This isn’t a Netflix review post, but if it were, here’s a good review. I was catching up on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast the other day, listening to an interview with Neal Brennan. Do you know this guy? Most noted for his co-creation of Chappelle’s Show, he continues his comedy writing for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Inside Amy Schumer to name a couple. Netflix recently did a comedy special for his stand-up called Neal Brennan: 3 Mics wherein Brennan takes on a different format from what you’d expect on a comedy special. The literal “3 mics” each served different forms of comedy: one for on-liner jokes, one for regular stand-up, and the third for a more narrative comedy, where Brennan dives a littler deeper into thoughtful, emotional comedy story-telling, hitting tops like depression and father-son issues as subjects. An honest showcase tying humor with human-ness.
First of all, from a review standpoint — great special. This guy is hella funny, and his subdued, every-man delivery puts you immediately in the company of a friend who’s easy to listen to, relate to, and laugh with. Watch it. It’ll be fun.
Aside from its comfy, comedic content, I’m also responding to the actual format of the comedy special. The “3 mics,” Brennan explained in his NPR interview, was the best way to present his material and really share his talent in a way that set him apart… not to show how much cooler and different he is than other comedians (although, accomplished)… but that he realized that what he does creatively doesn’t fit in a regular format. He’s not just a stand-up comic, or a writer, or a story-teller the way David Chapelle or other greats are known to be. He acknowledges this difference modestly and thoughtfully, recognizing that the usual format wasn’t the right way to share his work, and he’d have to make it to fit himself.
Brave move, Brennan. And good show.
Okay, now go and watch it. For reals.