He’s Far From ‘Half Baked’
For “Saturday Night Live” alum and “Half-Baked” star Jim Breuer, his upcoming March 8 stand-up performances at The Paramount mark a welcome return to the Valley Stream native’s backyard.
And when you perform in your backyard, it means his hometown fans will get a show like nobody else around the country will.
“For the first 25 minutes, I’m talking off the top of my head because I know everybody in the room,” Breuer said Friday. “It’s literally like having a family reunion.”
Want proof that Long Island gets Jim? He added a second performance – a late show at 11 p.m. – to keep up with demand.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to add another theater show – it’s very flattering,” he said. “I take that as my Long Island homecoming.”
Breuer, 46, brings with him to the Paramount stage two decades of stand-up experience. He’s one of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-up comics of all time, boasts a three-year stint on one of television’s most iconic shows, and earned an invite from Dave Chappelle to co-star in the cult classic stoner comedy “Half-Baked” in 1998.
Growing up in Valley Stream – he lived on the county line between Nassau and Queens until he was 19 – Breuer’s blue-collar upbringing instilled a discernible edge in his brand of humor.
“Blue-collar knows how to complain and laugh and deal with hurt,” he said. “Everyone around me was hilarious – when I need my laughs, I go to my old friends, my relatives. They’re still the funniest people in the world.”
Hearing Steve Martin on a record was a transformative moment for the young Long Islander.
“I was blown out of my mind that a comedian was on a record, that it was a job that you stand up in front of people, do funny things and they laugh,” Breuer said.
After touring comedy clubs for several years, Breuer settled in on the New York comedy club circuit. Back in New York for seven months, Breuer landed a two-season gig on the nationally syndicated “Uptown Comedy Club.”
When he got that job, Breuer knew he was right where he belonged.
“That’s when I knew I was going to do well in this industry as a stand-up comic,” he said.
Later he appeared on ABC’s “Home Improvement” before his big break – joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1995. His character Goat Boy became a fan favorite, and he earned notice for his impression of actor Joe Pesci.
“It’s everything – it’s exciting, it’s stressful. It’s like going on a thrill ride,” he said. “Sometimes you want off, sometimes you want the thing to never end, sometimes you want to scream.”
These days, Breuer calls New Jersey home. He tours and serves as a consulting producer on AXS TV’s uncensored weekly comedy series, “Gotham Comedy Live.” He hosted its third season premiere Jan. 9 and is to emcee the season finale.
Initially drawn to the network by a music blend boasting guitar sessions by some of Breuer’s favorites, like Metallica, Slash of Guns ‘N’ Roses and Fleetwood Mac, the unique feel of the network’s programming is what sold him.
“They make you feel like you are there, and that’s what they do with Gotham Comedy Live. I love it,” he said.
And if you actually are in the room to see Breuer March 8, he promised to leave nothing in the bag for his triumphant return to his boyhood home.
“I’m going to beat the snot out of that place. It’s going to be so much fun,” he said.
Tickets for Breuer’s performances are $20-$59.50. For more information, visit http://paramountny.com.