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“Smiling at Wolves” CD release today!

Posted in Memories, News, On Stage, On Tour, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by Joe Zimmerman

My debut solo album (and future 2014 Grammy winning album) “Smiling at Wolves” came out today on i-Tunes with New Wave Records (also available on Amazon, etc). Recorded live this past November to a sold out show in Asheville, NC, I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Here is the i-Tunes link:

FYI: It’s currently listed as “Parental Advisory” but that’s an error due to some sort of default comedy setting, so hoping to get that label removed shortly.

And if you want to contribute to the Joe Z cause, you can leave a pleasant review or rating on i-Tunes or Amazon, or share with friends who might enjoy.

Fun facts: TJ Young (from the Beards of Comedy) did the cover design, and NYC photographer Mindy Tucker took the photo!

i-Tunes link


Beards of Comedy West Coast Tour Day 1 – ENMU

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Joe Zimmerman

Yesterday went as smoothly as I could have hoped. Got to Athens at 10 p.m. and after spooning a beagle for 45 minutes of couch sleep, left with TJ at 2 AM to meet up with Justin Heckert in Atlanta, where his wife took us to the airport for a 6 AM departure. We landed in Denver at 8:10 am, where we caught the 8:12 to Albuquerque by the skin of our heart attack. At 9 AM, we stood alive and on time at carousel seven in Albuquerque, miraculously holding our checked luggage.

This was my first time flying Frontier Airlines, and I must say it is a different kind of animal. That’s what the pilot said: “Frontier, a different kind of animal.” Little odd. The pilot’s emergency airbag pitch was a five minute comedy routine, and it was as tight and polished as I’ve heard. He opened with, “Alright, did anyone lose their wallet? (I panic) OKAY, now that I have your attention, please direct your attention up front (big laugh from studio audience/me annoyed).”

I tried to ignore him because I was into a suspenseful Collin Harrison novel, but he rattled off one punchline after another – all with honed timing and big laughs from a normally tough 8 AM crowd. At the deployment part he goes “Take the oxygen mask and place over mouth. Stop screaming. Now paddle.” Pretty edgy for the mandatory deployment speech. He closed with, “If you need anything, please ask Kathy, as she’s our junior flight attendant, and quite frankly, the only one who still cares.” (Big laugh/applause break). Different kind of animal.

Once at the Thrifty kiosk in Albuquerque, I am sorry to admit we were instantly up-sold from a mini-van to a luxury SUV. It’s too early to be adding expenses, but we now have a spacious Chevy Tahoe, along with an insurance waver none of us understand. Apparently, New Mexico is “just one of seven states” where personal car insurance doesn’t help if you get in an accident (more jibber-jabber about paying crazy fees for any days the vehicle is at a repair shop). So we were “hooked up” at $14.99 extra per day for upgrade + insurance waver “thrown in.” No more soccer mom mini-van. We are now in a big black suburban that could pass for CIA.

From Albuquerque, we drove four hours back east to our first show in Portales. This was my first time to New Mexico, and we dove into the subculture with lunch at Subway. I’m not sure I knew tumbleweeds were real things, until I hit the brakes for something I thought was a boulder coming at me, before realizing, “oh, just a tumble weed. Wait, a tumble weed?” Apparently they are more than just metaphors for western ghost towns.

The show had a final audience count of 342 students, and despite sleep deprivation, it went great. It helped that Red Bulls were waiting in the green room to give us wings.

After the photos and autographs, and feeling like we did something right, I received the kind of email that you imagine powerful management companies would send, if you were doing a west coast tour in a fictional movie, or Rockband. It read, “I heard you did well in Portales. Give my office a call.” This was coming from one of the biggest managers in the industry, from one of the largest companies (if not the largest).

Who would have thought Portales, New Mexico would be the place to be “discovered.” Apparently, there is someone in the audience, who immediately after our show placed a call: “Hi, this is Betsy… yeah, sleeper agent stationed at ENMU. Beards of Comedy/great show. Email Joe Zimmerman – he appears to be their leader, based on body language and charisma.”

I imagine I’ll call the office and bumble, “Hey, so is such-and-such in today?”
“No. Of course not. May I take a message?”
“Oh, well she said to call her, because I had a good show in New Mexico.”
“What? You sound stupid. I don’t take down messages from idiots.”

Ideally, it will go more like, “OMG? Joe Zimmerman?! From the Beards of Comedy? Do you mind if I transfer one million dollars into your bank account?”
“Oh, um…well the Beards require 1.5 million as our minimum bank transfer /partnership deal, thingie.”
“How about 2 million?”
“Deal, but we’re not signing any long term contracts, and make it 2.5 million dollars.”
“Sounds great Joe, I’m glad you called.”

It’s 6 am on Thursday and we’re about to drive eleven hours to Scottsdale, AZ to do the Martini Ranch at 9 pm, with guest Mike Kennedy. Looking forward to more literal tumble-weeds.

Odd Things People Have Said Right After a Show

Posted in Humor Column, Lists, Some sites I enjoy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2010 by Joe Zimmerman

Here are some odd things people have said to me right after a show:

“You should do a CD of just songs. I would play it on my boat for all my friends. I can’t play your stand-up on my boat.”

