Three years on the standup circuit, and also the 51-year-old achieved musician turned musician-comedian has been opening wildly famous comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's arena dates for a year. That plays a vital role twice throughout every show, slinging his Schecter hybrid electric/digital guitar v the stand-up-ventriloquist and his five iconic puppets.

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"Within six months, us were act 10,000-seat arenas. It just kind that all go out up," Haner stated in a call interview native a tour stop in Spokane, Wash. "I had the right product. Ns was the appropriate guy, and also that's simply luck. That's simply pure luck that he taken place to be acquisition off and also getting really large at that time and just lugged me along."

IF girlfriend GO
Jeff Dunham

When: 8 p.m. FridayWhere: van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St.Opening act: Brian HanerTickets: $44, arena and also DeVos location box offices, Ticketmaster outlets, (800) 745-3000, ticketmaster.comMore info:;

Dunham, a veteran that late-night TV and Comedy main gives voice, literally, to a brood of politics incorrect oddball characters. They include curmudgeonly Walter, Acmed the Dead Terrorist, hyperactive Peanut and Melvin the Superhero Guy. His almost sold-out Identity dilemm tour stops Friday at cool Rapids' valve Andel Arena.

"I did 2 or 3 clubs, and Jeff picked me up," said Haner, who functioned as a touring guitarist and singer for 25 years prior to switching come stand-up. "He thought I can not only open for him, yet then also be part of his show and also write songs because that him."

With his own CD "Cougar Bait" (2008), Haner has written songs because that each that Dunham's puppets, and also all the songs for Dunham's DVD/Comedy central special "Jeff Dunham's an extremely Special Christmas" and also companion CD, "Don't Come house For Christmas."

"I must be paying my dues in comedy clubs for 10 years before something like this happens, yet I had actually such a niche with the guitar -- and not simply a guitar-comic, 'cause there's a few of those around," claimed Haner, who has performed v Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, candid Zappa and produced 3 of his very own records, however never got to his wanted "rock star" status.

Dunham captured one that Haner's reflects at Chicago's Improv Club and also had his administration invite him to compose the music because that the YouTube song, "Jingle Bombs," v puppet Achmed.

Without rehearsing, Haner joined Dunham on stage to document the song. Dunham forgot Haner's name and also introduced him, via Achmed, as "Guitar Guy." the stuck, and Haner "wears it proudly."

The California resident's etc is no prop. He would be "lost" without it. Haner juxtaposes major songs through not-so-serious lyrics.

"I'm make the efforts to do my voice sound as an excellent as it probably can. And also I'm trying to make the guitar sound as good as the can," he said. "I'm make the efforts to write a fight song, a pop song, that simply happens to have actually very, an extremely twisted lyrics."

During Dunham's show Friday, Haner will appear for 15 minutes through Achmed and for 10 minutes v Peanut. Dunham offers his time v Haner to get him to laugh with unrehearsed humor. Haner sometimes can return the favor.

"Every as soon as in a while, ns can offer him the best look or play something ~ above the guitar that it s okay to him," the said.

Right now, Haner is content being Dunham's companion in comedy and also appreciates Dunham's creativity.

"He comes from a an extremely edgy place. The difference between just constant comedy or ventriloquist and also stand-up is like the difference between caffeine and cocaine. There's a sting to stand-up. And also he says things the you wouldn't usually hear a puppet say," Haner said.

"When you go to see a show, it's choose seeing five different comedians. And also people love it. The characters are like rock stars. Every time he traction one out, they go crazy for your favorite one."

"Jeff has become so large now that us fly in a private jet. We have the $1 million tour bus law arenas. It's every 5-star hotels. I'm tagging follow me for the drive here. Jeff's gracious sufficient to allow me be a component of it."

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