Jim Breuer has been a lot of things to a lot of people.
He's been known as a stoner, a dad, and a Goat Boy. His ability to adapt himself and his comedy over the past 20-plus years has been one of the reasons Breuer can play to almost any audience, from college kids to families to heavy-metal fans. This Saturday night, the longtime comedian brings his latest (completely clean) act to Mill City Nights, where fans will get to see the bits that made him famous, and new fans will get to know Jim Breuer.
Before he hits town this weekend, the comic got on the phone with City Pages to discuss his career, his family, and why he thinks standup comedy shows need to be more like rock concerts.
You're coming to town for the first time in roughly a decade, supporting a new special. What's changed with you as a comedian since the last time you were here?
I think one thing that surprises a lot of people is that I'm sort of like a Brian Reagan or Jim Gaffigan, in that I have a completely clean act. Don't get me wrong; that doesn't mean it's soft. I go for grand slams all night. I want people to feel exhausted from laughing when they leave. I like to call myself a modern-day Cosby wearing a Metallica T-shirt.
Has going down the route of being completely clean changed the audience for you at all?
Not really. I don't even think people really realize it that much. Last night, for example, I had a bunch of metal heads sitting up front, a bunch of people in their 40s who were big Half Baked fans, and then some older SNL fans, too. I think that as long as you're funny, that's all that matters.
Speaking of metal heads, you just recently got done doing some dates with Metallica. How did that happen?
It was awesome, man. I did the Orion Festival earlier this summer, and then I just got back from doing a fest in Germany, too. Tons of people came out to the comedy stage to see me, and it was just seriously some of the best crowds ever. You got to remember that a lot of those guys have been fans for so long, and now they're older and bringing their families, which is cool.
Back to your upcoming Minneapolis show, is your set entirely new material?
I do a combination of brand-new stuff, along with the classics that I know people want to see. You ever been to a concert and the band plays nothing but new stuff? I hate that. That's why I like to mix it up, give you some new jokes and then throw in something from the SNL or Half Baked days.
Over the past couple of years, you've really opened up a lot about your personal life. Between your autobiography and documentary about you and dad touring together, do you ever feel like maybe you've shared too much?
If anything, I feel the opposite. I think people need to stop this celebrity worship nonsense and realize that everyone is just people. Whether you're an actor or a comedian or a CEO or whatever, you're still a person and being noteworthy shouldn't give you a pass from being seen like one.
After all these years of comedy, acting, and writing, what do you want to do next?
I'd like to be a producer. I'm working on a few projects right now for some other guys, and I'm really liking it. After I had kids, I didn't have that need to be recognized anymore, you know? There's just that freak factor that doesn't really appeal to me. But I love to be creating and entertaining and I think being on the other side of the camera will allow me to accomplish that.
You've got three kids now. Any chance they'll follow in your footsteps?
I think we've got two out of the three of them who are entertainers. Maybe one day I'll be able to have the touring Breuer Family Festival.
And you could become, "Jim Breuer: Stage Dad."
IF YOU GO:
Jim Breuer With Matt Fugate Mill City Nights 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis Saturday, September 29 7 p.m. doors