American Icons: Fathers

If you’re a fan of comedy, there’s a good chance you have heard the name Jim Breuer.

He rose to fame in the mid-90’s when he landed on SNL, becoming known for his spot-on Joe Pesci impersonation and his oddly hilarious Goat Boy character. He has since appeared in a number of movies (“Half Baked”, “Beer League” and “Zookeeper”), TV commercials and stand-up specials, all showcasing his talents as an entertainer.

But perhaps his most important accomplishment has nothing to do with his on-stage or on-screen performances. It has to do with one that largely occurred behind the scenes.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Breuer spent a decade caring for his father, Jim Breuer Sr., after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It represented a reversal of roles with the son becoming the caretaker, which Breuer documented in the touching film “More Than Me,” when he took his 84-year-old father on tour with him.

The experience led to some funny moments; on tour Breuer’s father would walk to bars not far from where his son was performing. “I’d go across the street. There’d be a crowd,” Breuer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’d be holding court for hours.”

But there were also many difficult moments – bathing his father or cleaning him, following a trip to the bathroom.

Breuer’s tale is not uncommon. Many in America are forced to face similar situations with their parents, all with a touch of humility and a good dose of strength every day.

But his tale is worth sharing for the courage and selflessness he showed while in the prime of his own life. This week, we wanted to take a moment to applaud those like Breuer who willingly tackle these duties, no matter how difficult.

And we wanted to take a moment to commend those like Breuer’s dad because it is fathers like this who instill in their children what is truly important in life.

Without them, we wouldn’t have moments like these: at the age of 91, as the elder Breuer was taking his last breaths, his son was by his side, holding him tight.

In that difficult moment, in the true words of an icon, Breuer told his father: "You taught me to be a man. You taught me how to face fear. You taught me how to be a father. You said your whole life you want me to have more than you. I have everything. Now I want you to have what I have."

To honor fathers who have made a profound difference in our lives, we are offering a 20 percent discount on all sunglasses (click this link) in our store through this Sunday. Simply type in the code DAD2015 when checking out.