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Tom Rhodes - The International


Stand up comedian Tom Rhodes has been there, done that, and sold the T-shirt. He was the very first spokesperson for Comedy Central when it debuted back in the 1990s and has been doing his podcast “Tom Rhodes Radio” way before the mainstream got into that broadcasting medium. In this landmark interview, Tom joins me in studio to discuss his storied career, impact on comedy and what the future holds.

I titled this show “The International” because Tom embodies this essence more than any other American comic. He has no physical address but keeps his valuables in storage as he travels from city to city performing and exploring. He writes a regular travel blog for the Huffington Post and has filmed a boatload of “Tom Rhodes Comedy Travels” videos at Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, and the grave of famous motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.

In addition, Tom spent five years living in Holland where, as an American, he hosted his own late night talk show. He regularly tours the world and has performed in places like Indonesia, Dubai, and Beijing.

Born in Washington, D.C., Tom Rhodes discovered his passion for comedy at a young age. Inspired by comedians like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Bill Hicks, Rhodes gravitated toward stand-up comedy as a means of self-expression. His formative years involved performing at open mics and honing his craft in the vibrant comedy scene of the late 1980s.

Tom Rhodes distinguishes himself in the comedy world through his global perspective. Embracing a cosmopolitan approach, Rhodes incorporates his experiences from travelling around the world into his comedy. He gained international recognition for his ability to connect with audiences across cultures, breaking down barriers with laughter and shared human experiences.

Rhodes’s international success is evident in his various specials and performances filmed in different countries. His “Light Sweet Crude” special, recorded in Amsterdam, showcases his comedic prowess in navigating cultural nuances with charm and humour. This ability to relate to diverse audiences has set Rhodes apart in the comedy landscape.

In addition to his stand-up career, Tom Rhodes has ventured into the world of podcasting, which allows him to engage in long-form conversations with fellow comedians, artists, and cultural icons. The podcast provides a platform for Rhodes to delve into profound discussions, sharing insights, stories, and laughter with his guests. The relaxed and conversational tone of “Tom Rhodes Radio” adds a personal touch, allowing listeners to connect with Rhodes beyond the stage.

Tom Rhodes’s stand-up comedy is characterised by a thoughtful and observational approach. Rather than relying solely on punchlines, Rhodes weaves together narratives that explore the human condition, relationships, and societal quirks. His ability to find humour in the everyday and deliver it with eloquence sets him apart as a comedian who goes beyond mere laughs, leaving audiences with moments of reflection.

Tom Rhodes’s impact extends beyond his performances and podcasts; he has become an influential figure for emerging comedians. His dedication to the art form, international perspective, and commitment to authentic storytelling inspire a new generation of stand-up comedians. Rhodes’s ability to connect with audiences globally serves as a testament to the universality of humour and the power of laughter to bridge cultural divides.

Like many comedians, Tom Rhodes has faced challenges throughout his career. From navigating the competitive comedy circuit to adapting his material for diverse audiences, Rhodes’s journey reflects the resilience required in the entertainment industry. His ability to evolve, stay relevant, and maintain a genuine connection with audiences underscores his enduring success in the world of stand-up comedy.

Tom Rhodes’s comedic journey is a testament to the transformative power of humour and storytelling. From humble beginnings in the American comedy scene to becoming a global comedian with a distinctive voice, Rhodes has left an indelible mark on the world of stand-up. His ability to navigate cultural landscapes with humour, engage in profound conversations through podcasting, and inspire emerging comedians showcases a multi-faceted artist who continues to evolve and contribute to the rich tapestry of comedy. As Tom Rhodes continues to tour, share laughter, and connect with audiences worldwide, his legacy as a cultural ambassador of comedy remains a source of inspiration for both fans and fellow comedians alike.


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