Neil Hamburger, with Tennessee

Q: Why did God create the Paris Hilton sex videotape? (See last paragraph for answer.)

Okay, comedy's corollary to Schrodinger's cat is finally out of the, er, box. There it is, right on the Internet Movie Database for all to see: one Gregg Turkington, officially credited with "playing" Neil Hamburger twice in 2003 on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. It turns out union regulations -- which say a performer must be listed under his real name -- indeed trump pop mythology (although we're still not sure how Charlie Kaufman got his fictional dead twin brother nominated for an Oscar, but that's another story). The new Hamburger CD, Great Moments at Di Presa's Pizza House, brings high-concept to shattering new lows as "Neil" narrates a tribute to the titular crappy restaurant that was one of the few places he was allowed to perform regularly (although they insisted on paying him in pizza). Amazing. So, anyway, the big question: Now that the box is open, is the cat dead? Or more to the point, how should this revelation affect Hamburger/Turkington's appearance at Mary Jane's Fat Cat tonight? Not hardly, I would guess. After all, Neil Hamburger is not so much a "character" in the normal sense as a sort of shamanistic showbiz ritual, an apparition standing in for every drop of flop sweat ever to soak through a cheap suit.

A: So the mentally retarded would have something to masturbate to.


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