If you watched Comedy Central and “Saturday Night Live” in the ’90s, you probably remember comedian Jim Breuer as the stoner from “Half-Baked” or as neighing Goat Boy. But that’s not who Breuer is now.
Monday – the same day he brings his stand-up show to The Comedy Zone – Breuer will release a Christmas single. You read that correctly. Don’t worry, though. He hasn’t lost his sense of humor, and there’s no Bing Crosby-style crooning. “Santa Clause Ain’t Comin’ to Town” is a family-friendly metal song that addresses the threat parents hold over their kids’ heads during the holidays.
Music isn’t new to Breuer. One of his “SNL” characters was heavy metal singer Gunnar Olsen, who sang the news as if he was belting it out to a packed arena in leather pants. Breuer has always been a metal guy (his current favorite is Avenged Sevenfold), but he wanted to find a way to make the genre more accessible to younger people. In fact, he’s planning an entire album combining metal and comedy.
“I grew up on heavy metal and hard rock; ’80s metal concerts and the theatrical shows were always mind-blowing. The music was a driving force for me as well. As I got older, I couldn’t expose a lot of it to my kids,” says the father of three preteen and teen girls. “Why can’t there be hard rock and metal songs without a stripper on stage, or a guy every few minutes asking girls to expose themselves? Even when you listen to certain rock stations on satellite radio, guys are cursing.”
He continues, “I like to call this Wiggles for adults. ‘Santa’ is the first song. (It’s about) listen, you’re not deserving of your whole (Christmas) list. Let’s talk about how you can help out in order for Santa to get this list and make it happen. The album is going to have a lot of stuff about marriage, family, kids, having elderly parents, funny stuff.”
Family is Breuer’s focus these days. His stand-up act is clean and he no longer smokes pot, although he supports its legalization.
“I was hands-down addicted. You find yourself obsessing and planning your day around catching a buzz, um, you might want to check into that. It was interfering with what I do as a father and a husband,” he adds, praising his wife for sticking with him through the fame-addled “SNL” experience. They’ve been married 20 years.
Breuer realized during the mid-2000s that he couldn’t keep up the guise of the stoner party guy.
“I was a family guy with children and elderly parents I’m hands-on with. I can’t live up to an image that everyone thinks I am or wants me to be,” he says. So he transitioned his comedy with a book, a couple of stand-up specials and a documentary about touring the comedy circuit with his elderly father in tow.
“The best compliment I get at shows is, ‘I had no clue you were that funny and I had no clue you were that clean,’” says Breuer, 46, who compares himself to Bill Cosby in a Metallica T-shirt. “The big word I hear is ‘refreshing.’”