Fresh off sold-out shows in New York, LA, Australia and Edinburgh, award-winning clown Zach Zucker heads to London’s Soho Theatre with an hour of high-energy, absurdist, standup comedy, as the human tragi-comedy that is Jack Tucker.
Hailing from the historic New York ‘The Big Apple’ City, Jack Tucker is every bad joke, cringe-y trope, inappropriate statement and all the worst comics you’ve ever had the displeasure of reviewing in one. A well-respected journeyman and bonafide legend in the Upstate New York regional comedy scene, Jack Tucker is the ultimate comedian’s comedian. If the joke doesn’t land, it’s not because it isn’t funny – you just didn’t get it.
Jack is armed with a juggernaut of skills, way too many catch-phrases, and a willingness to tackle the most hack material, all while accidentally stumbling into some surprisingly good satire. What is more, Jack is remarkably likable. Remarkable, because despite the dictates of taste, the audience is fully on-side, falling for a lovable idiot, unaware that he is in way over his head.
Behind the sound-desk – as well as in the director’s seat – is Zach’s long-time collaborator Jonny Woolley. With a barrage of hot cues on a midi pad at his disposal, Jonny amplifies and enhances the theatrical experience by firing sound cues and punctuating jokes with cartoonish sound effects, creating a new style of performance the two have coined as jazz-clown. Though Jack follows the same setlist every night, the show is never the same, and it remains unclear whether it’s him or the mysterious guy in the booth that’s really in charge.
This is stand-up, but its fun, dumb physicality and breakneck pace is the stuff of calculated buffoonery, intended first and foremost to make the audience laugh. Much to the performers’ delight, no one seems to know quite what to make of Jack Tucker. Some wholesale sign-up and take him at face value, others read it as ‘high concept’ and laugh along for the ride, but almost everyone finds their guard dropping when confronted by such pure idiocy. In his Edinburgh season alone this resulted in 18 standing ovations, a rainbow of 1-5-star reviews and a new personal best, 68 walkouts. If you like absurd comedy and are a fan of the extreme, this is the fringiest show in town.
Jack Tucker opened with sold-out shows in New York, London and LA, completed a full run at the Adelaide Fringe (with 71 walkouts), and was added as a late addition for Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival in April. He then flew over to the UK and sold out his entire run at Brighton Fringe, packed out Underbelly Festival on the Fourth of July, and completed his first (fifth) full run at Edinburgh Fringe.
His alter-ego Zach Zucker is an award-winning comedian and producer who’s been touring the international festival circuit for the past five years. He is one half of Norwegian-American comedy duo Zach & Viggo and the creator of independent music and comedy label Stamptown. He runs/hosts the late-night, variety show Stamptown Comedy Night, and has toured the world three times over, selling out shows in New York, Chicago, LA, London, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin and Australia at venues and festivals such as Just For Laughs in Montreal, Comedy Central, Second City, Underbelly Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival among others.