Comic Tom Green bonds with troops, avoids MPs in Kosovo
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — The gaggle of soldiers waited in front of the mess hall, pondering that most open-ended of questions: Where is Tom Green?
There were theories. The famed MTV master of the gross-out gag was to have shown up a half-hour earlier to sign autographs and discuss world affairs with young people carrying M-16s. One guess was that in true Tom Green fashion, the comedian had done something loony and was now in the loving embrace of the MPs.
Then he appeared over the dusty plain, camouflaged jacket flapping in the distance, extremities apparently shackle-free.
“How many months have you been here?” Green asked the troops. They tried to answer with their time spent in now-arid Kosovo.
“No,” Green corrected. “Out here. On the deck.”
Then he pointed behind him, toward a peak that loomed milky in the day’s haze. “There’s a big mountain out there. Ever see that? Go skiing on that?”
Green and his crew had spent four days in Kosovo chatting with troops and taping “Hi Moms” for his new talk show, which is planned to debut on MTV on June 23. On Friday evening, he made his final stop in the Balkans to give troops a chance to trade barbs and pose for snapshots with the goateed yuckster.
Apparently, his tardiness was entirely justified. Green had taken a military shuttle bus out for a spin, which of course resulted in a requisite game of chicken with another bus.
He also bonded with troops.
“Someone demonstrated a choke-hold on him,” offered Tracy Thede, tour producer for the United Service Organizations’ world headquarters.
About then, Green posed for a picture with a female soldier who seemed a little taken with him.
“Don’t be shy,” another soldier heckled. “He’s only a million-dollar star. You touching a million dollars there, girl.”
In person, Green is full of goofy remarks, but surprisingly restrained for a man whose bits have included swinging a baby from its umbilical cord in the movie “Freddy Got Fingered.”
It turns out the whole military scene was not so new to Green. A Canadian, part of his childhood was spent on military bases up north. His officer father also served in Vietnam and on Cyprus.
“I contacted the USO and said I’d be interested in doing something,” Green said. “I thought it would be kind of interesting to come here. It was fun to see the guys.”
Green will visit Rhein-Main Air Base on Sunday. Among his stops will be the air terminal and the base exchange.