Trailer Alert: Neal Brennan’s 3 Mics

So if you want a fascinating behind the scenes evolution of Neal Brennan’s superb Netflix comedy special 3 Mics track down The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.

The first Meltdown episode (“The One with the Childhood Crushes“) which aired on July 24, 2014 features about 10 minutes of Neal performing 3 Mics. Kinda. It’s raw, rough and really just a seed of an idea; you can see the potential…the concept is there but the execution falls flat.

Cut to end of September 2016 and JFl42 brings Neal’s 3 Mics to Toronto. YES! My friend Dave and I went and man: so good.

A typical stand up special is a famous comedian telling jokes on a variety of topics for at least an hour. That template works: it’s what launched HBO and Netflix effectively followed HBO’s business plan with the same success.

3 Mics differs because a) Neal is not famous-famous…he’s well known as co-writer and co-creator of Chappelle’s Show with Dave Chappelle, directing Nike commercials and recently directing episode of Inside Amy Schumer (I struggle with that show…it tries way hard to be clever instead of funny. In Living Color did both!). And…2: there are 3 Mics!

One Mic is for one linears…say tweets.

One Mic is for standard stand up comedy…say Facebook posts.

However the third Mic…the one in the middle is where Neal’s talent excels: that’s for an Instagram unfiltered snapshot of his life growing up with an alcoholic dad and coping with depression. If that doesn’t sound funny it’s because it’s not…the middle mic monologues are gut wrenching and spellbinding storytelling…very much like John Leguizamo’s outstanding stage work (I recommend checking out Freak and Sexaholix: A Love Story…oh and Ghetto Klown as well).

You will laugh and you will have a single tear roll down: in other words you’ll have a good time. Neal is an astute observer our pop culture…he can bridge that divide between white culture and black culture (some of the stuff he says reminds me of friends from Scarborough. Yes Guy!).


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Also published on Medium.

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