Jim Breuer Takes the Prize for Most Uncreative and Insensitive Damar Hamlin Joke
The generally agreed-upon rule of thumb for comedians who delve into dark comedy is to always try to be more funny and more clever than offensive – the darker you go, the more creative you get to justify tackling the sensitive subject matter.
This past weekend, anti-vax comedy icon Jim Breuer bravely defied this simple standard by making the most sophomoric, obvious and distasteful dig on the cardiac arrest suffered by Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during Monday Night Football on January 2nd. While performing on the “ReAwaken America Tour,” an event branded as a coming together of conservative Christians, Breuer co-opted the incident in which Hamlin’s heart stopped for several minutes in the middle of a game to make a terrible vaccine joke that the worst parts of Twitter had already been spouting since the moment Hamlin collapsed.
Notice the uproarious applause from the “devout Christians” when he mocks Hamlin’s near-death experience and blames the heart attack on vaccine side effects.
Anyone who was on Twitter in the moments following Hamlin’s collapse during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals saw scores of anti-vaxxers immediately pointing their fingers at the NFL’s long-retired COVID protocols and its promotion of the vaccine among players and coaches. As is the case whenever a tragedy occurs, the dumbest and most selfish among us took the moment as an opportunity to promote their objectively ignorant views – with Breuer getting the memo three weeks late.
Breuer’s career has made a series of steep left turns since his early collaborations with Dave Chappelle and other comedians of note – back in 2021, he went viral for another performance on the ReAwaken America Tour with a different display of vaccine fear mongering thinly disguised as comedy. Breuer sweatily stomped across the stage in an attempted impression of a cockatoo while repeating phrases like “trust the science” and “numbers are up,” because repeating the words of people who disagree with you in a mocking tone is literally the bare minimum required to call yourself a comedian in ultra-conservative circles.
The former Saturday Night Live cast member has clearly found his calling amongst the conspiracy crowd long after the mainstream comedy world realized that his “loud voice/silly face” brand of physical humor could easily be replicated by any one of a couple hundred thousand amateur comics with a couple weeks of improv classes under their belt. Mocking Hamlin with a run-of-the-mill pratfall is par for the course in this stage of Breuer’s career, and stunts like these are likely the only moments he’ll find any recognition outside of the alt-right rallies where simply saying the word “snowflake” is enough to earn a standing ovation.
Breuer’s next step should be to launch his own conservative comedy tour for SNL alumni who had to start skewing alt-right once everyone realized they weren’t funny and their more talented friends stopped offering them roles – call it the “ReAwaken Rob Schneider Tour.”