Born in Los Angeles, California, with a heritage background mixture of Yaqui Indian, Basque, and Mexican, Robert Zapata has garnered a reputation for reaching a universal audience with his off-beat humor. Since a very young age, Robert was told he was a character because he was always imitating others and making people laugh. He recalls being five years old and pretending to be Superman. "I would take a towel, tie it around my neck, and stand on the arm rest of the couch and yell out, 'Mom, Dad, look! I'm Superman!' I would then jump in the air and say, 'and I land.' I flew two feet in the air." Wow, he was Superman for two feet and two seconds.
His parents had him and his sister at a tender age of 17 and 18 years old. His father is no stranger to the entertainment business. He is a professional drummer who played and continues to play with many known artists and bands such as Willy BoBo, Tierra, The Tokens, Redbone, The Cannibals, The Headhunters, and many more.
Robert gives his sister all the credit for learning how to defend himself. He claims she was a bully big sister and she was not very nice. "She was the judge, the jury, and the prosecutor. Now I am a 19th degree black belt in sisikickbutt style of martial arts due to her." Robert was introduced to independence at a very young age. He remembers walking to school all by himself in the first grade. He was determined to do whatever he enjoyed.
After attending high school in Montebello where he was raised, Robert decided to pursue a career in architecture at Woodbury University, which he attended for a period of three years. He felt something was missing and was not sure if that was what he wanted to pursue. Taking his friend's advice to go into comedy, he decided to change majors and transferred to California State University, Los Angeles, where he studied theatre arts and wrote and starred in his one-man show. "I then knew this was my calling. It gave me all the confidence in the world." He quickly noticed that the audience took to his humor and he began working right away.
He started has performed with Joey Medina, Paul Rodriguez, Jon Lovitz, and Aries Spears at the Laugh Factory. He is now a paid regular at the Laugh Factory. Not only does he perform at all the major comedy clubs around Los Angeles, but also at 4th and B in San Diego and the USO tour in Okinawa, Japan, on Camp Foster.
He has also been featured on Si TV's Inside Joke, Latino Laugh Festival, LATV's Loco Comedy Jam Volume 1, and the Laugh Factory website. You can see him in his movie, Primos, on Netflix. Recently, he has been accepted into the Groundlings School of improvisation in Hollywood.
Influenced by Eddie Murphy, Paul Rodriguez, Sam Kinison, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, and others, Robert's zany personality and quirky material comes from observing the absurdities of everyday life. His unique style is very physical. His facial expressions always get the crowd. "Not only do I tell jokes, I can dance, sculpt, and I can sing in the right setting, the underground tunnel downtown." His sense of timing is what people have reinforced towards him. "I get this great gratification from experiencing people around me in a good mood...even on a cloudy day."
Robert's ultimate goal in the business is to produce great material for the masses. He would like to use stand up comedy as a tool to one day break into Hollywood as an actor and eventually become a successful director/producer. "I am working towards longevity in this business."