It's 9 p.m. on a Monday, and Jim Breuer sounds tired. Not high -- just tired. Speaking by telephone from his New Jersey home, Breuer tells City Paper that he's just put two of his three young daughters to bed. That's right, Saturday Night Live's "Goat Boy" is now a family man.
But the 42-year-old Half Baked co-star's antics haven't expired -- they've just matured. And his latest Comedy Central special, Let's Clear the Air (just out on DVD), reflects his transformation. He spoke with CP prior to a four-night stint here at the Improv. [Hear Breuer in his own words by clicking the links below.]
You've gone from "Goat Boy" to the stoner from Half Baked. How does "Dad with three little girls" fit in?
It's just where my life's at right now. You know, everyone had that past, whether you're the Half Baked guy or the party guy. [My family] is what really counts now. This is my leather pants and kangaroo.
Which is harder, taking care of your kids or your elderly parents?
Oh, definitely the parents. Their diapers are much bigger and stinkier. My dad's at the point in his life where we'll go somewhere and I'll have to make sure he went to the bathroom, because once we're out and about I've got about eight seconds to find a bucket or a toilet. When he says he's gotta go, there's nothing we can do but just let the house burn.
Your dad travels with you. How does he interact with your celebrity friends?
First of all, he doesn't know any of them. He could care less if he's hanging out with James Hetfield, of Metallica... or Kevin James. It doesn't matter.
He had a conversation with Sylvester Stallone, where he offered Stallone to come to the Elks Club, because it's a $1.50 beer and he can eat spaghetti on Wednesday nights. Stallone was like, "I think I'd rather bring you to my place, Planet Hollywood." And [my dad] said, "For $15 a beer and $20 a burger, you can go screw yourself." [Stallone] just laughed. He said [impersonating Stallone], "He's got a point."
How has your comedy changed since you've become a family man?
Well, the cool thing is that I still keep my little bit of an edge, and my kind of juvenile view. But it's not offensive and it's not dirty.... People describe me as Bill Cosby if he had a hard-rock shirt on.
Were you scared to make that transition with your comedy?
Petrified.... People that have families are gonna howl, they can totally relate. But my worry was the people that didn't have [families]. So I did a 25-college tour, and I swear on my kids it was a standing ovation every night. That tour catapulted me with confidence.
You're known for impressions of celebrities like Joe Pesci and De Niro. Which is your favorite?
It's always new. Like right now it's [Dave] Chappelle and Tracy Morgan. [Impersonating Morgan]: "Tracy Morgan, somebody gettin' pregnant. Gonna win me Emmy wit' Alec Baldwin, boy! Gotta new movie, gonna be the guinea pig."
Am I wrong, or didn't you act in Half Baked without being high?
There was only one scene [where I was high], and it was a complete accident. There was one scene when I was done for the day, and it was toward the end of the movie. I went to my trailer, and I got high. And before I left, [producers] knocked on the door, and they were like, "We've got a bad problem. The guy who plays Sampson is having a temper tantrum and he's quitting the movie. ... And the whole movie is being stopped unless all his scenes are done tonight. You've got to go in there and film one more scene to save the movie."
I was full-blown peakin', 'cause I thought I was done. I went in there, and ... all I had to say was, "Sucks to be you, man." And it took me 30 takes. ... It was a complete disaster. I hyperventilated. I didn't want anyone to know I was high. I was freaked out. ... I thought I was gonna get fired.
I've heard you joke that God has cursed you with a face that naturally looks high all the time. Are any of your kids similarly cursed?
Yeah, my middle one. She walks through the mall and people stare at me like I'm the devil. They're taking pictures of me, thinking they should report me. She looks crazy. She walks with her mouth open, she looks zapped out of her bird. She's got stunning blue eyes, but she's definitely got that look.
The other two are fine?
Right now, yes. But they might grow into it.
Jim Breuer Thu., July 30, through Sun., Aug. 2. The Improv, 166 E. Bridge St., West Homestead (The Waterfront). $22-25. 412-462-5233 or www.symfonee.com
- Jim Breuer, sans leather pants and kangaroo.