Caustic comedian brings his acid reflux to Portland on Friday

by: COURTESY OF ROBYN VON SWANK/DRAG CITY - Celebrity musicians such as Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Steven Tyler are fodder for comedian Neil Hamburger, who has become a favorite of garage and punk rockers. On one of his more recent visits to Portland, America’s “worst” comedian Neil Hamburger told about 10 minutes’ worth of jokes about the Red Hot Chili Peppers before audience members began pleading with him to tackle a new subject.

Hamburger apologized profusely for overdoing the Peppers’ routine — and then proceeded to do about 10 minutes more material on the funk rock band.

“Why did the Red Hot Chilli Peppers cross the road?” starts one of Hamburger’s more family friendly jokes. “Well, because they were running away from the rehab clinic.”

Hamburger (real name Gregg Turkington) returns to Portland along with Tim Heidecker of “The Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” as well as with Jeff Breakfast of Seattle.

The Peppers aren’t the only pop celebrities Hamburger routinely attacks in his profane, infamous question-and-answer routine. “Sir” Elton John, “Sir” Mick Jagger, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, and now Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler are on his list of targets. If you’ve never seen Hamburger and are easily offended, let’s just say you might want to skip this show.

However, if you don’t mind seeing your favorite cultural icons knocked down several pegs, the off-paced, perpetually throat-clearing Hamburger may be the all-time king of peg-knocking-downers — he simply has zero respect for pretty much anyone famous, not to mention his ex-wife.

When asked why he’s attacking Tyler, Hamburger notes no journalist he’s talked to has bought any of Aerosmith’s albums since the 1970s, and adds it’s time for the former “American Idol” judge “to be turned out to pasture.” Yeah, but those ‘70s albums were cool, right?

“In the 1970s people would have liked to eat food filled with nitrates, but now we know that’s no good for you,” Hamburger says.

More than a few punk and grunge rockers have invited Hamburger to open for them, and in his “real” life, Turkington has managed tours for the band Mr. Bungle (who share his antipathy to the Peppers) and 1950s rocker Link Wray. Turkington also owned Amarillo Records, a now-defunct punk and avant-garde label, and as Hamburger has recorded several albums, including a 2008 country one with the classic number “How Can I Still Be Patriotic (When They’ve Taken Away My Right to Cry).”

However, Hamburger does not return the love rockers and other tattooed types may have for him, noting he prefers Frank Sinatra over most any rocker and the rowdy people with whom they associate.

“A proctologist is really identified with anal probes,” Hamburger adds. “But that doesn’t mean in his spare time he’s sticking his hands down in a toilet.”

Who: Neil Hamburger & Tim Heidecker (of "The Tim & Eric Show)" with Jeff Breakfast

When: 9 p.m. Friday July 12

Where: Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave.

Cost: $18, 21 and over

Info: 503-345-7892,

Contract Publishing

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