Neal Brennan is the Emmy Award nominated co-creator of Chappelle's Show. Brennan co-wrote Half-Baked and directed The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, starring Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, and Will Ferrell. As a stand up comedian, he as appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Last Call with Carson Daily, and Lopez Tonight.
• Colin Jost (Colin Kelly Jost is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and head writer for the TV program...)
• Joel Hodgson (Joel Gordon Hodgson is an American writer, comedian and television actor. He is best known for cr...)
• Kerry Ehrin (Kerry Ehrin is a television writer. She has worked on the NBC drama series Friday Night Lights. S...)» All TV Writer Interviews
I am Neal Brennan, a comedian, writer, director, and voice over person. I co-created Chappelle's Show and have done a bunch of other stuff. I host a show on SundanceTV called "The Approval Matrix." It airs every Monday at 11PM. Ask Me Anything.
I love The Champs podcast. It's the only podcast that I've found which bears repeat listens...seriously. One topic I haven't heard you address on the show is how you and Moshe were paired up. At first glance, it seems like an odd pairing, but I think you 2 are the perfect foils for one another. So, how did you 2 come to create The Champs?
I just saw him at the comedy store and was impressed with his presence and experience.
Thanks for doing another AMA!
Dave once said that “I guess shooting a white slave master is only funny to me and Neal.” So I’m wondering if you and Dave watched “Django Unchained” and pissed yourselves laughing at the multiple slave master deaths in that movie? Or perhaps was it taken seriously by both of you?
Django was a totally different tone. But Dave called me after he saw it with an amazing joke..."Do you think slaves spanked their kids?"
Did DJ Douggpound leave because you were too mean to him?
Doug never really liked doing the podcast. He wanted to make money from it and felt like me and moshe never gave him a chance to talk. Which is all fair.
Have you asked Dave to do the Champs? When he said no, how did he say it?
He has an open invitation. He said he wanted to do a live one. But… Who knows?
Chappelle recently said on letterman that there was a chance of chappelles show coming back.
Any chance you would be involved in the project?
Nope and I'll give you $1000 if the show comes back. hit me up on Reddit.
A female friend of mine said she met you on Tinder. Is it true that you have a strong Tinder game?
My tinder game varies. Also I'm prone to get sick of it and take it off my phone.
If you could pick any 3 comedians (alive or dead) to hang out in a room and chat with, who would you pick and why?
Patrice O'Neal, Mark twain, and Doug Stanhope. Three of the most original minds in American comedy history. I would also throw in Bill Hicks and Bill Burr and Billy Wilder.
What's your favorite Tracy Morgan story?
That before 9/11 he was on a commuter jet that didn't have a bathroom so he relieved himself in the cockpit in front of the pilots into a mountain dew bottle.
What's your favourite comedy show on TV at the moment?
John Oliver's show on HBO.
After one of your shows at the Hollywood Improv, you were talking to some chicks. After you left one of them said something like, "As if... he may have money, but he's too old and not cute." I went over and called her a twat waffle and she flipped out and knocked over my drink. Can you buy me another?
That's hilarious. I'll reimburse you. Also, who says something like "he's too old and not cute?" Were they movie characters?
I was on a first date and went to see some standup. You came on stage and said I looked like a pedophile. Were you going to say that about someone no matter what or did that really come to mind when you looked at me? I never heard from her again, so I can't be sure if you helped me or ruined something wonderful.
Not planned. I must have really thought you looked like a pedo. Sorry man. Let's assume I did you a favor so I can sleep at night.
Neal. Big fan. Can you go into more detail on how Season 3 of Chappelle's show ended so clunky and maybe elaborate on the state of mind of Dave? How is he doing nowadays by the way. Are you two still friends and stay in touch?
Detail? Not really. But yes me and Dave are still friends and do still keep in touch.
How did you and Moshe come up with the idea of The Champs podcast? Also did you feel Riff Raff was genuine after doing the podcast with him?
We needed a premise and I have a lot of black friends that are interesting/famous and weren't on other podcasts - so we went for it. Riff raff is and remains pure jibberish. But I sort of like him.
I fuck with the Champs in a big way. I think fans would like to see a video recording of the podcast, at least of some of the bigger guests that you have on. Any chance of adding a video component to the Champs?
Worldstar actually asked us if we wanted to do a video version on their site. And me and moshe are so disorganized that I forgot until right this moment.
Who's been your most fascinating guest on The Champs?
One of my favorites is the Robert Townsend episode. But honestly there's something fascinating about every episode. Although for most fascination, I would say superhead
If Jerrod Carmichael and Michael Che teamed up to do a show, would you consider directing it?
