Adapt and survive. That plan didn’t work for dinosaurs, but it’s been good for “Goat Boy.”
Jim Breuer, the veteran comic-actor best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and for playing a stoner in the cult film “Half Baked,” has continued to morph from one incarnation into another throughout his nearly 30-year career.
He has evolved from a bawdy, goofy performer to self-deprecating family man. These days, the married father of three daughters waxes about being a husband and dad.
“It’s crazy,” Breuer says while calling from Los Angeles. “I’m dealing with teenage girls and it’s wild. I’m not just a husband and father, I’m like a hockey referee. I can’t let my (17-year old) daughter say certain things to my wife. There’s always something happening.”
What Breuer, who will perform Thursday through Saturday at Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh, resonates with many. “If you’re married and have kids or not, I think you can get what I’m talking about,” Breuer says.
Breuer, who is recovering from the loss of his 89-year old father just over a year ago, is adept at breaking down family life in a humorous manner.
“Life can be really funny,” Breuer says. “It’s hard, but you stand back and laugh at it.”
Audience can relate
The 48-year-old Long Island native, who lives in New Jersey, has watched his loyal audience change right along with him.
“What’s cool is that the people that came out to see me in their 20s are now older and have kids and they can relate,” Breuer says. “They love it. They come out and laugh and now they bring their parents. Since I’ve changed my base has expanded. Before I might have had people up to 35 (years old) to come to the show, but now I have people from 15 to 55 coming out. I get families because they all can connect with what I’m talking about. It’s like I’ve been in their living room. The reality is that our lives aren’t all that different.”
Breuer stands out from other comics in that he often incorporates heavy metal music into his shows. In years past, Breuer might have had a band back him up during shows, mixing comedy and metal. A classic Breuer bit is about a metal fan’s inability to recognize that Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford is gay. With songs like “Hell Bent for Leather,” he’d ask, how couldn’t they figure it out?
Breuer won’t sing at Goodnights, but he will release an album’s worth of metal originals in May.
“I’m excited about the album,” Breuer says. “I like mixing things up. I love music. The bottom line is that I love to entertain. Metal and comedy are pretty cool.”
Stories to tell
After almost 30 years in show business, Breuer’s stories are consistently amusing – and myriad. “It’s tough to know where to even start,” Breuer says.
One of Breuer’s best involves Jack Nicholson during his “Saturday Night Live” days.
For the purposes of this story, keep in mind that Breuer looks, well, perpetually relaxed. “Some people are born with big noses,” Breuer says. “Some people are born with moles on their face. I look stoned all the time. When I was on an elevator with Jack Nicholson he turned to me, lifted up his shades and said, ‘You look the way I feel.’ He basically told me he was stoned. I’ve lived with this my whole life. In junior high I was sent to the nurse’s office and I didn’t know why. My teacher sent me there twice threatening me that if I came to school in that condition he was going to ask for a urine sample, and I thought it was because I was being silly. I had no clue what pot was in eighth grade.”
Even though Breuer is on the straight and narrow, his shows can still be out-of-control hilarious, and his performances are deeper than they’ve ever been before.
“I have it in me to be deep,” Breuer says. “I’ve just tapped into something and why not go further with it? I like this because I’m challenging myself and having the biggest blast of my career with it.”