Former ‘SNL’ star to perform at Casino
February 20, 2013
By Sebastian Moraga
His biography is titled “I’m Not High.” His second comedy special is called “Let’s Clear the Air,” which he opens with the line, “If you’ve never seen me before, this is the way I look all the time.”
And yet Jim Breuer, the sleepy-eyed comedian from Long Island coming to the Snoqualmie Casino on Feb. 24, said most people still believe he is on his best kite impersonation when they encounter him.
“Oh, yeah, of course. People still think I’m baked,” Breuer said in an interview from California.
Breuer first achieved national recognition on “Saturday Night Live” in the late 1990s with characters like “Goat Boy” and an impersonation of actor Joe Pesci. Comedy Central picked the longtime standup comedian as one of the top 100 comics of all time.
He also starred alongside Dave Chappelle in the 1998 stoner flick “Half-Baked.”
Movie title nonetheless, Breuer’s routine has morphed over the years into strictly family-friendly fare, perhaps as a reflection on his status as a family man, married since 1993, caring for three daughters and his elderly dad.
That status also affects his scheduling. He chatted with the Star at 6:30 a.m., so he could take his children to school. And his tour calendar only has weekend dates this year.
“To me, doing a Friday-Saturday is a break from Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday, off Tuesday, off Wednesday, Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday,” he said.
Ten- or 14-day runs weren’t uncommon in years past, he added.
As for losing fans of his earlier, edgier, saltier comedy, Breuer said it’s a trade-off he does not mind.
“If the price is a filthier crowd doesn’t like me, that’s fine,” he said. “I’ve gained what I think is important in life in general, and which I feel we’re losing more and more, and that’s laughing at our lives, our family situations, our struggles.”
If you go
Often, Breuer said, people come to him after shows and tell him his humor is reflecting their life. People say things like “I feel like you live in our house,” Breuer said.
Besides his standup act, Breuer created the documentary “More Than Me” about the life of his father, a World War II veteran.
“I kind of studied his life and his history and all that,” he said. “He’s more of a powerful man than I ever knew.”
Breuer’s dad had a tough childhood. The title of the documentary comes from his father’s desire to see Breuer succeed.
The movie, which tells the story of Breuer taking his 84-year-old father on tour with him, is available on iTunes. Men who fought in World War II are notoriously stoic, so getting answers from Dad wasn’t easy, he said.
“Once I asked him, ‘Dad, which battle was the worst?’” Breuer said. “He said, ‘They were all the worst.’”
Sharing his story and his dad’s hits a spot with his comedy crowds, he said.
“There’s nothing more rewarding for me than after a show, when I see a couple my age and they say, ‘I brought my mom and dad. My dad is 75. I don’t think I’ve seen him laugh in 20 years.’ If I can do that for one or two families, I know I’ve accomplished something in life.”
Now, if he could just get people to stop thinking he’s high. Then again, maybe not.
“I think that was a brilliant plan on the gods that made me,” he said. “Because the expectation level was already below zero for me. I can only go up when I walk around with that look.
“You know what’s really cool? A lot of people would judge you or think less of you in conversation, and then what would happen is they would go, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t expect an intelligent human being to be speaking.’ I enjoy that a lot.”