You may know Neal Brennan as the co-creator of Chappelle’s Show and the director of 2009’s The Goods, but he’s also one of the funniest stand-up comics working today. He answered a few questions for us, including discussing his upcoming Comedy Central special which debuts January 18th at midnight.
So what can you tell us about your new stand-up special?
I guess that it’s funny and I believe everything I’m saying. And that it airs January 18th at midnight on Comedy Central.
Are there any specific venues you enjoy performing at the most?
The Comedy Cellar in NY is incredible. It’s sort of a mecca for modern stand-up. The Laugh Factory in LA is great. It’s got a clean energy and it was the first place in LA that I worked regularly, thanks to the owner, Jamie Masada. The Comedy Store in La Jolla, CA is great. The crowds are just ticklish there. And they have signs from shows in the ’70s, when David Letterman was a middle act. It’s a bit like traveling back in time. The Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, CA. I do a show there every Sunday where my friends and I try new material. It’s perfect for that. The crowds are intimate and it’s only $5, so they don’t expect much from me. And I often deliver on their expectations.
What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happened to you during a stand-up performance?
There was a fight in the crowd. It was at the Comedy Store in LA which is arguably the hardest room in the world. It was funny because I just went right back into my act like nothing had happened…”Ladies, can we talk about sex for a second?” or something like that.
Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
I follow 500 people, but I guess I especially follow Rob Delaney, Alec Sulkin, Michael Ian Black, Alain DeBotton, Chelsea Peretti, Vanessa Ramos, Bob Powers, Chris D’elia.
You’ve been directing a lot of television episodes recently, including The Mindy Project and New Girl. Is this something you’d like to continue to focus on?
It’s not something that I necessarily can focus on. These shows know I’m available if they want. It’s up to them to invite me on. I do love doing it, though. It’s like babysitting somebody else’s kid. I’m just trying not to kill the baby.
Who are some of your biggest comedic influences?
Where can people see you do stand-up in 2014?
For the time being, I’m just gonna stay in LA and work on new material. So I’m afraid they have to come here. And hopefully, I’ll be on TV every once in a while.