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Tom Rhodes Radio Smart Camp


Tom Rhodes Radio Smart Camp is a festival of ideas, knowledge, stories, books & adventures.

I have been a comedian for more than 30 years. I travel the world doing comedy. I almost drowned in Thailand, got maced in Paris and had my own Late Night Talkshow in the Netherlands. Whenever I can I will share my adventures with you on this Tom Rhodes Radio Smart Camp podcast.

Jul 3, 2014

MinhHa Pham is a comedy superstar waiting to happen. She just needs a few more years of experience and developing material. Her love of comedy is pure and she is from the most unlikely breeding ground for comedians of Hanoi, Vietnam. I met her last year while I was performing in Hong Kong and she told me all about the new young comedy scene that is happening in Hanoi and it peeked my desire to return there. 

My Father flew helicopters in Vietnam, was shot down, survived, saved another soldier's life and was rightfully decorated as a war hero. I love my Dad and the topic of Vietnam was very dear to our family. 

In 1994 I was one of the first Americans to go to Vietnam after the travel ban was lifted and I filmed an hour special for Comedy Central there called 'Viva Vietnam!" Since filming there I have always wanted to return and since it had been 20 years since I had been there I set up a show there on my next tour of Asia. Filming 'Viva Vietnam!" we went all over the country and Hanoi was my favorite place so for this visit I spent a whole relaxed week there. 

Dan Dockery who owns the House Of Son Tinh is a beautiful lunatic from England who drove me all over the city at night on his motorcycle in the rain. Of all the great things I did that week nothing was more fun than the show I did at the House Of Son Tinh and MinhHa Pham opened the show for me. 

She is young, attractive and likable so I knew she would do well on the stage but I was honesty blown away at how smart and funny her jokes were. She graduated from the university of Minnesota and started doing stand up comedy at Gotham comedy club in New York City 2 years ago. Now she is back living in her hometown of Hanoi forging this new art form and expanding her horizons while more stage time in cities around Asia. If she is this funny after only doing it for 2 years then I easily predict that she will be as massive as she would chose to be. It is a mighty claim but nonetheless you will be pleased to know such a person as MinhHa Pham exists. I am grateful to her for giving me the reason to return to a place that I loved and was deeply meaningful to me.

This conversation was recorded at the Hanoi Social Club just a few hours before our show that night. As much as I love my new expensive killer microphone I think it may have been too good because of all the chaos of noise happening outside of our open air window. The streets sounds of Hanoi, car horns, scooter horns, communist propaganda loud speaker announcements, there were moments while we were recording that the city burst out with a plethora of crazy noises. That is the charm of Hanoi and you can hear it in full effect on this recording. It was blazing hot, the windows had no glass and Coca Cola on ice never tasted better.

It is my pleasure to take you all the way to Hanoi in this episode and introduce you to the one and only MinhHa Pham!