A touch of faith and comedy



Zimmerman holds a chord while he sings his satirical lyrics and points at the audience on March 5. The musician performed his new album, “Faucets on Fire.”

Mason J. Rockfellow, Reporter

Left-winged Roy Zimmerman came to downtown Bakersfield’s Metro Galleries to entertain a crowd with his new show called “The Faucet’s on Fire” with satirical songs and commentary about politics, racism, war, marriage, and much more.

Zimmerman explained, how even though he is left-winged, people who don’t agree with what he is saying or singing still come up after his show and say even though they don’t agree with what he said, they still laughed and thought it was funny. Zimmerman has gained many friends through his satire, even among the secular crowd.

The event was sponsored by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

“Creation 101” has made me some friends among the secular people,” said Zimmerman.

“Creation 101” is about how some schools wanted to teach about god creating the world and wanted to teach it as a science.

Some lyrics from “Creation 101” are, “because when this semester is through it’s straight A’s for students who shun evolution, the kids get such an education when they shun the heretical theory of the development of life on earth over millions of years by means of spontaneous genetic mutation.”

Zimmerman explained that there are dangers in satire.

“You can listen to satire and think it’s real,” said Zimmerman and used Merle Haggard’s song “Okie from Muskogee” as an example and said that it was mostly just tongue and cheek but people still believed it was true. He also mentioned how people thought that Stephen Colbert was also telling full truths and that is not the case.

Zimmerman explained how there is a fine line with satire, you can offend people and can provoke too much.

“You can go too far…I’m not trying to offend anybody, but I’m trying to tell you how I feel,” said Zimmerman.

When asked what he gets out of writing and singing these satirical songs, Zimmerman stated, “It’s like testifying for me…what I get out of it is identity.”

Zimmerman, 57, is from San Francisco and started writing songs in high school. Zimmerman said that when he first started writing songs it wasn’t completely intentional that they were funny; they just came out that way.

He gave an example of writing a song about the day when Ms. Hemphill’s wig flew off at school. He thought it was pretty funny and so did his classmates.

Some of Zimmerman’s influences are Tom Lehrer, Phil Ochs and Merle Haggard, “Country stuff I like,” said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has had the opportunity to share stages with other comedians and satirists such as Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Maher, John Oliver, Kate Clinton and George Carlin.

Zimmerman has toured doing shows and events all over the nation but Zimmerman said he likes to search for where progressive people are, he calls these places “blue dots.”

“The most progressive people in the least progressive places,” said Zimmerman.

Kathleen Rush a mathematics professor for Bakersfield College is one of the people responsible for getting Zimmerman to Bakersfield. Rush first met Zimmerman at a house party in Tehachapi and thought Zimmerman needed to be brought to Bakersfield.

“He’s so funny; I have to bring him to Bakersfield,” said Rush.

This was Zimmerman’s second time visiting Bakersfield since the first time he came to perform in 2013. Even though fliers were posted up around Bakersfield College campus, not very many students showed up to the event.

“We wish more students came out to the show,” said Rush.

Afterward Rush shared her thoughts about the show.

“I enjoyed it…It was a breath of fresh air,” said Rush.

Pat Evans an audience member of the event also shared his thoughts on Zimmerman after the event.

“I thought it was fabulous…he’s a modern day Woody Guthrie,” said Evans.

Zimmerman has recently come out with a kids’ album called “The Sandman Never Sleeps.”

To find out more about Zimmerman, go to his website at www.royzimmerman.com.