Arts and Culture

Zack Chapaloni : Comedian You Should Know

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The ‘Comedian You Should Know’ series highlights funny people performing in San Francisco.   We met Zack Chapaloni on the set of ‘Drunk Science‘ where we got a bunch of stand-up comics rip-roaring drunk, and asked them elementary science questions, and filmed it.  It was a bit of a shit show, and as prescribed, Zach was amazingly drunk and amazingly funny.  Meet Zack Chapaloni, a comedian you should know.

Name: Zack Chapaloni

(BAS) Where are you from: The mean streets of southern Marin. Tiburon mainly. And, no I’m not rich. It’s a great place to be a kid, but then we all started smoking way too much weed and acting like extras in the movie 8 Mile. I did win some pretty epic rap battles though.

(ZACH) Where was your first set, and how did it go? I did an impromptu set at a high school pasta dinner talent show. It was mostly impressions of teachers, but it went so great that I started to think stand up was something I should try to do. It took a few more years before I went to an open mic and performed without the support of my classmates. My first real set was at The Brainwash, which has just now closed after 20-something years of open mics. It was a cafe/laundromat, and I got to see some amazing comics work out their material there. Tony Sparks was the host and gave a lot of us comics some great feedback and much-needed encouragement. My first set went okay. I remember saying a joke that got a laugh right away and I looked up and smiled at how good it felt. Then I went blank and decided to try to roast a couple guys who looked like Chris Brown and Jermaine Dupri. “Chris Brown” replied, “Stick around.” Turned out he was also a comedian and went up after me. He then said I looked like Mr. Bean and Pee-Wee Herman had a kid named “Bambu”. He was right. I laughed so hard I cried. At least, I think that’s why I was crying.

Drunk Science w/ Broke-Ass Stuart:

Where do you perform regularly? Wherever my services are needed. The Punch Line is my home club. It was actually my favorite comedy club before I even started comedy. Every Sunday they have the “Local Showcase” where up-and-coming comics get to either try new material or do their same tired act. You can catch me there pretty regularly.

Worst experience on the road? Please don’t make me relive that memory. It was at a place called “A Touch A’ Class” in Sacramento. I had performed a handful of times leading up to that and felt like I was getting good, so I entered a competition there for a cash prize. To say that I bombed wouldn’t even describe how awful it was. I was the only one booed, and EVERYONE BOOED. I even offended people so bad that they left instead of staying to see who won. I left shortly after them. I no longer felt safe there. They were mad at me.

What’s coming up for youYou can catch me in a Happy Honda Days commercial, selling a car to a CGI gingerbread man that keeps distracting me with how delicious he looks. I couldn’t help but feel like I was sexually harassing an innocent cookie in a vulnerable position. I’m sure the part where I lick my lips won’t make the cut. Aside from that, I’ve been taking my stand up comedy on the road to LA and NYC over the past couple of years. I’ll be heading back to both of those places soon, and performing all over northern California in the meantime. You can see my upcoming shows at I’m also putting together a very exciting live comedy show that I can’t talk too much about now, but it’s going to be GREAT! Stay tuned.

What was your first job job? I was a busboy at a place called Puccini & Pinetti near Union Square. I liked it. Working in restaurants was fun. I think everyone should have to work in restaurants for at least a year. That’ll teach them to tip and also be a decent human being to the people that serve your food. My Mexican Spanish got pretty good too. I learned the word Guey (pronounced “way”) on my first day of training. It means, “dude.” My coworker saw my haircut and said “nice hair, guey”. I said, “no it’s called hairdo”. Then he said, “no, guey is like dude.” He was a cool guey.

Do you have a favorite 1 liner? I recently did a show with this comedian, Brad Wenzel. He’s hilarious. One of his jokes still cracks me up: Why is it that scrapbooking is okay, but if I do it all over the walls of my apartment I’m “too close to this case”?

What’s your favorite joke in your set right now? Tough one, I love all my babies. I don’t really consider my act joke-telling. I am working on a bit about Japan and some Japanese things I’ve seen in person and on the internet. That bit has been getting a great response, and I’m having fun doing it. It’s pro-Japan by the way. I’m not just talking shit about the Japanese. Unless I’m performing for WWII vets, but that would be for pandering purposes only.

Whose a performer you’re embarrassed to like? That’s a tough one. Ed Sheeran, Drake, Migos, Train. Pretty much everyone killing it on FM radio right now. Comics I know give me a hard time for liking Chris D’Elia, Dane Cook, and Kevin James, but I’m not embarrassed about that… not usually, anyway.

Funniest thing on TV right now? I only have satellite channels 1 through 11.3, so probably Judge Judy. But when I had my friend’s Xfinity password it was probably Always Sunny, Broad City or Rick & Morty. My Netflix picks are “Rory Scovel Tries Standup for the First Time”, and Norm Macdonald’s special, “Hitler’s Dog, Gossip and Trickery”. Also Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite Season 1 (Haven’t seen season 2 yet). Sorry, I can’t choose one because there are so many funny people making great shit. I’m sure I’m forgetting other stuff too.

Your Top 5 Comedians of all time? Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K. (I know, it’s terrible), and Chris Farley. Also so many others. But you said 5, so there’s 5. Can I  just add- No, you know what? That’s the list.

Zack Chapaloni, Joe Gorman and Joey Avery host a standup show called ‘The Dirty Show’ with all kinds of funny people in a bar decked out in vintage pornography.  Yes, you read that correctly.  8pm every 1st Wednesday at Kozy Kar Bar (1548 Polk St.)

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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