Q&A : Zach Zucker
Zach Zucker: Spectacular Industry Showcase has been planned as a spectacularly silly show, created for nothing other than to make the audience laugh as hard as he possibly can. Zach is a clown and in his shows, he plays a number of characters, from rapper Lil Penis Johnson (he’s not very good but he raps for his mo’fuckin life!) all the way to the Comedy Bot - (he runs on laughter but tells no jokes).
We asked Zach a few questions about his show and his career path.
You sometimes refer to yourself as the only bisexual Jew who is unsuccessful in Hollywood. To whom should we be thankful for that, as it gives us the chance to experience your live shows?
I’m turning this into a two-parter: the actual phrasing itself came from a joke my best bud and fellow comedian, Tom Walker, made during a Zach & Viggo show where he came onstage and roasted me with our other friend Reuben Kaye. I laughed so hard at it that I stole it and ~made it my own~ in classic Zach fashion.
As far as actually not being bookable, my comedy partner Dylan Woodley and I deemed our style of art as “completely unrelatable” making the most successfully, unsellable content in the world. In many ways I’m very happy that this is my path because I love to be onstage and perform in front of an audience — although I booked my first movie role this past week and I gotta say… I am ready to sell. out. immediately.
Would you say that being good at shagging is a help or a hindrance to a comedian’s career?
It depends who you’re shagging and what type of career you’re after. There’s definitely something to be said about not sleeping with anyone and being the <ultimate tease> a truly rare delicacy in Hollywood, but I personally have found that if you are a respectful, communicative adult, it’s actually very realistic and manageable to pursue and maintain your sex life as a comedian. But to answer your question, I wouldn’t know because I’m not a comedian… I’m an artist ;)
Is this one of the reasons you can be referred to as unbookable at times?
No comment. You have a very strong background in clowning, yet you marry that with straight stand-up in your performances. Which one of these approaches is the closest to your heart?
I actually wouldn’t classify myself as straight or a stand-up. I’m definitely a clown whether I like it or not. Ask anybody I’ve ever gigged with; my formula is 100% charm and energy, a full day of freaking out and zero material = a high possibility of it going wrong in an entertaining way.
Your performances always seem to come straight from the heart. Would you say that the world is deserving of such love?
I don’t think the world deserves it but we desperately need it. Everybody is hurting and we all need deep love right now. I also don’t see the point of presenting or creating something where you aren’t performing your heart out every single moment you’re out there. It’s a blessing to be able to get up onstage in front of an audience. It’s a waste of their time, it’s a waste of everyone's lives and I personally find it offensive if you’re giving anything less than your all.
You recently finished shooting a TV series in the US. What would you say is the special ingredient of a “made for TV” show?
Selling something that doesn’t exist with the blind confidence of a delusional loon. From my experience in Hollywood, every time we’ve brought something that was prepared and ready to go, nobody took it. Some people wouldn’t even set a meeting. But every time we’ve gone into the room and pulled something out of our ass that we barely worked on, they took it.
My last show Jack Tucker: Comedy Standup Hour was the best show of the year: a dense, innovative and playful hour of deeply stupid, subtly satirical, physical comedy with a laugh every 2-3 seconds. This year, the show is currently much more nebulous, blending lots of different art forms (clown, music, characters, cabaret), has less of a narrative and feels more like a mixtape. The bits are still evolving, and the ending doesn’t exist yet… but if I know anything about Hollywood, they will eat this shit up*
* I will finish the show before Edinburgh Fringe, I just haven't had the time I wanted!
Zach Zucker: Spectacular Industry Showcase (Made for TV), Monkey Barrell (4), 7.50pm, 3-28 August (not 17)