Whitmer Thomas

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Whitmer Thomas
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Born
Whitmer Thomas

(1989-05-04) 4 May 1989 (age 32)
Gulf Shores, Alabama
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Occupation
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • musician

Whitmer Thomas (born 4 May 1989) is an American comedian, actor and musician.

He is best known for his voice role on FXX animated comedy Stone Quackers, and his work with LA-based comedy troupe Power Violence[1]. In 2015, Time Out (magazine)|Time Out LA listed Power Violence as one of their ‘Comedians to Watch’[2].

Thomas’s hour-long comedy special, The Golden One, premiered on HBO on February 22, 2020[1]. An accompanying album, Songs From The Golden One, was released via Hardly Art Records[3].

Early life

Whitmer Thomas was born on May 4, 1989, in Gulf Shores, Alabama[4]. His mother, Jenny Henderson, founded the musical duo Syn Twister with her twin sister Jude Hammock[5]. The previous occupation of Thomas’s father, Whit Thomas, is unclear; as of 2020, he is employed as a paralegal[6]. Thomas has one older brother, Johnny[5].

As a three-year-old, Thomas was abducted from his family home[7]. The abduction was thwarted by Thomas’s father; the perpetrator, who had been stalking Thomas since the day of his birth, subsequently died in prison[7].

Throughout his youth, Thomas was an avid skateboarder and avowed fan of Blink-182[8]. He shared these interests with Clay Tatum: a childhood friend and future member of Power Violence[8]. Tatum later directed The Golden One, a comedy special that details much of Thomas’s early life.

Thomas’s parents separated when he was enrolled in the fourth grade[9]. Both his mother and father battled with substance addiction; whereas Whit ultimately achieved sobriety, Jenny succumbed to complications arising from her alcoholism in 2009[9].

Thomas did not attend college. Instead, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career shortly before his mother’s death[10].

Career

Thomas launched his comedy career at the age of eighteen in 2008[10]. Having moved to Los Angeles, he was joined by his childhood friends from Gulf Shores, Alabama: Clay Tatum and Jeramy Ritchie[2]. The trio joined forces with their new roommates, Budd Diaz and Rodney Berry, to form the comedy troupe Power Violence[2].

For over four years, Power Violence performed every Sunday night at Santa Monica Boulevard[2]. Thomas and his associates screened self-produced comedy videos and performed original bits featuring elaborate props and stunts[2]. These performances attracted coverage from Time Out LA and Vulture[2][11]. The official Power Violence Facebook page has been defunct since 2018[12].

Thomas has continued to collaborate with Clay Tatum. In 2014, the pair became executive producers of Stone Quackers: an FXX animated series concerning the surreal misadventures of two ducks[13]. Thomas and Tatum also voiced the co-protagonists, Whit and Clay, who were based on their teenage selves[13]. Stone Quackers was created by Ben Jones (American cartoonist)|Ben Jones and cancelled after one season[14].

In addition to Stone Quackers, Thomas is a prolific television actor. Notably, he has lent his voice to guest roles on Tuca & Bertie|Tuca & Bertie and Close Enough[15]. He has also appeared in the critically-acclaimed live-action series GLOW (TV series)|GLOW, The Walking Dead (TV series)|The Walking Dead and The Good Place[15]. In 2019, Thomas played a major supporting role in Sword of Trust, Lynn Shelton’s final film as director[15].

As a solo stand-up comedian, Thomas rose to prominence in 2015. Thomas’s Tom DeLonge impression, an intrinsic part of his act, was featured on the Put Your Hands Together and the You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes podcasts[16]. The bit caught the attention of Blink-182’s bassist and co-vocalist Mark Hoppus; Thomas and Hoppus now play together in a semi-active comedic cover band, 'Snake Plissken and The I Thought You Were Deads'[16].

Thomas found further viral success with ‘Big Baby’ and its sequel, ‘Big Baby Christmas’, in 2020[17][18]. Across YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, these musical skits wherein Thomas distorts his features with a baby filter have accrued hundreds of thousands of views.

Thomas has also toured the world with Sketchfest, and the New York and Melbourne Melbourne International Comedy Festivals[19]. In 2016, Thomas opened for celebrated comedian Bo Burnham on the Make Happy tour[8]. Burnham later executively produced The Golden One, Thomas’s own autobiographical stand-up special, in 2020[8].

On December 20, 2020, Thomas debuted a new single, ‘Cooler When I’m Sick’, on Instagram and hinted at the arrival of new music in 2021[20]. He and his friend Melina Duterte, who performs music as Jay Som, also plan to remaster and re-release the remaining Syn Twister demos over the coming year[8].

The Golden One

The Golden One, Thomas’s debut comedy special, was filmed at the Flora-Bama Lounge in 2019[6]. Thomas performed at the Lounge in honour of his aunt and late mother, whose new wave duo Syn Twister behaved as the house band and local celebrities[8]. The resultant recording premiered on HBO on February 22, 2020[1].

