Review: Comedians Of The World – Neal Brennan

neal brennan index
The only special I’d previously seen of Neal Brennan’s was 3 Mics where he used the various microphones to tell different types of jokes, from a polished stand up set to one liners to the personal and serious. Only some of the one liners let the side down, the rest was a fascinating insight in to the man and a very funny one at that. Now he’s back with a new half hour special in Netflix’s Comedians of the World series and given the format it’s understandably a simpler set, but no less funny.

Brennan opens with some Trump jokes to get the audience on side, attacking the idiots who voted Trump in to shake things up and it’s joyful to see someone take on these people when many comedians skirt around the issue and just make shitty jokes about the President himself. Not that he’s an unsuitable target, he of course deserves to be torn apart, but those responsible for his being in office are all too often ignored. Brennan also tackles racial stereotyping and religion, it’s inspired stuff and earns a well deserved round of applause.

It gets less pointed but equally as funny when he discusses a recent trip to Germany, and the difficulties when it comes to not mentioning Hitler in the country. Describing Germany as “It’s like the South but they’re ashamed”, there’s a lot of strong material, and and Brennan even manages to convince that their should be statues of Hitler in Germany. Gender and sex norms questionably sees him on rockier ground but it’s dripping with irony and so works well and once again he attacks the kind of twats who struggle with the changes in society, and quickly explores what is and what isn’t a compliment.

Sex, consent and pornography are the main subjects for the rest of the special and Brennan makes some important points about the level of danger women are in on first dates. Unfortunately at this point he goes off on a tangent about how men will basically have sex with anyone and it’s a little bland, given the subject matter it’s a shame he doesn’t concentrate on the original topic and discuss something which really needs to be talked about rather than the kind of subjects which have been done to death. At least it leads to a superb joke about women enveloping men, and great gags about how when animals have sex it looks like they’re robbing an ATM and what happened when he met Ellen DeGeneres.

There’s a couple of segments which don’t quite work, a bit of women’s egos makes too many generalisations, there’s a slightly patronising moment where he talks about men not wanting to get married, and his joke about repurposing “Hashtag MeToo” is just shit, pure and simple, he makes a self-deprecating comment about it but it would have been better if it’d just cut it completely. It’s a shame as the majority of the set is smart and very funny, Brennan makes astute observations and if he can stay away from blanket statements and the odd dodgy comment his star should rise very quickly.

Alex Finch.

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