Tom Murrin has passed away after struggling with cancer.
Tom was one of the bright lights of the performance scene for years, best known as the Alien Comic, a wackily absurdist funnyman who combined trash-pail chic with deadpan humor to startling effect.
Born in Hollywood, Tom went on to become a La MaMa playwright and then a co-founder of “Balloon Theater,” “Dwarf Theater” (which didn’t get in your way), and “Trash Theater,” which used discarded objects, as Tom did when — in one of his more vivid incarnations — he called himself Tom Trash.
Yes, he loved being called Trash!
“I’m not afraid to look ridiculous,” Tom once told me, and he did so when showing his stuff at various performance spaces like 8 B.C. and Chandelier, which flourished during the ’80s lust for performance-art mania.
I even managed to get him booked on a cable talk show when they were looking for downtown entertainment to illustrate the kind of irrepressible creative spirit I was there to talk about.
They didn’t know what to make of it! Score!
Says Mickey Boardman, from Paper magazine — which Tom wrote for — “He really and truly was a world-class freak and the sweetest guy ever!”
He’s surely looking for trash-pail objects in the sky right now and entertaining all the right people.