June 30, 2020
In this bleak and anxious world there is still so much joy and beauty to discover.   My mom and I have successfully completed watching every art and educational program that I have and here and now we will delight you with all of the knowledge that we have just learned. In this episode we talk about Matisse, Picasso, Eugene Delacriox, Toulouse Lautrec, Antonio Guadi, Mother hummingbirds, Birds of Paradise and big cats. Our conversation reaches its crescendo of excitement when we talk about lions, cheetahs, jaguars, pumas, leopards and lynx. Many minds will be blown when you hear about the little known facts of the big cat family and hearts will be warmed when you learn about our favorite trees in my neighborhood, which are the African Tulip tree, the Monterey Cypress tree and the Persian Silk tree. Give your brain a ride on easy street with all of the best knowledge that my mother and I have gathered for you this week. Hooray for moms! Hooray for humanity! And as my mom would say, yay us!
June 19, 2020
With helicopters circling overhead, I wish you a happy end of slavery day! My mom is a true champion and the current reigning champion of our Scrabble competition. Mother and child is one of the eternal themes of art and that is the theme of my podcast right now as my mother and I search the history of world art to bring you the happiest and most interesting stories we could find for you this week. In this episode we talk about how art made the world, Stonehenge, Persepolis, Alexander the Great, Roman Emperor Augustus and Gilgamesh.  We then take you on a tour of Vatican City and The Louvre before ending with a celebration of the life of Georgia O'Keefe and her scandals that rocked the art world when she was a young artist and another when she was a mature artist. In my never ending search for heroes I'm happy to present you with these words: "A hero can not define himself a hero. A hero is defined by the actions they undergo. A hero is defined by the events that happen to them. The spiritual and moral response is what makes a hero."
June 13, 2020
During the rut the males exhibit tough guy behavior in order to attract a mate, me myself I always preferred dancing.   In these frightening uncertain times it is always good to be reminded of the good that humans have done while working together. That is why my mom and I have been watching the PBS docu series 'Great Museums of America'. In this episode we talk about and celebrate the best stories and information we learned from: The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Colorado History Museum The California Surf Museum The Molly Brown House The Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage The Museum of Modern Art The George Eastman House The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum The Smithsonian Institute The Morris Museum of Art The National Zoo The Franklin Institute The Whale Museum The New York City Fire Department Museum The Henry Ford Museum "Everything is soon to be history, therefore everything is collectable." Strive to be a better human in all that you do. Shalom Amigos y amigas!
June 5, 2020
In times of tragedy is when human beings show their best sides and their most compassionate sides. Now is the time to speak out and demand that everyone shows a better side of themselves.
May 29, 2020
When was the last time you let out a good yodel? You can yodel as my mom and I take you on an audio tour of the best museums in America... while wearing face masks of course.   Join me now for a few happy yodels and a celebration of knowledge as my mother and I take you on a tour of the best museums in America according to PBS. First you will learn how yodeling became a part of country music and how I got my oldest most authentic country music albums from a deceased black woman from Jamaica. My mother and I have been walking up and down each neighborhood street in my area and we got to experience for the first time being in a bank with everyone in the bank wearing face masks. My mom loves the stencil sidewalk graffiti all over Los Angeles, especially the updated Covid 19 graffiti on Melrose ave. I greatly appreciate the joy of getting a package and today I got a massive box from my friend Jasper in Delft, The Netherlands. Holland lives in my heart forever and my friend Jasper sent me a big box full of love that I share with you as well as honoring the HEMA highlighter pens for the copious amounts of joy they have given to me. We have gotten our news from the Grove shopping plaza because that is the main town square of the area I live in. A CBS Evening News woman who was filming there told us the stores have been given permission to open but the employees are reluctant to return. We rightly praise Rob Reiner's movie 'Flipped' for being the masterpiece that it is. Then for the past week my mother and I have been watching the PBS documentary series "Great Museums' about the best museums in America. Here for you now my mother and I share with you the best bits of knowledge from the following museums: The Living Museum of Music that is the city of New Orleans The Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, Texas The Charleston museum in Charleston, South Carolina The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi  The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York Ellis Island Immigration Museum Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana  The Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
May 22, 2020
"There is nobody I'd rather have with me in a beer hall brawl than my mother standing beside me with a broken beer bottle in her hand."   On our daily walks around my neighborhood my mother and I have been amazed by the exotic plant life and my mom wondered how it was possible that desert plants can survive and thrive next to plants that are predominantly in the North East of the United States. We stopped into the plant store on Beverly Blvd. to ask and the man who worked there said, "Plants here don't follow plant rules." I thought that was a funny image of our biker gang exotic flowers not following the rules of others.    In this episode my mom and I talk about the good things we have been putting into our brains in the form of the documentaries we have been watching and the books that we have read. We talk about the BBC's 'The Adventure Of English', all about the history of the English language and we learn the mind blowing story of Squanto, the Native American who spoke English and kept the Mayflower pilgrims from perishing during the first winter they spent in this new land. We talk about PBS Ken Burns' Mark Twain documentary and the book 'The Bohemians' by Ben Tarnoff, about Mark Twain's time in San Francisco and we learn that Artemus Ward was the first stand up comedian in America before Mark Twain. Then we talk about the PBS Ken Burns documentary 'Country Music.' From this we talk about how Bonnie and Clyde had to have the latest Jimmie Rodgers records, the powerful story of when Sarah Carter dedicated 'I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blues' on national radio to the man she loved and upon hearing it drove to Mexico to find her. We talk about Hank Williams and how his mother went with him to his rough early gigs and would fight beside him whenever bar room brawls broke out. "There is nobody I'd rather have with me in a beer hall brawl than my mother standing beside me with a broken beer bottle in her hand." We tell the best stories we just learned about Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Pride, Roger Miller and Dolly Parton.    Then we talk about the two books my mom read this past week, 'My Israel Trail' by Aryeh Green and 'When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.' During this global pandemic lock down my mother has often said: "Sometimes you've got to call people and cheer them up."    I'm honored and privileged to have all of this uninterrupted time with my mom and this episode is a happy stroll through the best stories we learned this week delivered with love just for you. Joy be upon you!
May 15, 2020
If my mom ran Hollywood every movie would end with the family all going to church more often.   The great virus lockdown film festival continues! In this batch of films that my mother and I have watched we discovered that we both love any movie with Jeff Bridges or Clint Eastwood in it. We also discover that my mom won't stomach certain things and is not afraid to ask me to stop a film if she really doesn't like it. You can say what you want about Woody Allen but in not one of his films does anyone ever take a shit in the middle of the road in a wedding dress like happens in the Judd Appatow film. This week for us has seen us loosen our restrictions and start taking walks through my neighborhood every day. It is good for our souls to feel the sunshine on our face, cool breezes on our hair and to see how many extraordinary fig trees are living in my neighborhood. Each night we watch a film and in this conversation today we talk about the 25 films we have watched in the last 25 nights.  It is a hardy feast of movies and I hope you enjoy my mother and I's thoughts and feelings about the these celluloid stories.    Here is the list of the movies we have just watched: Space Jam Crazy Heart True Grit Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid For A Few Dollars More The Good, The Bad & The Ugly The Legend Of 1900 The Revenant Judy Bridesmaids Midnight In Paris The Only Living Boy In New York Talladega Nights Sleepless In Seattle You've Got Mail St. Vincent La Grande Belleza I Saw The Light Fantastic Mr. Fox Crossing Delancey A Walk In The Clouds My Fair Lady Hang 'Em High Gran Torino Parasite
May 7, 2020
The thing I love most about England is that they still put ugly people on television.   It has been a great week to learn some shit and my mother and I stuffed our heads with beautiful art knowledge and thanks to the BBC, we took a quest around the world for humankind's greatest achievements. First we talk about this past week in captivity as I undertook the task of sorting out and categorizing my boxes full of old paper photographs.  For the longest time I had wanted to categorize my photos separately in travel, comedy and family sections. Along with this labor came the joy of bagging up ex girlfriends and put them in a box and stuff that box in the deepest corner of my darkest closet. My mom said "Its like cleaning out the cobwebs from the corners of your life." I want to be clear that this doesn't include Ashna, because our whole history in photos is all digital, because she was my wife and because her and I are still friends. Also, Ashna still edits and produces this podcast and there were no dark corners in our relationship, it was most always bright sunshine. The one thing that this Corona virus Covid 19 lockdown has taught me is that I'm going to make someone a really good wife one day. I've been cooking all of our meals and washing the clothes and the dishes. My mom has the bathroom and the floors. Aside from keeping our one bedroom pirate ship clean we have been feeding our brains with the choicest slices of knowledge. In the episode we talk about the last two books my mom read here in the Rhodes library: The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes Goya, A Life by Evan S. Connell After this we talk about the last episodes we watched of The Great Artists by Tim Marlow which cover the artistic lives of Bruegel, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, David, Turner, Vermeer, Stubbs, Constable, Delacroix, Whistler, Van Gogh, Schiele. From there our learning documentary trail led us to the BBC's 'Around The World In 80 Treasures With Dan Cruikshank' which is a quest around the world for humankind's greatest achievements. Considering that the human race is now currently down on its knees it is a good time to be reminded of some of our greatest achievements and some of the fun and beauty we created back in the good old days when we were allowed to spend time together. The thing that I love most about England is that they still put ugly people on television. I told my mother that there isn't a single person in the world I would rather be spending this lockdown with other than her and that is because we both talk the easiest with each other and because we are both interested in the same things. After 40 treasures faulty Dvds didn't allow us to see the last 40 that Dan Cruikshank wanted us to see so we took a trip with National Geographic on a show called 'Time Scanners' where the scan with a mobile laser scanner Petra, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Pyramids, The Coliseum, Ancient Jerusalem and Machu Pichu. This brought our conversation to Peru and the train journey I took once there going from Cusco bound for Puno. This episode ends at Machu Pichu as it should being that this concludes our week of learning here at Corona University. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation with my mom as much as I enjoyed doing it. I hope this serves up as a good reminder for you to do something nice for your mother this coming Sunday May 10 because it is Mother's Day. Hooray for humanity and hooray for moms!     Why wait until Mother's Day to spoil your mother
April 29, 2020
When I was a kid my mom would ask "Are you ready for the best feeling in the world?" Right before dumping a warm basket of clothes over my head fresh out of the dryer.   "No one volunteers to fight in a war who is happy at home."   It is from my mom that I get my love of books and since she arrived here on March 9th she has crushed five books here at the Rhodes library:   Joan of Arc by Mark Twain Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin Picasso by Gertrude Stein The Success And Failure Of Picasso by John Berger Paris At The End Of The World by John Baxter   In this episode my mom and I talk about the books she just read and the one she just started, Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. We also talk about our time together in this global lockdown and relive happy memories like when I was a kid my mom would ask "Are you ready for the best feeling in the world?" Right before dumping a warm basket of clothes over my head fresh out of the dryer. We also talk about the art documentaries we have watched so far in our pandemic university courses. The documentaries that we have watched so far are:   BBC 1969  Civilisation BBC Modern Masters (Matisse,Picasso, Dali, Andy Warhol). BBC The Private Life Of A Masterpiece BBC The High Art Of The Low Countries New York & Paris Abbott & Atget (Photography) Finding Vivian Maier (Photography) PBS The Life & Times Of Frida Kahlo Biography: Vincent Van Gogh - A Stroke Of Genius The Hermitage Museum Of St. Petersburg The Great Artists with Tim Marlow   The best way to relieve your mind from stress is to focus on art, beauty, books, cinema, comedy, music, appreciating the people who mean the most to you in life. We who are coronavirus free have a lot to be grateful for. After we recorded this my mom felt a little bad that she said at the end that: "we were rich" without clarifying that she didn't mean money in the bank rich but heart, mind and soul rich. So just to clarify for my mom before this goes public that when my mom says that her and I are rich she meant because of the people in our life and the love in our hearts. I hope your mom makes you feel as rich as mine does for me. Every day we still go out and watch the sunset and appreciate the moment. Spending time with the people you love is the key to happiness now and always. Please enjoy the knowledge that my mom lays out for you in this episode on art, life and books.    Hooray for humanity!
