“But Thaaat’s My Life!”

On first look, it’s hard not to feel sorry for America’s Funnyman, Neil Hamburger. A greasy combover flops across his sweaty forehead, which itself is furrowed with obvious discomfort. His fly-eyed glasses continually slink down the bridge of his nose, and with three half-finished drinks cradled against his body with his right hand and a sticky mic in his left, he has a hard time fingering them back up. Sorrow then quickly morphs into pity when you catch a glimpse of Neil’s tuxedo, which looks every bit as dapper as it did when someone took it off his dead grandfather and placed it on the rack at Goodwill. But then Neil opens his mouth, and you hear something much worse: The feeblest attempt at comedy in the world. The aged comic hacks and sputters, tripping over jokes that, even with the tightest of deliveries, would be at best unfunny and at worst downright revolting (off-color bits about Colonel Sander’s foreskin, anyone?).

And then, somewhere in that uncomfortable realm of pity and disgust, you get the joke. This guy’s not for serious. Neil Hamburger — whose real name is Gregg Turkington — is the joke. And it’s hilarious. See, Hamburger’s a fictional character; a half-parody of, half-tribute to the glorious lounge acts of the ΄60s, whose alcohol-soaked antics were only eclipsed by their class, baby. With the drawl of a drunken Ed Sullivan, Hamburger rambles through bits about Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson with post-modern charm. He’s performed his shtick at Madison Square Garden and on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but tonight at 10 he’ll hit PS14 (28 NE 14 St., Miami) along with opening act Notorious Nastie & Phoney Montana. Tickets cost $7. Visit www.notoriousnastie.com.
Fri., June 27, 10 p.m., 2008

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John Linn