Neal Brennan: 3 Mics is a stand up comedy special that was added to Netflix earlier this week. Comedian Neal Brennan alternates between three microphones throughout the show. One is used for one liners; one is for “emotional stuff”; and another is for traditional stand up comedy.
I think Neal Brennan is so brilliant. 3 Mics is comparable to a three course meal in the sense that it’s satisfying and not at all one – note. It feels complete. Technically, yes, Brennan could have performed the show with one microphone. But it would not have been the same. The microphones provide seperation; when Brennan moves from one to another, the lights are turned off. The transitions between the microphones gives the show more organization. It helped prevent all of his material from becoming jumbled. The distinction between the short jokes, the long jokes, and the emotional stuff allowed me to appreciate each section individually. This format was great for showcasing his complexities.
Brennan used the left microphone for one liners. I’d describe them as Brennan’s observations and opinions. They are a slew of unconnected, but funny thoughts. In one of them, he called restaurants that close at 9:30 lunch restaurants. I liked that Brennan read his one liners off of flash cards. Usually, comedians don’t bring written material to the stage in their specials. It makes them seem flawless. Brennan carrying cards sort of humanized him. Also, he used colored flash cards. So cute! I love the colored ones. I know that white flash cards are just as good, but it doesn’t feel that way.
The microphone in the middle was used for “emotional stuff,” as it’s referred to in the special’s opening graphic. Brennan bared himself and talked about several things, including having depression and working with Dave Chappelle on Chappelle’s Show. He discussed his struggles and insecurities. Getting to know Brennan provided context for his stand up. It helped further explain why he is the way he is. It gave him more depth. I appreciated his honesty. I loved getting to know him as a person and not just as someone who is really funny.
Although “emotional stuff” implies “not jokes,” Brennan still worked some jokes within the storytelling. They fit in naturally. It didn’t feel like he was desperate to shove a joke in between two sentences. I think the reason he told jokes, even though this section was serious, is because Brennan himself is a funny person. It is a part of who he is.
The microphone on the right was reserved for stand up comedy. Although the one liners were stellar, I like that the stand up was more elongated and had more explanation. Brennan is a very intelligent person. He critiqued millennials, but for reasons beyond “they take selfies” and “they’re entitled.” He called them losers. I’m 20 years old, so I laughed, then realized – oh, that’s me. He’s definitely making fun of me. I’m a loser, I guess. Brennan also discussed slavery and brought up points I had never previously considered. His stand up goes beyond typical thought processes. He is something special.
3 Mics is so beautiful. It is art. I want everyone to watch it. It’ll make you laugh, think, and gain insight.