National comedian Jim Breuer tours to The Queen in Wilmington on Friday
Comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Jim Breuer killed when he headlined Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in 2015, effortlessly reducing the crowd to teary-eyed chuckles.
Two years later, the New York Mets fanatic promised to take no prisoners when he tours to The Queen in Wilmington on Friday.
Named one of Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time," the 50-year-old Breuer is one of the most recognizable comedians in the business. He’s known for his charismatic stage antics, dead-on impressions and family-friendly stand-up.
Breuer released his debut album, a metal record titled “Songs from the Garage,” in 2016. He was lead singer on the project, supported by his backing band called Loud & Rowdy. AC/DC singer Brian Johnson recorded vocals on the song “Mr. Rock n Roll” off the album.
Has your perspective changed since turning 50 this year?
I look at life a lot differently. I realize we’re here on such a short journey. I’m looking at my kids in school. They’re miserable and blah, blah, blah. At the end of the day, life is wrapped up into amazing moments and memories. I had this discussion last [week] where I was with my nephew and he just lost both of his parents. I lost both my parents, but I was lucky I lost them when I was older.
You go through a journey and at the end of the day, we’re not far off from the animal kingdom, meaning our job in life is just to show the younger ones how to be good, how to take care of your kids and how to do deal with moments when tragedy strikes.
How do you heal that? Are you going to become an alcoholic? Are you going to be funny? Are you going to be the caretaker? Are you going to run away? Those are bigger moments than “I’m the CEO and I make billions of dollars, but I’ve never seen my children.”
It’s so much about simplicity. The older I get, the more simplicity. That’s what life really is. The simpler you make it, the humbler and happier you become.
The older you get, the more you realize time is running out.
Yeah! I don’t want give it away, but I do a whole lead on this new tour where I just turned 50 and I go through the stages where this is what 20 was, this is what 30 was, this is what 40 was; and when I turned 50 I was like, “Damn, I’m going to be dead.” That is the the first time where I went, “There’s now a clock.”
Technically, [death] can happen at any moment. But I’m on the downside of the clock, and that’s a reality. Some people panic. Some people lose their mind. Some people have that mid-life crisis thing. Again, how do you handle it? It is what it is. Just go with the flow, and you try to make the best of things.
At the end of the day, we’re all slaves to the world we live in. Our society is enslaved to capitalism, to money. No matter who you are, how poor you are, rich you are or what neighborhood you live in - you have to make money.
My attitude in life has been, look, some of us have it better than others. But we’re all stuck here. So in the meantime, let’s just be good, hang out and enjoy a laugh together.
How do you think fans received your album?
Critically people said, “this is amazing! Critics don’t mean anything. They’re not buying the record. What I’ve learned is the people who bought it, loved it. But, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough who bought it, heard about it or know about it to create a tour.
I was really naive too. I said, “this song is going to be all over the radio.” I just really assumed that. I learned real hard the whole industry doesn’t work like that. It’s like any other industry, it’s about money.
“You’re going to need a half million to $1 million.” What? “Well, that’s how you’re going to need to get on the radio.”
Since you’re famous, it’s easy to assume your popularity would’ve gotten you more album sales without having to spend the same marketing dollars as a smaller band to achieve that.
Even the producer, who’s a great guy, kept saying, “Breuer, what is your team doing with this?” I said, what do you mean? It’s going to come out and be great! He said, “What’s. The. Game. Plan.” I said, I don’t know. It’s going to be big! I just didn’t know that world.
What was the moment like recording with Brian Johnson?
When I was a teenager I remember saying, “I’m going to be an entertainer, and I’m going to work with Jack Nicholson and Joe Pesci. I’m going to work with the best actors. I’m going to be hanging out with the Mets. I’m going to be with rock stars.”
It all came, but in my head it was like, I’m going to be making $50 billion a year. I’m going to have a zoo in my yard. I’m going to wear leather pants and walk the mall with a kangaroo on a leash, because I’m successful.
I sit there and it hits me all the time. When the Brian Johnson thing came, I said, “Oh my God, he’s singing. One of the biggest voice icons (whether you’re a fan or not) is singing your song. It didn’t hit me until he started singing it. Then I started watching him.
I slept over when I was 16 to buy tickets to come see this guy perform. Now he’s singing my song. How’d this happen? It was very surreal.