Absolutely. I fuck with both of them.
Please have Chelsea Peretti back on her own episode. Or do an episode of hers. Please?
When Dave calls you, is he like, "Neal! Neal, it's Dave, Neal! Neal!" but like in that Dave Chappelle's voice?
When are you going on the Howard Stern Show?
Never been invited but Howard is a huge influence on my career listened to them all through high school every day.
Who are some good, relatively unknown, standup comedians to keep an eye out for?
At this point there almost are no unknown comedians. Thanks to bloggers everyone sort of knows who everyone is at this point. But I would suggest watching Jerrod Carmichaels HBO special in October that'll be good. And go to a club near you.
If access/time/whatever weren't an issue who would be your top 3 choices for guests on the champs?
Eddie Murphy for 3 episodes.
I can do whatever needs to be done.
I can write, pitch ideas, PA, help with setup/breakdown. Seriously anything short of fellacio and I'm down...
and if we're being realistic -- I could be talked into fellacio.
Where do you live?
Neal, what's your opinion on the documentary- "The 50 Million Dollar Question" ?
Never gonna watch it but dozens of people have told me it's fair and well made.
Never gonna watch it because I don't need to see how somebody interprets my life.
But it's a cool idea for a documentary
Whats it like to do @Midnight?
It's fun. It's an awesome show. Should have mentioned it in my fave Comedy Central shows. South Park also.
When will you have Chrissy Tiegen on the podcast?
Soon. She's a funny motherfucker and a total mess.
You once alluded to some inside information re: the Chris Brown/Rihanna drama that made you see it in a different light. Can you tell us any more? Do you ever see yourself hitting a woman for any reason?
Can't really talk about it. But I'd never hit a woman obviously.
Hey Neal! My question is how can I get a job on the Approval Matrix? I'll work for Bangladeshi wages...
Thanks for the laughs.
What do you want to do?
Hey Neal, you a Kenan man or more of a Kel guy?
I guess Kenan. I'm still friends with Kenan.
How come Yassin Bey (aka Mos Def) hates you?
Don't think he hates me.
neal, your thoughts on bert kreischer?
and you need to do JRE again.
kriesher is funny. Supposed to do JRE in next few weeks
I know you love your documentaries, which recent ones do you recommend?
There is one on Netflix right now called "the battered bastards of baseball." I don't even like baseball and it's an awesome documentary.
Do you like Kristen Wiig? I recently had a 'fight' with a weirdo on a message board who tried to tell me that Kristen Wiig had no talent and her career was over. Even when i told them that she is writing and directing her own movie, is in Lorne Michael's top 3 cast members ever has been oscar nominated and was just nominated for an EMMY they kept saying that she was over. What's the best way to deal with people like that? Ignore or insult?
Just end it. It's a subjective argument. I know Wigg a little bit. I went to her birthday party this past Saturday night. It was fun.
What new hip-hop have you been listening to?
Action Bronson big Sean ASAP rocky meek mill
Does Moshe smell a little funny? Cause it sure does look like he might...
I don't think so. But I agree. He looks like he would.
There have been many instances where you and Dave have expressed your disappointment in how Half Baked turned out, however I don't feel like I have ever heard what you guys wanted it to turn out like. Any chance you can relate 2-3 things you guys would have done differently or ended up on the cutting room floor?
It would have been more cinematic. Like trainspotting. Less goofy and colorful.
What NBA players would you like to get on the podcast?
I'd like to get deandre jordan, Dwayne wade seems like he's secretly funny. Tim Duncan is funny from what I hear. Zach Randolph strikes me as a weird funny dude. Russell Westbrook. I could go on.
Do you have a story you've wanted to tell but no one has ever asked the right question?
Hey what is your favorite room in nyc? Love to catch you live sometime.
Comedy cellar. Or Hannibal's night at the knitting factory in Brooklyn.
I'm a big fan of your podcast! I love it when you guys discuss girls and relationships, I've actually learned a lot from those discussions (I'm a 20 yr old white girl btw)
What's your favorite episode of Frontline?
Probably "Bush's War." On frontline. Sad, comprehensive, long. About Iraq.
What's your favorite on Comedy Central at the moment?
Toss up. Schumer, daily show Colbert drunk history Kroll key and peele. Lotta good shit.
Neal Brennan, I owe the Chappelle Show Season 1 & 2 DVDs, I subscribe to the Champs, I watched the Goods, I own Half Baked, I'm a black guy, and the only thing I don't have is a Samsung phone. Will you please unblock me on twitter so I can start following you without sending messages to the Champs twitter account or Moshe?
Why did I block you? And remember, nobody gets blocked for no reason.