Bob Newhart once floated, facetiously, that he was "the Einstein of Silly," but that is a moniker apt as any to describe the consummate comedian's comedian, Paul F. Tompkins. Preternaturally quick-witted and charismatic, Tompkins has a pinstripe smarty-pants sarcasm and storytelling prowess (which has grown increasingly personal of late) and has the aplomb to leave an audience rapt, whether at the Guthrie or a venerable punk-rock haunt like the Triple Rock.
"I've always enjoyed playing Minneapolis," Tompkins says. "The crowds are always sharp and attentive and respectful." Of his last Triple Rock visit, he recalls, "There was a Zombie Pub Crawl that day, and I was informed that the end of the crawl was the Triple Rock. It didn't interfere with my show, as I feared, but there was a delightful moment that night when I asked my friend Clarence where the bathroom was. He said he'd show me, and as he was about to open the door to the bar, he turned to me and said, very gravely, 'You're gonna have to walk through a lot of zombies.' "
Tompkins returns to a hopefully zombie-free Triple Rock on Saturday. Off With Their Heads and Bill Young open.