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Tom Rhodes Smart Camp

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

I have been a comedian for more than 39 years. I travel the world doing comedy. 
Whenever I can I will share my adventures with you on this Tom Rhodes Smart Camp podcast.

My amazing creative partner and ex-wife Ashna is my best friend. We are a mom & pop business and with her help I will putting out these episodes with all the wisdom I have gained in my life and telling you all of my greatest adventures while traveling the world. 

Thank you for your generosity and for joining the Rhodesies club. You are in my heart forever!

Apr 11, 2024

In this episode of Tom Rhodes Smart Camp, Tom welcomes a special guest—his mother Sara, who is visiting him in LA. It's the once-a-month Smart Books & Movies episode, and they're diving into the lives and legacies of Aretha Franklin and Arnold Schwarzenegger through the lens of literature and documentary.

Starting with Aretha Franklin, Tom recounts his deep appreciation for her music and the impact it has had on him throughout his life. Despite facing challenges, including coming out of a period of depression, Tom finds renewed purpose in his podcast and shares insights into Franklin's struggles and triumphs. He discusses the powerful influence of Franklin's music, touching on her overcoming hardships and drawing strength from her songs.

The conversation shifts to a biography of Franklin, which Tom finds compelling until it delves into her life post-1980s, where his interest wanes. However, the early years of Franklin's career, her groundbreaking albums, and her undeniable talent in transforming the song "Respect" captivate Tom and his mother. They explore Franklin's relationship with her family, her contributions to the civil rights movement, and her encounters with prominent figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Oprah Winfrey.

Tom and his mother also discuss another cultural icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, through a documentary on Netflix. They admire Schwarzenegger's determination, his journey from Austria to becoming a bodybuilding champion, and his successful transition into acting and politics. The documentary highlights Schwarzenegger's ability to overcome adversity, his impact on environmental policy as the Governor of California, and his personal growth, including acknowledging a child from an extramarital affair.

This episode serves as a rich tapestry of stories about resilience, creativity, and the pursuit of greatness against all odds. Tom and Sara's discussions reflect a deep appreciation for the arts, the complexities of human experiences, and the lessons that can be learned from the lives of those who have left a lasting mark on the world.


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About Smart Camp podcast

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

Join us for Smart Ramble (Tom talks freely), Smart Talk (Tom has a guest), Smart Bestie (Tom & best friend Ashna Rodjan), Smart Books & Movies (Review on Books & Movies).



I have been a comedian for more than 40 years. I travel the world, performing comedy. Exploring diverse cultures and connecting with people from all walks of life while doing comedy is at the heart of my journey. Whenever I can, I'll share my adventures and a global perspective with you on this podcast.



Ashna, Dutch artist, photographer, and my ex-wife,is my best friend and she's an essential part of the Rhodesies production team. We've traveled the world together for 8 years. With her background in cognitive psychology and her passion for philosophy and the arts, Ashna shares her unique European perspective.