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September 22, 2014

TomPapa

Fantasy Role Playing Enthusiast Faces Wrath of Patti LaBelle on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 15th 2011 6:40PM
Anton and Bobbi Kukal watch Patti LaBelle and Tom Papa smooch on 'The Marriage Ref'Anton Kukal has faced knights and sword fights in his fantasy role playing business, Mystic Realms. He has faced his wife, Bobbi, over the fact that the business never makes any money. But until they appeared on 'The Marriage Ref' (Sundays, 10PM on NBC), he had never had to face off against an angry Patti LaBelle.

Hobbies/businesses that don't turn a profit are a common cause of dispute on the show, but this one was unusual. When Bobbi met her future husband Anton, he was in law school, and Mystic Realms was a side business. Eventually, it became his main business, which didn't make Bobbi happy. LaBelle wasn't impressed, either. "This man is pitiful," said Labelle. "She needs to kick his ass."

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A Husband's Wine-Drenched Dreams Dashed on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 8th 2011 6:15PM
will.i.am on 'The Marriage Ref'Robert and Stephanie Wilson were happily married for 22 years before appearing on 'The Marriage Ref' (Sundays, 9PM on NBC). They seemed to be deeply in love, with just one problem. Robert, a doctor, had a dream of becoming a vintner, and he happened to find a vineyard for sale ... in North Carolina. They were at an impasse, and clearly only will.i.am, Ali Wentworth, and Judah Friedlander were qualified to handle it.

Robert didn't have the qualifications to run a vineyard, but he did have two other guys who also knew nothing about vineyards who he could hire to work the place. Robert figured he was fine, and Stephanie obviously disagreed. "He started a garden this year in our backyard and we wound up reaping six jalapeno peppers and a three hundred dollar water bill because he kept on forgetting to turn off the sprinkler," she lamented.

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Mary J. Blige Casts Deciding Vote in a Shopping Argument on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 25th 2011 3:21AM
Mary J. Blige, 'The Marriage Ref'It was a little unfair for Michael when he and his wife, Dora, were participants on 'The Marriage Ref' (Sun., 10PM ET on NBC). Their problem boiled down to a classic difference between the sexes, which mean the panel was more than likely going to vote down gender lines.

With Lauren Graham, Colin Quinn and Mary J. Blige sitting on the stage, Michael was outnumbered, and he knew it.

The issue was one of shopping. Michael hated it and didn't want to do it, but Dora wanted him to come with her and be supportive of how she liked to shop. Quinn backed Michael, though he took it further than even Michael probably was intending.

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Tom Papa Previews 'Marriage Ref' Changes: 'Rightest' Win $25K, Billboard (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 23rd 2011 1:10PM
Tom Papa on 'Today'As host of 'The Marriage Ref,' Tom Papa gets to help settle a lot of silly arguments between spouses, along with a panel of comedians and celebrities. Thursday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC), Papa discussed his philosophy about marriage and what it takes to keep two people together.

"I think you have to realize that every marriage is ridiculous," he said. "We're all a mess and there's always problems and it's better if you just laugh at it and don't take it too seriously." Once more, he said his wife agrees with him, which is a good sign.

Papa revealed that the stakes are a little higher for the new season of 'Marriage Ref.' Whoever wins the argument is declared "The Rightest of the Right," and they win $25,000 and a billboard in their hometown declaring their, well, rightness. That's a lot of cash, but, as Papa said, "Every married couple is like, 'I want the billboard.' No one cares about the money."

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Lunatics Running The Asylum: 'The Marriage Ref' Could Use a Real Coach

by Mark Wigmore, posted Mar 26th 2010 8:41PM


For nine seasons, NBC and Jerry Seinfeld successfully dominated the ratings with the self-proclaimed show about nothing. According to producers, the rules of the ever-popular and manically-rerun 'Seinfeld' series were simple – no hugging, no learning. Who knew that Seinfeld could accomplish all of these goals all over again with his new series, 'The Marriage Ref'?

