Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy (3 stars)

Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy

credit: Jeff Zorabedian

Finding light fun amid the tragic darkness

Raised in the American south by a Christian pastor father and his similarly conservative mother, Zach Zimmerman faced a lot of challenges when he realised he was gay. He was brought up to feel ashamed of his sexuality, was bullied at school and encouraged to regularly pray for salvation. Happily, he managed to navigate his way into adulthood, and in Clean Comedy he recounts the various trials and tribulations that made him the man he is today.

It's a fun journey through the comedian's varied experiences, including a hilarious tale of unsportsmanlike conduct during his time performing as a football mascot. When he rhetorically asks 'has anyone else here been a mascot?' he's astonished by a positive response from a fellow American. And it serves him well to regularly dip in and out of audience interaction given that he handles his crowd with aplomb.

As is often the case with a life-story show, it's not all fun and games. By the end of this hour, events take an unexpectedly tragic turn, but Zimmerman deftly balances darkness and light, culminating in a barnstorming finale that sends everyone out on a high.

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, until 26 Aug (not 19), 10.45pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).

Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy

  • 3 stars

Walport Productions 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…

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