Friday, June 13, 2008

Interview: Neil Hamburger

UPDATE: 6/13/08

Yep, he is in town tonight at the Doug Fir if you are not too busy playing Wizard.

America's Funnyman joins us for some slow-balls. He will be at the Doug Fir June 13th and hopefully won't have that Bonnie 'Prince' Billy fellow keeping him up all night in the hotel room.

You can console him about his wife and the dentist here as well.

You share a name with one of America's food groups. Do you think you can attribute this to your success?

That's what we were hoping for when I first hit the show-biz circuit. It used to be that everyone loved hamburgers--but then the whole cholesterol crowd came in, and the hamburger sandwiches, my name, and my career all went on the skids.

What's your favorite hamburger(s) and preference?

I don't really eat those anymore, my stomach is full of holes and could not take it. But I have eaten my fair share of them over the years. I used to eat a lot of these 50 cent "Monster Burgers" at Pete's Fish & Chips in Tempe, Arizona. They started out the size of an LP album when they hit the grill, but by the time they were done frying, they were the size of a 45 RPM single.

Got any favorite hamburger joints while on tour?

I really like Local Burger, in Lawrence, Kansas. They have a "vegan burger" that is quite nice, and easy for stressed-out, ulcer-ridden, guilt-plagued comedians to digest. They have burgers on their menu made out of everything imaginable, from deer, to buffalo, to millet, to spiders, and possibly unwanted children. (An investigation is pending). I also have always liked the "Route 66 Bacon Cheese Burger" at Lovin Spoonfuls in Tucson, Arizona. It's sort of a "ghost" burger, in that the cheese is not cheese, the bacon is not bacon, the burger is not a burger, and the restaurant is nowhere near Route 66. But it is delicious.

You have been making quite a few TV appearances. Ever come across a hamburger in the greenrooms?

The last time I was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" I was hungry, and they gave me a menu for a place up the street called "Hamburger Hamlet". I can't remember what I ordered...maybe the "Vodka Bucket"?

(Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance: LINK)

Got any current or upcoming projects you could tell us about?

I recently completed a new country and western album called "Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners". It is a "personality record", in the vein of the old albums by Telly Savalas, or William Shatner, or Leonard Nimoy. Non-singing singing celebrities. I was thrilled to have Prairie Prince, the legendary drummer from The Tubes, play on the album, along with the best guitarist, bass player, pedal steel player, and backing vocalist in all of California, and as a result, my vocals are particularly shameful. But the songs are built around my miserable experiences and thus the fans may find it interesting anyway.

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