‘My Son the Waiter… a Jewish (Mother’s) Tragedy’ (5 Stars) by India Pearl

May 02, 2014

The life of an actor in New York is often lived out as a waiter. We’ve all heard the stories about dog walkers, shoe salesmen, nannies, and anything else performers can do for work just to get by before that next audition. Mr. Zimmerman talks about his mother being supportive, but still overbearing and needling as many Jewish mothers are purported to be. Without ruining to story of his long life as an attempted artist, he spent TWENTY-NINE years as a waiter before “hitting the big time” and like many talented performers, he later discovered he had a talent and love for something aside from acting: standup comedy.

Brad Zimmerman is one of those comics that falls under the “Rule of Fame” in comedy. Although he has opened for some of the biggest names in the business, including George Carlin and Joan Rivers, he has never achieved a high level of fame himself. The “Rule of Fame” is that there are a number of comedians that are considered famous only among other comedians, but are not household names like Jerry Seinfeld or Dane Cook, so you may never hear of them. You would have to be fortunate enough to stumble upon them by accident in a late night New York comedy club. And even then, you may not remember their name while an open-mic comedian you will also never hear of is standing on the sidelines hoping for them to die so they can have their paid spots around town.

While I am also a fellow actor/comic, I should bow down to the perseverance of this man. In between his one-liners and details of touching and/or hilarious family life, there was story after story recounting every server’s nightmarish customers. And after all the years of dealing with indecisive and nitpicky diners, a cushy job in the family business would have been very appealing. Luckily for us - the packed house of an audience at the show at the Arlington Regent - he didn’t give in and discovered (slowly) just how talented he was.

Anyone that enjoys standup, grew up with an overbearing parent, or has worked in customer service will also enjoy this 90 minute journey with Brad Zimmerman. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry while laughing, and you’ll have a plethora of one-liner jokes to tell at your next dinner party, so long as you credit the funny man behind them. Brad Zimmerman is one of those famous-but-not-famous-comic gems that you shouldn’t miss out on, because who knows the next time he could be stumbled upon over at 24th Street. 

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