THOSE SONS OF BITCHES Neil Hamburger

Some folks just don’t like the standup comedian.

 

BY RANDY HARWARD

 

Despite a spell of
tuberculosis Neil Hamburger, America’s
Funnyman, remains upbeat. “But thaaaat’s my…” He can’t quite get the whole catch phrase out, but it could be because at
this stage in his career, he’s keenly aware of how such lines become hackneyed.
So talk turns to the vinyl debut of his classic lost album.

 

Clearing his throat, the
legendary entertainer clears his throat and asks, “What is it?” Why, it’s Hot February Nights (Drag City),
the 33-minute set from your tour with Tenacious D! “Oh, yeah. Okay. That was a
classic. It won several awards.” Isn’t it also his most confrontational
performance?

 

“That’s what some of the
critics say,” says Hamburger. “They say that the audience [wasn’t] on board.
I’m just trying to make people laugh and forget their problems, you know?”

 

Unfortunately, he sometimes
doesn’t get the opportunity because younger audiences are too “souped-up on
Mountain Dew or Diet Mountain Dew. They have no manners, and no grace. They
start yelling out the four-letting words and emitting the foul odors and just
behaving like assholes.” Here are three scenes that earn his ubiquitous
utterance, “Thaaaat’s my life!”

 

***

 

Costa Mesa, CA

I’m telling a joke about
Terri Schiavo… And this guy rushes up to the stage and starts yelling every
name in the book at me-“How dare you tell a joke like that? My dad died of
cancer!”-and pretending like he’s gonna throw a punch. I said, “Terri Schiavo
didn’t die of cancer, and the joke had nothing to do with cancer or with your
dad.” And he, again, screams at me. So I had to throw a drink after him… You
can’t let these people get away with it.

 

Camden, NJ

Onstage with Tenacious D, 10,000
people in the crowd, wearing a tuxedo-and this son of a bitch throws some
french fries at me and [ketchup] splatters all over the tuxedo. This gets a
round of applause, but I’m on the road; I can’t get the tuxedo cleaned. The
next night at Madison
Square Garden
I had to soak the tux in water… If the tuxedo is wet, then the whole thing
looks black and you don’t see the ketchup.

 

Charlottesville, VA

I must’ve had a dozen or so
new jokes that [nobody] would have heard, except some prick, some asshole,
posted last night’s show on YouTube and these two creeps memorized all the
punchlines and [shouted them] ahead of time. So I threw all three drinks I had
right in their faces. Finally I had to dispense with the jokes altogether just screaming
every word I could think of that is a synonym for “loser.” For “asshole“, for “vermin“… at these pricks.
So then, I left the stage…and the owner of the night club says some fans really
wanna get a photo with [me]. And he opens the door and it’s these two sons of
bitches! I slammed the door right in their faces. 

 

 

 

 

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