April 21, 2020
Hooray for moms! What good is money if you can't spend it on your mom? On April 15, 2020 my mother turned 81 years old and we recorded this conversation together under virus quarantine lockdown. My mother and I have had a beautiful relationship through the years and she has shared all of my triumphs and sorrows as I have shared hers. I love taking trips with her and we have been fortunate to experience together, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Rome, Zurich, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem but the unexpected joy of having her with me here in Los Angeles as my bunker partner for great virus lock down of 2020 is the most serendipitous event of my lifetime. From my mother I get my thoughtfulness and she is my hero not only because she has survived so much to make it to where she is today, but because she taught me how to love, and to love fully. Since the stay at home orders went down my mom and I have a very nicely structured day. In the morning we talk and read our books over coffee and then after breakfast I work (Edit notes on my next album 'The Honky Motherland'). Then after lunch we watch BBC art documentaries and or play Scrabble. After dinner every night we watch a movie from my vast collection of DVDs. In this episode my mother and I talk about and review every movie we have watched so far for the Tom & Sara 2020 Quarantine Film Festival. This is my mother's first ever podcast appearance and it was recorded on her birthday, a day that is always a day I love to celebrate the magnificent human that is my mother. The movies we talk about and the ones that we have seen so far are: Treasure Of Sierra Madre Asphalt Jungle The Killing What About Bob? Tropic Thunder The Outlaw Josey Wales Sexy Beast History Of The World Part 1 A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting on Existence Lion King Finding Vivian Maier Only Angels Have Wings Fist Full Of Dollars Ask The Dust The Mission True Romance Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World The Way Mr. Turner 1900 The Agony & The Ecstasy Nebraska The Messenger - Joan Of Arc Lawrence Of Arabia Paris, I Love You Glen Gary Glen Ross Caravaggio Time Bandits Legends Of The Fall
April 14, 2020
Is the threat of our possible human extinction bringing you down? This is a big shot of love and sunshine from the Rhodes library. When this stink ball of shit virus shut down the world my dearly loved 80 year old mother was visiting me and I got lucky to be riding out this storm with her. Had she not been visiting me at this moment we both would have been alone for this and probably each of us would have been more casual in our attitude because of the virus. Because getting her through this alive is my main priority I love my combat preparedness that I consider when I have to go out for supplies.   I love cooking all of our meals and I've learned that as a son I have many duties to my mother but letting her win at Scrabble is not one of them. You've never seen someone get so trounced at Scrabble as I have so soundly been beating her. Qi baby! Qi is a word and you should remember that because if played right it is a crusher. This is a special time now if you are spending it with someone you love. My heart smiled when my mom told me that I remind her of Kanye West because I am always working on projects. Because my balcony faces West I get the most spectacular sunsets and everyday we go out and applaud the sunset. As the sun disappears I say: "Thank you sun you did great today. Enjoy your trip around the earth and we'll see you tomorrow." Because of my vast collection of books, music and movies we have plenty of brain food to feed ourselves with everyday. In the daytime we watch BBC art documentaries and at night we watch classic movies. Currently my mom is reading a book called 'The Success And Failure Of Picasso' and I am on page 713 of the Andrew Roberts' biography of Napoleon called 'Napoleon The Great. Whatever your sacred passions are now is the time to dive in to them and perfect your ability. There is no reason not to come out on the other side of this a better version of yourself. Shalom amigos y amigas!   * I collected postcards around the world for many years. Become a member of the podcast and receive handwritten postcards! Sign up here >
February 18, 2020
"You can be whoever you want to be in America, in your gated community, away from all those dirty poor people who might cast judgement on you."   My own personal golden girl, Lynn Ruth Miller stops by the Rhodes library to share the best lessons she has learned in life and to tell me about her new life living in London and performing all over the world. After getting fucked by #wellsfargo bank on a refinancing scam she lost her house and disgusted with the ruthless nature of American capitalism she moved to England at 80 years old to take a chance on having a comedy career there. After a bumpy start in Brighton she is making a name for herself in London and now performing all over the world. "I don't think enough sympathy has been shown to the Germans for what they went through in World War II." "It must have been hell being a man in the 1950s. You had to work to support a home and family and you had to please a demanding wife." "Now is the best time to be alive because you can be whatever gender you want now." After Bush we got Obama so after Trump I think our next president will be a black left handed midget lesbian. "The world is going through a transition right now and I think it is headed in a great place because you can be whoever you want to be right now." "Why don't we have faith that the majority of people want to better themselves?" Republicans care about families, but specifically their family only. White college educated soccer moms are the reason why things are the way they are in this country now. They've got what they need so fuck everyone else. "You can be whoever you want to be in America, in your gated community, away from all those dirty poor people who might cast judgement on you." What's hot between the covers? 'The God of small things', 'How green was my valley', 'To kill a mockingbird' and 'Of mice and men.' "It's a funny thing when no one wants you. The thing you have to remember about rejection is that everyone is trying to protect themselves." You can't let other people decide how you feel about yourself. Happiness is not being dead and having something to look forward to. "Plant a tree and give someone a cuddle.That's all we can do. At her age her biggest break will be a hip fracture." Just remember, "The woods would be silent if the only birds who sang were the ones who sang best."
February 11, 2020
"If you tried to govern people by the rules of the bible it would be a bloody mess and women would be treated like property."   Dan Cummins is a comedian that I love, respect and admire. He is the rare human that I can blaze any trail with mentality on any topic and we both dazzle each other with valuable knowledge nuggets. Dan and I got together in Las Vegas and recorded this conversation, Dan left Los Angeles and moved back home to Idaho, "Playboy of all brands brought our family back home." Since then Dan has created a handsome podcast empire with his "Time Suck" podcast. Dan tells me about the sexualy liberated intellectuals he had the best conversations with during his time working for Playboy television. After Playboy TV his risk moving home paid off with the wildly popular podcast he created where he does deep dives into the topics that he is interested in.  We talk here about the brothers Grim fairy tales, Disney films, Ted X talks, how going dark gets you more followers than going light, Josephine Baker, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, the Jumbo appendages possessed by Lyndon Johnson and Rasputin, Vlad the Impaler and how the Salem witch trials was essentially a land grab. This episode was recorded in Las Vegas where people come to show the worst side of themselves, Dan and I have gathered here under the circus tent of knowledge to rejoice in all that we know and to celebrate the joy of friendship with intelligent observations like "The way young people now sit around inventing new apps, in the old days people used to sit around inventing new torture equipment." It is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Dan Cummins!
February 4, 2020
Rejoice in the glory that is the words and thoughts of Henry Miller! One of the greatest American writers all time. Your zest for life begins here! Eddie Pepitone and I celebrate the author Henry Miller, one of the best human examples to follow the path of the artist and smile in the face of struggle. “The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy is basically about being crucified on the cross of love”. Learn how the act of creativity is the way to pull out of your darkest moments in life and return to the light. “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive”. The best writings of Henry Miller should be assembled into a single book and made into the new bible and placed in hotel rooms all over the world. "I want to write something that has real guts. Real hard realism. If every man wrote down what was his real truth the entire world word explode. Open yourself up and be super vulnerable in order to achieve your self liberation. Release the inner angel within! The theory of artistic creativity, when you feel a crisis coming on start writing, express yourself artistically. Charlie Chaplin gave dignity to poverty. Miller's fascination with exotic far away places in the secret desire to reveal the mysteries and truth of his inner self. In this episode Eddie and I read quotes from the books of Henry Miller spread out on my table and discuss the inspiring thoughts laid out by the zen master of artistic living. "The man of heart believes and the world belongs to the man who believes most." Regain your faith in life, learn how not to hold anything back and risk everything in order to be the greatest possible version of yourself that will be long remembered when you are gone. This is one of my favorite Smart Camp episodes ever because of the passion that Eddie Pepitone and I both have for the pure beam of inspiring light that was the life and words of Henry Miller. As the zen masters say the best joy can be found in perfecting your mind and soul and today I give you this powerful pill of knowledge that is Henry Miller book roulette with Eddie Pepitone!
January 28, 2020
"How you are on the golf course is how you are in real life, if you cheat on the golf course you will cheat in real life."   Alex Thomas and I met when we toured Israel together. I brought my mother on that tour and Alex brought his family because we both wanted to share the experience with the people we loved most. This conversation was recorded last week before the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. In this episode we talk about how the Republicans now are the 1919 Chicago Black Sox because they are all in on the fix. Alex is the self proclaimed Ghetto Tiger Woods or the black Bob Hope. "How you are on the golf course is how you are in real life, if you cheat on the golf course you will cheat in real life." "The bible is my favorite book, I was taught and value integrity, I believe in karma and the golden rule." Who was this guy Mulligan that was so bad at golf that the one fuck up do over is named after him? An amazing fact about Alex is that his father was 'Wind' in Earth, Wind & Fire. Alex grew up with the stars of 1970s funk hanging out with his dad at their house in South Central Los Angeles. "Funk is universal!" The one and only thing that will save the Middle East is roller boogie. Alex worked as a choreographer on Living Color for the Fly Girls with Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez. He was in Snoop Dog's Gin n' Juice video and he contributed voice comedy skits to 50 Cent and Kanye West's biggest albums. He wrote for the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and has done recurring voice characters on the animated series Family Guy, this man has had a storied career as a stand up comedian. We talk about our experiences in Israel and why it is important to coordinate your yarmulke with your Jordans. "Visiting Bethlehem was like going to a penitentiary on visiting day." Israel is where all of the stories come from but the story that belongs to us is that Alex and I became friends while doing a theater tour in the holy land. "Always laugh, always smile. I am not a doctor and I am not the Lord, but I have the power to heal people through laughter."
January 21, 2020
"If we are to survive as a human race we have to hide our hatreds, we have to find things we have in common if we want to progress and move forward."   I first met Shazia Mirza in 2002 when I had my late night talk show in Amsterdam when we did shows around The Netherlands together. I was riding high with the dream TV job and Shazia was a cultural juggernaut at the time because she was playing a pro terrorism Muslim character on stage with her one liners and was getting a lot of media coverage at the time. When we met on this tour Shazia had a reporter from the Guardian following her and writing a story about her. It was a very exciting time for both of us in our careers and even though we are both from very different cultures we bonded because we are in the same tribe of stand up comedy. "The Jews have a great history of producing comedians, so do the Catholics, we have never had a history of comedians. Islam is a new religion and so is our comedy and satire. It takes time before you can laugh at something." "You have to have life experience to be a comedian and instagram is not a life experience. You can't not die, suffer and struggle and be a great comic." It is a privilege to be in this business and creativity is the key to happiness.  Last year Shazia was on a reality TV show on the BBC called Survival Island, for one month she had to survive with people from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities and she had a major revelation from the experience. "What we needed to do to survive was to keep our hatreds to ourselves. You can survive on your own for a while but in the end you need other people to survive. It made me see that if we are to survive as a human race we have to find things we have in common and hide our hatreds if we are to progress and move forward." "Spending time with people you don't like is a waste of life. You can only judge people by two ways... some people give you energy and other people drain you of your energy. Avoid the people who suck the joy out of life." Brilliant insights and sentences like "Starving to death on a desert island is a once in a lifetime experience." is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Shazia Mirza!
January 14, 2020
Shantaram with Jake Johannsen "I would never commit a felony, I am strictly a misdemeanor guy." Jake Johannsen comes to the Rhodes library to talk about his favorite book 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts. In this conversation we talk about people losing the sparkle in their eyes in Hollywood, how Kurt Vonnegut will improve your life and how Kurt Vonnegut is to Jake what James Brown is to me. I teach Jake the 8 words of Spanish that saved me from getting ripped off by cops and I tell him about the one and only time I have ever been in jail which was when I was 19 years old in Little Rock, Arkansas. That weekend I spent in jail at 19 was very influential in my life because I would never commit a felony, I am strictly a misdemeanor guy.  In this episode we weigh the benefits of martial arts versus carrying mace and how in life, just like when you are dealing with a heckler, using kindness and charm is always the best course of action.We talk about how instagram is better than twitter because no one is going to get pissed off at a sunset, historical obsessions and how Clark from Lewis and Clark was a turd who died in obscurity. Arctic sea voyage disasters where heroic dogs were eaten, Captain Cook's murder by Hawaiian natives happened because he couldn't swim and why you should avoid durian because it tastes like ass pudding. Try everything once except incest and folk dancing. A man is not a man until he has earned the love of a woman, earned her trust and keep it.  The beautiful way Ashna and I ended our marriage by ending it in love just the way we started it. I can never not love Ashna. I never want to not know her. I would never be mean to her and I would help her succeed any way I can. Like we examine in the book Shantaram, you can't kill love. You only live once and when you are dead you are done so let the good times roll.  Connect with people, let go of your anger. Change your thoughts and change your life with simple acts of love. This conversation is the last time two older white guys did something important in Hollywood. Tell each other jokes! Collect street jokes or write your own, always make sure you always carry at least one joke that will make a little kid laugh, but no matter what never heckle Lawrence Olivier. Long may you run and long may you pee! Shalom amigos y amigas and long may you fill your beings with knowledge, wisdom and love! Be less of an asshole this decade! Hooray for humanity!
