Appearing as part of the Paramount Comedy Series, the Valley Stream-born comedian kicked off his second set by invoking Long Island pride—something he says is unique to our collective mindsets nationwide and apparent when we recognize New York accents while in another part of the country—an immediate kinship born, no questions asked, unless that accent belongs to an upstate resident (redneck) or a guy from Manhattan (showoff). A fellow Long Islander garners incomparable excitement, he joked to the roaring crowd (the majority, of course, were Long Islanders), asking “You know Sunrise Highway?!?”
Bonds for life, he chuckled—or, the rest of your vacation.
Breuer invoked his “Marriage Warrior,” a skit which draws knowledge from the trenches of his 20-year marriage to help the rest of us slug through our own. Marriage is like a war, according to Breuer. Longevity doesn’t come without battle scars—and the wisdom he has gleaned from surviving his own requires the vigilance of a Navy SEAL.
Some nuggets of wisdom: Know what you’re fighting. Do not engage. Retreat!
Impersonations of Metallica frontman James Hetfield also dotted the set, from stories of their families’ trip to Africa last year to the recollection of his very first concert at Nassau Coliseum—and of course, a whole lot of the singer’s trademark “Yeee-aaah”s. The connection between Breuer and Hetfield is a match made in Metal Heaven. Breuer followers know him from his early days of opening for rock bands, and anyone familiar with his Sirius/XM Radio show “Fridays with Breuer,” as a frequent guest on Howard Stern, or his standup, know that this guy is the biggest rock music fan Long Island may have ever known.
Beyond the obvious connection through music, the two share a strong commitment to family—and abhorrence for hypocrisy. The metal fan that Breuer is, he’s enjoyed a long friendship with Hetfield, but one that he’d tried to keep separate from the more, ahem, Godly people in he and his wife’s life, he told the Press during a recent cup of coffee, until they collided in a fateful meeting in San Francisco. The revelations from that meeting had a profound effect on Breuer.
Breuer was mortified, he recalled, when wife’s Bible study leader met Hetfield— taking in his tattoos and skull-encrusted accessories—and asked if she might have heard of the band he played in.
Hetfield straightened himself up.
“We call ourselves Metallica,” Hetfield declared, to the astonishment of the Bible leader, who immediately crossed herself and began to pray at the breakfast table. Hetfield looked on with a sense of calm, Breuer reports.
“I’m sorry,” the woman remarked to Hetfield, “but I’ve always prayed that my son would never listen to Metallica.”
READ JIM BREUER’S RECENT “PORTRAIT” INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESS HERE
Hetfield immediately responded: “Maybe if you knew why your son was listening to us, you wouldn’t have to pray so much.”
“I can’t believe I witnessed that!” Breuer laughed. “It was great! This Born-Again Bible woman was sitting in judgment of James. Think about that,” Breuer said, reveling in the false assumptions of a pious woman and the calm resolve of his friend known for undiluted rage.
Those looking to hear Joe Pesci Saturday night at The Paramount were not disappointed, either. Breuer answered the chant of “Pesci! Pesci!” with perfect imitations of the actor’s inflections, jumping from Raging Bull to Home Alone and, of course, Goodfellas.
“You think I’m funny?” he asked in Pesci’s notable twang.
Oh yeah, Breuer. We certainly do.