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Breuer brings stand-up to Hu Ke Lau

Date: 8/13/2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

Jim Breuer is part of a new trend in stand-up comedy by taking direct control of producing and distributing his own DVDs and comedy specials.

The veteran of the stand-up stage, television and movies will be appearing for two shows at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee on Aug. 18.

Speaking to Reminder Publications last week, he said that he loves the independence.

"I like to be hands on," he said.

Named one of Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time," Breuer was a regular on "Saturday Night Live" in the mid-1990s and has appeared in the films "Dick," "Titan A.E." and "Beer League." His most recent movie was "Zookeeper."

Besides his TV work on "Saturday Night Live," he has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Marriage Ref."

To call Breuer a busy guy is an understatement. Besides touring, he produces his own videos for his YouTube channel; his book, "I'm Not High: (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior)" went to paperback last year; he shot a new comedy special; and he just came back from a tour in Germany.

A project special to him is "The Jim Breuer Road Journals," a four-hour DVD, which documented a 2008 comedy tour on which he took along his then 85 year-old father. Although it is funny, it "really touches people," he said.

His new comedy special is designed for viewers from "8 to 80," he said. A comic who really has never worked with "blue" material, Breuer likes to describe himself as "Bill Cosby with a Metallica shirt."

Although he has "cursed a little" in his act, Breuer said that staying away from adult material "challenges me to write better."

His act is "100 percent family story telling" that deals with his wife, children and elderly parents.

He admires fellow comedian Louis CK who made show business headlines by his announcement he would sell tickets to his current tour only through his website.

"He's the 'Money Ball' of comedians," Breuer said.

Although he enjoys the independent route he has taken with his career, Breuer readily admitted he wouldn't mind his own television show.

"My management has tried hard," he explained. "The process is so exhausting."

Breuer added, "I would be a liar if I said I wouldn't mind making $50,000 a day working Monday through Friday."

His YouTube channel has dozens of videos and Breuer said, "It's a great medium."

Breuer is also well known for his love of heavy metal rock and roll and how he has integrated that into his act. He said he is interested in staging the act as an Off-Broadway play, which he would then take on tour.

He added that this year would be the last one in which he performs in comedy clubs. He is more interested playing in theaters and other venues — even churches — that do not serve alcohol.

"I would love people to come to see me in a healthy, safer environment," Breuer said.