January 7, 2020
Everyday my prayer is the same... God please make me less of an asshole. That is also my New Year's resolution, to try to be less of an asshole. The epidemic of modern assholishness is something I am not immune to and I was an unrelenting asshole recently when I appeared on the Tom & Dan podcast when I was back in Orlando during the holidays.The tidal wave of internet hate that followed let me know that plenty of people thought I was a turd. Also when I was back home I met the family of the soldier who had committed suicide who I had witnessed a year before experiencing peak grief at MCO airport. At the moment I saw them it reminded me of how I felt when I lost my sister and it put into perspective that pain from a divorce is a minor thing in comparison to having a loved family member plucked from you out of this life. While at home I had the realization that none of us should ever identify as Republican or Democrat, we should only indentify ourselves as friend, brother, son, husband or the female equivalent and stop treating each other like enemies. In this episode I talk about how my mother came to Los Angeles for Christmas with me and the adventure we had driving up the Pacific coast highway after Christmas. We saw Elephant seals fighting for dominance, the Henry Miller library in Big Sur, Folktales winery where I did a show, the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas and how I love honoring my mother anyway that I can to let me know how special she is to me. For New Year's Eve I flew to Toronto to celebrate with my new girlfriend. We danced all night at the Ritz - Carlton and had abundant fresh fruit all night as we refilled our glasses with champagne and sparkling water for me. I recorded this episode on January 1 in room 1109 at the Ritz - Carlton Toronto right under the CN tower. As a new decade knowledge nugget treat I read to you from the book 'Rad Women Worldwide' about the lives of Fridha Kahlo, Josephine Baker and Marta. As this new decade dawns I wish you all the best that life has to offer and I pledge my best to be less of an asshole especially to nice guys who don't deserve it like Tom & Dan. In truth I need to keep my jealousy of others in check and be grateful for what I have because I have a lot and my bottom is just as pampered as anyone else's. I am in love, I have great friends and the small group of hard core fans that I do have blow a lot of sunshine into my life. Joy be upon you all for 2020! Hooray for humanity!
November 26, 2019
"Modern country music is like heavy metal was in the 80s, it's all about partying, girls and having fun." - Josh Wolf We start this episode with the remedy of a Charles Bukowski poem that is the shield against some of the monkey mouth chump shit of the world. How is it possible that some hayseed rednecks drink pickle juice and are the morality tales of the Andy Griffith show more important than the ones in the bible? How disappointed were little people when Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory was made and the glorious decision Martin Scorcesse made by saying that super hero movies are not cinema. We talk about current films and the reason I went to see the new Terminator movie and how it is connected to my family reunions. Josh grew up in Amherst, Massachucetts and became a huge country music fan and has more optimism and sunshine than your average New Englander. We talk about concerts of our youth and the time I saw the audience throw shoes at the B52s until they left the stage in Orlando in 1982. What order would Josh eat the Beatles in their prime if he was in a plane crash in the Andes with them and had to eat them to survive? He also explains the best strategy to use when fist fighting with your son. We discuss finding the funny end to jokes and the reason why you should always keep notes. Why New Zealand is so special and when is a good time to let large men in the front row take their shirts off. The secret to getting fans to bring you gifts of weed on the road is the result of High Life, his back yard live stream  video podcast he puts out every Monday evening on his facebook fan page. We rate the best country music songs of all time and I read to him the rarely known Johnny Cash song called 'The greatest cowboy of them all.' which is a song about Jesus as a cowboy. Don't forget to have fun because as Einstein said, "Play is just as important as work for the mind." Josh is a man happily married for 15 years so I end this episode by asking him about the key tips and rules for keeping a marriage alive while pursuing a career in comedy. Josh would never yell at his wife even if the house was on fire and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you the one and only Josh Wolf!
November 19, 2019
"It's not what is under the Christmas tree that is important but the people who are sitting around it."  Rinsing out the raisin hole with Jimmy Shubert! Listen here >   Jimmy Shubert is a man dedicated to bringing joy to the human race. Fresh back from a trip to India, Jimmy tells me about the unique way people in India clean their raisin holes. How has his life changed since going to India?   In this conversation we talk about how traveling with Russell Peters in India was like traveling with Elvis and how the Hindu Gods were like the first comic book characters. We talk about Shantaram and other books that will change your life. We talk about the gift shops of Jerusalem and how they sell Jesus' crown of thorns for five dollars in case you want to walk around all day with a bloody forehead. Believe it or not Jerusalem is not a big Christmas city but in the Christian quarter they celebrate Santa Claus.  We both have had incredible lives from getting to travel the world doing stand up comedy. Here now we talk about our best experiences traveling and other activities that feed our souls.  Showbiz might not be looking for any older white guys right now but there have been few honkies in entertainment history who are as dedicated to uniting humanity as we are.    "It's not what under the Christmas tree that is important but the people who are sitting around it." To start this holiday season Jimmy and I exchange our favorite street jokes.  Our elected officials have firmly wrapped their lips around the cock of corporate greed and the media has successfully divided most of our nation.  Replace your news consumption with music that delights your soul Jimmy and I may disagree politically on some topics but that would never negate our love and respect for each other and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Jimmy Shubert!
November 13, 2019
I love Tamer Kattan because not only is he funny, with deep profound thoughts packed into his comedy, but also because he helped me convert my marijuana farm into a hummingbird garden. In this conversation we talk about his time working in advertising, going to university in Sweden and living in Venice Beach where the homeless people charge you to hear the punchlines to their jokes. Of great importance we talk about how human nature never changes, how people use brands to find their tribes, political advertising and people are drunk on power and how humans never learn from the lessons of history. Individual lust for for power has driven all of human history and driven empires off of cliffs. Tamer lives with love in his heart because we are not supposed to live with hatred and fear. "No one ever got PTSD from hugging too hard." Getting death threats in Oklahoma City didn't stop him from bringing  his brand of love soaked laughter. Religion is just as drunk on power as our politicians and it is their duty to call out the nazi dictator doctrine but they remain silent on the most important things that are sending our country in the wrong direction. Kindness is making a comeback and it's not coming from the wall of hatred, bigotry and cruelty being generated by the red hat crowd and Putin's urine pawn. Don't drown in the sea of ignorance and stupidity flourishing on the planet now be a change agent to stand for something of meaning in truth and dignity. The strongest human desire is the desire to belong, people are confused now, fear lives in their heads, will Democracy survive if one side rejects truth, science and law? History will not be kind to Trump and the Republican party. Where are the good Cristians and the good Republicans to stand up and blow the whistle on their own team? Bernie Sanders is the most punk rock disrupter to ever enter modern politics. Tamer and I break down all of America's problems and we both pay our taxes so that we can run our mouths. Nazis are unhappy people and living a happy life while embracing knowledge, diversity and culture is the greatest revenge against them. Just like me his mission in his stand up comedy work is to unite humanity and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Tamer Kattan!
November 8, 2019
Charles Ezell is a guy I've known since my early San Francisco days. He used to do an impression of Ulysses S. Grant if he had done stand up comedy and the bit always killed me. "I haven't killed like this since Appomattox." Charles has always been a great friend to me and I've always loved shooting the shit with him and hanging out. For years he lived in the Gaylord building in Koreatown in Los Angeles and that was one of the reasons I moved there when I moved back to the U.S. after living in Amsterdam for 5 years. I wanted to pursue getting on television and I thought that if things didn't work out for me in Hollywood at the very least I could get to hang out with Charles Ezell all the time in Koreatown. We hit wiffle balls for hours on the roof of the Brown Derby Plaza and Charles experienced an excellent period of song writing for his band at the time called Hail The Size. I remember when Charles was writing these songs and rehearsing them in my apartment where he had his band equipment set up for a while. In this conversation we play some of those songs and talk about our long friendship and years of creative yearning, seeking and executing. Charles moved back home to Minnesota 5 years ago and I haven't seen him in 8 years. We have a lot of catching up to do and he is one of my favorite human beings in terms of kindness, intelligence and creativity and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Charles Ezell!   Music:  I Can't Die In LA (feat. Maria McKee) · Hail The Size Babies · Hail The Size Booze, Pills, & Her · Hail The Size ℗ 2009 Hail The Size
October 31, 2019
Hello lovers of knowledge and laughter! In this episode I talk about ruining the surprise ending of the movie Joker for those basement dwellers who hadn't seen it yet. I read hate filled tweets directed at me in the aftermath and choose to deal with them with a loving heart instead of playing along with the hate faucet that is twitter. Also in this episode I talk with James Inman who tells me about how Bill Hicks keeps appearing to him in his dreams. Happy Halloween! Here is a joke I heard as a boy, "Why can't witches have babies? Because their husbands all have hollow weenies." It's a silly joke but still funnier than anything that happens in the Joker. Buddhism is his favorite reading material and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only James Inman!
October 22, 2019
The Decline & Fall Of The American Empire with Rajiv Satyal In this episode we talk about how the failure of White Christianity will be the end of American democracy and how the American empire will reach its end when the Nazi dictator declares himself president for life. In this conversation we discuss how in the Hindu religion all of the stories are the stories of good versus evil and how if you have a good heart and are a good person you will always persevere over evil. Because we are fucked beyond human imagination and it is our stated aim to be good people who persevere it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Rajiv Satyal!
October 15, 2019
Hooray and hallelujah! This is the first ever live recording of my podcast coming to you from the hipster city of Portland, Oregon! Dante Rusciolelli is the co-founder of the Portland comedy festival and he and I riff like the skilled joke slingers that we are in front of a hot live audience at Harvey's comedy club. Dante and I are kind of related because in the late 1990s he was on a show on the BET network where he played my father's son. That's right! My father was on a BET show in the late 1990s and Dante regales us with those memories and how his comedy career began in the California desert. Dante is someone I knew I would like even before I met him and you will love this conversation and the light he brings to your soul with his musings here. It was a special weekend being a part of this first ever Portland comedy festival and I'm happy that this memory was commemorated and my friendship sealed with the man who invited me there. Like me, Dante seems to be on an upswing in his life and for creating this festival he is the mayor or fun city in my opinion. I know you will love this man as much as I do and be tickled silly by this conversation which is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Dante Rusciolelli!
October 8, 2019
Straight out of Mongolia and coming into your ears, brain and heart is Batbileg B! Pioneer and founder of the Mongolian comedy scene is my friend Bata, owner of UB comedy club and superstar of the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia laugh providers. He is visiting Los Angeles at the moment and stopped by the Rhodes library to record this conversation. We talk about how Genghis Khan's influence still shapes the world, our once in a lifetime special visit to Ghengis Khan's 13th century camp sites and the shaman tents were we picked up our warrior spirits. My time in Mongolia was special and I dream of returning there one day. I first went to Mongolia because of Genghis Khan but it was the comedians of Mongolia who made me return for the second time. Aside from diving deep into history and loving my shows there for the brilliant Mongolian audiences, Bata's mother is a dentist and gave me a full cleaning and whitening while I was there. Free dental work is a very generous gift and that encapsulates how giving and loving the people of Mongolia can be. Batbileg B and Zolo treated name like a king on both of my visits to this magnificent country and that is why it is my honor to have in my home and a guest on my podcast the one and only Batbileg B!
October 1, 2019
Brian Holtzman is one of my favorite comedians to watch at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles because he appears to be a man on the verge of a nervous break down or a genius shattering hypocrisy in his revolution against stupidity. There are few performers as exciting as this man because of the discomfort he causes the squeamish and his sharply written jokes often make them laugh against their will. He is a comedian who should be more famous than he is and that is why I am highlighting this man on my podcast in hopes of introducing him to people who may not know of this giant on the LA comedy scene. He came over to the Rhodes library to have a lengthy conversation about life and all the bullshit that is so easy to laugh at it you look at it the right way. He is a hard hitting joke master expressing himself beautifully in this world of angst and unease and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Brian Holtzman!
September 25, 2019
Tony Hinchcliffe grew up in an all black neighborhood in Youngstown, Ohio and it gave him an unshakable confidence that they don't teach you in private schools.   Growing up near real life super hero Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini gave him the world view of an unbreakable bad ass and he is determined to walk the razor's edge of speaking truth in comedy.   We talk about the poor ratty whites who will regret eight years of Trump if the still end up being losers during the white nationalist roar that the Trump presidency is. We talk about the trick of American society being that we chatter about race when we should be paying more attention to class and inequality. Now that our country has been sold out to the Russians we might be seeing those round pointy things that you see on the Kremlin on our white house to accommodate the real master of that domain.   Doing dark and twisted humor is now a crusade because everyone is so touchy about everything. Tony is committed to the big dick rock & roll approach to comedy and he reminds me that the "cancel generation" doesn't buy tickets to comedy shows.   As the earth spins out of control with hate, stupidity and cruelty it has never been a better time to be Tony Hinchcliffe, with his 'Kill Tony' podcast crushing the charts and him selling enough tickets to keep calling the shots. His comedy is fearless and he always slices out the heart with a hard edge and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now Tony Hinchcliffe!
September 17, 2019
Brad Williams is on a rocket ship that just blasted off to superstardom. His favorite book is 'The Prince' by Niccolo Machiavelli and he tells me how he has navigated his life using this map. In this episode we talk about sad pathetic lonely fuckers who complain about comedy specials, how Andy Dick portrayed little people as caged animals and the future cage that Brad has waiting for him one day. The Richard Nixon list of enemies is something he's not against keeping so I tell him that the opening scene of 'Wild Tales' is the best revenge film ever conceived. Human beings are not evolving, most human beings don't want freedom and democracy. Most humans in history desire power, tyranny and oppression and this surveillance state gangster third world path is full steam ahead. All we can do is make money and put a wall and gate around your house while creating an army of children that you program the thoughts in their heads. In this chat it is revealed that Brad and I both are Capricorns, grew up with Disney magic and how our fathers both shaped us into the funny men that we are. Now that Brad is approaching fatherhood he explains to me how it is important never to yuck someone's yum. What Brad's father did to a big plate full of mashed potatoes is one of the best laughs he's ever had and making your kid laugh might be the secret to raising children into becoming the best humans. He is one of the most naturally funny comedians crushing heads in America today and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you the one and only Brad Williams!
