We’ll Pay You Tuesday

But you can enjoy Neil Hamburger today at PS14.

At first glance, it’s hard not to feel sorry for America’s funnyman, Neil Hamburger. A greasy comb-over flops across his sweaty forehead, which is furrowed with discomfort. His fly-eyed glasses continually slink down the bridge of his nose, and with three half-finished drinks cradled against his body with his right hand and a sticky mike in his left, he has a difficult time fingering the spectacles back up. Sorrow quickly morphs into pity when you glimpse Neil’s tuxedo, which looks every bit as dapper as it did when someone took it off of her dead grandfather and placed it on the rack at Goodwill. But then Neil opens his mouth, and you hear something much worse: the feeblest attempt at comedy in the world. The aged comic hacks and sputters, tripping over jokes that, even with the tightest of deliveries, would be at best unfunny and at worst downright revolting (off-color bits about Colonel Sander’s foreskin, anyone?).

And then, somewhere in that uncomfortable realm of pity and disgust, you get the joke. Neil Hamburger — whose real name is Gregg Turkington — is the joke. And it’s hilarious. See, Hamburger is a fictional character — a half-parody of, half-tribute to the glorious lounge acts of the Sixties, whose alcohol-soaked antics were only eclipsed by their class, baby. With the drawl of a drunken Ed Sullivan, Hamburger rambles through bits about Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson with postmodern charm. He has performed his shtick at Madison Square Garden and on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but Friday night at 10 he’ll hit PS14, along with opening act Notorious Nastie & Phoney Montana. Tickets cost seven bucks.
Fri., June 27, 10 p.m., 2008

 
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