Pop My Culture



Paul F. Tompkins interview on Pop My Culture Podcast 2013

Paul F. Tompkins (“Mr. Show,” “Best Week Ever”) returns for his third solo episode and chats with Cole and Vanessa about Comic Con, Kemosabe the Porcupine, classic cocktails, celebs using Kickstarter, Real Housewives star Teresa Giudice, arms vs. legs, Dick’s Last Resort, Speakeasy, the voice of the busy dialtone, Dead Authors podcast, Cat Deeley, a field of Zac Efron, traveling magic acts, flying monkey attacks and Paul’s encounter with King of Kong villain Billy Mitchell!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you remember gambling) on our website for a chance to win a Mr. Show DVD signed by Paul!

Freshly Popped


Paul F. Tompkins with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Mr. Show DVD signed by Paul F. Tompkins giveaway by PMC podcast


  • Comment by Jen — August 5, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    Dad took me to Atlantic City when I was 16 and I won FOUR HUNDRED quarters on a slot machine. It was illegal for me to be there so I bought Dad off with $10 to keep quiet!

  • Comment by John — August 6, 2013 @ 1:37 am

    Other than with my life, I first gambled three weeks ago in Canada. I’m 19 (legal drinking age in Canada), and my family was on a vacation to Niagra Falls (Zzzzz). Anyway, for some reason my dad brought $0 in Canadian money, so we hadn’t had anything to drink while out in the summer heat all day. We went in, got some cash from an American ATM, and I played video poker. I got $50, so thankfully I saved my family from a painful death by dehydration.

  • Comment by GuanoLad — August 6, 2013 @ 1:52 am

    My gambling experience was my first and only visit to a casino, where I played $6 and won back $10. Score! The only gambling I’ve ever done since is the occasional lottery ticket.

    The happy Australian animal PFT mentions is a Quokka.

  • Comment by Joesaurus_Rex — August 6, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    My first gambling experience was with my friends while waiting for the school bus in middle school. We’d usually bet candy or something small on how late the bus would be.

    Thank you for this great PFT episode and for the podcast in general. And remember, scabs are nature’s Band-Aid.

  • Comment by corinne — August 6, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    During senior week in college one of the outings was to a casino, where I stuck to quarter slots. Watching the people who were there for the long haul was really depressing – they all had their money on cards that’re just plugged into the machines and connected back to their bodies by curly cords like umbilical cords, and sit there barely blinking just playing game after game… bluh.

  • Comment by Kari — August 6, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    I grew up twenty minutes from Atlantic City, so when relatives visited for the holidays they would teach all of us kids poker games as practice before they went out for the night. I guess it was far easier to take money from children than the Donald Trump franchises.

    One of the first times I remember was my uncle sitting us down and teaching us the rules of Let It Ride poker with quarters. I was probably about eight. Ever since then ever family gathering ends in cards or dice games.

  • Comment by Bretley — August 6, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    Not true to say nothing was given to pledgers of Zach Braff’s Kickstarter project; there were bonuses given to levels from $10 up: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1.

    Perhaps not free tickets to the final product, but “rewards” nonetheless.

  • Comment by meagan — August 6, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    My first gambling experience was not in a casino but in my 85 Mazda GLC in the parking lot of my hometown’s IGA, the year…1998.
    I had turned 18 a few days before and wasn’t cool enough to buy a pack of cigarettes so I bought $10 worth of scratch its.
    I won $3!

  • Comment by Jessica — August 6, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    FYI – I think you’re thinking of Slytherin (green and black quidditch outfit/uniform)…that’s what I immediatley thought of at least lol

    As to gambling….I’ve never gambled ‘officially’ (scratch tickets aside). However, the reason I haven’t is because of the way I react inside a Dave and Busters which, let’s face is, is a child’s version of a casino. The first time I went into a Dave and Busters (on my own dime as a teenager) I ended up spending hundreds of dollars on coins so I could sit, stationary, in front of one of those “get the coin through the slot’ games for hours and I still didn’t have enough tickets to get that cool new electronic called an ‘ipod’ that they were displaying….I have a problem.

  • Comment by Bobby Sain — August 6, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    I’m too cheap to really gamble most i do is lottery tickets or the quarter push games where you can win a few quarters.

  • Comment by Kristin — August 7, 2013 @ 5:25 am

    When I was in grade 5, my French teacher gave absolutely no shits about actually teaching us, so we would play some bastardization of craps with little coloured plastic chips as currency.
    I can’t remember if that was before or after I started gaming the stock market in Neopets.

