Comedy Q&A: Jim Breuer

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From the February 16, 2012 edition

Jim Breuer is probably most recognized for his work on “Saturday Night Live” — Goat Boy, Joe Pesci — and as the stoner guy in “Half Baked.” But the Long Island native isn’t just the characters he’s played. Breuer has many layers — he’s a loving father of three daughters who hits audiences with bone-crushing stand-up comedy.

Is family a good source of material?

Most of what I’ve been doing lately is family and kids. I do 10 minutes about going on vacation with them. What I learned is it doesn’t matter where you bring a child — France, Japan, on a cruise — all they want to know is, are there chicken fingers and is there a pool.

I have an elderly father that moved in with me in September, where I got a field day of material. I’ve got so much material on real life.

And you took your father on tour with you, which became the documentary “More Than Me.

It’s a great educational piece. Your parents are getting older, and you’re not sure about how to deal with it and all that. It’s very funny and walks you through the emotions — very powerful and raw.

Hopefully it’s just going to give you a different view on life, on the elderly, family and how to deal with these emotions. And how to laugh about it.

So “More Than Me” and your book “I’m Not High” let fans get to know you as a family man?

Hands down it lets you in on the personal side. I’ll never forget when I was in Houston, this kid came up to me in and said, “I gotta be honest with you man, I just wanted to smoke a big fatty with Jim Breuer. I grew up watching you in ‘Half Baked.’ Now watching you talk about your dad and family and having your dad with you, I have so much respect for you and a whole different outlook on you and what I want to do with myself.”

Do you have a favorite moment from “SNL”?

Working with Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro. De Niro never did live television; that was the first one.

Didn’t Pesci have an interesting reaction to your impression of him?

I heard rumors he didn’t like it. He wanted to meet me before. When I walked in the room it was very surreal; he was dressed like “Goodfellas” — pink ring, cigar in his mouth, Armani suit, the shoes.

He looked me up and down and told me to sit down. I sat down and started talking about how this is so exciting and I couldn’t believe he was here. He just kind of shushed me and said, “Are you gonna thank me for giving you a career?”

To this day I don’t think he was kidding. I was so scared I thought he was going to say, “You now owe me X amount for the rest of your life.” I was convinced he came to shake me down.