Jim Breuer Is Hitting His Stride, Not the Bong
In the insular world of stand-up comedy, Jim Breuer is well known. Anywhere else (say, in sit-down comedy), you'd know him from Saturday Night Live or the movie Half Baked. But Breuer's one busy dude. Besides regular touring, he has also managed to podcast, write a book, and make a documentary.
You'd might think he's the stoner maniac you've seen him play, but he'll tell you otherwise - that he's a suburban softie. But before you believe him, consider his newest project: a comedy heavy metal album.
New Times: Thanks for speaking with us Jim. You're playing the Magic City Casino June 20th.
Jim Breuer: Yeah man, coming down there, doing stand-up. Never played that place before. That's the gist.
They put some good comedy shows on there. They just had a contest.
It's in a casino?
Yeah, so should you want to gamble with old Cuban ladies....
Sounds good, but I think I'll be leaving with money that night.
Have you spent much time in Miami?
It's one of my old stomping grounds. Not hanging-out wise, but when I first started I was a Florida kid.
What does that mean, Florida kid?
I started really doing stand-up in '89 in Clearwater. So most of my original stand-up was all over Florida. A lot of Coconuts [Comedy Club] gigs, a lot of one-nighters, a lot of horrible gigs.
So you did the Florida hustle, all that driving?
Big time hustle, loooooot of driving.
Well we welcome you back for the fly in. Speaking of flying, pot culture is more popular than ever, and with it a resurgence of Half Baked fans. What's it like being this icon again?
To be honest, it's news to me. I'm in the world of, I've got three kids, elderly parents, live in the suburbs, drive a Ford Escort. I don't relate to pop culture at all. I will say it's exciting. Being part of Half Baked and SNL [was] super exciting. I always said I wanted to be in movies and make my stance. I think I made my stance in that one flick. It's one of the greatest cult icon movies that will ever exist and I'm really glad I'm part of it. But I don't get caught up in anything.
In this world of sequels, Dumb and Dumber just announced a sequel. People must have pitched you a sequel for Half Baked, like where the guys open a dispensary in Denver?
A billion times. It's more [Dave Chappelle's] question because it's his movie. He's the one that wrote it and put it together. I think we both agreed that let it stay an icon. Once you make a two and three it kind of defeats what the original one was. Sure, we'll make billions of dollars, but people always talk about Half Baked. But if we make Half Baked 2, I don't know if they'll talk about it anymore.
Besides the acting, you've got radio, podcasting, you're an author, you're all over the place.
Yeah... but it's all stand-up-based. It's me touring. I filmed myself and my Dad and made a documentary film. On the road to keep my mind going I wrote a book. Even the podcast, it's all based around the stand-up world. So it seems like I'm doing a billion things but it's all stand-up based.
So aside from stand-up, is there something you're most passionate about?
Music. And that will be coming out next year.
Ah! I just heard you were making a heavy metal comedy album?
Yeah, half comedy, half kind of real. It's metal. It's going to be pretty impressive. I'll have some big friends on there.
What instrument are you?
Oh, come on. I'm frontman. Gotta bring the pipes to the stage, bro.
Did you used to be in bands?
High school. Didn't last very long. I couldn't find anyone that had the drive that I did. My first love and interest was to lead a hard rock metal band. I just didn't have the interest of others. It was really frustrating.
Have you heard the saying that all comics want to be rockstars and rockstars wants to be comics?
Yes there's definitely a mutual feeling on both sides. Rock stars I become friends with are funny, and admire what we do as stand-ups and visa versa.
What do you think is the difference that makes it so hard to cross that line? Is it taking yourself seriously?
Absolutely. When somebody takes himself a little too serious... it sort of becomes a joke.
Right, like that frontman with leather pants screaming that he's a sex god, he has to believe that. As a comic it's hard to embody that.
But you're gonna. Do you have leather pants?
(Laughs) I'm going to look like a suburban dad.
Send your story tips to Cultist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.