Not My Job: Comedian Neal Brennan Gets Quizzed On Guys Named Mike
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody.
SAGAL: This week we are off at a meditation retreat, staying away from the news, breathing the fresh air and living in a complete fantasy.
KURTIS: I can't believe President Oprah balanced the budget and gave everybody a car.
SAGAL: While we are daydreaming, we are offering up some soothing segments from recent shows for your enjoyment. Back in March, our show was hosted by Jessi Klein, who did such a great job that I hurried back as soon as I could.
KURTIS: She interviewed comedian Neal Brennan, whose new special, "3 Mics," had just come out on Netflix.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
JESSI KLEIN, HOST:
So, Neal, for people who haven't seen your special yet, tell us - just give us a basic rundown of what the concept of the three mics is.
NEAL BRENNAN: There are three mics on stage, just, like, mics on stands, and they're just basically spaced out. Like, they each have, like, a little area. And I just go from one mic to the other. I basically do, like, 10 minutes of stand-up, then 10 minutes of, like, more emotional honesty, I guess, and then, like, two minutes of one-liners. And then I just repeat.
KLEIN: Now, at what point in your stand-up did you start thinking, I got to start adding mics? One mic can't hold everything Neal Brennan has to offer.
BRENNAN: Well, no, I had to - it was between emotional mics or just doing - becoming a mime.
BRENNAN: So in stand-up you can't really be that honest. And you can kind of just - you're honest a little bit in the set-up where you'll be like, my dad's deaf or whatever, and then you'll go from there. And then my - dad's not really deaf. But you know what I mean.
KLEIN: Your dad's not really deaf. He's - it's even worse. Your dad's dead.
BRENNAN: Yeah, my dad's dead. Yeah. That's correct.
KLEIN: We're really selling your stand-up special.
BRENNAN: So - but it's - but how he died is hilarious.
ALONZO BODDEN: Neal, have you ever had an audience confused? Like, why you keep doing this sad stuff? Can't you stay funny?
BRENNAN: Yeah. Yeah. I was doing - I didn't - someone came to my show in Chicago and a woman didn't know what the premise of the show was, so she went on my Instagram, my Facebook and my Twitter during the show and was basically like, dude, you got to stop doing this emotional stuff, thinking that I would somehow, like, get a note on stage and be like, you know what? She's right.
KLEIN: You tweeted recently that women are more interested in you since your special. And I wanted to know - how is that manifesting? Like, are women coming up to you and just saying, like, oh, my God, you are so hot when you talk about your lifelong struggle with depression?
KLEIN: Tell me more about your dead dad and your depression.
BRENNAN: Not exactly, but I will say, like - Jessi, do you know what sliding into someone's DMs means?
BRENNAN: OK. I get a lot of women sliding into my DMs. I don't know if you want to explain that to...
KLEIN: I don't. I definitely want you to do it.
BRENNAN: Sliding into the DMs is when someone on Instagram especially direct messages you and it's of a sexual nature, hence the slide. Do you understand?
HELEN HONG: Oh.
ADAM FELBER: Oh.
BODDEN: Neal, was that the plot behind the whole special?
BRENNAN: (Laughter) Yeah.
BODDEN: Just to get more women?
BRENNAN: I was trying to get more women to slide.
KLEIN: Neal, where do you rate your special on the Netflix and chill scale? Like, how chillable (ph) is your special?
BRENNAN: It - are you talking about, like, are you going to do some live sliding? Is that what you mean?
KLEIN: Yeah, I actually think it's exactly what I mean.
FELBER: That's exactly what you mean.
KLEIN: That's exactly what I mean.
HONG: Oh, yeah.
BRENNAN: I - it's - do it early.
KLEIN: Do it...
BRENNAN: If you're going to do it.
KLEIN: Yeah, do it before you get to that third mic.
BRENNAN: Yeah, 'cause my ex said that three mics is the biggest red flag in the history of red flags. Do you agree?
KLEIN: You do have a lot of red flags just up and down.
KLEIN: I mean, I think the red flagness (ph) is balanced out by the fact that you do present - and I mean this as a compliment - like, there's a wounded bird quality that I do think - I will say as a woman that I did also find appealing.
BRENNAN: Yeah. OK. Good.
HONG: A lot of women like a fixer-upper project.
BRENNAN: Yes. Oh, I need - you know, what I need is a good woman to save me.
FELBER: (Laughter) And now you're just trolling for them.
KLEIN: Well, Neal, it's time to play a game that we're calling...
KURTIS: Three more Mikes.
KLEIN: Your stand-up special, as you know, is called "3 Mics," as in microphone. We're going to ask you about three Mikes as in Michael, the name. Do like what we did there?
BRENNAN: I - yeah, I get it and I love it.
KLEIN: So get two right and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl Kasell's voice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Neal playing for?
KURTIS: Jon Paddock of Portland, Maine.
KLEIN: OK, Neal, your first Mike is a Canadian 17-year-old high school student named Mike Rowe. Young Mike Rowe ended up in court why? A, he started a software company called Mike Rowe Soft and he was sued by Microsoft...
KLEIN: ...B, he was sued by the other Mike Rowe for his web series, "Really, Really Dirty Jobs"; or C, he regularly made small insults to marginalized groups? You know, Mike Rowe aggressions.
BRENNAN: I'm - I don't think you can sue for microaggressions even in Canada. So...
BRENNAN: ...I'm going to go with A.
KLEIN: A, he started a software company called Mike Rowe Soft?
KLEIN: You are correct.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
KLEIN: The answer was A, Mike Rowe Soft. He settled in exchange for an X-Box. Your next Mike is Mike Malloy. He came to prominence in the 1930s and earned a nickname. What was it? Was it A, Mike the Durable - gangsters repeatedly tried to kill him by poisoning his whiskey, but he'd been drinking bad whiskey so long it only made him stronger?
KLEIN: B, his nickname was Killer Mike - he wasn't a rapper, though, he just murdered a lot of people?
KLEIN: Or C, he actually invented the Hitler mustache, earning him the name Third Reich Mike?
BRENNAN: I want this so bad. Let's go with A.
KLEIN: A, you're right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
KLEIN: Mike the Durable.
FELBER: Very good, Neal.
KLEIN: They tried antifreeze, turpentine, rat poison. Later they just tried running him over, but that didn't work either.
KLEIN: And I will say when I read that the first time I was, like, oh, that doesn't seem funny to me. And they were like, no, that really happened. They tried to run him over. So here is your last question, Neal, about a Mike. Famous candy brand Mike and Ike caused a religious outcry when they did what? A, briefly ran an ad campaign where a nun prayed to a rosary made out of Mike and Ikes; B, implied that Mike and Ike were a gay couple; or C, were used in a public school sex ed class to illustrate conception?
BRENNAN: Well, by the way, this is - we already won the game. So this is just - we're - now we're just having fun, right?
FELBER: Victory lap.
BRENNAN: I know.
KLEIN: Neal, I'd like you to just do this for the journey.
KLEIN: And it's not about winning or losing.
BRENNAN: Great. Let's go with B.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
KLEIN: B. In 2012, the Family Research Council accused Mike and Ike of, quote, unquote, "sexualizing candy" and, quote, "chipping away at the value of marriage" in an impassioned radio address critiquing the unholy and fruity union of Mike and Ike.
KLEIN: Bill, how did Neal do on our quiz?
KURTIS: You know, not many people get all three right, but Neal Brennan did. Congratulations, Neal.
KLEIN: Neal Brennan's great stand-up special "3 Mics" is available on Netflix. Neal, thank you so much for joining.
BRENNAN: Thank you for having.
KLEIN: Thanks, Neal.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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