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A multi-threat comedian of Irish Catholic heritage whose primary influences were Jewish (Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Lewis), Neal Brennan gained fame by co-creating and writing for Chappelle’s Show from 2003 to 2006, proving that he can move smoothly among races and ethnicities and adapt his comedy accordingly. Before that breakthrough, Brennan penned the screenplay for the widely panned 1998 comedy movie Half Baked, which featured co-writer Dave Chappelle. More recently, the Emmy-nominated Brennan has contributed to Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show as a writer and on-air correspondent. For one segment, this staunch atheist delivered a brilliant explanation of why Republicans need Jesus: The alleged Savior was the only thing keeping their worst instincts from running rampant. “Now they’re about as interested in morality as Steve Bannon is in face cream.” As Gary Gulman did in The Great Depresh, Brennan threads the needle of being both hilarious and poignant about depression. Also, in his innovative 2017 Netflix special 3 Mics, Brennan conceived a way to end racism… by ending race as we know it, through interbreeding. “We gotta fuck our way out of racism,” he reasoned. “Mixed people will end racism, because you can’t hate what you don’t know what they are.” For the Unacceptable show, Brennan promises to strike comedy gold through merciless, self-deprecating humor about his defects and overpowering sense of alienation.
PS: Seconds after I published this blurb, I heard Brennan say in an interview that he was no longer an atheist, because ayahuasca had made him a believer in god, so I guess he’s one of those spiritual people who don’t belong to traditional religion. Do with that what you will.