When stand-up comic Tom Rhodes is Live In Paris he does not have a Hot Sweet Ass. These are the titles of this comedian’s two comedy CDs.

I had the opportunity to listen to both back to back. I am sure I like both. I am still unsure if I like erudite world traveler Live In Paris Tom Rhodes or the more down to earth version of the second CD better. It is rare in comedy that one comic can have two different voices that work but Rhodes certainly does.

Live In Paris was recorded at the Hotel du Nord, in Paris, France. Mon Dieu! An English comedy club in Paris? Who would have thunk it. On this CD you get the European version of Tom Rhodes, the guy who worked a few years for Dutch TV hosting a talk show and then went around the world doing a travel show. This allows him to take his audience on a funny comedy world tour with stops exotic locations like China and Peru and some sore spots like Florida. The fact he is addressing an audience in Paris, probably made up mostly of real Parisians, some ex pats, and a few Brits and world travelers allows the comic to go for a wider frame of comedic references you usually get in a standard comedy club.  If you like smart comedy, this is it. After all, only in France and Europe could a comic sneak a titty joke inside one on nineteenth century French art and Delacroix and get laughs.

You also do not get the feeling of a comic walking on stage and doing his usual set routine after routine. Rhodes is a smart comic and it is clear he is keenly aware of his non-traditional audience and responds pretty quickly when references like Hungry Hungry Hippos and Hot Wheel tracks are lost on some of the Parisian audience, causing it to pause a bit. I doubt few comics would attempt working such an audience and fewer still would do it as well as Rhodes.

There is also something different about hearing an American comic rip on some of America’s flaws and hearing a foreign audience’s reaction to it. It is not what you might expect and certainly not the reaction a British or Canadian audience (who take great joy in it) has.

Tom Rhodes is not perfect. He does mumble a couple of times and has the mic a bit too far on a couple of occasions on this stand-up comedy CD. This is, clearly, the one and only negative comment I am making.

Tom Rhodes is a smart comic, and Live In Paris a very different and highly enjoyable experience.

Tom Rhodes
Live In Paris
Stand-up Comedy CD
Stand Up! Records 2006
65 minutes

Related Posts