My Son the Waiter Offers a Few Tips

Just about the most horrendous experience I can imagine for a Jewish mother of a certain age is to be surrounded by her contemporaries as they brag about the latest exploits of their sons (“my son the doctor,” “my son the lawyer) when the only son she has is a waiter!  Not the maitre d’ of a Michelin 5-Star restaurant. Not the owner of a string of popular franchise restaurants.

No, just a waiter…

A waiter waiting tables between comedy gigs.  And Los Angeles, if you’ve been waiting to see him, your wait is over!

Brad Zimmerman, the funniest waiter you’ll ever see, has brought his hilarious story to the stage of the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Titling it from his mother’s perspective, he calls it “My Son the Waiter…A Jewish Tragedy”.

But just about the most horrendous experience, I can imagine for a theater critic is to review a performance that is all jokes and dazzling one-liners.  And quirky movements like a robot who has suddenly run out of juice. What can you tell about this superlative entertainment without giving away the punchlines?

For example, about the wife who says to her elderly husband “Come upstairs and make love,” to which he responds, “I can’t do both.”

Or the telegram that advises “You shouldn’t worry.  Details to follow.”

It isn’t so much that the lines are funny, but that he delivers them with straight-faced panache and absolutely exquisite timing.

All this from a man who took on a “temporary” job as a waiter in New York and stayed with it for 29 years!  But during that time he also took on extensive training in acting classes and as a stand-up comic, which provided him with occasions to open for such stars as Joan Rivers, Brad Garrett, Dennis Miller, Julio Iglesias, and his idol, George Carlin.  “Opening for Carlin inspired me to call my mother (to tell her about it),” he notes.

He began pursuing his acting career in 1978 but waited until 1996, when he was 42, to start doing stand-up.  “Mostly for retirement communities,” he says. Jewish retirement communities, he adds, because “there are no funny Gentile jokes.”

He discusses his secular attitude toward his Judaism.  “I’m just above a Muslim,” he admits. Which brings on another volley of jokes about his mother and four Jewish ladies whom he approached as a waiter to ask “Is anything all right?”

“The Jews are ambivalent about how to determine the age of a baby,” he notes.  “In some families, a fetus is not viable until he graduates law school.”

At one point, in his remarks about being a waiter, he comments on his knowledge of wines.  “I only know two kinds of wine,” he says. “We have it or we don’t have it.”

In my opinion, Brad Zimmerman definitely Has It!

And I guarantee you’ll want to drink to that!

“My Son the Waiter…A Jewish Tragedy” will continue at The Colony Theatre, 555 North 3rd Street in Burbank, Thursdays at 3 and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Sunday, June 10.

For tickets, call (855) 448-7469 or online at