The special concerns Thomas’s early life in Alabama, the emotional arc of which centres on the redemption of his absent father Whit[8]. Thomas also mines various childhood traumas for laughs, such as his failed abduction, the death of his mother, and the subsequent estrangement of his aunt[8]. The jokes and autobiographical stories are interspersed with pre-recorded vignettes and original songs.

The Golden One’s title originates from the last words Thomas’s mother uttered before her premature death[5]. Accordingly, the show encompasses themes of grief, loss, addiction, familial love and existential dread[5]. ‘Hurts To Be Alive’ and ‘The Golden One’, the lyrics of which were directly lifted from Thomas’s early hardships, have received particular critical attention[10].

The hour-long recording was co-directed by Thomas and Clay Tatum; among its executive producers are Bo Burnham, Christopher Storer, Olivia Gerke, and Ravi Nandan and Inman Young for A24 (company)|A24[21].

The special features nine original songs, all of which were written and performed by Whitmer Thomas[21]. The show concludes with a cover of Syn Twister’s ‘He’s Hot’[10]. An accompanying soundtrack, Songs From The Golden One, was released on compact disc and vinyl in February 2020[3]. Individual music videos for ‘Partied to Death’, ‘Dancing with My Dad’ and ‘Dumb in Love’ have been uploaded to Thomas’s YouTube account[22].

The Golden One currently holds a 100% approval rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes[23]. Songs From The Golden One has also garnered critical acclaim and a 7.7/10 rating from music publication Pitchfork (website)|Pitchfork[10].

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Boulevard Zen Elliott Anderson Film debut
2009 Green Valley Store Clerk 1
2010 Suicide Dolls Cameron
2010 On Holiday Peyton
2011 Uncle Kent Party Guest
2011 0s and 1s Corey
2014 Jerked Whit
2015 Tooken Joe
2019 Sword of Trust Jake
2020 A Dim Valley Albert

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Palisades Pool Party Josh TV movie
2008-2011 Poor Paul Patricia 13 episodes
2012 Ben and Kate Toad 1 episode
2013-2014 Pound House Various characters TV series short, 2 episodes
2014-2015 Stone Quackers Whit Voice role, 12 episodes
2015 Gothball Whit TV miniseries, 2 episodes
2015 Questionable Science Matthew McConaughey 1 episode
2016 Sing It! Garrett McKinley YouTube web series, 1 episode
2016 Nuclear Family Barista 1 episode
2017 Super Deluxe Digital Jake 1 episode
2017 You’re the Worst Flynn 1 episode
2017 The Walking Dead Gunther 1 episode
2017 Ghosted Lukas 1 episode
2018 Townies The Meanest Boy in Town 1 episode
2018 GLOW Justin 2 episodes
2018 The Good Place Gatorbait 1 episode
2019 Tuca and Bertie The Deli Guy Voice role, 1 episode
2019 Sunnyside Brian 1 episode
2020 Kwaczala John Lennon 1 episode
2020 Close Enough The Gooch Voice role, 1 episode

Discography

Songs From The Golden One (2020, Hardly Art Records)

In the media

  

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Staff, Interrobang (2020-01-12). "Whitmer Thomas Will Debut His First Hour Special on HBO". The Interrobang. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Comedians to watch in 2015". Time Out Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Art, Hardly, Whitmer Thomas - Songs from The Golden One, retrieved 2020-12-31
  4. "On success, self-doubt, and learning how to be funny". thecreativeindependent.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Herman, Alison (2020-02-25). "In 'The Golden One,' Whitmer Thomas Mashes Three Forms of Comedy Together". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One - Whitmer Thomas on 'The Golden One' as a Musical and the Best Advice He's Ever Gotten". HBO. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Whitmer Thomas". Beat Magazine. 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 "How Whitmer Thomas turned tragedy into the year's funniest album". The FADER. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Whitmer Thomas Carves Out His Own Comedic Alcove with 'The Golden One'". amadeus. 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "Whitmer Thomas: Songs from The Golden One". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  11. Evans, Bradford (2012-11-16). ""Modern Comedian" Profiles Power Violence, the World's Leading Skateboard Punk Comedy Group". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  12. "Power Violence". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  13. 13.0 13.1 ""Understanding the Hushed Beauty of Ben Jones' Duck Stoner Series, 'Stone Quackers' - Splitsider"". Splitsider. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  14. "Lucas Bros. Moving Co., Stone Quackers: Cancelled? FXX Not Making New Episodes". canceled + renewed TV shows - TV Series Finale. 2017-01-23. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Whitmer Thomas". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  16. 16.0 16.1 ""I can't imagine Maroon 5 having family": Whitmer Thomas on why he hates "Animals"". Music. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  17. "Whitmer Thomas // "BIG BABY" (Official Video) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  18. "Whitmer Thomas // "BIG BABY CHRISTMAS" (Official Video) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  19. "HOME". NEW YORK COMEDY FESTIVAL. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  20. "whitmer thomas on Instagram: "New crap coming in some form soon.❤️❤️❤️"". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Tatum, Clay; Thomas, Whitmer (2020-02-22), Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One (Comedy), Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas, A24, retrieved 2020-12-31
  22. "whitmer thomas - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  23. Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One (2020), retrieved 2020-12-31

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