Nov 14, 2013
This episode was recorded in Beijing, China.
I first met Des Bishop many years ago in London when we both performed on a show together. He has had a very unique life story and an amazing career trajectory.
Des is originally from New York but has deep family roots in Ireland. He started his stand up comedy career in Dublin and has gone on to have a brilliant television career in Ireland. For the past year he has been living in Beijing because he wants to learn Mandarin Chinese and perform stand up comedy in Chinese.
On the night I arrived after I dropped my luggage at the hotel I took a taxi to the local Chinese comedian open mic night that Des puts on. I couldn't believe it when I saw it but here was my friend standing there performing to a room full of Chinese people getting laughs in Chinese! I was absolutely blown away by this feat.
In this episode we talk about Des' television highlights in Ireland and how he came to fall in love with China to make a life here. He also explains everything you need to know about modern life in China, the current stand up comedy scene here and the three taboo topics a performer can never mention while performing in China.
It should be noted that Des heard I was booked to do shows in Hong Kong and Shanghai and he put up his own money to bring me to Beijing to headline shows he would host. The sold out shows this past week were at a cool book store with a full service bar in the center called 'The Bookworm.' The shows were billed as 'Tom Rhodes in the humor section.'
I would like to give a special thanks to Papa Razzi who created the song 'Tom Rhodes is a globe trotting comedian' that plays at the end of this episode.