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Print Version

NZ International Comedy Festival
Presented by THE WELLINGTON Humorous Arts Trust

at Kitty O'Sheas, 28 Courtenay Place, Wellington
From 8 May 2013 to 11 May 2013

Reviewed by John Smythe, 9 May 2013

Leading off with a put-down of Porirua, Brad Zimmerman is quick to claim he's allowed because he was born and raised there – then he adds another generalisation which also calls (non-verbally) for a sympathy vote. Clever.

His observations on people determined to have “a shitty time” and the consequent lecture on how to be a comedy audience – which also involves put-downs of Invercargill (cheap ‘laugh at' rather than ‘laugh' with humour) – should by now have put us right off. And yet …

Zimmerman's timing and delivery elicit warm laughs and there is a relaxed charm about him that lets him get away with it. Besides, a guy that goes skydiving with his mum can't be all bad, even if he goes a bit off-colour (joke-wise) in the retelling.  

The unifying theme of his show is ‘follow your dreams' although he wittily explores why that may not be advisable with your actual uncontrollable dreams. En-route he talks about being married, buying stockings, online dating, blow-up dolls (drawing an analogy with delivers the best/worst line of the night), his love of gardening …

The sobering question of whether any of us is living the adult life we dreamed of draws him, and us, into the realm of confronting our mortality, which sees him oscillate in his self-perception as he pits anorexia against morbid obesity; indolence against fitness.

How can we not be impressed that after a bad start in life and a serious prognosis for the future that materially affects his present, he can be indeed be said to be ‘living the dream'?

But he's saved something else for his finale; a visual gag that he's subtly set up early on. And it's a beauty.
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