Jim Breuer's a different kind of family guy
By G. Michael Dobbs
Log onto Jim Breuer's Web site and you'll see a commercial for his new comedy DVD starring his young son. When I ask him about it, the comedian -- known for his rock 'n' rock comedy, his years on "Saturday Night Live" and movies like "Half-Baked" let loose with his distinctive cackle.
The commercial, like his act and the latest phase of career, is all about family. The comedian, noted for how his naturally half-closed eyes made him look constantly stoned, now presents a non-cursing family-friendly show.
What's the reaction from his fans? His lengthy comedy tour -- swinging through the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee for two shows on Dec. 12 -- has been sold out 90 percent of the time, Breuer told Reminder Publications in a phone interview last week.
"It's been a phenomenal year a great tour," he said.
Breuer said that his comedy reflects where he is in his life and family is foremost.
He did a daily show over satellite radio for several years he now does it weekly -- so he could be with his three children and so he could develop an off-stage persona.
"I'm rebuilding a whole career," he explained.
Technology has allowed him to stay in touch with his 11, eight and five year olds while on the road. "Thanks to Skype ... they have a lot more understanding. They get what Daddy does," he said.
The radio show also allowed him to stay near his parents. Part of the result of this experience is not just his stand-up act, but also a situation comedy for television he is currently developing. Breuer's concept is built around a "sandwich guy," someone in his forties who not only has children but has his parents living with him as well.
Breuer said that he has been described as a "Bill Cosby with a Metallica shirt."
"That sums up the show," he added.
He said his comedic goal isn't for audiences to say, "That was nice" at the end of the show. "I want you to leave saying 'That's the hardest I laughed in 20 years,'" he said.
Breuer said he now has several generations coming to shows, with people his age bringing parents and children.
Part of his current act is a reaction to the "everything sucks generation." He said he is tired of comics who present a litany of dislikes.
"There's way too much [of it] dominating comedy," he asserted. "We don't need comedy about what's awful with marriage, kids and family."
Instead, what Breuer said audiences need is some "good laughter."