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Jim Breuer takes the stage Nov. 4 at the Palladium in St. Petersburg.

 

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road will present Jim Breuer live Friday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m., in Hough Hall at the Palladium at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 

Tickets start at $29.50. Call 727-823-2040 or visit mypalladium.org.

Not long after Breuer did his first official standup gig in Clearwater in 1989, industry folks began asking him, "What’s your point of view?" He searched for a meaningful response. "To make people laugh?"

The freewheeling, New York bred comic storyteller — who made the list of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Standups of All Time — is hotter than ever, a global touring sensation and regular presence on radio and television whose rabid audience, he’s thrilled to note, is filled with "lifetimers." Once folks see him live, they’re hooked. Breuer estimates that 78% of his fans have seen him "five, six, seven" times. It’s becoming a family thing, with parents even bringing young teens to see the family man and father of three daughters, all providing genius "dad" material for his sets. Having evolved both personally and professionally since the beginning, Breuer’s pleased to say he’s been F-word free for 10 years and counting. 

Breuer came to national attention during his seasons on “Saturday Night Live” (1995-98), a rebuilding era whose cast featured Will Ferrell, David Spade and Norm McDonald. But don’t call him "Goat Boy" (one of his characters on SNL) or ask him to do his Joe Pesci impression. Those things are eons ago. Some even still associate him with “Half Baked,” a stoner comedy flick from around that time that starred Dave Chappelle and featured cameos by Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong.

The fans who got into Breuer in the new millennium were drawn into his whirlwind journey through his Comedy Central specials such as “Hardcore,” from 2002; and “Let’s Clear the Air,” from 2009, one of the highest rated comedy specials in the network’s history — popularly known as his "coming out party" as a dad, cleaning up his act and focusing on the fun and foibles of family life. His next special “And Laughter for All,” in 2013, became the highest rated original comedy special on EPIX to date, earning it’s spot as a family favorite for its relatable and multi-generational humor. His special “Comic Frenzy” in 2015 is currently available on Amazon Prime.

Over the years, Breuer has been something of a multi-media sensation appearing alongside Kevin James on “Kevin Can Wait” on CBS as well as popular films “Zookeeper,” “Dick,” “Titan A.E.” and “Beer League;” hosting MTV's popular “Beach House” and VH1’s “Web Junk 20;” and being featured on “Comedy Jam,” “This Is Not Happening,” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

"My job as a comic is to talk about the many great loves of my life, recognizing that yes, we are all on borrowed time but we can still enjoy life with a passion and not get caught up in all the madness," Breuer said in a press release. "There are always things that can become an obstacle to our happiness, and the big three for me that I smack into most are divisions in the family, financial struggles and health issues. For me, there’s no better feeling in the world than making someone laugh and knowing that I’ve inspired or healed someone. It’s nice when people tell me I’m funny, but the ones that keep me going are the ones who come up to me and say, ‘Can I just tell you, I just lost my mom, and you healed me. That’s the first time I’ve laughed in ages.’ Or ‘My wife and I were fighting, we just experienced death. We knew seeing you was going to help. Thank you. We needed this so much.’ We’re not here for very long, and we’re all stuck here together. Everybody needs to laugh and be uplifted. We’re here to take care of others. I’m on a mission to lift you in the only way I know how."