Mentioning Jim Breuer’s name in conversation will almost always get the same response: “Oh, that guy from Half Baked?” Yes, he played Brian in the ’90s stoner comedy, but he was also on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 1998. Other film and television credits include The Jim Breuer Show, Titan A.E., and Chappelle’s Show.
Yet his passion has always been stand-up, so Breuer returned to the road in 2008 for the Breuniversity Tour. The act took him to colleges all over the country, and he used footage from the road for the documentary More Than Me — about taking his aging father on the tour — and The Jim Breuer Road Journals.
Breuer’s on the road again — this time in support of his new special Comic Frenzy, which debuts on EPIX on May 29. We spent some time last month talking about the new hour, as well as his lifelong love of the New York Mets and his upcoming heavy-metal album.
You filmed the special in Long Island, where you grew up. Was that always the intention or did it just happen that way?
Yes, 100 percent. I’ve always wanted to film on Long Island, but for whatever reason — the companies that I’ve been with or the management team I was with — it just never happened. So this was the first time where I went, “I’m going to pay for production. I’m going to do the special the way I want to do it, with who I want to do it, and where I want to do it.” So this is the first time I’ve had 100 percent freedom, owning it, and I finally said, “I’m filming it in Long Island and I’m filming it at this venue.” [The Paramount] is my favorite venue in the whole country.
Is having that kind of freedom a part of working with EPIX? You’ve worked with them before.
They’re phenomenal, but it’s also being able to say, “Screw it! I’m going to pay for the whole production. I’m going to dish out the money.” If you want control, then that’s how you gotta do it.
Louis C.K.’s model seems to be working so well.
Absolutely. He definitely is an inspiration in that world.
Towards the beginning of the special you say, “Nobody has pride like Long Islanders.” Why do you think that is?