The SNL alum and beloved comedian gets candid with Creekside Mornings’ Charles Davis and Sam Stephens about the power of laughter, authenticity, and the magic of Studio 8H
Ask Jim Breuer if he’s ever questioned his true calling in life and he’ll tell you quickly that the answer to that query is a resounding “no.”
From a very early age, Breuer felt the impact and transformational power of a good laugh.
“I had a lot of laughter in my life,” Breuer told Creekside Mornings’ Charles Davis and Sam Stephens in a recent on-air chat.
“We were very, very blue-collar. A Lot of cops, teachers, firemen . . . we’d always gather and there was a lot of laughter. No matter the pain, we were always laughing. As time moved on, I clearly knew that was my calling. By the time I was in high school, I was already locked and loaded on it. This is what I’m doing with the rest of my life.”
Breuer’s journey in comedy moved quickly once he set out on his path. He hit the ground running and toured all the clubs. Then, there was the cult-classic movie Half Baked and his stint on Saturday Night Live. He was cast on the famed comedy sketch series during a golden era of the show in modern times. With characters like “Goat Boy” and “Joe Pesci,” Breuer captured the attention of audiences at home with his brilliant improvisational and character comedy, proving he was a force on the scene.
For Breuer, it was also a season of big lessons. Sharing the stage with the likes of Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, David Spade, Norm McDonald, Tim Meadows, Tina Fey, and a host of others who would go on to also become household names, Breuer found incredible inspiration in his time on the series but also a taste of what the business is really like for hopeful and hungry performers.
“Everyone has the same feeling about the show, no matter what era no matter how popular you were, it was . . . I loved being there, I really did. But also, there were times when I absolutely despised being there,” he revealed.
“The frustration is the politics in every entertainment business or any business,” he said. “If you’re gonna try out for a baseball team and you show up knocking line drives 350 feet into the second tier and then you’re drilling a ball in the alleyway—and then, you got someone else up there who bunts, gets hit by a pitch, walks, strikes out five times and they go, ‘You know what? We’re gonna go with that guy.’ You say to yourself, ‘What? Are we in the same room? What just happened?!’”
“Then you go why? Well, because they’re best friends with this one, and this one here gets to pick . . . that’s where the frustrations are. Or someone would go, ‘Hey, your sketch was so close’ and then two weeks later something very similar that someone else is reading . . . that’s when street Jimmy Breuer wants to start throwing chairs,” he said with a huge laugh.
Fortunately for Breuer, the chairs have remained firmly planted on the ground—at least in a literal sense. His star continued to rise with frequent guest stints on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show, along with appearances with Kevin James on Kevin Can Wait on CBS as well as popular films Zookeeper, Dick, Titan A.E., and Beer League, to name a few.
As his career has evolved with the times, so has his comedy, a reflection of his life and his own personal evolution. He’s a husband and a father trying to keep up with life, the fads, and the trends of a fickle business and an even more fickle public. And he hasn’t faltered yet, leading with a mission of authenticity at any cost, a plan he gives his beloved wife a good bit of credit for hatching.
“My wife was going through cancer. She was getting chemo; it was her second time and we’ve got three kids—we’re just trying to plow through life. At that time, I was watching a lot of baseball. I love baseball, I love the Mets—don’t hold it against me,” he joked.
“I was watching Opening Day and I was losing my mind,” he recalled. “I mean, yelling at the TV like, ‘Why are you bringing that guy in, strike him out,’ and my wife started giggling and she said ‘Jim, I want you to recap the game you just watched and put it on video. Don’t try to act—just be you.’”
It worked. The video blew up and put Breuer on the hot list of a whole new scene: the social media landscape. It was a beautiful moment for the comedian and an awakening that has led to not only a revitalization of his career, but also a new way of moving through life in a world constantly pressuring filters, editing, and conformity.
“What I realized was I can be myself and be hilarious,” he said. “There’s a whole different side of me offstage and I’m not afraid to reveal any part of me. And I think that is super healthy for social media. And I honestly think we’re in the time of the more truth and the less corny and the more real you look, the more that’s being accepted.”
Breuer’s Survival with Laughter Tour will bring loads of the real Jim to the stage at the Capitol Theater on Friday, November 17th. It’s the comedian’s first time in Macon, Georgia and he doesn’t plan to hold back, fair warning issued.
“I’m gonna crush that place,” he said. “They’re not gonna know what hit ‘em.”
Tickets for Jim Breuer: Survival with Laughter are still available and can be purchased here.