those meals could transcend life itself, it was so powerful. It sent me down this path where I continue to make the same things and give them to my kids.

The Maine Edge: The conversation and laughs on “Breaking Bread” happen so naturally, it’s really fun to listen. Who among your guests has really surprised you over the last year?

Tom Papa: Finding out about people’s habits and what they eat is always surprising to me. Comedian Kira Soltanovich was a recent guest and she’s so funny. She drinks coffee with everything, with fruit, with meat, she just can’t stop drinking coffee. I love coffee but there’s a limit (laughs).

The great Dave Koechner from “The Office” and “Anchorman” was on last fall and he had one of the scariest COVID stories I’ve heard yet. He lost his senses of taste and smell over a year ago and they haven’t come back yet. He’s been robbed of one of the greatest joys of life.

The Maine Edge: I listened to the newest episode with comedian Duncan Trussell while driving into work this morning. You guys really had me laughing.

Tom Papa: He’s so interesting and he’s a really spiritual guy. You never know where these conversations are going to go. I start off talking about food you ate as a child and that was like a key that unlocks a conversation where you just kind of go. This podcast is like an intimate view into people’s lives and what they’re going through.

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 05:50


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