Tom Rhodes: Colussus
American funnyman delivers confident performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
With the swagger of an over-confident prize-fighter, American comic Tom Rhodes roams his stage ready to land punchline after punchline. But first he has some business to attend to regards his history with the Gilded Balloon, reminiscing the time he totally bombed at Late‘n’Live in the old Cowgate venue. With arguably a little too much glee, Rhodes distinctly remembers where he was when he saw news footage of the fire which destroyed a festival institution.
Once he’s got over ribbing the crowd for not getting on board with some of his material, he hunkers down to deliver some of the best gags at this Fringe (his lines about cigarette smokers’ lack of prejudice and the real reason New Yorkers are miserable are sublime) though your response to one 9/11 gag it might depend on what kind of mood you’re in.
But all too often he loses his way and goes down an avenue where a story either ends abruptly or has no discernible punchline to ease his passage onto the next anecdote. He might need to rethink his final routine about being preyed on by an old-school US comic because there really doesn’t appear to be a joke in there. Still, Rhodes has confidence to burn, and feeds off that to smash his way through a wall of audience inertia.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug (not 21), 9.15pm, £10–£12 (£9–£10).