What a strange and fascinating cultural phenomenon we have in Neil Hamburger. Only a society steeped in the ways of irony and stupidity would turn a comedian whose whole shtick is being "unfunny" into a red-carpet celebrity (see below), and in a way, the modicum of success that he has achieved gives me a glimmer of hope for our poor, doomed race--that there may in fact be a shining golden nugget at the bottom of humanity's endlessly depressing Bag of Tricks, that it's okay to hope, perchance to dream.
But I don't need to pontificate too much on the subject. You guys already know Mr. Hamburger, whether through television (Tim & Eric), film (Tenacious D), live performance, or recorded output. You know how "bad" he is, and by "bad", I mean "good". Or do I? Irony is a fickle thing these days.
Today I have chosen to share Neil's first two official releases, 1996's America's Funnyman and 1998's Raw Humburger. These came out before Hamburger had fully found his "identity", before the constant, disgusting throat-clearing, the audience participation, the fame, the fortune. They basically amount to really really REALLY bad comedy performed over canned audience noise and planned heckling, but that's the charm. I mean, NO ONE can deny the comedic genius behind Funnyman's "The X-Rated Hot Dog Vendor". NO ONE.
If you want something legitimately funny from Neil Hamburger, go back and get THIS album from back in his "Gregg Turkington" days. The lulz on today's two beauties are strictly conceptual/unintenional, but being the cultured, educated comedy aficianado that I am, I appreciate the performance either way.
But THAAAAAAAAT'S MY LIFE!
AMERICA'S FUNNYMAN (1996)
RAW HAMBURGER (1998)
Editor's note: Did I mention that I'm taking my 12-year-old kid to go see Neil Hamburger open for Tim & Eric at The Regency November 5th? Fuck yeah.