Tom started his comedy career at the ripe old age of 34, slightly older than most of his would be comedy counterparts. After enrolling in his first comedy class he was hooked. What followed after that were years of open mics at crappy bars in the middle of nowhere and shows at venues where the comics outnumbered the audience members. And these were the good ones. Welcome to the glamorous life of stand-up comedy.
What Tom quickly realized was that this was what anyone who ever wanted to be a stand-up comic had to do. Pay their dues. After countless open mics, Tom began working his way into booked shows and eventually into opening, feature, and headlining spots. No long after embarking on this new “career”, Tom began producing and emceeing comedy shows at a large hotel chain in southern California. During that time, he continued performing at open mics, clubs, hotels, and colleges which eventually led to an audition on ABC’s America’s Funniest People. His creation of Subservient Suzie, America’s first politically incorrect talking doll, landed him a spot on the show and a $3,000 prize.
Soon after that Tom began producing and hosting the outrageous, off-the-wall, cable cooking show Food Rules. By combining a love of cooking with an amusing way of looking at food, Tom created an exciting alternative to watching an over saturated market of mediocre cooking shows. During that time he was selected to be part of the Food Network’s special presentation entitled “Funniest Food TV” which included over a dozen clips of his hilarious show.
Through the years Tom has worked with a variety of performers including comedians Bob Saget, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, Jimmy Brogan, Fritz Coleman and Shawn Wayans, as well as musical acts Berlin, Three Dog Night and David Pack of Ambrosia. For many years Tom toured with the Laff Pack, five long time friends who had been doing stand-up comedy for over twenty years. He has been a finalist in “Orange County’s Funniest Person Contest” numerous times as well as winning “Best Clean Comic” in the Eagle Rock Comedy Festival in Los Angeles.
Currently Tom produces two monthly comedy shows in southern California as well as teaches the Stand-up Comedy Workshop Students of Stand-up. He has also launched RiehlFood.com, a cooking website featuring all of his best recipes as well as many new ones. A Riehl Food web series is in the works with a launch date set for Summer 2018.