Why So Serious, Jim Breuer?By John Wenzel | June 23rd, 2011 | No Comments »
Who’s that half-lidded creature peering at you through a cloud of white smoke? Why, it’s another “Why So Serious?” Q&A, this time featuring stand-up, podcaster and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jim Breuer.
The 44-year-old New York native, who headlines Comedy Works Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25, is best known for “SNL” characters such as Goat Boy and his spot-on Joe Pesci impersonation, as well as dozens of Comedy Central and late-night TV appearances and his role in the cult stoner comedy “Half Baked.”
Like many of his fellow stand-ups, Breuer also recently made the jump into podcasting with “Podcast Masters,” finding it a good fit for the off-the-cuff jokes and talkative manner he honed on his weekly Sirius/XM Radio show “Fridays With Breuer.” We caught up with Breuer via e-mail in advance of his Denver shows this week to talk about “the party in his stomach,” “Jackass 3-D” and the therapeutic nature of writing.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
The last time I laughed so hard I cried was seeing the movie “Jackass 3-D.” When I’m not fast forwarding through the one guy who constantly shows his junk, there were scenes in that movie that literally made me cry! Hard!
How much time do you spend putting together your podcast versus your radio show? What do you like and dislike about each format?
“The Podcast Masters,” with me and Pete Correale, are never planned. It’s a natural chemistry. My Sirius/XM show is rarely planned too. Usually I find out who is on the show right before we go live (Fridays 4-6 p.m. Eastern on Channel 99, Raw Dog Comedy).
What was the experience of writing your first book like, and would you do it again? Did other comedian friends give you any advice on it?
I loved writing my book (last year’s “I’m Not High: But I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior”). It was therapeutic and inspiring at the same time. I loved leaking out a deeper side of me which I knew would relate and inspire a lot of people. As well as make them laugh. I didn’t get advice from anyone on how to write a book. I just wrote it for my friends and family. Not realizing it would actually get published.
What are a few things you never travel without?
I always travel with my same black boots for stage, and same Batman shirt. I feel naked without them.
What’s your favorite joke of the moment?
My favorite joke at the moment is always the first two minutes of a show! Which I don’t prepare until I’m ready to walk up on stage.
What’s your biggest non-stand-up or non-comedy influence?
My biggest influences in life have been simple. A pact I made with myself when I was younger that I have tried my very best to live by: My priorities have always been in this order: God, family and friends and respect life in general. The rest will fall into place. Never chase money, fame, modesty. Or any other false images that represent nothing of life’s true value.
What’s a joke you used to love to tell but now can’t stand?
I used to love doing my “party in the stomach” routine, which now has over 5 million YouTube hits. But I rarely, if ever, do that routine. I have passion on stage for the here and now in my life. Although if someone really requests it… on occasion, I will break that one out.
Visit Comedy Works for more information about Jim Breuer’s shows today through Saturday, June 25.
John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an award-winning A&E reporter for The Denver Post. He is the author of “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” (Speck Press/Fulcrum) and maintains a Twitter feed of random song titles and band names.