Three year on the standup circuit, and the 51-year-old completed musician rotate musician-comedian has been opening wildly renowned comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's arena dates for a year. He plays a key role twice during every show, slinging his Schecter hybrid electric/digital guitar v the stand-up-ventriloquist and also his 5 iconic puppets.

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\"Within six months, us were doing 10,000-seat arenas. It simply kind the all go out up,\" Haner stated in a phone interview indigenous a tour avoid in Spokane, Wash. \"I had the best product. I was the best guy, and that's just luck. That's simply pure luck the he taken place to be acquisition off and also getting really large at that time and just brought me along.\"

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Jeff Dunham

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

Dunham, a veteran the late-night TV and also Comedy main gives voice, literally, to a brood of politically incorrect oddball characters. They incorporate curmudgeonly Walter, Acmed the Dead Terrorist, hyperactive Peanut and Melvin the Superhero Guy. His nearly sold-out Identity crisis tour stops Friday at cool Rapids' van Andel Arena.

\"I did 2 or three clubs, and also Jeff picked me up,\" stated Haner, who operated as a touring guitarist and singer for 25 years prior to switching come stand-up. \"He believed I could not only open because that him, but then also be part of his show and write songs for him.\"

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

\"I need to be paying my fee in comedy clubs because that 10 years prior to something favor this happens, but I had such a niche through the guitar -- and also not simply a guitar-comic, 'cause there's a couple of of those around,\" claimed Haner, who has performed with Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, candid Zappa and also produced three of his very own records, however never got to his wanted \"rock star\" status.

Dunham captured one of Haner's reflects at Chicago's Improv Club and also had his administration invite that to create the music for the YouTube song, \"Jingle Bombs,\" through puppet Achmed.

Without rehearsing, Haner join Dunham on phase to record the song. Dunham forgot Haner's name and also introduced him, via Achmed, together \"Guitar Guy.\" that stuck, and also Haner \"wears that proudly.\"

The California resident's guitar is no prop. He would be \"lost\" there is no it. Haner juxtaposes severe songs with not-so-serious lyrics.

\"I'm make the efforts to do my voice sound as great as it possibly can. And also I'm make the efforts to do the etc sound as great as the can,\" the said. \"I'm make the efforts to write a fight song, a popular music song, that simply happens to have very, very twisted lyrics.\"

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

\"Every as soon as in a while, ns can provide him the ideal look or play something ~ above the guitar that gets to him,\" he said.

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

\"He comes from a very edgy place. The difference in between just consistent comedy or ventriloquist and stand-up is like the difference between caffeine and also cocaine. There's a sting to stand-up. And he claims things that you wouldn't typically hear a puppet say,\" Haner said.

\"When you walk to watch a show, it's favor seeing five different comedians. And also people love it. The characters are choose rock stars. Each time he pulls one out, they walk crazy for your favorite one.\"

\"Jeff has end up being so big now that us fly in a personal jet. We have the $1 million tour bus law arenas. It's every 5-star hotels. I'm tagging along for the journey here. Jeff's gracious sufficient to let me it is in a component of it.\"

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