Neal Brennan: Blocks (2022) - full transcript

Follows Neal Brennan as he talks about the emotional and cultural issues that make him feel like something's wrong with him in a humorous way, from drugs and alcohol, liberalism, to his small chances of finding real love.

All right, let me explain.

Friend of mine...

"Former friend," we'll call her.

...is an artist, right?

And the theme of our friendship
is kind of feeling alone in the world.

Right? So I wrote this show,
which is about that feeling.

And I sent her the script and I was like,

"Hey, can you make a backdrop for me?"

She's like, "I got you."

And then two days ago, she sends me this.

Which feels less like alienation



and more like a second grade
speech therapist's office.

I'm like, "How am I supposed
to arrange these things?"

She's like, "Oh, you'll figure it out."

So, I'm going to be

talking to you guys...

all night, but,

I'm going to be preoccupied
with trying to satisfy her.

None of this should surprise me.

Is your life going smoothly?

Are you just floating from event to event,

feeling good about yourself?
'Cause I'm not.

Most interactions I have feel like
when you go to throw something away

and it's in one of those garbage cans
that's got a garbage hole,

a recycling hole, and a compost hole.



You do your best, but after you're like,
"I don't think I did that right."

That's how I feel most of the time.

Going through life
feeling like I fucked up,

and I'm going to get in trouble.

I worry that my final thought on Earth,
on my deathbed, is going to be,

"Is that nurse mad at me?"

These are technically the areas of my life

that make me feel like
something's wrong with me.

Some of them
are more important than others.

We can start small.
We'll start with dogs. Right?

So, I never had pets growing up, right?

But I watch videos of dogs
and they're so funny and loving,

and soldiers come back from overseas,

the dog's freaking out,
the soldier's freaking out,

the dog's fucking his face.
I'm like, you know what?

I should get a dog.

So I get a pit bull named Keith.

And um, everybody told me,
"Keith's going to be your best friend."

And I gotta say,

maybe my ninth-best friend.

Like, we're cool,

but whatever that thing is that opens up
between humans and animals

just never opened up.

And then I go,

"Do I not understand
human-dog relationships

or am I the only person
who understands human-dog relationships?"

'Cause everybody asks the same question,
"Is he a rescue?"

Yeah, they're all rescues.

None of these dogs
are thriving on their own.

Never heard a story like,
"Where'd you get your Labradoodle?"

"Went into Bank of America.
She was the manager."

"Now she's our full-time Labradoodle."

I shouldn't even say I rescued it.

People love patting
themselves on the back.

"We rescued it, saved it, adopted it."
No, you didn't.

Here's what happened
to your dog, my dog, every dog.

The dog was born into a litter,
kidnapped, given to you.

"No, Neal. You don't understand.
I'm a dog mom."

Really? You know who else was a dog mom?
That dog's mom.

We think because we talk to dogs
like they're babies, they're babies.

They're not. They're our captives. Right?

But we think because we go,
"Are you a pretty girl?"

Pitch your voice down.
See what a monster you are.

"Are you a pretty girl?"

"We can go outside.
I have to put a chain around your neck."

"Do a trick for me.
I'll give you a tiny morsel of food."

"You're my best friend."

We try to make movies about it
romanticizing the relationship,

like Marley & Me.

You know what a dog sees in Marley & Me?

He sees Taken,
but Liam Neeson never shows up.

And, by the way, I think it's my fault.
Something's wrong with me.

Uh... So I'd read books
about loving dogs... Just...

Like, okay, so is this thing...
Is this for my LGBT joke?

Or is she trying to tell me
I'm on the spectrum?

Even groups you'd think
I'd feel like I'm a part of,

I don't feel like I'm a part of. Like...

liberals.

Clearly liberal.

Look at me. Bone-thin.

I look like Rachel Maddow with a beard.

But I don't feel like part of the group,

'cause liberals are
the least-welcoming people on the planet.

Republicans are having a blast.

Grabbing pussy,
shooting guns like Westworld.

Republicans get to be greedy.

Republicans care about themselves,
their families, rich people, that's it.

