Comedian Hamburger has beef with DeKalb

Neil Hamburger, the anti-comedic alter-ego of Gregg Turkington, walks the red carpet. Hamburger performed Friday night at Otto's, 118 E. Lincoln Higway.

Connor Rice

 The City of DeKalb has some very antiquated views on public urination.

Or, that’s the way Neil Hamburger tells it at least.

After an incident on his last DeKalb visit, Hamburger claims he was given 100 hours of community service. The city is allowing him to fulfill this requirement by performing a three-minute song about recycling during all of his subsequent local performances, Hamburger said.

This is both a) a moronic way to go about rectifying the situation and b) really the only re-printable joke from Hamburger’s routine.

When the anti-humorist began his act Friday night at Otto’s, 118 E. Lincoln Highway, he spared no one. From the audience itself to Crosby, Stills and Nash, Hamburger took his formulaic approach to degradation and performed to expectation.

While a lot of new (and relevant) jokes were told, it was not a mind-blowing night with Neil Hamburger. The comedy world was not harmed or necessarily empowered by his performance. But that should come as no surprise and should not be looked at as a failure of any kind. As a fictional character – he’s the creation of comedian Gregg Turkington — Hamburger is subject to a certain amount of schtick.

He serves a purpose as opposed to pushing an envelope. His act is a static means to provide relief to those frustrated with the standards held by mainstream society. That’s not to say his entertainment value doesn’t have longevity. No boxes were thought outside of or walls broken down, but Hamburger still proves to be amusing. His brand of humor is based on interchangeable parts and a set syntax designed to retain comedic worth. He takes all the shots that people only wish they could conjure, providing a vicarious shot of laughter for his fans.

It really is a shame that Hamburger’s jokes are unfit to print. They could certainly provide a greater understanding of his repertoire, but his attitude and views are much too callous to do so in good conscience. But in a world full of Dane Cooks and Carlos Mencias, he’s a breath of fresh air, even if his work isn’t challenging or evolving.