Tom's new one man show is aptly called " You want me to go where"? and it is the story of his last eighteen years at sea. A story that includes having his appendix removed in Hiraklion, Crete, being shot at by Somalian pirates, sailing on ships that ran aground, sailed through a hurricane, hit by a whale, and much much more!
Born and raised in New Jersey and the product of thirteen years of Catholic education, Stand-up comedian Tom Drake’s act has been called “An Attitude with a Tie”.
His likeable style and funny observational skills, however, have made him a popular performer in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on the concert stage and aboard cruise ships around the world.
A late entry into the comedy field, Tom was 35 years old when he finally went full time. Tom explains that unlike most comedians when they were in their early twenties, he was able to keep a job, he had some ambition and although he would have enjoyed the laughter and applause he really enjoyed not being broke all the time. So a comedy career was kept on hold while he held sales positions at Mutual of New York, Carnation Company and Chevron Chemical Company.,
For the last ten years Tom has been one of the hardest working comics in show business that “no one has ever heard of” , spending forty weeks a year at sea performing in front of audiences of 700 to 1500 as a showroom headliner for all the major cruise lines. As Tom says “Who would have thought that a kid from Bayonne, New Jersey would someday sail into St.Petersburg, Russia and who would have thought when I sailed into St. Petersburg, Russia, it would look just like Bayonne, New Jersey”.
Early in his career Tom wore two hats (no pants, just two hats, bada bing!) hosting a morning talk show on radio and then performing at night on the comedy stages in Florida. He would also take his radio show on the road to Atlantic City and Las Vegas where he has been one of the regulars at the Comedy Stop at the Tropicana for the last twelve years. During this time he also worked the concert stage opening for Tim Allen, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, Henny Youngman, Elayne Boosler, Phyliis Diller and Leon Redbone.
In 1995 Tom was offered a chance to audition for the major cruise lines at a showcase in Miami, Florida. Never one to say no to anything involving comedy he ventured to Miami where he was one of eighteen acts performing ten minutes each to an audience of wonderful people who had already been retired for sixty years. Tom’s spot was number sixteen in the show following an Al Jolson tribute. Needless to say at the time, he thought he was in a Woody Allen movie. However, things worked out nicely, the spot went perfect and the next day Tom was offered fourteen months of work on five different cruise lines. Those fourteen months turned into ten years and thirty countries, thousands of frequent flyer miles, countless Caribbean islands, a few sunburns, and a couple of hangovers. Occupational hazards if you spend many weeks on cruise ships.
While performing at sea, Tom continued development of his comedy workshop, FunnyPay$Off, a seminar that teaches the benefits of using humor and how anyone can learn to think and be funny.
Tom says if he could change one thing in his career so far, he would have pursued television appearances more aggressively so his parents could have seen him perform more. However, being at sea and “making a living” wasn’t all that bad either. Tom says “I could have stayed working the comedy clubs in Jersey and walked onstage and got heckled by three drunk guys with baseball hats on backwards who were usually the club owners but the ships offered a chance for me to develop my act in front of a cross-section of America while seeing the world at the same time”. Kind of like the Army without the M-16 and the 5 am wake-up call.
So now Tom’s goal for 2005 is to finally seek National television exposure. Tom says everyone should have set goals for themselves. “President Bush set a goal for himself Iraq of Saddam Hussein. My goal is to get on National television. Of course, President Bush had 75 billion dollars, 300,000 troops and a lot of air power to accomplish his goal, I only have a new videotape and the U.S. Postal Service”.