As the only Drag City Records artist to have played Madison Square Garden, Neil Hamburger is a unique figure on the landscape of rock n roll comedians. Unlike contemporaries such as David Cross or Patton Oswalt, whose routines usually entail long soliloquies, Hamburger a persona created and portrayed by post-punk luminary Gregg Turkington takes a more traditionalist approach. A master of the anti-joke, Hamburger with an ill-fitting tux, pomade-laden comb-over and glass of scotch in hand doles out zingers haranguing everyone from Terri Schiavo to Nickelback, like a rat-pack-reject from another dimension, or more simply, Don Rickles for hipsters. His timing is terrible, his delivery strident and his references dated. But, unlike the Blue Collar Comedy crew, in Hamburger's case that's exactly the point. Whats truly impressive about Hamburger is that, between jokes mocking Julia Roberts vagina or The Red Chili Peppers on-again-off-again relationship with heroin, he manages to infuse a healthy amount of social commentary into the confines of the one-liner, taking on subjects such as the American diet, the Iraq War and the countrys obsession with celebutards.
Mon., Feb. 1, 9 p.m., 2010