Now nearing half a dozen episodes, 'Ref' attempts to solve the little squabbles plaguing married couples, pegging one against the other in a win or lose contest. The show found a home on NBC thanks to the tragedy that was 'The Jay Leno Show,' the 10 pm-slotted experiment that went horribly wrong.

The Seinfeld-produced reality/game show was fast-tracked into the open Thursday position. 'Ref' features stand-up comedian and long-time pal to Jerry, Tom Papa, as the so-called Ref. According to his website bio, he has no experience in the field of couples therapy or any other professional credit in the field. That's why we decided to talk to a real psychotherapist, someone who actually dispenses advice to warring couples.

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Miley Cyrus Gets Love Advice From 'Marriage Ref's' Tom Papa (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Mar 26th 2010 10:30AM
Miley Cyrus, Tom Papa on 'Tonight Show'Last night on the 'Tonight Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on NBC), 'Marriage Ref' host Tom Papa shared what he considered the best relationship advice ever given to him: to lie.

His sage words distressed the evening's other guest Miley Cyrus, who's been dating Aussie Liam Hemsworth for 10 months.

"Is he going to lie the whole time?!" asked Miley.
"Yes he is. You're going to lie to him -- and you're going to be happy."

Papa further explained his theory with a story of candle-shopping.


Watch the video after the jump.

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The TV Squad Podcast: Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref,' 'DWTS,' March Madness, and More!

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 25th 2010 5:11PM
Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref'After a few stops and starts, we finally managed to get Tom Papa, host of NBC's 'The Marriage Ref,' to join us on the podcast. He talks with Jason Hughes, Danny Gallagher and me about the new show, who his favorite couple has been so far, managing a panel with Larry David, Ricky Gervais and Madonna, and exactly what he thought of the Leno-Conan debacle that gave his show that Thursday at 10PM ET opening.

Tom joins us about 18 minutes into the podcast and stays with us for about 25 minutes. Before and after, Jason, Danny and I talk about:
  • How March Madness messes with our DVRs and why networks can't send out live DVR updates,
  • The new cast of 'Dancing with the Stars' and the importance of Pam Anderson's breasts this season,
  • Two shows that are finally getting killed off: one good ('Scrubs') one not so good (''Til Death'). We also talk about what shows have been on the "Can't Kill 'Em" list in recent years.
  • Picks of the week, and more.

Run time is 1:13:08.

You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

As always, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick.

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Thanks to Larry David, Last Night's 'Marriage Ref' Was (Almost) Good

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 12th 2010 2:02PM
Larry David, Madonna, and Ricky Gervais on 'The Marriage Ref'
I don't know why I keep watching 'The Marriage Ref.' I hated the smugness and the idiocy of the premiere, and the second episode, with Tina Fey, Eva Longoria and Jerry Seinfeld passing judgment on couples' arguments, was even more painful to watch. But I wanted to watch last night's episode before I dismissed the show completely.

Why? Maybe I like rubbernecking when I see smoking wrecks like this, whether they're on the highway or on my TV. Maybe I'm a masochist. But I'd like to think that my patience with this show was due to the high-powered panel that Seinfeld had coming up for the show's third episode: none other than Ricky Gervais, Larry David and Madonna.

My patience was rewarded... somewhat. What this episode showed me was that, with the right panel, the show can be entertaining and the smugness level can be tolerable, especially if the celebrities spend as much time ripping on each other as they do the hapless couples on the show. And with the self-loathing David around, you knew that there was a pretty good shot of that happening.

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'The Marriage Ref' Would Be Funnier Without the Celebrities

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 1st 2010 11:29AM
The Marriage Ref
'The Marriage Ref' is a strange beast. After watching last night's post-Olympic sneak preview of the show, which moves to its Thursday at 10PM ET slot on March 4, it feels like a '60s-style celebrity panel game show joined to a TLC marriage show.

It's a pretty straightforward idea: a married couple is depicted having an argument over a specific issue. In the pilot, for instance, one husband wanted to get his recently-deceased dog stuffed and display the mutt in the living room, over his wife's vehement objections.