  • Comment by pbnews — August 7, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    “Wall Ball” was the sport du jour on our elementary school playground, and since recess afforded only 15 minutes per day in which to put our balls to the wall, my friends and I adapted my garage into a makeshift Wall Ball facility (turns out all you need is a wall. Oh, and a ball…).

    Apparently, we had just read something of British origin in class, because our standard unit of gambling became “pence.” We kept careful track of who was owed how many pence, despite not really knowing their exchange rate (or even what they were at all). At some point, one of the better players called in the debt, demanding his winnings in American currency. The ensuing arguments effectively ended our garage wall ball gambling operation.

  • Comment by Tom Steele — August 7, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    Bein’ born’s a gamble. — Levi Zendt in James Michener’s Centennial.

    My first time gambling was in Dubuque Iowa of all places. My wife and I played the slots and lost 20 bucks rather quickly. Thank goodness it’s a hobby I could never get into.

  • Comment by RussNeverSleeps — August 7, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

    When I was a kid, a ticket to the annual Exhibition (basically a Canadian State Fair) included admission to the adjacent horse track. As far back as I can remember, we’d go and Dad would place bets for us. The day my brother, then aged 7 or 8, won $88 on a $2 Daily Double betting on a horse named R2D2 is still etched indelibly in my mind.

  • Comment by Cody — August 8, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    If you count scratch tickets, when I was probably around 8 or 9 years old my Grandpa bought 2 and let me pick which one I wanted. He lost on his and I ended up winning $50 dollars! I was pretty excited.

    If you don’t count scratch tickets, I gambled with my roommate in college. He was a big fan of the Chicago Bulls while I’m a big fan of the Phoenix Suns. Long story short, we made a hair vs. hair bet that the Suns would/wouldn’t win 55 of their 82 games during the 2006-2007 season. They ended up winning 61 and my roommate kept his word and shaved his head.

  • Comment by Jordi — August 8, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    My friends and I started a poker ring in grade 7. We played quarter bets mostly, but one of my friends lost $20 on a stupid bet. We never got in trouble.

  • Comment by Elizabeth — August 9, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Every year my grade school had a carnival, and my 5 siblings and both parents would load the cake walk and be assured of taking some strange baked good home.

  • Comment by Tim Murphy — August 10, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    My first gambling experience occurred when I was 12 while with my dad on one of his business trips to Las Vegas. In an attempt to teach me the dangers of gambling my father urged me to take a quarter and drop it in the first slot machine we saw at the vegas airport, we pulled the handle together and before my dad could finish explaining the odds of winning the machine began spewing coins. I’m sure it wasn’t more than 5 bucks, but in the moment I thought I had won the jackpot and was ready to start my new vegas lifestyle a la Rusty Griswold from vegas vacation.

  • Comment by Rick — August 10, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

    The first time I recall gambling was when I was a kid and my parents took me to the greyhound track. My dad gave me a program and for each race, he asked me which one i wanted to win. I didn’t realize that betting was taking place and didn’t know where he kept going in-between races.

  • Comment by Andrew — August 10, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    The first time I recall gambling for anything substantive was when I was around 12. I was heavily into Dungeons and Dragons, and wanted the Legends and Lore book, but my father wouldn’t buy it for me that day. I eventually decided to bet him on the outcome of the upcoming Cleveland Browns/Denver Broncos game–if the Browns won, he’d buy me the book. In retrospect, it was foolish, as the Browns have not traditionally fared well in that particular matchup. Also, it was almost sacrilege, as I live in Denver. The Browns came out ahead in that game through some dumb luck. Looking back at the stats, it was either the 1989 or 1990 game, as the 1990 30 to 29 victory was the last time the Browns won.

  • Comment by Faith — August 14, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    My mother and grandmother introduced me to gambling when I was deemed old enough to take part in the after-dinner domino games on summer vacations. Old enough AND equipped with my very own dimes for the ante, that is.

  • Comment by Lamb — August 23, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    On the subject of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter, it’s worth noting that the majority of pledges were, essentially, just pre-ordering the movie for a price not too far from what it would be to purchase the dvd from a store. For $35 you get a digital download copy, a copy of the script, and a t-shirt. That’s a pretty reasonable deal and I feel like most Kickstarters don’t have deals that balanced and reasonable.

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