Due to circumstances beyond our control, Neil Hamburger is touring. He isn't stopping until all the dates are complete, whether you like it or not. And, truth be told, a lot of people don't seem to like him. I did my own unofficial polling of people facing me, and half of them, when prompted, decided to face a different direction. Compelling results? Of course. Neil ‘The Burger’ Hamburger is, to some, hard to stomach. He coughs a lot. He's awkward. He tells bad jokes. People boo him. If you were in any doubt that the ‘boo’ was passé, that it had fallen into the annals of public appearance lexicon, watch him perform his stand-up. There certainly are laughs to compete, however, and apparently enough to propel a bunch of CD releases and this tour from Drag City.
With my unofficial poll and common understanding, those that boo fail to get the joke: that he is acting 'bad' on purpose (or at least it appears that way). Those that cheer have a strange sense of humor, or are laughing at him. It is perplexing. I have friends who tell bad jokes, and they do not have CDs and tours. I tell bad jokes all the time, too, and I think I would be much better off if I were rewarded with tourdates instead of a whopping dose of humiliation and mockery. But in Neil Hamburger's defense, he has a certain image and charismatic appeal that I will never have. Maybe we are indeed laughing at him, but I get the feeling the joke's on us.
Like a fine trip to Dick's Last Resort, where the waitstaff insult and abuse the patrons and we all pretend to enjoy it, Neil Hamburger is giving us what we don't want and making us laugh. That's something, isn't it? It's the perfect marketing strategy: give us a product to solve a problem we never knew we had. He's good for the economy, he's good for comedy, and he's good for us (Neil Hamburger prevents free radicals!). So boo or don't boo, either way he's touring, and you'll wonder if he's for real or not, but rest assured, he is. Help us, he is:
# Dr. El Suavo
Freeloaders can catch a glimpse of America's $1 Funnyman here.