The celebrity panel, who in the premiere consisted of Kelly Ripa, Alec Baldwin and executive producer Jerry Seinfeld, talk and joke about the situation, coming down one one side or the other. The final decision is rendered by the ref, host Tom Papa, who tells the couple via satellite feed.

But the pilot made me want to see much more of the couples having their funny conflicts than the celebrities yukking it up over those conflicts. And that's a problem.

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Have a Question for Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref?' Ask It Here!

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 26th 2010 6:02PM
Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref'We have a fun treat coming up for our next episode of The TV Squad Podcast: Tom Papa, host of NBC's new series 'The Marriage Ref,' will be joining us for some talk about his show and some of the interesting arguments he's had to mediate.

But Papa's an interesting guy: He's been on the stand-up circuit forever, and has friends in high places, including 'Marriage Ref' executive producer Jerry Seinfeld. So if you want to ask him questions about being buds with Jerry, some of the people who have gone on 'Ref' (including Alec Baldwin), or why he's credited as a "writer" on an episode of 'Jon & Kate Plus 8,' ask them here.

Leave your questions in the comments and we'll relay them to Papa during the podcast. We'll even give you credit for any question we use. So, ask away below. Any question we get in before we record the podcast on Tuesday at around 5 PM ET will be eligible.

(UPDATE 3/2/10: We decided to postpone this podcast due to Tom's tough schedule and some other fun stuff going on on my end. He'll join us soon.)

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Seinfeld on Leno: The right idea at the wrong time - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2010 10:02PM
Jerry Seinfeld at the Winter 2010 TCAsNBC served up some good panels today, and the last one was a doozy: Jerry Seinfeld, who along with host Tom Papa and executive producer Ellen Rakieten was there to promote the new series The Marriage Ref. More on that later. Halfway into the session, a reporter asked Jerry a question on Leno's show getting pulled from the 10 PM slot.

"It was all my fault because I wore the tuxedo (on Jay's first show)," he joked. But then he got serious and actually had a bit of praise for NBC. He equated the move to bring Jay to 10 PM to the AOL/Time Warner deal, of all things. "It wasn't a terrible deal. The timing was bad. If you substitute 'Google' for 'AOL' now, you'd be in favor of the deal. (Leno at 10) is the right idea at the wrong time. I applaud NBC for trying something so original."

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The Jay Leno Show: Halle Berry

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 18th 2009 1:00AM
Halle BerryI'm starting to get a feel for what these "comedy correspondents" are for. They'll be a recurring rotation of comedians on-hand to submit video shorts and provide comedy bits on the show. Basically, it's NBC coming through at least a bit on this being a "comedy" show instead of just a retooled talk show.

Unlike The Daily Show correspondents, Jay's correspondents are treated like guests rather than as a part of the show. Maybe, as time goes on and we see them over and over again, this will change. Perhaps they could even develop their own unique voice that we'll find ourselves looking forward to.

Tonight, D.L. Hughley went to speak to government representatives in California to talk about the sad state of the state's economy. From there, he wound up putting on a bake sale to save the state. So it was a bit like what would happen on The Daily Show after all.

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How will you watch Rob Zombie's El Superbeasto?

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 5th 2009 3:04PM
The Haunted World of El SuperbeastoRemember the days when a movie came out in theaters, then you waited a year or so for it to come out on video (and going back a bit further, waited for it to be in on VHS or Beta, depending on which player you had), and then waited even longer for it to hit television?

With cable on demand and quick transitions to DVD, that timeframe has been completely destroyed for me. I watched Bobcat Goldthwait's superb film World's Greatest Dad (starring Robin Williams in a beautifully understated performance) on demand a couple of weeks ago. It's out in theaters this weekend.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Rob Zombie's The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. Zombie has a great, dark imagination, and the voice talent he's assembled for this animated feature is tremendous. Rosario Dawson and Paul Giamatti are the big names, and there is a laundry list of great cult actors like Sheri Moon Zombie, Danny Trejo, Clint Howard, and the always entertaining Sid Haig. I also have a soft spot for stand-up comedians, since I cover that world often, and this boasts Tom Kenny (yes, he is Spongebob), Brian Posehn, and Harland Williams.

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