In the announcement of its new weekly comedy show starring Pat Tomasulo, WGN-Channel 9 quoted its news director as joking, “we’ve gone from one Bozo to the next.”
“That’s a pretty good description,” said the longtime morning sports anchor — about to launch “Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo” at 10 p.m. Saturday. “Let’s see how good her sense of humor is after she sees a couple of scripts for the first episode!”
While the TV veteran’s main job at WGN has been to cover sports since arriving at the station in 2005, comedy has also been a longtime passion, with him honing a well-received stand-up act over the years. In addition, Tomasulo and his wife, Amy, created “Laugh Your Face Off,” an annual comedy show that so far has raised $625,000 for the Facial Pain Research Foundation. This year’s event will be held at the Park West on May 5.
As for “Man of the People,” the premise of the new program will be “a week in review show, but from the average person’s perspective,” Tomasulo said. Don’t expect much politics or celebrity focus, as the host believes there’s enough of that out there already.
“We will try to touch on stuff that strikes a common chord in everybody — the kind of things that when you hear it, you go, ‘Are you serious?! What the hell is that!'”
Tomasulo will have a studio audience, but doesn’t plan a lot of in-studio interviews, preferring to air segments he’s taped in the field. “If I do an interview segment, it will be with real people. I’ll go somewhere and find a sector of the population, and sit down with them, bulls— with them. This is all going to be for real people.”
When told Chicago will provide plenty of great characters to draw upon, the TV personality agreed. “That was made abundantly clear when I went mall-walking at Harlem-Irving Plaza with three women in their 70s. There’s no shortage of opinion in Chicago!”
Tomasulo’s list of comedy inspirations includes Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, John Oliver, Jon Stewart and Howard Stern — “but not the Howard who threw baloney at a porn star’s [butt]. The one now, who can take a celebrity and break them down to a human level — and who can take an average schmo off the street and make him completely interesting and engaging.”