Jim Breuer: "I'm Addicted to Watching People Belly Laugh"
Half Baked is something people also love and recognize you for. What was it like to work with Dave Chappelle right before he became pretty much the biggest comic in the world?
He taught me the way movies should be. Which is a relaxed atmosphere, everyone is there to be funny; everyone encouraged each other. The whole time I kept going, "Is this really going to be a movie? Is this really happening? Does this count?" It seemed like hanging out with our friends, and, oh yeah, by the way, we're making a movie.
I've heard Dave say before that he was a little upset about what happened to the movie, and it ended up being a lot different than he and Neal intended. Did you feel any of that on the set?
I didn't. No. Because all I saw was the script. So I just remember reading the script and laughing my ass off, and Dave asking me to be in that. I know they would complain, and they had issues. It's hard for guys like Dave, especially comics. They have a vision, and no one else sees that vision. It's really frustrating. So I knew they were a little frustrated, but I heard more about that after the movie came out.
Do you find people coming to your stand up shows with expectations of seeing your characters from SNL, or Half Baked-type humor? And if so, how do they react when you give them something completely different?
Well, one good thing is expectations are low with that group, so it can only go up. Overall, I think most of the people who come to see me know that I don't really touch on that stuff too much. But there is a group that will come and say, "I've never seen you," or, "I only know you from Half Baked," or, "I didn't know you were this funny. No offense to the stuff you've done, but I thought this was the best." And I say no offense taken, because this is what I love.
Is stand up what you most closely identify with? If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, would it be stand up?
Definitely stand up. Definitely stand up. It's the only place in the world where no one can edit your vision.
Is that what you love most about stand up?
I'm addicted to watching people belly laugh, and I'm the one making them do it. I'm addicted to that. I love that.
Were you getting your fix of that enough on SNL, or acting, or radio?
No, definitely not. With radio, I knew we were putting out good radio, but it's very frustrating not knowing what your fan base is like. Are they laughing? Are they tuning you out? Are they annoyed? You can't read any of that. I loved it, but I just missed that satisfaction -- that instant gratification.
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