Comedian Jim Breuer will never forget the 2007 run-in with a fan that changed his comedy forever.
The former "Saturday Night Live" performer, who also starred in Dave Chappelle's 1998 classic stoner comedy "Half Baked," admits he once dabbled in the art of marijuana and referenced it in his stand-up. But he didn't realize what sort of image he was creating.
"What that brought was notoriety," Breuer said from his home in New Jersey, "but also me trying really hard to live up to a persona I really wasn't. That became exhausting."
So when the fan began exclaiming about how blue and filthy he was, and how he was known as the drug guy, Breuer did a 180.
"If she thinks that, how many other people think that?" he said. "I have so much more to offer in life. I'm a deeply rooted family guy. I don't want that persona."
He stopped taking the stereotypical stoner roles and focused on controlling his image. He released four family-friendly comedy specials, wrote the 2010 book "I'm Not High: (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior)" and the 2010 documentary "More Than Me," about taking his aging father out on tour.
"I'm doing what I want," he said. "It's been working."
"An Evening with Jim Breuer" is Saturday at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
The recently turned 50-year-old doesn't stray far from daily life for material: "It's the first age I hit where I said, 'Wow, I'm going to be dead.' I hope I don't get the gout or stroke or high blood pressure. I got to get things cleaned out. This car's got a lot of mileage."
He and his wife have three daughters, ages 18, 15 and 12, the oldest of whom caused a few parenting issues: "She cannonballed me into therapy when she was 14 or 15. There were things going on with her I couldn't wrap my head around. You could tell a 14-year-old boy to shut up and call him names. With a 14-year-old girl, you've got to tap dance or they're set back for 10 years."
He often takes them to task in his act, re-enacting large-scale dramas he happens to walk in on at the end of a long day: "They laugh pretty hard because I nail all of it. We pound in our family humility, humility, humility. Humor and humility will help you through mortality, through the worst times ever, when you're at your worst decision-making. If you can't look back and shake your head at yourself, you're in bad trouble."
Breuer has no regrets about not succumbing to the lure of the shiny Hollywood lifestyle. He had the chance to go for it during his time at "SNL," but chose a quieter life: "I learned that I didn't really want to become the star I wanted to be. There was a big package that came with that. I have way too much love for real life and family, and my kids are only in the house for so long. Show business is around forever. You can always go back to it. You can be a washed-up 40-year-old and say, 'Hey, I've got a script.' I just didn't do it, I didn't move to LA. I decided to have the family."