September 13, 2019
People of the earth! Throw down your weapons and rejoice in this excellent conversation I recorded with Brazilian comedy superstar Rafinha Bastos. In the past year Rafi has become one of my best friends. He lives in my building and we often talk comedy, help each other with jokes and go to the clubs together, all in service to our number one love in life, comedy. Now he is moving to New York City so that he can be closer to Brazil for when he has to fly home to his son Tom and continue to follow his dream of making his mark as a stand up comedian in America. In this episode we talk about his favorite things about America, the best jokes he's written here, Bolsonaro letting the Amazon burn, CNN where the house is always on fire and the best advice a father could ever give to his son. Also in this chat is possibly the birth of what will become his next Netflix special. Also revealed is the knowledge nugget that is the connection between Crazy Horse and Nebraska. Great things happen when I gather with this friend and through the miracle of technology I can pour it straight into your head. You have to love a guy that cheered against his own country of Brazil when I saw the soccer match between Brazil and Peru with him and that guy is the one and only Rafinha Bastos! 
September 4, 2019
The last of my 3 part series on the life of Lord Byron concludes here with his exile in Switzerland and Italy and his death in Greece. Delight in this dashing dandy's style, his endless carousing with women and his adventurous spirit that eventually led to his death fighting for the independence of the Greeks who weren't willing to fight for it themselves. So many of his heroic moments can be off balanced by the poor choices he made in life. From his Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva where literary history was made to the canals of Venice where he lived every human depravity this episode will take you to his final act of redemption while trying to do good for the people of Greece.   As a boy I lived briefly on Lord Byron road in Wilmington, NC and finally today after spending the summer reading about the life of Lord Byron I have found the answer to why this man would be worthy of having a road named after him in North Carolina. Here I also rejoice and recount the brilliant friendship that Byron had with the poet Shelley as I talk you and read you to the conclusion of both of these poets lives on foreign soil. Fill your learning goblet with the scandalous and remarkable life of the one and only Lord Byron. Joy be upon you!
August 12, 2019
In the year 1812 Napoleon was defeated, the waltz was the new hit sensation of aristocratic Europe and Lord Byron became a literary superstar over night and the toast of high society England. He was born a gorgeous full lipped curly headed boy and as a man spent vastly to always be stylishly dressed and fancied himself a dandy. He was born with a club foot that he drag slide when he walked. He was both ashamed and short tempered when it came to the topic of his club foot.  Some historians believe his numerous conquests with women were just an attempt to mask his real attraction to young men. What can be agreed upon by all who studied Byron is that no hole was safe around this guy. His foot might have been lame but there wasn't anything lame about his dick. The married Lady Caroline Lamb had to be dragged out of London because she was acting like a shameless hussy over our poet and disgraced her family name. He reluctantly married Lady Annabella Milbanke who he tortured mentally by being the shittiest most spoiled husband who ever pranced over the streets of London. When the dirty little secret that Byron had fucked his half sister Augusta and had a baby by her, that was the straw that broke the back of this opium addicted household. Annabella took the kid that she had by Byron and ran off back to her mother and father at the family estate. Annabella being much perturbed by the heinous stupefied state with which our poet had spent their married year was all too happy to help spread the very true rumor that not only did Byron fuck his sister he squirted inside of her like an animal and made a baby with her. Once this news hit the mass consciousness of England the people couldn't shut up about it. It was all they wanted to talk about and Byron now being the most loathed turd of society was not welcome anywhere. Byron never liked scenes and now he was afraid to visit the theater for fear of being hissed in public. His life has fallen apart and his shit was weak but at this moment the sales from his books are bringing money in and he sells his family estate to give him the bank roll needed to go live any kind of life he would want to live anywhere. This story I'm going to tell you today is about the period in Byron's life when he was riding high and famous in London. I will read you many highlights from the Peter Quennell book 'Byron The years of fame'. "Rumor and legend are potent aphrodisiacs." Come get some of this in your brain. Enjoy the feast! Long may you run! Or rather, long may you side shuffle while dragging your club foot Lord Byron!
August 3, 2019
Hooray & hallelujah! For episode 300 the lovable human Cameron Hattan has taken me out to the center of Lake Tahoe on a sail boat. After cruising around the majestic beauty of the lake we parked and went down in the cabin to record this episode. Cameron taught sailing on Lake Tahoe for many years, teaches me what a zephyr is and then he goes to intensely pull lines when our lives were in danger. Sun sparkles on water go perfectly with Native American beliefs in how they read signs from the mountains, the classic Western TV show Bonanza and other California factoids. His worst sailing experience took place on the sea of Cortez in Mexico and mine was in Malaysia between Penang and Langkawi.  You will learn about the sea gypsy people of the world who are raising their kids at sea, how to properly clean out the butthole of a lobster, and how to bring vision aid glasses to Honduras. Find your center with the zen wisdom of the film Captain Ron and the Cheech and Chong film Yellow Beard the pirate. Cameron has been a strong advocate of cannabis as medical treatment and this has led his mother to block him on facebook because she doesn't want her quilting group to know that her son is a drug dealer. Genesis 1:12 in the bible clearly states "All seed baring plants I give to you." For the first time in human history we have a chance to treat serious illnesses with cannabis and Cameron eloquently explains how his company Fiddler's Greens is forging the way in this treatment. Louis Armstrong got Richard Nixon to smuggle marijuana into the Unites States for him? According to Cameron this story is true. Its great to have a friend but its even better to have a friend with a boat. Add to this a friend who is also a cannabis expert and you get the nautical adventure that is the celebratory sun sparkles on the lake enhanced episode 300 that will trigger the serotonin in your brain and make you happy. In the immortal words of Bill Murray in the film 'What about Bob?' "I'm sailing! I'm sailing! I'm really sailing!" Ahoy and joy be upon you! Community over competition! Long may you sail!
July 27, 2019
Bonjour y’all! It was a big week in the news! I am in Paris and experienced the hottest day ever recorded at 109 degrees. I beat the heat by jumping into the fountain at Saint Sulpice and climbing to the top. This week also saw the end of democracy and Donald Trump declaring  the 2020 election to be white people versus everyone else. Other big person news is revealed in this audio postcard from my favorite city in the world. With peach tart breath I give you a quick update on myself and all of the pertinent news in our ever crumbling world. Make America less pea brain fuck witted! Make the world more compassionate and get this sweltering holiday treat within your skull. Joy be Upon you my friends!
July 18, 2019
Tony Woods is not only one of the most influential comedians ever to grip a microphone he is also one of the most naturally funny human beings you will ever meet in you in your life. This episode needs to other introduction other than in my opinion statues should be erected all over the world to Tony Woods for the amount of laughter he has brought to this suffering globe. No one makes me laugh harder than Tony Woods and he rings my bell multiple times in this conversation. I love this man with all my heart and there is no one better to share Aunt Margie's banana bread with, that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Tony Woods!
July 13, 2019
The life of Lord Byron was more adventurous and debauched than any rock & roll biography you have ever read. In the words of Lady Caroline Lamb, he was "mad, bad and dangerous to know." Get ready for your mind to be blown away by the life of the king of the romantic poets and learn why no hole was safe around this guy!!   When I was 10 years old my family lived in Wilmington, North Carolina in a housing development called King's Grant where all of the streets were named after English writers. My family and I lived on Lord Byron road. Because of this I have always wondered what was so important about this man that he earned a street in North Carolina to be named after him. Through the years I have collected many books on the life of Lord Byron and I brought them with me to England on this last trip. For the past two months I have been reading all about the life of Lord Byron and I'm happy to present to you now this amazing tale that has receded from many people's memories because it is so far in the past. His life was filled with much tragedy, triumph and swinging of his dick. It is a story so epic in its scale that I have to break it up in multiple episodes to tell it. For this episode we learn about his youth and the adventurous trip he took as a youth to Turkey and Greece that would forever color his poetry, dreams of the future and life the way he thought that it ought to be lived. It is my pleasure to present to you now the life of Lord Byron: Youth & Adventure.    Subscribe on Patreon and I will send you hand written postcards form different places in the world!
July 2, 2019
The legendary punk rock poet John Cooper Clarke returns to TRR Smart Camp! One of the highlights of my trip to the UK was getting to spend the day with JCC at his house and record this conversation at the very table where he writes and is currently writing his memoirs. We discuss the difficulty of writing the story of your life when your life continues to move forward. If anyone has a life story worth retelling it is this man who has tasted the whip of unemployment, been a friend to the China man's night cap, pissed pure gold, operated in the world of degenerate gamblers, the fickleness of fame and the feeling of being an iconic live performer. He's under pressure to finish his memoir before his deadline but he tells me that the defining turning point in his life was when he could start picking out his own clothes and have the style of his own choosing. We talk about  the teacher who introduced the love of poetry into John's life, the 19th century romantic poets, how Poe knew how to drive people mad and how Baudelaire changed his life. In this lively chat JCC tells me the ten songs he would take with him on a desert island and the one book he would like to read forever other than the exciting fucking and fighting books of Shakespeare and the bible. We talk about his none poet heroes Elvis and Napoleon, wages and holidays and how the vanity of small differences is the psychological blip that keeps the whole world from collectively getting their shit together. It is an honor to call this man a friend as he is who I want to be when I grow up and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only John Cooper Clarke!
June 25, 2019
In the past 5 years since I worked with Romesh Ranganathan at the Comedy Store in London it has been a joy watching his star rise to where he is now crushing it at the highest levels of the British comedy scene. He was kind enough to take a break from his current TV duties to sit down and record this conversation with me. In this soul and brain enriching episode we talk about his show Judge Romesh where he hands out verdicts of domestic disputes where the punishment is ridicule.  Bringing his mother back to Sri Lanka where her humor is archived forever thanks to the BBC and the show that was made from it. Any man who loves his mom and makes time for a comedy brother is a top quality human in my book. If you already know Romesh you will be elated by his personal stories and if you don't know him yet you will fall in love with him now for the knowledge nuggets he is about to insert into your brain. In this chat he drops potent knowledge like what is the most historically significant event ever to take place in Crawley, the area of London where he grew up. Also, the secret to unlocking the mystery of maths, the best secret technique for acting and why the Wu Tang Clan and Mango coconut beard oil will change your life for the better. That is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Romesh Ranganathan!
May 14, 2019
Beast master Reginald D Hunter has invited me to open for him on his UK theater tour called Facing The Beast. Now after our first week of performing in lovely old English theaters in Devon we sit down to iron out the problems of humanity with the greatest minds ever to assemble in Walthamstow. With Reginald D Hunter, Kash Yusaf, and Pete Johansson I cover, meander and collide with some of the most complex issues humanity faces today. Also this conversation is sauced with the explicit joy of a group of comedian friends just sitting around shooting the shit. "I think I was unconsciously affected by 70's children's television, because they would make you laugh but also teach you something." - Reginald D Hunter
May 7, 2019
"So let us face up to the blows of circumstance and be aware that whatever happens is never as serious as rumor makes it out to be." Get to know the life and words of Seneca! TRR Smart Camp #293!  In celebration of little bitches everywhere I'm highlighting Seneca because his thoughts were immortal and they should live in your brain. He was a contradiction because in his own life he failed to live up to his own teachings but his works may have inspired the birth of the essay and modern psychology. Here is a little taste of the narcotic that is Seneca: "So let us face up to the blows of circumstance and be aware that whatever happens is never as serious as rumor makes it out to be." "A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights."  “What you must do, then, is mend your ways and get rid of the burden you're carrying. Keep your cravings within safe limits. Scour every trace of evil from your personality.  “If you want to enjoy your travel, you must make your traveling companion a healthy one."  Everyone should read Seneca! Start with the book 'Letters From A Stoic' and before you dive in give this episode of Smart Camp a listen to learn about this extraordinary man and his thought provoking words that still resonate today.    Hooray for humanity!
April 30, 2019
Jon Stringer is a lovable human and a top quality comedian! When I was young many older comedians I admired helped me up along the way and I'll never forget them for that because their endorsements opened doors for me that allowed me to thrive in a very competitive business.   In the pay it forward tradition I want the comedy world and the regular human world to know about Jon Stringer. I met Jon in his hometown of Austin, Texas several years ago and have worked with him many times since and he always leaves me feeling uplifted and proud to be a member of the human race because of his joyous bitter free spirit. His attitude towards stand up comedy is one that embraces the gift of being able to do this and that we have the privilege to hone our skill of trying to get better at it each and every day that we are alive. He is the exact opposite of the bitter turd comedian who is miserable and takes cheap shots at other humans. Jon's approach to comedy is the same that he approaches in life and that is that we are here to uplift humanity and that is why I enjoy being his friend so much and why I love to see him perform.    With his lovely wife Joanna they are burning up the American highways living an adventure that few people ever get to experience. It reminds me of the days Ashna and I had no home and traveled every inch of America in search of jokes, art, photography and laughter.    He is someone I am proud to call a friend, someone comedy lovers should follow, someone festivals and comedy clubs should have on their rosters, someone who is valuable in the art of making life a happy experience for all and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Jon Stringer!
