Standup spotlight: Who the F is Tommy Ryman?


Anybody who knows anything about standup comedy knows that the Twin Cities are kinda hot. This week, City Pages is giving some play to one of the many, many talented and hard-working comics: Tommy Ryman.

Who the F is Tommy Ryman?

A theater major at the University of Minnesota, Ryman first gave standup a shot at the Acme Comedy Co.'s open mic night back in January of 2005 at the urging of his sister. "I was listening to a lot of Mitch Hedburg and Nick Swardson at the time, and I thought it would be fun to try," he says. "My first time actually went pretty well--in my opinion, at least--and I just kept going." About a year-and-a-half later, he was offered an MC spot at Acme and moved on from there.

Who the F cares about Tommy Ryman?

Over the past six years, Ryman has gotten the attention of some pretty legit names on the comedy scene. "Maria Bamford requested that I open for her; that was pretty awesome. I also got to MC for Louis CK when he came to town," he says. Then, in May of last year, he had what may have been his biggest break to date when Louie Anderson asked him to open his show in Las Vegas at the Excalibur.

"He comes to a lot of local stuff, and he saw me perform, which got us to talking," he says. "Finally, he asked me to come open for him in Vegas, which was pretty awesome."

Where the F is Tommy Ryman going?

In between auditioning for big name festivals Ryman has been on the road with Rob Little, perfecting his craft in front of audiences all across the Midwest and beyond. That's not to say his career hasn't had its setbacks, however, as he's had some trying shows, including playing to an empty casino in Michigan. "It was weird, but it was still a lot of fun," he says.

What the F would Tommy Ryman be doing if he wasn't a comic?

While his career is on the rise, Tommy has clearly given some thought as to where he'd be if he hadn't made it in the comedy biz.

"I like to think I'd probably be performing or entertaining, even if I wasn't doing standup," he says. "Either that or I'd be a detective. Just out there solving crimes; that would be awesome."

Where the F can you see Tommy Ryman next?

Ryman will be appearing at the Acme Comedy Company March 8 through 12 alongside Drew Hastings. For more info, check out For more Tommy Ryman action in your life, check out his website at

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