Liberals got to care about everybody.

Not fetuses. But everybody else.

Am I right, liberals?

Fuck a fetus. Who's with me, liberals?

I will punt a fetus
down Wilshire if I see one.

The problem being liberal

is there's no amount of liberal
that's liberal enough.

If there's a bunch of Republicans
and someone goes,

"I'm a Republican." They go, "Come on in."

If there's a bunch of liberals
and a liberal goes, "Hey, I'm liberal,"

they're like, "We'll see."

You can believe
the right shit as a liberal,

but if you express it incorrectly,
you're fucked. It's terrifying.

Ever try to talk about
transgender issues in public?

Even right now you're like,
"We don't gotta do this."

"Don't go out like your boy.
Just move on."

But that's exactly my point.
It's terrifying.

I'm sure we all believe the right shit,
but you ever...

Trying to talk about
transgender issues in public

is like playing conversational Jenga.

You're like...

"Pronouns..."

"He... They..."

Then Republicans are like,

"Trannies? We'll call 'em trannies?"

"What happened here?
You guys playing Jenga?"

"I fucking love Jenga. Rack 'em up."

There's a lot of little
conundrums as a liberal, right?

Like, I live in Venice, California, in LA.

Yeah.

And there's a lot of
homeless people in Venice.

But I'm from New York, so it's hard
to take LA homeless people seriously.

It's like once you work
with the best, you know?

So... So one day I get home,

and I got an... email.

Paper email.

A letter, we'll call it.

The letter says,
"We're opening a homeless shelter."

As a liberal, that's great.
I keep reading.

It says, "Across the street
from your house." I was like, "Oh shit."

It was like being on a game show
like How Liberal Are You?

Like, "Uh..."

"I wrote a Black TV show."

Yeah. My neighbors
want to protest and shit.

I'm not going to protest.

I'm going to move. But I'm not going to...

No, I didn't move.

They opened the shelter.
It's not bad. It's fine.

How Liberal Are You? would be
a funny game show, wouldn't it?

"You're at an airport
and a Muslim-looking man

asks you to watch
his luggage while he prays."

How Liberal Are You?

"Pass!"

You know who's a liberal conundrum,
as a person?

Kanye.

Yeah, 'cause when Kanye
first started, he said,

"George Bush doesn't care
about Black people."

Conservatives were like,
"He needs to shut the fuck up."

Liberals were like, "Let him speak."

Then he started saying
how much he liked Trump

and liberals were like,
"He does need to shut the fuck up."

People at this point
are just exhausted by Kanye.

People are like,
"That guy's fucking crazy."

Yeah. No kidding.

He's a rapper.

Since when do you rely on rappers
for their emotional stability?

What's your argument? "Back in my day,
there was a guy named Flavor Flav."

"And he'd walk around and say,
'You know what time it is!'"

"And we did know. He had
a fucking giant clock on his chest."

"There was another fella named DMX
who'd smoke crack and bark at people."

"He'd go..."

"And we knew where he stood."

"His bark was as good as his word."

"There was another named Eminem

who'd make albums
about murdering his wife."

"These are normal people
we are talking about."

This. Maybe she'll like this.

Yeah, guns.

I lose liberals on guns.

I would like to, before I talk about this,
say that I am afraid of guns,

but it turns out the cops are too.

What's the lesson we're supposed
to learn from Uvalde? Right?

From Uvalde, Texas.
Are we supposed to just...

It's always got to be
a good guy with a gun?

That's the only way to stop it? Right?

Everyone... The whole country's
going to be good guys with guns.

Everywhere you go, "Freeze!" "You freeze!"

"I'm already frozen!" Just fucking...

Also, if it's up to us to stop guns,

you know, speeding kills
thousands of people every year.

Are we supposed to stop that too?

We're supposed to run them off the road?

If we see a speeder coming up,
"You know what they say,

the only thing that stops bad guy in a car
is a good guy in a car."

Neew!

Yeah, my problem with guns is I don't buy
either side's arguments completely.