April 16, 2019
Insatiable Curiosity with Jim Gaffigan on episode 291 Tom Rhodes Radio Smart Camp! >    Jim Gaffigan and I both have an insatiable curiosity to travel and educate ourselves through world travel. As a comedian your experiences fuel your material and when you are forced out of your comfort zone is when you are exposed to new ideas. Jim is fresh off the plane from Asia, so we talk about Asian history, Europe, Russia, self censorship, cultural sensitivities and where in Manhattan you can find the best world cuisine that the city has to offer. We also answer the big question of when is it appropriate for a straight white male performer to advance transgender issues and the sad missed opportunities of movies that don't address this issue. Here is a man that I respect as a comedian, am inspired by as a human being and find a comrade in the quest that we are both trying to season our souls with the flavor that only world travel can give you. Sometimes we feel like circus animals, sometimes we feel like super heroes blessed with the power to cheer up humanity with gift of laughter and that is why I love the one and only Jim Gaffigan!
April 9, 2019
W. Kamau Bell has the most important show on television where he examines race in America and in this episode he tells me how close we are to Civil war and what to expect. I've know Kamau since my old San Francisco days and he is a great old friend that I can cover the current most important questions with him like, will rich white people be in charge forever? How does the electoral college system relate to slavery? Why do Supreme court justices get to keep that job for life? Will I ever get a stamp commemoration for blocking my brother Dave on facebook? Kamau is a good friend for me to vent my frustrations to right now and getting to talk to him after both of my brothers have declared war on me and want to hold me accountable for all the actions of the left. I'm proud that I told mat brother Dave, "What you call the liberal gay agenda I call the teachings of Christ." To be compassionate and caring to others the way Jesus taught us to be. If you are going to a church that preaches war and enemies you are going to the wrong church. "The money is in fear, not love." Professional politicians are more interesting in keeping their jobs than they are in protecting democracy. Should Brett Kavanaugh breaking down and crying like a baby disqualify him from ever being considered a serious decision maker of laws and when we stop laughing about that?  We recorded this conversation right across the street from CNN in Kamau's hotel room and we talk about the Trump wake up call making some true believers in journalism step up their game at CNN. We talk about the episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations where Kamau filmed an episode in Kenya with Bourdain right before he died. Bourdain is a god to me and Kamau generously tells us the best advice Bourdain gave him about filming for television. If anyone at CNN or anywhere else had any sense in their head they would give Tom Rhodes his own epic world travel comedy show. The New Zealand mosque shooting is fresh pain in the world where slaughters at synagogues, churches, elementary schools are never enough for everyone to yell "Enough! Stop the senseless slaughter of innocents" Even in the pursuit of making television Kamau tells me, "You should show respect to all religions." Your actions in the world should show what kind of person you are. Everyone should watch the film 'Starman.' "You humans are at your best when you are working together during tragedies." Do as much as you can, while you can to make the world a better place. Make the world a better place by listening to W. Kamau Bell and and improve humanity and you can do the same afterwards by going to
April 2, 2019
Ari was already one of my favorite human beings on the planet to hang out with and then he went above and beyond giving me the gift that would truly improve my life.   Ari is the one who is responsible for getting Delta airlines to restore my Diamond medallion status. For this I will be forever grateful and his dear listeners who rallied to his call to help saved me from a year of baggage fees and zone 3 boarding.   Then there was that magical moment on my last day in Jerusalem with my mother when we ran into Ari and his brother at the most sacred place in Christianity. In this episode we talk about how to avoid getting kidnapped in East Timor, what are the best motorcycle adventures to take in the world, dreams of Mongolia, Romania, Eastern Europe and where to find the best pastrami or pizza in New York City.   You can only judge people whether they are friends or family by if they give you energy or drain energy out of you. Because of my friendship with Ari my life has been overflowing with goodness and that is why today I am in praise of Ari Shaffir! Shalom amigo and pass the pastrami!  
March 29, 2019
Every year when I do San Francisco I appear on Rick Tittle's sports radio talk show and I love it because we talk about everything but sports. He is a voracious reader like I am and I love to free form riff talk and share important knowledge with each other. Now I turn the microphone on him to squeeze the answers out of him and ninja joust with our collective intelligence. Learn now how WW I changed the world, who invented the modern game of soccer and what is most important to know about San Francisco. We gab it up joyously until the parking meter runs out and Rick has to run off to move his car. That is life in San Francisco and this is a human I love talking to when time allows. There is more to life than sports and I can't tell you how much time I save by not giving a shit about sports. Now it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Rick Tittle!
March 20, 2019
In this episode I rejoice in the glory of a Florida back porch with my oldest best friend in life Lou Angelwolf. On his back porch in Palm Harbor, Florida we discuss the secret language of trees, evolution, reincarnation, UFOs, and how the responsibility of paying rent keeps us from following our creative instincts. On this first day of Spring I am being healed by the joy of having deep meaningful conversation with one of my guest lifelong friends. The bad news is that seeking revenge will kill you but the good news is that "we create order out of chaos naturally." According to my buddy Lou the three things that control us and keep us hypnotized are: "Climate controlled environment, easy access to food and cars with shiny wheels." So much wisdom and strange new ideas always abound when I get to recharge my batteries with a good warm loving visit with my brother Lou. Spring is upon us and the world is full of new possibilities. Don't get chewed up by the system and fill your head with ideas worth knowing and reasons to be cheerful. Hooray for humanity!
March 16, 2019
Today started out so shitty for me. First I woke up to a text message from a woman in Florida who I was ready to pledge my alliance to telling me that she was dropping the Guillotine on the neck of our beginning relationship which hurt my feelings greatly. And she let me know that I am a self centered narcissist but I knew that already because that is the kind of person that it takes to do stand up comedy and put out a podcast. So as shitty as my day began it got progressively better in everyday starting with Pam Worthington bring me an egg McMuffin. I've sworn off junk food but on shitty days you are allowed to spike your cholesterol. I think it says that in the bible in Leviticus.  In case you've missed the saga, I went on Ari Shaffir's podcast 'Skeptic Tank' a few days ago and I was ragging on Delta for downgrading me. It takes 125,000 miles flown and spending $15,000 to reach Diamond status which is Delta's highest level of frequent flyer. In 2018 I flew 155,621 miles and spent $13,000. Not many people have traveled as much as me and I'm proud to say that Delta is my airline, but they downgraded me. Ari said that he felt Delta would do the right thing if enough people tweeting at Delta to do the right thing. In the past 48 hours hundreds of people have been tweeting to Delta. Then about an hour ago I got a call from Delta airlines. Guess what happened next… I rarely use twitter because it seems like a vacuum of hate and frustration but after today I saw that twitter can be used for good. Now I wish in life it was just that easy for a wrong to be corrected but I'm pretty sure that woman that I liked doesn't even use twitter. And yes please let it be known that I am a self centered narcissist, how else could anybody get things done if they weren't? Shalom amigos & fly Delta!  
March 5, 2019
At any one time there are more people who are suffering than there are who are happy, many more people who are heartbroken than there are who are in love. Apparently the dark sad days I'm living have increased my fans and friendships. This week I learned how because I am hurting and going through troubles that makes it possible for more people to relate to me and get closer to me. Electronic messages and things said to my face confirm that some people I know are happy that I'm emotionally in the toilet these days because now I belong to the majority of humans who grapple with life.   This is when I discovered the joy of suffering. Because so many people have told me they feel for me in my suffering. Brian Holtzman at the Comedy Store told me "When you were happy and in love I couldn't relate to you but now that you are divorced and miserable I think we can be friends now." Hilarious!   The Comedy Store was hit by a tsunami when all of our friend Brody Stevens killed himself this past week. I saw him two nights before he killed himself and he told me that he was sorry that I was having some trouble right now. That beautiful human being was worried about me. I wish I had more perceptive but that is how we all feel who are at the Comedy Store. Hug your people. Heal for your people. Mental illness is real! Take care of your people.   In this episode I praise Don Neto for saying that "I love people more than money." I read to you a curious piece of wisdom called 'Loving each other in joy' which my mother mailed to me in the 1990s. I just found the Xerox pages of it and the contents are worth buttering your skull with. People in poor countries and people with disabilities laugh more and enjoy life more than most of us. Hear the story of the perfectly happy burn victim woman I saw on the streets of London on her victory walk and then rejoice in the story of the hummingbird that got caught inside my apartment  and what I had to do to get this fucker to trust me so that I could save it's life.   Throw out the aspirin and giggle away despair! Butter your skull with TRR Smart Camp # 285!
February 13, 2019
Shalom Amigos y Amigas! After spending this year mostly by myself in my apartment I have found light in the eyes of the Mexican cops who wanted to squeeze me for money in Tulum and in the dead cat of an Uber driver. Most importantly it was the words from my listeners and people who care that has gotten me through these cold winter days of the nuclear break up. These have not been my best days but if pain makes the best comedy then I am about to become a very funny mother trucker. I'm happy to present to you now the one and only ME!
December 22, 2018
My life is falling apart and I am a mess! This year has broken me physically and emotionally. My amazing wife Ashna is divorcing me and I am at a low point in my life. What better time to take my very Christian mother to the holy land to visit Jerusalem! What good is a spiritual pilgrimage unless your life is in the toilet! After a very long break of not putting out episodes because I had nothing to say and was sorting out how I felt about what was happening in my life I am back with a new episode just in time for Christmas. It was a powerful experience to take my Jesus Freak mother to Jerusalem and visit the spot where Jesus was crucified and some of the other most important places in Christianity. My report and feelings about Jerusalem will surprise you and the tense moments we experienced made me grateful for the lack of history we have in the United States. Does extreme religion make you a better person or will it make you murder innocents with a rock? In the words of the fake Jesus I met at the most sacred place in all of Christianity: "The true miracle is when a bad person becomes a good person." No truer words have ever been spoken. I got to live so many moments I thought would never be attainable and now I am back to tell you the stories of this epic trip to the holy land. Doing comedy around the world and traveling away from home for too long has cost me everything. I will explain it all to you in this episode here and now. The only thing left to say now is: Merry Christmas from Jerusalem!
October 26, 2018
If you come to Ireland you must come to Galway, and if you come to Galway you must take Jonathan Hannon's tour. Jonathan Hannon is my favorite kind of human, a knowledgable historian, passionate storyteller. Overflowing with an abundance of knowledge on a variety of topics, but a special in Irish history and culture, Ashna and I were happy to have taken his tour the last time we were here two years ago. Now October cold rain outside Jonathan sit down for a cup of tea and chat in his charming bungalow close to the river. On this day October 26, 2018 it is an historic day in Ireland because they are voting for their president and to decriminalize blasphemy. In recent years Ireland has leap greatly forward in human rights and freedoms while the United States stubbornly drags everyone backwards. Which is why history is so exciting! In this episode we talk about the Romantic period writers Byron and Yeats. Significant events in Irish and human history. Jonathan debunks the lies of mythology I and everyone else has been told about where the phrase "Lynch mob" comes from as well as the phrase "I wouldn't give him the time of day." The cultural history of modern Ireland is portrayed here as well as the golden glowing personality of my history expert friend that I met on my last visit to Galway, a place I would buy a home if I was swimming in cash. I always tell people, if you like to drink and laugh a lot go to Ireland. And when you come here I want to to treat yourself by coming to Galway and meeting my friend Jonathan by going on his walking tour and letting him bust your head open with powerful knowledge. That is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Jonathan Hannon!
October 19, 2018
Rui Xara put on a comedy festival in Porto just to bring me to Portugal for the first time. He bent over backwards to show me everything that is great about Portugal and now I'm in love with the place. In this episode we talk about all of the glorious things about Portugal and why Porto is a better city than Lisbon. He is a beautiful man and he is now my friend for life, that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Rui Xara!
October 9, 2018
Joe DeRosa is a beast killer of a comedian. He is obsessed with death and destroying the institutions that hold us back from evolving spiritually. He is against anything that impedes our own personal happiness. I love conversing with him and delighting in his view of the world. We crossed paths in Atlanta and sat down for this gab session to enrich your life with wisdom and laughter. Hooray for humanity!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my new albums "All Hail Laughter" & "Clean 18"
September 27, 2018
The reason I first found Jared Logan to be a lovable human was when I saw him onstage talking about the Lincoln assassination. In this episode we talk about the hilarious personality shortcomings of John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed president Lincoln. We also discuss the presidents who lost their lives while in office and the Battle Of Little Big Horn. I feel like Jared Logan is a man like myself, who is full of historical knowledge and that we could record many more episodes of this nature. Being from West Virginia, Jared also has valuable insights on the coal industry and the current presidents promise of reviving the industry. Many knowledge nuggets will be delivered to your brain in this lively conversation I had with Jared. History is just one damned thing after another and discussed with someone like my friend Jared Logan, is always going to be entertaining. Current history is a mess so let's talk about the past. Hooray for history! And hooray for humanity!
