Neal Brennan’s voice is one of the more unique voices in comedy today.

If you listen to a lot of comedians talk about their craft, they will tell you that one of the hardest things to do when you’re starting out is to find your voice. Some comedians adopt a brash, confrontational tone, others a quiet reserved one. That voice informs so much of their delivery that the same joke could have very different connotations depending on the comedian (imagine Mitch Hedberg delivering Andrew Clay’s material, or vice versa).

 Outwardly so many of his jokes possess the kind of swagger of a more brash, shocking comedian, but delivered with just enough self-doubt that you can’t help but start critically thinking about everything he has to say. Add to all that a kind of analytical intelligence and just a small dose of absurdity and  you’re forced to think about each and every punchline on multiple layers.

One minute Brennan can be offering relationship advice with the poise of someone who has clearly mastered the art of courtship, only to be admitting that he is actually awful at maintaining a relationship a few minutes later.

He can talk about how stupid and primitive the average male can be about his sexual prowess from a position of learned authority, of course throwing himself under that same bus in the next beat.

He can somehow be preachy and relatable in the same breath, which allows him to weave in and out of topics like the political climate of America and masturbation seamlessly, with neither topic seeming out of place.

It’s that kind of broadly appealing but equally thought provoking and self-deprecating comedy that made his collaboration with Dave Chappelle (good lord, that was almost 15 years ago) one of the most memorable television comedies of the last 20 years.

Here We Go offers some of the best of what Brennan has to offer. If you’ve seen any of his spots on The Daily Show recently you won’t be disappointed.

Here We Go plays until Friday July 27th at the 2018 Edition of Just for Laughs. Tickets and more info here. Check out 3 Mics on Netflix.

Janelle James

Opening up for Neal the evening that we saw him was Janelle James. I had never had the pleasure of seeing James perform before and her jokes were a pitch perfect set up for Brennan. James offered that same masterful zig-zagging style of comedy where one minute she’s lamenting the difficulties of dating a younger man and the next she is very much insinuating that in the right circumstances she just might eat your baby.

Do yourself a favor and check out her OFF-JFL show with Tim Dillon.

Double Threat: Janelle James and Tim Dillon has a few more shows left between now and Tuesday July 24th. Tickets and showtimes here.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

 

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