Brad Zimmerman received quite a compliment from legendary comic Joan Rivers: He’s the best comic . . . in his price range.
Perhaps Rivers would have given him higher praise for his finesse not as a comic or an actor, but as a waiter.
Zimmerman worked as a waiter for 29 years, much longer than he expected. However, those years waiting tables have become fodder for his one-man show “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy,” which continues every Thursday through Sunday through June 18 at 7 Stages.
The old joke is that a Jewish fetus is not considered viable until it graduates from medical school, so Zimmerman said his choice of waiting tables was quite disappointing to his parents.
Zimmerman had moved to New York to pursue acting, but hardly pursued it. It wasn’t until he got some psychiatric help that he started getting his life on track and began learning about comedy.
“It wasn’t like, 'Oh, I want to be a comic.' I don’t think about myself that way," Zimmerman said an interview with Lois Reitzes. "I think of myself as an actor who does comedy. My whole thing is that I tell a story that has a payoff.”
Zimmerman began writing at 33, and “My Son the Waiter” has had many successful runs in cities across the United States. He’s now working on a sequel called “My Rise to the Middle.”
Through the many trials and tribulations of his life, and the hundreds and hundreds of tables and difficult patrons he’s waited on, Zimmerman has learned an essential lesson.
“Failure is essential to everything," he said.