September 15, 2018
This is a bonus episode where I am forced to make a statement about my story concerning Louie Anderson. As it turns out the hard hitting investigative journalism of Jay Cridlin from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper has uncovered the 32 year old story of a young rube from Florida who went to Hollywood for the first time and got his ass squeezed by one of America's most beloved clean comedians. Is this newsworthy or just a cheap shot from an entertainment writer at a family newspaper to create a click bait story that will drive traffic to their website? In this episode I recount, read and emote the correspondence and my personal plea to Jay Cridlin not to punch down at Louie Anderson by bringing my name up to him in his interview. He chose to do so anyway so that it why I am addressing this now in the full glory of emotions that I have experienced from the time of the incident, to now being put on the spot for a comment that was requested by Jay Cridlin from the Tampa Bay Times. I will read to you now both, the first draft of my official statement and the final short official statement that I sent after talking with my most trusted friends. I do not believe that journalists are the "enemy of the American people" like Trump keeps repeating but I do believe that some of them might consider applying the standards of human decency to their work. Bravo to the Tampa Bay Times for such hard hitting investigative journalism and I hope that this story earns them the Pulitzer prize that they so richly deserve. Shalom Amigos y Amigas.     * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my new albums "All Hail Laughter" & "Clean 18"
September 11, 2018
When is enough, enough? How many times can you go to the Great Wall of China or to Wrigley Field in one lifetime? How much dirty filthy shit can a country tolerate from their president? How much time away can the wife of a comedian put up with? These any many other big questions are presented as I ponder the cross roads I am at in my life now. Shall I continue traveling the world at the detriment of what it is doing to my marriage? Shall I give up smoking weed and be 100% sober since the weed I fell in love with no longer exists? I say it often but, every warrior eventually needs to move on to wise man. Certain things I will never stop doing, like performing stand up comedy. Making jokes against bullies and totalitarian psychopath presidents is my biological function in life. Dehumanizing anyone ever by a thought from my brain is never my intention. Snowflakes need to stay flakey together. I am away from home far from the one true love of my life. I need a friend. James Hatfield thinks I'm funny. Everyone is beautiful when they laugh. I've seen more teeth than a dentist. I'm off to Wrigley Field to rejoice in something I will never get tired of and that is watching the Cubs play at home while thinking of John Dillinger and Eddie Vedder.     * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
August 23, 2018
I first came to Mongolia because of Genghis Khan but I returned because of the comedians of Mongolia. There is a very special thing happening at UB Comedy Club and I am proud that I am a part of their history. Not only did I get to sleep in a ger at the 13th century camp site of Genghis Khan but I also go to drink fermented mare's milk and have my teeth whitened for free from the greatest dentist who exists on the planet earth. There is so much I love about the people of Mongolia and it is their generous spirit and loving hearts that will bring me back again. I'm blessed to know so many distant remote lands but the amount of love I have been shown here will always keep Mongolia close in my heart. I guess I feel the most at home among nomadic people but I also feel the most at home with people who have dedicated their lives to stand up comedy. In this episode you will learn why I think Genghis Khan is the most underrated comedian of all time and how the ancient Mongolians gave the world my favorite word in the English language: Hooray! Hooray for you and hooray for Mongolia!
August 15, 2018
Book Roulette is back with the brilliance of Guy de Maupassant! Guy de Maupassant died at the age of 42 stark raving mad in an insane asylum but he left behind the greatest short stories ever written. Maupassant is a writer like no other because he is the ultimate master of the short story form and portrays all facets of human drama, ugliness, glory and comedy that is timeless but each new generation thinks exclusively belongs to them. I recommend if you ever see any of his books in a used book store to buy it because all of stories pack a punch and linger in your brain long after your eyes have passed over his words. In this episode I want to introduce you to to this French writer that I love and the stories I read to you here are: Idyll Doubtful Happiness Julie Romain Femme Fatale With the fragrant orange blossoms of the Mediterranean I welcome you into the wonderful world of Guy de Maupassant!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
August 7, 2018
Rafinha Bastos is the Lenny Bruce of Brazil and he has the court orders to prove it. He has been sued and had his life threatened over jokes he has made in Brazil. His hard hitting, head cracking jokes earned him the titled of most influential person on twitter in 2011, Barrack Obama was number two. He is a film and television star in Brazil but he loves stand up comedy above all else, which is why he now living in Los Angeles and bringing his comedy thunderbolts to American stages. I am happy to now call this man my friend even though he thinks all Americans have the same color lips as is the color of their skin. This is a mystifying to me as is the fact that Americans spell Brazil with a z and Brasilians spell Brasil with an s. Some things in life will remain a great mystery but great comedy rises to the top and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Rafinha Bastos!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
August 4, 2018
Let the soothing words of Malcolm X fuel your summer party. Going on a road trip? Sitting by the fire in the Mongolian country side or just strolling the hot streets of London, let my summer mix put a bounce in your step. Using my vinyl records, CDs and cassette tapes I put together for you this joyful array of head cracking numbers for your peak summer pleasure. Happy summer and joy be upon you!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
July 26, 2018
Greg Behrendt shot to notoriety when he co-wrote the book 'He's Just Not That Into You' and now he is about to release a book he co-wrote with his wife called 'How To Keep Your Marriage From Sucking.' He is an old friend of mine from back in my San Francisco days and he has advice for you on how not to let poison into your relationships. We could all use a refresher course in how to make love lives best. Snuggle up with a pillow and get cozy with the words of improving your life.     * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   * Sign up for a conversation with Tom!   * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
July 18, 2018
"All of us can take fright, but it requires greatness of soul to laugh at the moment when not merely life, but humanity itself is endangered."   In my ongoing celebration of all things France I am reading a book called 'The Banquet Years' by Roger Shattuck. It is about the origins of the avant-garde in France from 1885 - World War I. From this book I regal you with the story of Henri Rousseau and the ridicule he faced while keeping his childlike innocence intact. Then our July fireworks reach their crescendo with the spectacular story of Alfred Jarry and his groundbreaking play Ubu Roi that created a scandalous riot when it premiered at Theatre L'Oeuvre in Paris in 1896. Alfred Jarry was the precursor to the Dada art movement, surrealism and the Theater Of The Absurd. Learn all about this man who rode his bicycle around Paris with a rifle over his shoulder, two pistols in his belt and tried to make his life a living hallucination.   I talk about the triumph of France at the World Cup and how they did what Napoleon failed to do and that is to be victorious in Russia.   I talk about how Vladimir Putin and the good people of Russia are the real winners of the World cup and how we could all learn to conduct our lives in victory and defeat the way the team of Japan does.   The opposite of Japanese politeness and concern for others is President Trump, who I am now calling the Urine Pawn. Just this week he called Canada and the European Union the enemies of America and stood with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki never mentioning the Russian influence on the 2016 election. When asked directly by a reporter if he had anything to say to Putin about this or the 12 Russians indicted days ago for hacking our election he said that he takes Putin's word for it when he said he didn't do it and asked why no one has found Hillary Clinton e-mail server yet. This is theater of the absurd on the world stage, which makes me think that this video of Trump with Russian prostitutes urinating must be worse than we could ever imagine. Where is the outcry from the American people over this treasonous act at the highest level? Thanks to the Urine Pawn we are now living in a world where our allies are now our enemies and our enemies are now our allies. The tough bully president of America acted like a neutered cat in the lap of the ultimate chess master Putin. And yet, this is somehow Hillary's fault? Back to reasons to be cheerful... TRR Smart Camp * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Sign up for a conversation with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
July 10, 2018
Hannah Gadsby has set the comedy the comedy world on fire. If you have not seen her new Netflix special Nannette you need to do so immediately. It is one of the most powerful comedy specials ever made and I think it will be a game changer in that it will inspire comedians to be more truthful and revealing about themselves. This episode is actually a repeat and it is well worth reposting. Hannah and I recorded this conversation in 2014 when we were doing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. I loved the show she did that year because it was all about art and art history, which is what makes her special Nannette so brilliant, the way she weaves in her art history knowledge. Hannah is a comedy artist who has achieved a magnificent triumph in being able to be honest about the pain she has experienced and chop the head off of our common notions of what comedy is. Aside from being a powerful storyteller she is a lovable, warm and funny human being. Enjoy this conversation we had and watch Nannette on Netflix repeatedly. Shalom Amigos y Amigas!   TRR Smart Camp * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Sign up for a conversation with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter
July 5, 2018
Happy Birthday America! In this episode I talk about my obsession with the World Cup in Russia and all of the human drama and heroic stories that you should be aware of in the world's greatest sports spectacle. I also tell you about the many great experiences I discovered in Philadelphia and how that city is very much like Paris in terms of attitude. This past weekend I got to perform in Philadelphia and it was my first time there since I busted my head open there 4 years ago and became sober. Philadelphia changed the world! The racism of the a Starbucks manager in Philadelphia is what made Starbucks change their corporate policy to that no one has to buy anything when we go to Starbucks. Because of a racist incident that happened at a Philadelphia Starbucks we are all free to loiter there or hold meetings without spending a dime. And you don't want to see what will happen if you don't give me that bathroom key. I love Philadelphia because they hate everyone and everyone is equal because of that. Shalom Amigos y Amigas!
