Unless you fancy yourself a real comedy geek, Neal Brennan’s name probably doesn’t immediately jump out at you. Especially as a stand-up. Brennan does have an impressive resumé, however, but mostly off-camera and most notably as co-creator of Chappelle’s Show. He also co-wrote 1998’s love-it-or-hate-it stoner classic Half Baked with Chappelle. More recently Brennan has directed episodes of New Girl and The Mindy Project.
But stand-up is where it all started for the comic, and in fact he’s said that’s where most of the material for his TV writing comes from. The title of his first hour-long special for Comedy Central that he also directed, Women and Black Dudes, says it all, as Brennan waxes on the two things he says are on his mind the most (like all white dudes in their late 30s, right?).
Brennan notes early on in the special that he has a lot of black friends, which leads to some interesting and, of course, hilarious situations (“I remember when my black friends started calling me the ‘N word’—let’s face it, it was pretty exciting”). He’s since been approved to use the “N word”—but only in his circle…or unless the other person happens to know his friend Jamal.
Brennan’s take on race and politics recalls his Chappelle’s Show days, and even his delivery is similar to that of his former partner. Both are easily likable, and their observations so acute that even when they’re full-on exploiting stereotypes it’d be hard for even the stiffest P.C. peeps to be offended. His takes on sex and women are just as good. He notes how girls are always freezing and starving and how men don’t have types (their types find them). He also wonders about the origins of sixty-nine-ing.
Brennan doesn’t play a character. In fact, he’s so down-to-earth there are times when even he seems surprised by the reaction a joke is getting. Women and Black Dudes shows that Brennan can carry a vehicle by himself. It’ll be interesting to see where his name pops up next.