Jim Breuer on Goat Boy, Joe Pesci and metal music heavy weightsBy EMILY REILY
Special to the Union Leader May 10. 2017 12:50PM
If you go...WHO: Comedian Jim Breuer
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester
TICKETS: $35.50-$45.50; $60 with VIP seating and meet and greet
INFO: 668-5588; palacetheatre.org
Fans of comedian Jim Breuer love his Goat Boy persona and his impressions of actor Joe Pesci, but Breuer himself is really passionate about Ozzy Osbourne and Lars Ulrich.
“I love ’80s metal,” Breuer told NH Weekend recently, referencing bands Black Sabbath and Metallica. He gushed about performing with one of his heroes, singer Rob Halford of Judas Priest, for a recent episode of “Comedy Jam” on Comedy Central.
“I‘ve done things with him before, but (when) I saw him come out with the outfit that he wore in the early ’80s, it brought me right back to (being a) teenager,” Breuer said. “I made a goal in life to go after entertainment and take chances and follow my dreams, all because of their song. It was amazing.”
Breuer is an avid baseball fan and was a star of 1998’s pot-laden comedy “Half-Baked, but he’s perhaps best known for a character he developed during his stint from 1995 to 1998 on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). In his Goat Boy skits, Breuer had a lot to say but trouble getting it out, since he tended to break into uncontrollable streams of “baahs” when trying to talk.
Breuer, who will bring his standup to the Palace Theatre in downtown Manchester Friday night, talked to NH Weekend about family life, auditioning for SNL, and the raw power of Metallica.
What can people expect at your show?
I’m talking about my age, I’m talking about raising three teenage girls (ages 18, 15 and 12), talking ’bout marriage, talking about elderly parents. It’s pretty relatable family stuff that everyone goes home and goes, ‘Wow, I think he lives in our house.’
Why is this the Marriage Warrior Tour?
It should be called “The Family Warrior.” I’m gonna change the name. Last year I was doing a lot of marriage stuff. This year it’s mostly life and family, like how a regular ... mom and dad create a family, how much endurance it takes on every level — physical, emotional — to hold up an entire family. I definitely hit way more on that.
Do you think raising kids is more difficult than standup?
(Laughs.) It’s 10 times more difficult. To me, standup is easy. I can walk away from that. If I don’t do well, I’m done with that city and I’m done with that show. Kids — there’s quite a side effect if I don’t get that right.
What is it like raising teenage girls?
It’s a lot of deep, deep sighs. (He demonstrates.) A lot of cycles going on in the house, and it’s like being trained for psychological warfare for the rest of your life.
What do people request at your shows?
It’s usually (Goat Boy) or something from “SNL.” That’s usually the most popular one. And “Half Baked.” There’s about four or five things they scream out all at the same time. It’s a certain bit, an old routine I did.
So what do they scream out to hear?
The Sears bomb threat story is a popular one. They like the stomach bit, that’s really old. They like the Hokey Pokey, they wanna hear a lot of the mother stuff, they wanna hear the sleep deprivation. They always scream out different things — the zoo, ‘I wanna hear the petting zoo’ … I get all kinds of stuff. There’s the safari one, where I brought the kids to a drive-through safari. That’s a really popular bit.
For your SNL audition, what did you do?
I did some characters that I kind of made up on the spot, and I think the only impression I did was Joe Pesci. I’m not an impressionist. People think I’m an impressionist. Although I am able to mimic certain people, I don’t study people. I don’t know how I got “SNL” with my audition, to be honest with you.
Do the voices just kind of come out?
Yeah, pretty much. I’ve always been a storyteller, a street storyteller — the guy on the porch, the guy in the garage. I’m the guy in the neighborhood. And so when I would tell stories and imitate everything that just happened, I would act everything out. I very rarely imitate something unless I’m a huge fan of it.
So that means you’re a big fan of Pesci?
Pesci or Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Ozzy and a lot of the rock guys. It’s all because they were a huge part of me growing up.
How did that get started? Were you surrounded by that music in school?
I was a good kid in school. The music, the energy, really attracted me, and then Metallica. Especially Metallica. Metallica took me to a whole new level. They weren’t singing about silly nonsense pop star stuff. It was kind of like you’re in a club that no one understands. And you’re almost glad they don’t understand it because it made you think you were, not smarter, but you kinda knew a little more than what was going on over there.
Did it make you feel more exclusive?
They were hitting on organized religion and war and politics and drug addiction, and to me that was way more appealing and powerful than anything going on in school or any of the pop music that’s played.
What other metal bands do you like?
I love Judas Priest. But Judas Priest was kind of my gateway drug, and the song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,’” which I just got to do with the lead singer on Comedy Jam.
How did you feel when that happened?
I had a little bit of butterflies in my stomach only because I was just overwhelmed. It was one of those pinch-yourself (moments) — ‘Do you even realize what’s going on?’ It’s a personal goal. It’s a personal amazement. It’s like you going, “I grew up loving these paintings and this is the greatest painter in the world.” And now here you are painting with that person years later. It’s so surreal and weird. You can’t explain it.