Beer and Pavement

Neil Hamburger

Posted in Live by SM on November 9, 2011

I saw Neil Hamburger the other night and hastily wrote it up for the Collective

Do you like comedy? If you do, you probably didn’t attend Friday’s Neil Hamburger gig at Mojo’s. The anti-comic’s anti-comic was there to makes us uncomfortably laugh with Britney Spears jokes, the clearing of his throat, and spilled drinks everywhere.

I don’t know what it is about Hamburger, brilliantly played by Greg Trunkington, but his act is so awful that it’s good. And you’re not laughing at him out of pitty. There’s a retro touch that takes you back to the days when lounge singers would drunkenly give comedy a try and fail miserably. Hamburger is the sad opener for Tony Clifton in his prime. I’m talking about the “real” Tony Clifton, of course.

Have I completely turned you off on Neil Hamburger? That’s not my intention as his schtick is genius. The timing always seems off, but its consistently off on purpose due to whatever is always stuck in his throat and the three drinks he cradles in his arm. A Neil Hamburger performance is unique in every way. It’s so bizarre and awkward, you’re forced to laugh out of a loss of any other reaction.

Hamburger brought his A-game Friday. Jokes were nailed. I rolled on the floor. The openers were forgotten. If you didn’t go, you missed out on a brand of humor you won’t find anywhere else. Or until Neil Hamburger graces our college town with his presence once again.

As hinted before, there were openers. Local Diggy Splash and his troupe put on some skits and a few individual bits. The jokes ranged from terrible to silly to groan-inducing. At times, this group really gets anti-humor in a way that the headliner’s get it, but sometimes silly just won out. Honestly, Diggy ought to change his moniker to something more Biblical and work on his Jesus-holding-a-drink routine, but what do I know? I like anti-humor.

Touring with Hamburger is JP Incorporated. JP sings awful songs about fictional sit-coms and consumer products, playing on the current retromania that’s all over the place. Loud graphics and semi-obscene imagery assist the man in the fake beard as he sings about Jazzbot Xtreme and Crap Factory. It’s an odd but entertaining act for sure. So, a perfect opener for a Neil Hamburger set.

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2 Responses

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  1. carrie the destroyer said, on November 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I’m dead serious when i say this was his best set I’ve ever seen.
    I hadn’t laughed that hard in nearly 10 years.

    Damn it, it felt great.

    • Zac said, on November 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      And you were telling me to settle down at one point.


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