Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 4th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

New Yorker Zach Zimmerman packs a breath-taking number of laughs into his 50-minute slot; delivering a narrative about the relationship with his mother at a speed that leaves no time for stragglers. Not that you want to be left behind by this immediately likeable son of Southern evangelical parents who has the perfect backstory for comedy.

Zimmerman’s energy and tightly-scripted delivery makes for one hell of a high-octane performance.

Zimmerman’s life in New York couldn’t be further from home back in Roanoke, Virginia. He’s a gay vegetarian atheist and his Mom is having problems dealing with that. Particularly the gay bit. Zimmerman’s bond with his mother is clearly strong, but often tested by her Baptist morals and intrinsic homophobia. Mom’s hope that her son will “keep it clean” is at odds with the waypoints he takes us on from his coming-out graduation speech to making a cast of his erect penis and watching videos of buttholes. To tell Zimmerman’s story you simply can’t leave the stuff out that probably makes her squirm.

Zimmerman’s energy and tightly-scripted delivery makes for one hell of a high-octane performance. But it’s not all turned up to 11; there’s a brief moment of poignant reflection that reminds us it hasn’t all been parties and sex for Zimmerman, with only his mother to deal with at the end of a long-distance phone call. Devastation has been part of his life, and this Zimmerman recounts with poetic beauty.

At the end of the set – which by now has gotten increasingly blue – there’s a Marvel Films after-the-credits moment which brilliantly uses all the history we have learnt in the preceding 45 minutes for a flat-out hilarious X-rated finale. Mother is probably clutching her pearls.

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Performances

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The Blurb

My mom says I should focus on clean comedy for my career. F*ck that. Please join me, a Time Out New York Comic to Watch 2019 (stop it, I'm blushing) as I skewer my traumatic Southern Baptist childhood and equally painful gay NYC adulthood. It's my debut hour at the Fringe, it'll be equal parts adorable and hot, and will delight my mother in title only.

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