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Andy Zaltzman

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Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman
Andy Zaltzman performing at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Pseudonym Zaltor, The Punctilio Punosaur
Born 1974 (age 40–41)
Medium stand-up, radio, podcast
Nationality British
Years active 1999–present
Genres Political comedy
Notable works and roles Political Animal, The Department, The Bugle

Andrew "Andy" Zaltzman (born 1974) is a British comedian and author who largely focuses on political material. He has worked extensively with John Oliver; their work together includes Political Animal, The Department, and The Bugle.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Stand-up 2.1
      • Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2.1.1
      • Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2.1.2
      • Other 2.1.3
    • The Bugle 2.2
    • Writing 2.3
    • Radio 2.4
    • Cricinfo 2.5
  • Personal life 3
  • Works 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Zaltzman is of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. He is the son of South African sculptor Zack Zaltzman and the older brother of Helen Zaltzman, co-host of Answer Me This!. From his prep school, Holmewood House School in Langton Green, Kent, he then attended the private Tonbridge School. He has a degree in Classics from University College, Oxford. While at university, Zaltzman was sports editor for The Oxford Student.[1]



Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Zaltzman has been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1999, when he was a finalist in the prestigious So You Think You're Funny? new act competition along with Josie Long, Russell Howard, and David O'Doherty.[2]

His debut full length Edinburgh Fringe show Andy Zaltzman versus the Dog of Doom received a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Perrier Comedy Awards in 2001.[3]

In 2004, Zaltzman began – initially with John Oliver – hosting Political Animal, a stand-up show where different acts perform political themed material; Zaltzman has hosted solo since 2006. Political Animal later transferred to BBC Radio 4.

Zaltzman also appeared in a late night show with fellow stand-ups Daniel Kitson, David O'Doherty, and Alun Cochrane entitled The Honourable Men of Art, at The Stand in 2006 and 2008.

Year Show name Notes
1999 So You Think You're Funny New act competition. Finalist
2000 The Comedy Zone New act showcase
2001 Andy Zaltzman versus the Dog of Doom Nominated for Best Newcomer at the Perrier Comedy Awards
2002 Andy Zaltzman Unveils the 2002 Catapult of Truth
2003 Edinburgh and Beyond Showcase. With John Oliver and Rob Deering
2004 Erm... It's About The World... I Think You'd Better Sit Down With John Oliver
2005 John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman issue a list of demands and await your response with interest With John Oliver
2006 Andy Zaltzman Detonates 70 Minutes of Unbridled Afternoon
2007 Andy Zaltzman, 32, Administers His Emergency Dose of Afternoon Utopia, Steps Back And Waits To See What Happens
2008 Andy Zaltzman Boldly Unbuttons The Cloak of Civilisation, But Is Perplexed And Perturbed By What He Finds Lurking Beneath
2010 Andy Zaltzman Swears to Tell the Truth, Half the Truth, and Everything But the Truth
2011 Andy Zaltzman: Armchair Revolutionary

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Zaltzman performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time in April 2007, winning the coveted Piece of Wood Award, given to the best show as voted for by other comedians.[4]


In 2011, Zaltzman appeared as a guest stand-up comic on Russell Howard's Good News Extra. In 2013 he also contributed a review of that year's World Snooker Championship to BBC Television's regular coverage of the event.[5]

The Bugle

Since October 2007 Zaltzman and John Oliver have co-hosted The Bugle, a weekly satirical comedy podcast. The Bugle was initially hosted by The Times, however in December 2011 it was announced that their sponsorship would cease[6] and the podcast has since been independent, relying upon listeners' contributions to continue.[7]


Zaltzman has worked with Rory Bremner on a number of projects, these include Transatlantic, a US election special for BBC Radio 4 and several series of Bremner, Bird and Fortune.[8] In June 2007, BBC2's The Culture Show commissioned Zaltzman and John Oliver to write a mock farewell speech for departing Prime Minister Tony Blair. The speech was then animated by Triffic Films, with the voice of Blair played by Bremner.[9]

In November 2008, his first book, entitled Does Anything Eat Bankers?: And 53 Other Indispensable Questions for the Credit Crunched, was published.[10]


In July 2009, Zaltzman hosted a Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live entitled Yes, It's The Ashes, taking a comic look at the 2009 Ashes.[11]

Zaltzman presented his own four part BBC Radio 4 programme in December 2009 entitled Andy Zaltzman's History of the Third Millennium, Series 1 of 100. Also featuring Rory Bremner and Bridget Christie, the show contained stand up and sketches focusing on the last 10 years.[12]

Zaltzman is a regular co-host, along with comedians Al Murray and Rebecca Front of the satirical news programme 7 Day Sunday. The show has been running for three series on BBC Radio 5 Live beginning in January 2010.[13]

Zaltzman is also an occasional guest on the on-line cricket radio commentary station Test Match Sofa and on TalkSPORT's cricket show Howzat.


Zaltzman is a huge fan of cricket and in November 2008 began a regular blog for Cricinfo, named "The Confectionery Stall" after a piece of commentary by Richie Benaud where he describes a shot having "gone straight into the Confectionery Stall and out again".[14] Zaltzman's blog covered the 2011 World Cup for Cricinfo, supported by a number of podcasts.[15] Zaltzman has also played for the Authors XI cricket team.[16]

Personal life

Zaltzman's wife is a barrister and they have two children, a daughter born January 2007 and a son born December 2008. Zaltzman delivered his son at home due to his wife entering labour suddenly.[17] He is also the older brother of Helen Zaltzman.


Does Anything Eat Bankers?: And 53 Other Indispensable Questions for the Credit Crunched. Old Street Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1905847938[18]


  1. ^ "Andy Zaltzman – The Comedy Club". The Comedy Club Limited. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Russell Howard interview – 'That's me and the Fringe done’". The Scotsman. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "if.comedy – Newcomers". Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Comedy Festival Awards – Piece of Wood". Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "Youtube: Andy Zaltzman on the World Snooker Championships 2013". 
  6. ^ Goodman, J.David. "Times of London Cancels Comedy Podcast That Mocked Murdoch". New York Times – Media Decoder Blog. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Bugle Podcast". 
  8. ^ "Avalon Entertainment Limited – Andy Zaltzman Profile". Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "DOES ANYTHING EAT BANKERS? And 99 Other Questions to Cheer Up the Credit Crunched". 
  11. ^ "Cricket show for comic Zaltzman". 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Andy Zaltzman's History of the Third Millennium, Series 1 of 100". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "BBC – BBC Radio 5 live Programmes – 7 Day Sunday – Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "On the Road with Zaltzman | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  16. ^!squad/c158d
  17. ^ "The Bugle 57 – Hats off to Obama, shoes off for Bush". London: TimesOnline. 21 December 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Does Anything Eat Bankers?: And 53 Other Indispensable Questions for the Credit Crunched". Amazon. 

External links

  • John Oliver's favorite Zaltzman puns
  • Official site
  • The Bugle
  • The Confectionery Stall
  • Andy Zaltzman on Chortle
  • Andy Zaltzman on Twitter
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