Taped at the Sydney, Australia Comedy Store Tom Rhodes Holy Temple of the Ha Ha is a stand-up comedy DVD that does not readily exist. That is a shame. Rhodes is a smart, quick paced chameleon stand-up comic who covers a lot of ground in a very short period of time. In the first five minutes of this show Tom Rhodes talks about his experiences in Amsterdam and a stripper with a special candle act, voodoo shops in New Orleans, women who do not believe in God and the repercussions on their sex life, gun violence in the United States, natural disasters and weathermen on the weather channel, a very original slam on George Bush as the environment President, and a modern take on the Last Supper. The next fifty-five minutes of Holy Temple of the Ha Ha are just as wild, funny, sometimes thought provoking, weird, and more often than not off the comedy beaten path.
Tom Rhodes Holy Temple of the Ha Ha features material from his two Stand Up! label comedy CDs, Live In Paris (the smart, erudite version of the comic) and Hot Sweet Ass (the more down to earth club comic version) and lots and lots of other original material. I especially like the bit about the Chinese conspiracy and his Australian material for the local audience really rocks.
There are not many stand-up CDs or DVDs that include a "You've got to listen to this bit!" moment I make a point of sharing with just about everyone I know. Holy Temple of the Ha Ha has one of those in Rhodes' Oprah bit. This is one of those routines that becomes a yard stick to any other stand-up comic's take on the O. "Yeah, that was pretty funny, but you have to hear the bit Tom Rhodes does on her." That it segues very elegantly into a funny bit on racism just shows how good Rhodes is even if he is extremely eclectic and sometimes seemingly all over the place.
Stay tuned as there is a surprise encore bit after the Aussie guy tries to send the patrons home.
Production value wise Tom Rhodes, Holy Temple of the Ha Ha is also good stuff. This is your basic two camera job with only a couple of flaws but the sound is just fine indeed.
The Bonus Feature is There and Back Again a 25 minute clip of the early Tom Rhodes back when he had Fabio hair. Some of these clips are grainy and stuff but the early material is still good stuff. There are also a few comics who comment on Rhodes. The best bit here is the Gerry Garcia funeral.
For a whole bunch of reasons and in jest, I can't resist taking at least one shot at Rhodes: He holds his mic like Michael J. Fox.
Other Tom Rhodes Reviews
Live In Paris: American comic meets Parisian audience. Mon Dieu! Good fun.
Hot Sweet Ass: Tom Rhodes is a good comic.
Rhode Scholar: 2 DVD set. One a travelogue with stand-up clips, another a slide show comedy evening.
Colossus of Me: Not bad though contains previously released material.