Published on July 29th, 2016


David Liebe Hardt Credit: Jonah Mociun

David Liebe Hart Credit: Jonah Mociun

If you believe David Liebe Hart, the puppeteer who offers bizarre life lessons on Adult Swim’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” the musician has met aliens and can trace his heritage to U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant. On the cult sketch-comedy show, the street performer-turned ventriloquist has claimed he’s related to Orville and Wilbur Wright; and that, as a child, he was abducted by a race of vegetarian aliens called “Korrindians.”

The line between derangement and showmanship seems just as blurred in his music, performed on “Tim and Eric” against low-budget, “Reading Rainbow”-style starry-night backdrops. The balding, crooked-toothed Hart, with his self-aware goofiness, obvious ventriloquistic mouth movements and operatic singing style, is usually accompanied by his hand puppet companion Doug the Dog – or, in most-popular video “Salame,” a bow-tied tiger named Jason. On his new full-length album, “Astronaut,” a collection of similarly outré songs, Hart waxes on the tenets of Christian Science, failed relationships and UFOs. On his soulful funk single “The Pickle Man & Mr. Moose,” Hart recalls the time he lived in a haunted Chicago house inhabited by two ghost dogs that enjoyed a special form of torture. “I got licked and tickled and my blankets pulled out from over me,” Hart says, recalling the song by phone from his Los Angeles home. “They were very devious. Ghosts are just as real as extraterrestrials and Bigfoot.”

Hart cut his teeth as a puppeteer at Sunday school in Washington, D.C., when Jim Henson taught in the Christian Science church. “There were famous puppeteers teaching there,” Hart says. “When he saw that I became famous, he asked me to do puppet shows teaching kids to say no to drugs.” His popularity grew when Hart was discovered performing with his puppets outside the Hollywood Bowl and the Santa Monica Pier, which led to stints as an evangelist and public-access host. His surreal brand of alt-comedy proved a perfect fit for “Tim and Eric,” where he appeared for three seasons.

During his South Florida stop, Hart’s songs of paranormal encounters will be accompanied by videos and producer Jonah Mociun, a.k.a. Th’Mole, his recent collaborator.

David Liebe Hart will perform 8:30 pm Aug. 12 at O’Malley’s Sports Bar, 1388 State Road 7, in Margate. Opening acts include KocosantÈ and Jigsaw Youth. Cover is $10. ArtByLiebeHart.com.
~ Phillip Valys