- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

During his stint on “Saturday Night Live,” Jim Breuer created a half-man, half-goat talk show host called Goat Boy, who would alternately speak and bleat with his guests. Seventeen years after leaving the perennial show, people still approach Mr. Breuer on the street and request him to channel the eccentric hybrid.

“Definitely it’s calmed down a lot, but I still get it,” Mr. Breuer told The Washington Times. “Definitely still get it.”

Mr. Breuer, who has several Comedy Central stand-up specials to his credit, is bringing his unique brand of humor to the District this weekend, assaying four performances at Arlington’s Drafthouse Theater.

“I’m very relatable. Everything I talk about is pretty much what’s going on in life and in my family,” Mr. Breuer said. “I’m not trying to solve the world’s problems. I’m dealing with three teenage girls, a wife, elderly parents with dementia and Alzheimer’s and issues that go on in my house. And it’s pretty relatable, man. I stick to things that everyone can relate to.”

While subjects like elderly parents afflicted with failing memories might ostensibly not seem all that humorous, Mr. Breuer is quick to point out that it’s shared experiences like caring for an ailing parent that allow his audiences to laugh at life in all its shades.

“Other people’s pain is always funny,” Mr. Breuer said sardonically. “When people have things in common, it’s always just funny — you find yourself laughing. A lot of people don’t like talking about [aging parents], but I like putting it out there. You find it’s a lot better when you know you’re not alone.”

Unlike many of his colleagues, who make serious stabs at film, Mr. Breuer finds himself most at home on stage in front of an audience. Still, his ventures into film have earned him somewhat of a cult following, most notably for the 1998 stoner comedy “Half Baked,” co-starring Dave Chappelle.

“That’s my favorite movie of all time,” Mr. Breuer said of the cult classic. “I’ve watched that movie 500 times.”

Of his “Half Baked” co-star, who famously walked away from a fortune to continue doing “Chappelle’s Show,” Mr. Breuer candidly spoke of the pitfalls of fame and fortune, and of the seeming uncaring attitude of the bean counters.

“If you take away money and everything else, it just came down to the guy running a successful business,” Mr. Breuer said of Mr. Chappelle’s hit Comedy Central show, “and everyone tried to tell him how to run it right, and that gets very exhausting after a while. Especially when your bosses don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.”

For his stand-up, Mr. Breuer tends to veer away from tales of fame and bring it down to earth level, speaking of his rather typical New Jersey home life.

“I thought girls were clean and neat,” Mr. Breuer says of his own teenagers. “But they’re filthier than I ever anticipated. I know every time something’s going on with all three of them. They don’t flush toilets, they leave [hygiene product] wrappers that I don’t need to see laying around. They never replace the toilet paper ever. Ever!”

He also riffs on 21st-century technology, most notably those pocket computers we all carry.

“They walk around just staring at videos,” Mr. Breuer says of his daughters and their cellphones. “It’s the most bizarre thing in the world — being addicted to six-minute videos.”

Mr. Breuer and his wife have been married for 22 years, but he maintains, with his typical humorous attitude, that he must always be on his game to discern what his wife may be thinking. In this sense, he refers to domesticity as a “battle.”

“A woman never throws her cards on the table, so you’re not battling what she’s throwing at you,” he said. “You have no clue as to her weaponry. So before you go into any battle, you have to remain calm until you know exactly what you are battling. If you walk into a home and she starts barking to you about where you’re supposed to place your shoes, there’s a deeper issue going on there.

“You don’t engage until you find out what that issue is. And then, and only then, can you go into battle.”

In addition to his stand-up, Mr. Breuer, a huge fan of hard rock and Metallica, is working on a CD that channels his stand-up material and energy into some rather up-tempo tunes.

“What I’m trying to accomplish is great heavy metal for guys like me that grew up with that music,” he said, but pointed out that the often-dour lyrics of most metal songs are beyond his reach at age 47. “I can’t relate to the lyrics about hell and ‘life sucks,’” he said. “I think [my songs are] funny, if not belly-laughing funny — it’s super relatable. For instance, one of the songs is called ‘Raising Teenage Girls.’”

Mr. Breuer, who claims to be spiritual if not religious, said he tries to veer away from controversy and insult humor in his act, leaving that “to the other guys.”

“I’m the guy in the garage, and you come over, and you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’” Mr. Breuer said of his brand of humor. “And next thing we know we’re like, ‘Oh man, we’ve been in here like three hours.”

He also intends to avoid the party lifestyle or sightseeing while visiting Washington, opting instead for a quiet restaurant, a coffee and retiring to his hotel after the shows to work on his music.

“I’ve been to D.C. in the winter. And I’d rather be in Alaska naked,” Mr. Breuer said of the seasonal chill. “Yeah, yeah, there’s the [Washington] Monument, I get it. I’m going to leave [D.C.] early Sunday morning to get home for the Super Bowl, cook, go into a food coma and then wake up probably two days later.”

Comics typically live a periapetic lifestyle, spending weeks or even months away from home. Mr. Breuer is thankful for his good fortune but said he will hang up the mic when the passion fades.

“When I start getting tired, I pull myself out,” he said of the need to take breaks. “Right now I’m super passionate about it.

“I’m going to blow your mind,” he said of his live shows. “I rip it. I rip it hard!”

Mr. Breuer’s special “Comedy Frenzy” will premiere later this year. He will be appearing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse Friday at 7:30 and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 7:00 and 10 p.m., 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA, 22204, 703/486-2345. Tickets are available at http://arlingtondrafthouse.com/drafthouse.

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