Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Tom Rhodes, Chase DuRousseau perform this week at Lake Tahoe
May 18, 2017
Globe-trotting comedian Tom Rhodes returns for the first time this year (we have to plan his visits almost a year in advance — he travels the world so much that for a while he was the resident travel writer for The Huffington Post). Rhodes formerly lived in Europe and had his own television show in Holland, where he was like the David Letterman of the country. He also has a podcast, "Tom Rhodes Radio," and has released a number of CDs and DVDs (my favorites are "Rhode Scholar" and "Built for Joy").
There was a time when Rhodes was one of a few comedians to help put the newly created Comedy Central on the map — the two complimented each other and launched both careers. Rhodes made regular appearances on Comedy Central's "Two Drink Minimum," which led to his own comedy specials and catching the attention of network executives. He landed his own sitcom, "Mr. Rhodes," and even though it only lasted one season it was funny and put the comedian into more living rooms across the country.
After the show was canceled, Rhodes moved to New York City and focused his energy on the art of stand-up comedy. He was a regular at the famous Gotham Comedy Club, Comic Strip Live, Carolines on Broadway, Comedy Cellar and Stand Up NY.
Rhodes has also made appearances at the Aspen Arts Festival and prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. In addition to venues in the United States, Rhodes has also performed in a handful of venues overseas: Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Jakarta, Bali, London, Berlin, Munich, Lausanne, Stockholm, Sydney, Geneva and Copenhagen, to name a few.
Part of me wishes that comedian Chase DuRousseau began his run here in February instead of May. Why? Because when he first appeared here two years ago it was during a so-so winter and he had never experienced snow before!
So, who is this guy with the name that's difficult to pronounce? Chase (his first name is easy) was named "LA's Best Comedian" as part of the national non-profit Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN), which bestowed upon him the honors for its No Laughing Matter multimedia campaign (it raises awareness about the link between reflux disease and esophageal cancer). His prize? Working alongside America's favorite redneck jokester, Jeff Foxworthy.
DuRousseau always knew he had a knack for being funny and he was already intelligent (I credit his interest in sci-fi), so he was probably thinking that when he dropped out of college to pursue his passion for comedy. His intuition paid off — he won Houston's Funniest Person Contest at the Laff Stop and was recognized almost immediately as the new kid to watch out for. Houston has a knack for producing some of the best and most memorable comedians: Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Janeane Garofalo and Brett Butler.
When DuRousseau isn't working the road he's performing for our military both overseas and stateside. The comedian moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and has already worked with strong acts including Craig Robinson, Hannibal Buress and Jo Koy.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.