Its Jerry Time Special Edition



(Album Cover by Orrin Zucker)


Its Jerry Time! is the first web series to win an Emmy Award.(2007) The animated series is based on the frustrating life of an older bachelor. These “true tales from the life of Jerry” are told by Jerry Zucker and visually interpreted by his animator brother Orrin.

The series came about over lunch at a Wendy’s Restaurant in Natick, MA one day when the brothers were brainstorming and trying to come up with ideas for a TV show. At the time, Jerry told Orrin how angry he still was about a bartender who badgered him at a restaurant the night before…

Orrin, a broadcast design veteran for over 20 years, created high-tech cut-out style animation with AfterEffects. This was coupled with Jerry’s low tech storytelling and music, all recorded into a cheap handheld digital recorder, and within a month, the story went online.

“Who’s That Guy!?” debuted on November 12, 2005 and struck a chord with an internet audience who responded to the misadventures of the downtrodden everyman main character, the humor and the pathos. Monthly episodes followed along with a burgeoning audience. The buzz grew through blogs.

After five episodes, Its Jerry Time! was nominated for an Emmy Award (2006) in the newly-created Broadband category but narrowly lost to AOL Live 8. This was followed by articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired and Business Week and the effect was complete. In the meantime, several popular episodes won film festival awards and after its thirteenth episode, “The Naked Swim,” IJT won a surprise 2007 Emmy Award in the Broadband Variety category, besting Showtime, Discovery and The Guiding Light.

After a half-dozen more episodes, including a well-publicized twentieth episode called “Speed Dating,” (2009) which featured a biting dialogue exchange between Jerry and comedienne Kristen Schaal, who starred in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” and “Toy Story 3”, Its Jerry Time! took a hiatus.

In June 2009, Jerry started recording the Its Jerry Time! soundtrack at Stable Sound Studio in Newport, RI. It was originally intended as a solo piano album, but as instruments were added, it became more complex. By the time the smoke cleared a year and a half later, the 45 minute album had over seventy tracks and even a couple vocals.

Engineer Steve Rizzo doubled as musician for many of the tracks, including drums and strings. His cat Gretta was the mascot. She took a liking to the music. Sadly, near the end of the recording process, she crawled under the studio and died.

The collection of songs from the soundtrack blends eclectic styles of music, including ragtime, stride, blues, rock, classical, folk and children’s music and took almost the entire catalog of background music from the series.

The trademark out-of-tune piano used in the web series, incidentally recorded in Jerry’s living room, is a Yamaha U-1 upright. The piano on the album is a Yamaha C7 grand piano, which was previously owned by Dave Brubeck who used it at Monterrey Jazz Festival appearances.

Two vocals are offered as bonus tracks.

“The Peck-Peck Song,” which took the main theme from the episode “The Gobbler,”(2007) is now in the midst of becoming a Thanksgiving Day children’s sing along classic, boasting two popular music videos on youtube. It is currently being taught at schools around the country at Thanksgiving time. Wendy Warnimont (aka Antar Shanti) of Chicago is the humorous singer/vocalist of the tune.

The second vocal, “Put the Butter in the Fridge” took the main music theme from the episode “The Casting Call.” Jerry wrote new lyrics in his 2008 bid as Presidential candidate and used the song to poke fun at Barack Obama, whose sloppy real-life habits were widely reported in the media at the time.


Jerry was born a slave in the Ottoman Empire. He was smuggled out on a shipment of dates. Somehow, he landed in Buffalo, New York and spent the next thirty years in a basement, surrounded by music of the legends Fats Waller and Scott Joplin. This was the only contact he had with the human world and he started playing piano excessively.

One day, Jerry emerged into the light. Blinded by the sun, yet driven on by primitive instincts assigned others of his kind, Jerry discovered the internet where he became the Emmy winning star of the “Its Jerry Time!” feature, which documented his halting efforts to fit in with modern society.