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Quick Q and A with Roy Zimmerman Print-ready version

by Kathy S-B
Me&Thee Coffeehouse
October 10, 2009

Roy is funny. There's no two ways about it. His delivery is impeccable and his politics . . . well, it's up to you to decide! How many people get press quotations from the legendary Tom Lehrer: "I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just 'rhyne.'" The Los Angeles Times says, "Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society's foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer."

As is often the case, it's a joy to experience a talent like this in person - getting to share a good laugh and more than a handful of snickers (not the candy bar) along with a community of like-minded folk. For more information about Roy, check out his website and here's a video clip that gives you a taste of Roy Zimmerman.

We love the mug shot photo that is part of your press kit. Ever think of a publicity campaign in which you had your fans post that picture up in post offices all over the country?

Yes, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity. Talk to Phil Spector about that. However, if fans of mine have the energy and inclination to post me in the Post Office, I'd rather they post a letter to their representatives demanding a Public Option.

Joni Mitchell is quoted as saying: "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection." How much did you pay her to say that? (ONLY kidding!) Seriously. I don't ever remember Joni saying anything about anyone! That's quite a feat.

I had the great good fortune to perform some of my songs in Austin when Joni was in the audience, and to chat with her at a party afterward where she said that generous thing. It may not be obvious, but she's a huge influence. And she speaks very good English for a foreigner.

Is comedy more difficult when a Democrat is in the Oval Office?

Fortunately, my job is not just to poke fun at the president. The rise of Obama - his unflappable-ness and his almost Spock-like approach to complex problems - has made superstars out of bomb-throwing circus clowns like Glenn Beck. There's always plenty to write about.

Tell us about your affiliation with the famous (or infamous) Dr. Demento. Which of your songs have been included in his program?

Dr. D has played a bunch of my stuff over the years. Songs I did with my group The Foremen back in the last millennium - "Do the Clinton," "Firing the Surgeon General" and others got a lot of spins, and he's been nice enough to play a couple things from every CD I've put out since. He's an incredibly nice man with a unique vision, and I wish some LA radio station had the presence of mind to air his show.

Do you have any one highlight of your career thus far? Any other goals that you'd be willing to share?

I've done many cool things I would never have done if I'd chosen a more conventional and lucrative career. I played satirical songs at Stephen Jay Gould's wedding. I performed at CBGB. I sang in the drizzling rain under an overpass for Pete Seeger's Cleawater Festival. That was all in one weekend. Last year, I made a campaign promise to perform in all 50 states before the election. I made 47. (It was a "campaign promise.")

This article has been viewed 656 times since being added on December 26, 2009.

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