June 20, 2018
In this episode you will learn how the first game of football was originally played by the ancient Mayans and how the Captain of the losing team would be executed. In Europe the first games of football were evolved from bored soldiers kicking around the severed heads of their dead opponents. There are so many fascinating elements to the beautiful game but none more important than how the game of football cured racism in Brazil.  Happy World Cup 2018! Enjoy!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Chat with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) 
June 13, 2018
Prepare to have your brains busted out by the powerful words of Charles Bukowski! Bukowski invented a poetic language free of literary pretense by writing about the hard scramble life he grappled with daily. His life and poetry was about the low life bars of Los Angeles, whores, drunks, bums and betting on horses at the race track. Mingled with the hard truths of his existence were also some of the most tender and thoughtful insights on human struggle and our desire for love and acceptance. His bitterness had humor and his drudgery produced thoughtful meditations on the beauty of hard working people, broken down bums and pathetic alcoholics and street fighters. He was a man of a different age and his works remain timeless. In this episode I pull down his books from my private collection and read to you excerpts from the following books that lit my brain and made me his fan for life: War All The Time, Love Is A Dog From Hell, It Catches My Heart In Its Hands, The Last Night Of The Earth Poems, Burning In Water Drowning In Flame, South Of No North, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, Dangling In The Tournefortia, Post Office and Hollywood.  If you are unfamiliar with the works of Charles Bukowski then buckle up for a journey of how I discovered him at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco and delight in my reading to you my selections of the profound insights and timeless with of the street fighter poet true American original that is Charles Bukowski! TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Chat with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017)
June 7, 2018
Fun with books is back! In this episode I randomly select choice passages from the biographies that line my shelves. The gritty, grappling lives of heroic characters are served up to you now in chunks of read passages from some of my favorite biographies. Including on the list of books I read from for you now are: Steve Jones - Lonely Boy My Lunches With Orson  Furious Cool - Richard Pryor James Brown- The Godfather Of Soul Brando - Marlon Brando Errol Flynn - My Wicked Wicked Ways The Shameful Life Of Salvador Dali Steve McQueen - Portrait Of An American Rebel Lou Reed - Transformer Led Zeppelin - When Giants Walked The Earth Fill your brain with gladness now!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017)   SimpleContacts To save $30 on your lenses, just go to or enter the code TRR at checkout
June 1, 2018
In this episode I talk about my Mom visiting me, getting my first colonoscopy, the Genghis Khan exhibit at the Reagan library, The controversy of Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee's lack oh humor and the new Star Wars film Solo. I don't think Samantha Bee should lose her job because she used the C word, I think she should lose her job for using the word feckless. Shalom Amigos y Amigas.   * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
May 22, 2018
Get to know the first comedian ever to have abdominal muscles! Preacher Lawson sky rocketed to national prominence in 2017 when he crushed it on the television show America's Got Talent. I met him last month in Austin, Texas at the Moon Tower comedy festival. I think he is pure comedy gold and he is a super star waiting to happen. I'm proud to say that he is from Orlando, Florida and that I fully endorse him as someone who give me strong belly laughs and I know that he will do the same for you now. Glorious human that he is makes it my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Preacher Lawson! TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017)
May 15, 2018
I have been friends with Carrot Top since 1986 when he first starting coming around to open mic nights in Orlando, Florida. One of my happiest memories with my Dad was watching Carrot Top's show at the MGM with him and I'll never forget how hard my Dad laughed at him. Carrot Top's Dad worked at Nasa and grew up in Cocoa Beach which might be where he got his inventive mind for comedy and the gadgets he has created. I have always loved and respected Scott (Carrot Top) because he is a joke writing machine and in the immortal words of Jim Gaffigan "When I hear people make fun of Carrot Top I feel like they have insulted a family member, because he is a comedian and he is a part of my family." In this episode we talk about our Central Florida roots, his private jet ride with Jay Leno, his friendships with Vinnie Paul and Axel Rose, meeting presidents, what is was like to kiss Elton John and the endearing words he received from Bill Hicks as well as the joy of getting to know George Carlin. He also describes in detail what it was like in Las Vegas on the night of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. That shooting happened right next door to the Luxor where he performs his show nightly. During this recording you can hear in the back ground at times, Las Vegas show girls running back stage for a costume change and the thumping music that they perform to. It is classic Las Vegas American show business in action. He is one of my oldest friends in comedy and someone I have infinite love and respect for and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Carrot Top!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
May 9, 2018
On October 2, 1866 Mark Twain invented stand up comedy, or as he called it "platform speaking." He did not enjoy "mounting the platform" but by 1895 the famous author of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn was in debt from bas investments and publicly disgraced due to his bankruptcy. So to pay off his mountain of debts and restore his good name he embarked on a world wide lecture tour. I just finished reading this wonderful book by Richard Zacks called "Chasing The Last Laugh." It is all about Mark Twain's World Tour and the circumstances that created it. In this episode I read you the highlights and talk about the remarkable moments he experienced as a performer and world traveler.   Mark Twain had a nasty temper, his mood swings were hard on those around him and he had the worst sense of business instincts but he also is one of the most quotable humans who ever lived, had a moral sense of injustice and created some of the most loved characters in the history of literature.   I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't wait to tell you about it. In this episode I will tell you about the hardships, heartbreaks and the redemptive healing power of laughter that he experienced at the last period of his life. This tribute is also peppered with some of Mark Twain's best lines like "If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be - A Christian."   Fill your brain with this powerful knowledge now, enjoy!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
April 24, 2018
Craig Campbell is a beautiful lunatic and a comedy legend. He is from Calgary, Canada but has been living in London for the past 20 years and crushing it. I first met and worked with Craig 20 years ago when I first started going to London and have since performed with him all over the world. Last month we toured in Asia together and this episode was recorded in Manila. In Manila we rode Harley Davidson's and after the show went to a bar that had midget boxing. I told the owner of the club that in the rest of the world we are now calling them "little people" but he said that it was too expensive to change his neon sign. Fresh back from doing our show and watching "little people" boxing Craig and I sat down to record this episode. I have infinite respect for Craig as a comedian and as a human. He is a bad ass manly man but he is not a bully, he is kind and has an innate sense of justice which always shines through in his comedy. I love this man very much and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Craig Campbell!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
April 18, 2018
Ashna and I are fresh back from spending a week in Hong Kong. In this episode we give the history of the opium wars and the origins of the dragon boat festival. We also talk about the highlights of our visit and the best travel tips of for visiting the city. I also give the history of Adidas vs. Puma because I had a front row of Germans who worked for Adidas at my show Saturday night and it is an amazing story everyone should know. As we search for the right amount of dragon balls you make Jasmine tea with, we take you to the highest heights of Hong Kong and rejoice in its glorious history. Mgoy Sai! That means thank you!   Sponsored by > get $30 off!! TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
April 11, 2018
This episode was recorded in Singapore. The first time I came to Singapore I hated it because it is so clean and orderly. Now I love it because it is so clean and orderly and that there are no homeless people or street children begging you for money.  In this episode I enumerate the many strange and interesting laws that Singapore is famous for. I talk about the midget boxing match I saw in Manila and how I implored the owner to change the sign to little people boxing. For travel tips to Singapore I suggest you not waste your time or money on having a Singapore Sling at Raffles. Do stay at The Sultan hotel near the Sultan mosque and if you truly love yourself you will make your belly happy by eating mutton murtabak. One of the best culinary delights I have discovered in this life and what I would fly to Singapore just to eat is black pepper crab, I salivate just typing the words thinking of it. Two of my favorite Tom Waits are related to Singapore and are played and discussed in this glorious tribute to Lion City. To cap off this excellent time I had in Singapore I was offered free tickets to see Lauryn Hill headline the Sing Jazz festival. I understand that I am getting older but there were some things that were off about Lauryn Hill's performance. I know it is a rarity to see her perform and I was lucky enough to be right in the front to observe every moment of her 90 minute set. There are ways that you can ruin Christmas and there are ways that you can ruin someone's Rolling Stones concert but keeping positive vibrations in your water filled body can help you avoid that. I learned that at the gong bath I went to. "How you gonna win if you ain't right within?" Put on your crab bib and get yourself right with the black pepper love that is all the glorious delights of Singapore! Enjoy! TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
April 4, 2018
I have been dreaming of going on a motorcycle adventure into North Vietnam since the last time I was in Hanoi and heard of the concept. This was only my fourth time ever driving a motorcycle and I think it will be hard to beat this experience of going the 90 miles round trip journey from Hanoi to the top of Tam Dao Mountain. Yes it was terrifying and yes I felt like a true bad ass with Steve McQueen courage especially after I crashed going up the thin and dusty mountain road. Just as the key to happiness is in lowering your expectations it is equally important to remember that your dreams just might end up killing you if you are not careful. It is a miracle that I was not seriously injured when my motorcycle went sliding out from under me and I was high with joy for hours afterward that I was alive and that I had only lost a swatch of skin off of my elbow.   In this episode I recount my journey to the top of the mountain and the dangers one encounters while operating a motorcycle in the countryside of Vietnam and in the city of Hanoi. I'm thrilled to say that I checked this dream off of my lifelong wish list and that so much beauty was captured with my eyeballs and will live on in my memory forever. My life has been unbelievably blessed with magnificent experiences and I'm happy to tell you now in this episode all about my Vietnam motorcycle adventure and my mountain road crash that could have been a lot worse. Viva Vietnam!   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
March 27, 2018
I unfortunately missed the March in Las Vegas so I decided to interview two people instead. TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on  
March 21, 2018
Uncle Bob is dead. Getting the news of his death has left me feeling ashamed because I was mean and cruel to him. I had not spoken to Bob in 7 years because I was angry at him for being mean and cruel to my dad. Hate and anger is poison in your life because the person you are holding a grudge against just might drop dead and then your issue with that person will never be resolved.   The truth of the matter is that my Uncle Bob was a very important person to me. Had he not done stand up comedy in Washington D.C. in 1978 then my dad would have not taken me to see him and I might not have turned out to be a stand up comedian. After he died I was flooded with good memories of him and I will be forever haunted by the fact that neither one of us reached out to each other to fix the ill feelings that kept us using silence against each other.   My Uncle Bob's life was a victory because he found a woman who loved him, he had a successful career and he retired to a lovely farm in Vermont.   This episode is a repeat. It was recorded in July 2009 in his back yard just after the sun went down. It was the 2nd podcast I ever posted. We were a little drunk when we recorded this and I only had one microphone that we passed back and forth. It is a happy memory and his advice to me at the end about getting your soul damaged is invaluable.   Of the many happy memories I have of him one of them happened while I was visiting him when I was in my 30s. The James Taylor song 'Shower The People' came on the radio and he sang it to me as he hugged me tight. I would give anything to have that moment back now.   I wish that he were still alive so that I could tell him "I'm sorry Bob. I love you."
March 15, 2018
Praise be to the written word! In my living room I have the walls lined with book shelves holding over 2,000 books. This is my life time collecting books and Ashna's lifetime of collecting books joined together. Since living in Los Angeles we have invented a game we like to call "Book Roulette." This game consists of us randomly pulling a book from the shelf, cracking it open and reading a few paragraphs or highlights from that book to each other. It is our nerdy way of plucking riches of the written word for the delight of our brains. It is our way of entertaining ourselves on cold rainy nights like tonight when we recorded this episode. Living among thousands of books means nothing if you are not gaining anything from them. That is why we invented this game and share it only with good friends who come to our place and like to get cozy with inspiration. So brace yourself and get ready for explosions of powerful words from the shelves of Tom and Ashna. You will most certainly be enriched with pearls of words and thoughts that will tingle you to the core of your soul. "I am happy even before I have a reason!"   TRR Smart Camp goodies: * Receive podcast goodies! * Have a one time private skype session with Tom! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
March 8, 2018
This is a warm blast of love deep in the heart of winter! In this episode Ashna and I talk about the coldest winter we ever experienced. The nasty flu I caught from an albino alligator in Orlando, how the dirty money of big pharmaceutical companies keeps health care costs high for all of us and how human turd Martin Shkreli just got his 2 million dollar Wu Tang album taken away. You will learn why Tampa's Busch Gardens has the most terrifying roller coaster on the planet and why the tide of human goodness is turning now and gives us all a reason to yell "Hooray for humanity!” This is a special time in human history and there are many reasons to remain cheerful that we enumerate here for you now.   We also talk about the Oscars for best picture, best actor and best actress. Among the many great things you will learn in this episode is that if you are ever invited to an Oscar party in the Hollywood Hills being hosted by important people you have never met before you should bring a big fat chocolate raspberry cake because everyone is always happy to see someone bringing a big fat chocolate raspberry cake. Get happy now and feel the warm embrace of the shape of love!   Smoothie & Smoochie style! * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on  
February 27, 2018
I first met Lucie Pohl at the Edinburgh Arts Festival where we were both performing at the same venue. I may not have won the top prize at Edinburgh that year but my friendship with Lucie has been more valuable to me than any little statuette. She wrote and performs the brilliant one person show that is called 'Hi Hitler', a tour de force of human emotions about her life story as a German immigrant to New York City. I love this show so much that I believe that it would be a crime against humanity if this were not made into a Netflix special. In her new one hour show 'Apohlcalypse Now' she candidly bares a season of bad choices that shadowed her while she was making a film in Turkey. In recent year's Lucie played a wise cracking scientist in the British cult classic Red Dwarf and Rolling Stone magazine recently called her one of The Beatles of voice over work for the character she plays in Overwatch. In Overwatch, Lucie plays Mercy, a Swiss doctor who has the power to bring back players from the dead. "Heroes Never Die!" No truer words have ever been spoken.   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
February 20, 2018
This is part 3 of my French Revolution episodes celebrating the Stanley Loomis book Paris In The Terror. Have you ever wondered how people with differing political opinions would hate each other enough to have each other's heads chopped off by the guillotine? The answer to that can be found in this episode about the end of the road for that shifty dirty bastard Robespierre. Robespierre was a mediocre provincial lawyer who came to Paris and became one of the darkest forces in the drama that was the French Revolution. The enlightenment period was when field workers started to wake up and ask themselves "Why do those rich assholes get to live in the castle and wear fine clothes while we do all of the hard work?" This led to the French Revolution where king Louis XVI and his family all got their heads chopped off, then the citizens found out they loved chopping heads off so much they started cutting everyone's head off who may have disagreed with them. Robespierre out maneuvered Danton to become dictator for one year but there was a man named Fouche lurking in the shadows out maneuvering Robespierre. In this episode you will learn about The Festival Of Reason that turned into a drunken orgy in the most famous churches in Paris. Then with astounding magnitude you will marvel at the blunder that turned out to be the end for Robespierre. Get your smelly French cheeses ready, slice your baguette at an angle and pour yourself a glass of Pierre for this amazing ride that is the blood bath of heads falling into baskets otherwise known as the French Revolution. Just remember that it was all done for the good of the people, as is this podcast. Ashna and I now present to you, your brain food for the day. Bon Appetite!    * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
