Aliens, ghosts and puppets are three peculiar things, especially when placed next to one another. However, these things go hand in hand when it comes to musician, actor and puppeteer David Liebe Hart.
Hart’s name might not be familiar to you, but fans of late-night absurdist comedy know him as one of the many recurring guests on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! He appeared numerous times during the oddball sketch comedy show’s five seasons, primarily with musical numbers that saw Hart and one of his puppets singing in front of low-budget green screen while cheesy, VHS-quality overlays and graphics fill the empty space. Now, these songs weren’t your everyday pop tunes, that’s for sure. Hart’s segments featured songs about alien encounters, insects, puberty and the fascinating technology of email. While this probably strikes you as weird, as a part of something like Awesome Show, they fit right in.
Aside from the occasional acting gig in other Tim and Eric programs such as the John C. Reilly-starring Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, Hart tours, does stand-up and releases his own music. His latest tour will bring the performer to Murfreesboro venue The Block on March 15, with several other Tennessee shows also planned.
We called David Liebe Hart to chat in advance of this show, and things got interesting, to say the least. While Hart’s brand of entertainment comes off to some as absurdist comedy, it’s much, much more than that. You may see his songs about aliens and ghosts as an act, but I guarantee you, it’s not. Hart is genuine in all his beliefs, no matter how “out there” they may seem. He’s an intriguing guy with a load of peculiar thoughts.
During our 50-minute conversation, Hart jumped from topic to topic erratically, with subjects including, but not limited to: Dolly Parton, his work aiding the homeless, wild boars, railroads, his estranged relationship with his family, Donald Trump, crop circles, endangered flower species, his resemblance to weatherman Al Roker and the fact that his mother was a schoolmate of country legend Charley Pride. His musings were wacky, interesting, and sometimes poignant, but, of course, virtually impossible to publish in full.
However, here are some choice excerpts from the interview with David Liebe Hart:
Murfreesboro Pulse: What are you looking forward to most about visiting Tennessee?
Hart: My favorite country-western show was Hee Haw. I loved watching Hee Haw growing up in the ’70s. I’d like to tour the Grand Ole Opry, and I’d like to someday come out with a country-western album. . . . I’d like to have contract to do a country-western album. I’d like a famous producer to discover me and become bigger than Charley Pride . . . I always wanted to do country and western music in Nashville.
One of your primary hobbies is painting. What are your favorite things to paint?
I love painting flowers and aliens. I love painting beautiful women and someday I hope to have one in my life that’s sincere. I love painting flowers; I love nature. . . . I used to work on a farm in Wisconsin and had relatives that owned a farm, and I belonged to 4-H clubs, where I learned to love nature. I used to go camping, hunting and fishing with my dad and really enjoyed that.
Could you tell me a little about the inspiration for your song “The Pickle Man & Mr. Moose”?
“The Pickle Man and Mr. Moose” is based on a real, real story . . . [The man who sold us a house] told my parents that the house was haunted by these three German Shepherd dogs. My sister and the family didn’t take it seriously. Lo and behold, when he moved all his stuff out of the house, these three ghosts that were orange appeared. Two of them looked like the head of a moose, like you see in the artwork I made for the music video. They would tickle my sister and I, they would throw silverware around and they would play the piano. They were really devious characters.
Did you have any more ghostly encounters when you were younger?
One day I went hunting and fishing with my dad, and I forgot to feed my pet frog and fish, and they all died. So the frog came back and haunted me. He stared at me while I did my homework. He looked like the ghost of a green frog. He’d hop around; he wouldn’t touch me, but he’d just stare at me. That frog haunted me for about 6 or 7 or 8 years, and then he went away.
What is the biggest aspect about alien life you think people need to understand?
Aliens are real. They call them angels in the Bible. A lot of kings and queens and leaders of countries used to go to extra-terrestrials for wisdom and understanding. They’re real. They’re as real as the air we breathe. If you think we’re the only [intelligent life forms], it’s like saying there’s only one kind of animal or one kind of flower. It’s lame and very closed-minded. . . . You have to have an open mind. If you have a closed mind, and you’re fixed on being negative and an unbeliever, you’ll never see an alien. A lot of people are brainwashed into thinking extra-terrestrials and ghosts don’t exist, but they do.
You had a lot strange things happen to you and a lot of setbacks in your life. Despite all that, you remain so positive. How do you maintain that positivity?
I was raised in Christian Science, which is a branch of a New-Thought religion that teaches you to think positive and rise above the storms. . . . It’s like an airplane that has me rise above the storm of misfortune and failure and bad relationships with people. I know that God loves me, and if God is for me, who can be against me? I know that God a bigger things in store for me, like he’s fostered my career now. I’m thankful that I get to tour all over the United States and in Australia and bring happiness and joy to people. I’m looking forward to making a lot people happy with my music and stand-up comedy and puppeteering and doing a good show for them.
For more information on David Liebe Hart, head to artbyliebehart.com
“The Pickle Man & Mr. Moose”
This electronic tale of three orange ghosts that haunted Hart’s childhood home is a fun, wacky highlight from his album Astronaut. It as absurd as it is catchy, and tells a fun tale you and your kids could get a laugh out of.
“I’m in Love With an Insect Woman”
Along with “Salame,” “I’m in Love With an Insect Woman,” is arguably Hart’s best Awesome Show song. It’s your typical song about infatuation, except, you know, it’s about a bug person from another planet. With some soulful vocals from Hart and assistance from one of his puppets, a song about giving birth to spider babies never sounded so good.
A great example of Hart’s positivity comes on “Rap Music,” where, in a hip-hop style, he talks about the wrong and offensive aspects of most rap. He encourages women to be themselves, artists to abstain from cursing and for kids to stay in school. He just wants to use rap to bring people together, and conveys that in a catchy upbeat way.
“La Rent Doesn’t Want Me to Look at Porn”
Hart embraces his alien encounters on this track from his album Go to the Light. It’s a rocker that tells the story of an alien telling him to, as the title suggests, stop looking at porn and “see the light.” It’s a trip to listen to, and has an equally weird video to accompany it.
“Story of David Liebe Hart”
This collaboration with musician Adam Papagan is an autobiographical track that touches on everything from his relationships, an alleged friendship with Robin Williams and his own alien abduction. It’s a musical look at the strange life of David Liebe Hart.