“Are you friends with Jerry Seinfeld?”

“I have a great racist joke for you.”

“How come you don’t tell any racist jokes on stage?”

“What do you make per show, like five grand?”

“Do you normally play crowds this small?”
(After show with 200 people)

“You should really give away your shirts free – it’d be great marketing. Everyone would ask me, “Where’d you get that shirt?” and I’d be like, “a comedian!”

“Wait, which comic were you?”
(Eh, I was the comic, who was…me? The one you’re talking to.)

“You remind me a little of Dave Attell.”

“You remind me a little of Dane Cook.”

“You’re kind of like that Dave Chappelle guy.”

“You remind me of Zach Galifianakis.”

“You’re really dead-pan, like David Letterman.”

“Do you know Chris Rock?”

“I like that Larry the Cable Guy, but you’re alright.”

“You should insult the audience more, like Lisa Lampanelli.”

“Do you have someone who writes all your jokes?”

“Are you from Canada?”

“Hey, I didn’t see your show, but do you need a roadie? I could travel around with you. I used to be a DJ!”
-Elderly Man

“I remember you from that TV show, like ten years ago.”
(Haven’t been on TV)

“Did we go to high-school together?”

“You CRAZY as hell!”
(I’m really not that crazy)

“You can feel my beard if you want…seriously, go ahead.”

“I just got out of jail!”
-man who looked like he just got out of jail

“Sorry I didn’t laugh. I’m on pills that don’t let me laugh, but I had a great time.”

“Will you sign my ass? I know everyone always asks for the titty, so I’d like the ass.”

“Where’s the bathroom?”

“You should see a chiropractor.”

Futuristic Blog Typed from my Droid Incredible

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by Joe Zimmerman

Typing a futuristic blog from my Droid Incredible phone, while moving at 75 miles per hour in the direction of Notre Dame for a Beards of Comedy show tonight.  Incredible right? Don’t worry, TJ is driving.  It will be at least five more years before they (the robot-aliens) invent a technology that will allow me to safely blog, while safely driving, whilst safely reading a novel.  Just kidding, novels won’t exist in five years.  Paragraphs will have become the new book, and we will have to take reading breaks after each sentence.  No sentence will exceed 140 characters, for the simple marketing reason that it would be impossible to quote via retweet.  Speaking of which, I better get back to Twitter, where I am hosting a live tweet session with the hash tag #beards. Who knows what I’ve missed in the past 10 minutes. Probably just tons of fans responding to my live tweets.

Too Old to Trick-or-Treat

Posted in Humor Column, Some sites I enjoy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2010 by Joe Zimmerman

For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve felt a deep sense of aging; the inner-monologue of “man, I’m really getting old.”
“Yep Joe, you sure are.”
(Looking at self in the mirror, contemplatively).
But it doesn’t make sense, because I’ve been doing this since I was thirteen. Shouldn’t I be thinking, “Thank God I’m not 80!”? Perhaps I should. In fact, I feel better already.

Trick-or-treating is the first memory I have of feeling “old.” Halloween is a strange thing, because who sets the age limit for trick-or-treating? Surely last night, I could have gone around trick-or-treating, and probably come back with a bag full of candy, and not broken any laws in doing so. But I know that trick-or-treating is for “kids.” So at what age do you stop being a kid? For me it was thirteen; at least, according to one lady in my neighborhood.

I was trick-or-treating with Craig (one of my bf’s who was twelve at the time), and the first door we knocked on is this nice lady who always has the full-size Snicker bars. She comes to the door, looks at us like we’re bank-robbers and goes, “aren’t you boys a little old to be trick-or-treating?”
I think our reaction was, “Are we?”
And that was the beginning of the end of being a kid.
Granted, we probably half-assed the costume. Come to think of it, we may have even dressed as bank-robbers.

This year, I didn’t give out candy. I was the guy with the porch light off, hiding in a back room, watching Game 4 of the World Series. Then it hit me, it wasn’t that long ago that I was looking up through the eye-slits of my Zorro costume, at a house with the porch light off, thinking, “What a dick. Who does that? What kind of ASSHOLE, can’t give candy out to children just ONE day out of the year? ONE day! That’s all we ask.”

Well, me, apparently. I’m the same guy, I hate, and I’m having this strange dialogue with younger me where I’m going, “C’mon, give me a break! I’m not that big of a dick am I? The World Series is on! Don’t blame the poor guy with the porch light off – blame the damn commissioner of baseball, or whoever it is that schedules the World Series.”

I wonder if periodically throughout my life, I’ll become the guy that I disliked. Perhaps when I’m eighty, I’ll show up to some comedy show, and have a mean scowl on my face from beginning to end. Then older me will remember younger me thinking, “Why would you bother coming out if you’re not even willing to crack a smile you?” Then older me will go, “Because I lost the ability to smile in World Word 4, when I took a lazer right in the groin! Now I come out and try and find some joy, and here you are, the “entertainment” unappreciative of the fact that I had to take a LAZER, in the GROIN, in WORLD WAR FOUR! You asshole! You…me!!”

Either that or I’ll be like, “I’m not smiling because Frogs eat caterpillars for breakfast!” (Because my brain will not be functioning properly).