February 14, 2018
Get yourself a bowl of popcorn and pour some red wine for this epic episode of the French Revolution and the life of Danton and his eventual beheading by the guillotine. Danton said "Public opinion is a whore and posterity is nonsense!"    Little did he know then that I would do my longest podcast ever on him and the events from his life. Continuing my homage to the Stanley Loomis book 'Paris In The Terror' here is part two of the three part series I am doing on this formidable period in human history when people showed themselves and who they truly were once they threw off the chains that had bound them and were allowed to do whatever they wanted to do.   Learn all about The Festival Of Reason that will never allow you to look at the Notre Dame the same ever again. And the tiresome words of Virtue and Vicious that came to define the measuring scale if people were friends of the revolution or against it. I highlighted many great passages from this book and I read them to you and discuss in detail with Ashna this amazing human drama that is known as the French Revolution. Here for you now, it is my pleasure to present to you the life and execution of George-Jacques Danton. * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
February 6, 2018
In this episode you will learn about the unsung hero of the French Revolution and all time bad ass woman Charlotte Corday. I just finished the brilliantly written book 'Paris In The Terror' by Stanley Loomis. The book was published in 1964 and UC Berkeley named it one of the best books of the century.  It is a riveting book about the main players of the French Revolution who all get their heads chopped off by the guillotine. In this book I learned about the incredible tale of Charlotte Corday from Caen, France who had never been to Paris before she traveled there at the age of 24 to assassinate Marat, the foul shit stirrer who incited the mob of Paris to violence. This head strong witty young woman from Caen left behind her obscure life to become in one act of vengeance one of the most infamous people of the French Revolution. Her story should be made into a major motion picture but until then let me regal you with this epic tale that you may have never heard before. In this year of women rising up and demanding equality it is a perfect time to be captivated by this woman from provincial France who decided to take matters in her own hands in order to save the glory of her nation. If the sound of dropping guillotine blades and mobs carrying pitchforks excite you then this episode will be a treat. It is my pleasure to present to you now the story of Charlotte Corday and the assassination of Marat!  * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on * More fun on
February 2, 2018
I am fresh back from Paris! In this episode Ashna and I talk about my quick trip to Paris, the amazing experience I had while performing at Theatre L'Oeuvre and how when I return there on October 15 I want to film it as my next one hour special. We also talk about my personal history with Paris and how I needed to see someone and tell them how important they are to me while I was there. It was an interesting time to be in Paris because the river Seine is overflowing and 50 baboons had escaped from the Paris zoo and were loose running free in the city. Moliere, Voltaire, Camille Cottin and how to transport Parisian baguettes back to Los Angeles are also topics we discuss in this joyous recap of how I rocked the balls off the joint in my favorite city in the world and the best applause break I have ever received in my life. So spray on some Chanel 19, flip your scarf stylishly around your neck and let us take you on a journey to city of love through the eyes of someone who has been maced there and stood on the sacred performing space of Theatre L'Oeuvre. Hooray for humanity and hooray for Paris, France!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on  
January 19, 2018
Hooray for Hollywood! Forget that the world is falling apart and that our democracy has been sold to the highest bidder. In this episode Ashna and I discuss the year's best films and guide you to what is worth seeing just ahead of awards season. In this episode we talk about: #moviepass The Post Lady Bird Get Out Three Billboards Darkest Hour I, Tonya Call Me By Your Name Mudbound The Big Sick  The Shape Of Water The Bad Manners Of Aziz Ansari Jumanji If cinema is humankind's highest achievement, then we rejoice in the finest fruits of this year's harvest. Get the popcorn ready and spark your brain with joy inducing electrons. Smoothie movie talk has arrived to delight all of humanity. Shalom Amigos y Amigas!   * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
January 13, 2018
"In the creation of comedy, it is paradoxical that tragedy stimulates the spirit of ridicule; because ridicule, I suppose, is an attitude of defiance: we must laugh in the face of our helplessness against the forces of nature - or go insane. I read a book about the Donner party who, on the way to California, missed the route and were snowbound in the mountains of Sierra Nevada. Out of one hundred and sixty pioneers only eighteen survived, most of them dying of hunger and cold. Some resorted to cannibalism, eating their dead, others roasted their moccasins to relieve their hunger. Out of this harrowing tragedy I conceived one of our funniest scenes. In dire hunger I boil my shoe and eat it, picking the nails as though they were bones of a delicious capon, and eating the shoe-laces as though they were spaghetti. In this delirium of hunger, my partner is convinced I am a chicken and wants to eat me." - Charlie Chaplin * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
December 12, 2017
I had the best day in my life at the Charlie Chaplin's museum just two days ago. But now I am stuck in Switzerland because of weather conditions. I got all the time to record this episode so I give you all my Switzerland knowledge nuggets and tell you about Charlie Chaplin's life. Because hey I got nowhere to go at the moment. Enjoy! * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) * More episodes on
December 1, 2017
Bonjour Y'all! It’s winter here so I am freezing but I'm thrilled to be back sauntering along the boulevards and I have lots of fun facts to share with you about Paris from the books that I have been reading and the life that I have been living. Hear about the bad ass story behind the painting The Death of Marat. The history of banquets, the invention of the sorbet and why the French are so pessimistic. So pull out some smelly cheese and nibble on a baguette while I delight your brain with words worth knowing as my history with the city of love grows ever deeper. Au revoir mes amis! * Become our patron and receive podcast goodies! * Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017) End Song: Bob Dylan Tangled Up In Blue  
November 9, 2017
I am proud to say now that my eyes do know the glory that is Mongolia. This past weekend I performed in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and I now rank it among my favorite places. Like all great experiences you have in life it comes down to the people that you spent time with. From the moment I arrived I was greatly by the comedians of Ulaanbaatar and they spent my few days there showing me everything that was magnificent about their country. To prepare for this trip I read the biography of Genghis Khan and I had in my mind all of their glorious history and the many ways that Mongolia shook the world and shaped human history. In this episode I talk about my own experiences performing in Mongolia and the generous loving humans that make up the comedy scene there. I also read the many highlights I made in the book by Jack Weatherford called 'Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world.' Did you know that Genghis Khan had a policy of religious tolerance of all the lands that he conquered? Did you know that ancient Mongolia gave the world ice cream? Did you know that the English word "Hooray" comes from ancient Mongolia? Well, put on your learning hat because you are about to learn many things that will enrich your life as I tell you the tale about my visit to Mongolia and read to you the highlights of this incredibly informative book that I just read. Hooray for Mongolia and hooray for humanity! Tom   Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!    Buy my newest double album All Hail Laughter (2017)  
November 2, 2017
I am reporting to you from Tokyo, Japan. Enjoy my observations on this trend setting capital and learn amazing facts about Japan and knowledge nuggets about the secret code of the Samurai. Enrich your life with wisdom and laughter as I send you a respectful Samurai head bow from the land of the rising sun. Enjoy! Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   
October 25, 2017
Yes, #metoo. We both. Hear our stories and how it affected and changed us forever. Massage requests, butt squeezes, shame, blame, enablers & abusers. We go right into the Weinstein affaire and Tom's own #metoo story. How it affected him and changed his life perspective forever. Ashna explains how her experiences changed her career path. Our book this week is "Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It by Mae West.  We recorded this episode deep in the AM, right after we landed from Las Vegas and right before Tom had to go to the airport for his Tokyo flight. Thank you for supporting us!  Become our patron and receive podcast goodies!   
October 18, 2017
I'm back in Las Vegas right after the worst mass shooting in US history. I sit down with Brad Garrett, the man who taught me to love Vegas and we talk about how this city responded, bounced back and showed the best that humanity has to offer. We also talk about our bully megalomaniac president Trump and how his supporters are too think skinned to tolerate jokes about him. Northern California wildfires, Harvey Weinstein and everything that is happening in the world now. I have infinite respect for Brad as a performer and as a human being, he has treated me like a king since I first started working for him and he has made me love Las Vegas, a city I once had no desire to work in. These are tough times for America, Las Vegas and the world but Brad easily reminds me that making jokes and helping people forget their problems is the magic power all jokeslingers possess. That is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Brad Garrett! #VegasStrong
October 4, 2017
This episode was recorded in room #4 at the Mill Valley Inn. All important information about America's past and future are answered under the canopy of the ancient redwood trees. Ashna and I talk about the Kurt Anderson book 'Fantasyland" about how America went haywire. We also talk about the Ken Burns documentary "The Vietnam War. Our yearly trip to Northern California is in full swing now and we talk about what is great and irritating about Arcata, California. What trimmigrants are and the old theaters were where Charlie Chaplin and Robin Williams performed. We talk bookstores and classy women's fashions only won indoors by veterans. Pop a wheelie and ride it half way down Elm street! Hooray for humanity!
September 22, 2017
This episode is a roller coaster of emotions for me because I just received bad news an hour before recording that I am still processing. Not every podcast episode can be happy and cheerful but thankfully, Ashna pulls me back from the brink and helps me to see the bright side of life. It all comes down to status anxiety and that is what we discuss at length in this episode from every angle. We also talk about Allan du Botton, the entertainment juggernaut that is Netflix, the poet Pablo Neruda, my favorite Italian movies and the Ken Burns documentary about the Vietnam war. The number one enemy of happiness is envy. Curb your desires now and enjoy the brains and hearts of the Tom and Ashna show! Shalom amigos y amigas!
September 13, 2017
Steve Hughes is a comedy legend. He has sliced and diced up some of the best stages that the world comedy circuit has to offer. I've worked with Steve many times, I was even working with him on the night that I met Ashna. Several years ago he had a meltdown that led to him moving back home to Australia. Finally after much worry I got to come back to Sydney and see him. He is as feisty as ever even if he has turned to the right on some issues. Steve is one of my all time favorite comedians and someone I always enjoy shooting the shit with. After not seeing him for four years I am happy to have this conversation with him to catch up, find out how his meltdown happened and how he has recovered from it to be back up and telling it like it is on the comedy stage. There is no one else like him and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Steve Hughes!
September 6, 2017
Mickey D is the only comedian I know of who has climbed Mount Everest. I met Mickey while doing the Edinburgh festival several years ago and he personifies everything that I love about Australians. He is brash, ballsy, and good humored about even life's toughest circumstances. I sat down with him while I was in Sydney to delight the world with his perspective on life and capture his unconquerable Australian spirit. He is a comedian and a human being that I love and did I mention that he climbed Mount Everest? He is a unique comedy powerhouse and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Mickey D!
August 29, 2017
Hello from the other side of the planet! This episode of Smart Camp comes to you from Sydney where I talk with charming Australian comedy superstar Wil Anderson. I first met Wil at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2000. Since then we have worked with each other in London, New York, Montreal and Los Angeles. His effervescent charm and comedic intelligence always delights me when we get to spend time together and this episode is packed with important knowledge that should be living in your brain. Wil and I discuss the championship boxing match of the century, when Jack Johnson became the first black heavy weight champion of the world in Sydney in 1908. You will learn where the term "Great White Hope" comes from and the aftermath of Jim Jeffries getting his ass beat in Reno. (Not the comedian Jim Jeffries). You will learn why there is no pride in genocide and the proper way to arrange statues in Sydney. Why are all Australians made of money and what did the Aboriginal people say when the first white English people to arrive asked them what they called kangaroos. Why should Australia Day be called Invasion Day? Learn why the Melbourne Demons should embrace full evil. Learn a brief history of Ben Cousins and why Ned Kelly's last words are tattooed to his stomach. Wil teaches me how he uses advertising and marketing as a sense to look at the world on his show "Gruen" that has been running for ten years on Australian television. Learn how by using your data companies know more about you than you do. Let us help you see that advertising is emotional pollution and how to remain happy in the modern world. What memorable clash did Wil have with Heath Ledger and what are Mick Jagger's best one liners? Embrace how charitable acts always come back to you and how owning your choices in life is the path to contentment. I know so many beautiful lunatics in the comedy world and it is a joy to be back in Australia and get to gab it up with the one and only Wil Anderson!  
August 23, 2017
Patty Farmer is an entertainment historian who has authored the new book 'Playboy Laughs' chronicling the history involving Playboy magazine and stand up comedy. The recently deceased Dick Gregory got his big break performing at the Playboy club in Chicago and used to have to take the bus to get there because he was so broke when he started. For all the criticism that has fallen on Hugh Hefner for being sexist he doesn't get enough credit for breaking the color barrier in terms of hiring performers at his clubs and models for his magazine at a time when the United States was racially segregated. In this episode we talk about my own personal history with Playboy magazine and how the Playboy interviews were a very important part of my entertainment apprenticeship. We discuss the rise of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce who performed at the Playboy clubs and which entertainer who couldn't keep his hands to himself. This important period in American entertainment history and the history of American censorship is but a distant memory for those who remember and this is a conversation I was happy to capture for the Smart Camp audience. So put on your bunny ears and you fluffy slippers and find out why the  Playboy empire was a crucial component in the history of American comedy. It is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Patty Farmer!  
August 16, 2017
Ashna and I are fresh back from Europe (Paris, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Norway) and we are full of stories to share! This episode is all about war & peace. We talk about our visit to the Nobel Prize center in Oslo. Who decides who gets awarded? What is the link between dynamite and the prize? And learn why Alfred Nobel was a very peculiar man and the extraordinary mistake that changed his life and created the Nobel Prize. Why should you definitely NOT go to the Edvard Munch museum in Oslo to see The Scream. Why should the USA reconsider their fear of paying taxes? What the consequences are of my Instagram obsession. What brilliant strategy did Ashna use to bring peace in her family and what Tom could learn from that to bring peace to his.    What stories in Ireland from Irish folklore should never include the truth? Where did the term "Lynch mob" come from? Where did the expression "Wouldn't give you the time of day" come from? Why should you never let the truth get in the way of a really good story? All of these questions and many others will be answered as well as travel tips from my 5 week tour of Europe and general knowledge nuggets that will enrich your life with wisdom and laughter. Dig in and get happy now! Shalom amigos y amigas!  
July 17, 2017
I kick off this visit to Amsterdam by celebrating my obsession with the artist Rembrandt! In this episode I talk with noted Rembrandt author Nina Siegal about all things Rembrandt. Why did Rembrandt paint so many self portraits? Why did he own so many turtle shells? What were the poor choices he made that led to his downfall? Why did he fall out of favor with the religious society of Amsterdam? Why was Rembrandts body dug up and where is he buried now? You will learn many details about the fascinating life of one of art history's greatest masters. Nina Siegal wrote the best selling book 'The Anatomy Lesson' about the Rembrandt painting 'The Anatomy Lesson Of Dr. Nicholaes Tulp' and aside from being very knowledgable about the life of Rembrandt she is also an expert on the Jewish history of Amsterdam. As a bonus you will learn why true Amsterdammers when they say goodbye, they say "Mazzel" and why the soccer team of Amsterdam "Ajax" get anti-Semitic slurs when they play around Europe. This episode is full of Smart Camp Knowledge Nuggets and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only Nina Siegal!
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