So the conservative argument
is that guns are in the Constitution

because the Founding Fathers thought
if the citizens have guns

the government will do what they say

or else the people will rise up
and fight the government.

Which is a legitimately
great idea in the 1700s, but...

problem is, there's still people now
hoarding weapons

thinking that, at some point,

they may need to take on
the American military,

and they think they have a shot, right?

And look, maybe they're right,

which is why I'm proposing
we test their theory,

and once a year
have a head-to-head showdown.

Say 100 members of the NRA

versus, I don't know,
two members of the military.

Broadcast it on Fox, Christmas Day.

"Merry Christmas and welcome to
the 2022 NRA-Military Showdown."

"Let's go down to the field of battle,
meet one of our NRA combatants."

"What's your name? What kind of weapon?"

"My name's Andy Baker,

and I got an AR-15,
wearing Kevlar head-to-toe."

"How confident are you
on a scale of 1 to 10?"

"Fuckin' a million."

"We're going to check in
with the military."

They cut to one guy by himself,
in a bunker, and he's like,

"My name is Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Walker."

"What kind of weapon
are you working with?"

"I don't know if this is fair,
but I'm working with a drone."

"It's equipped with eight
Hellfire missiles

and a high-power camera."

"As you can see on this monitor,
the NRA fellas are in one big cluster."

"So, I'm going to..."

"We started? All right."

"Yeah, so I'm going to hit
this button right here."

"Yeah, now they're all dead."

"That'll do it for this year's
NRA-Military Showdown."

"Brought to you by

Whole Foods."

You know the NRA guys would be like,

"We can take 'em next year.
Just got to split up."

That's the conservative argument,
and the liberal argument is that,

uh, the gun stats in America
are just horrifying, right?

And they are on their face, right?
40,000 gun deaths a year. Which is awful.

But, you know what they never tell you?
You know how many of those are suicides?

Two-thirds are suicides.
No one ever knows that.

So whenever there's
a mass shooting on television,

which are legitimately tragic,
liberals always run on TV and say,

"We don't need mental health care.
We need common-sense gun control." No.

How about both? Right?

How about one question
at the point of sale?

Find out who's depressed, who isn't,

and two-thirds of gun deaths right there.

Guy comes in and they go,
"Before we sell you this weapon,

can we just look
at your browser history real quick?"

He goes, "Sir, you've been
listening to Lana Del Rey."

"And staring at pictures of your ex.
We're not going to give you a gun today,

but we are going to give you
a bag of mushrooms

and a copy of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective."

"You're gonna be back on your feet

and talking with your butt cheeks
in no time."

So now we're down to about
13,000 gun deaths a year,

which is atrocious.

But, by the way,

you know how many people the flu
kills in the average year? 50,000.

If you're worried
you'll be murdered by a gun,

think about how scared you are
of dying from the flu...

You're not.

...divide it by three,
and I'll meet you there.

By the way, do you see how I think myself
into isolated, asshole-y positions?

About everything
for as long as I can remember.

Even I hear myself sometimes
and I'm like, "Just shut the fuck up."

I got to be the only person
who was ever asked,

"Would you rather be right or happy?"
And I was like...

"Ugh..."

Something's wrong with me.

And, by the way, I work
against all my instincts with this.

You know, I give to every
liberal group you can think of.

I give to so many...

I give to an anti-capitalist group.
How fucking dumb is that?

And they have the balls
to hit me up for donations.

"Can we get another 100 bucks
for our anti-capitalism group?"

I'm like, "But you know how
I'm getting this money, don't you?"

Oh yeah.

Maybe you're thinking like,
"Neal, why don't you smoke some weed?"

"Chill the fuck out."
That's not up there 'cause I love weed.

That's up there 'cause I don't think
recreational drugs work on me right.

Like MDMA.

Molly, ecstasy, depending how old you are.

Uh...

I... I've done it seven or eight times.
Never worked on me once.

There's people whose brains don't respond
to MDMA. Guess I have one of those brains.

My friends do not
have one of those brains.

That was pretty awkward.

They're all rubbing each other's nipples,
and I'm just like...

Yeah, and I don't think
weed works on me either.

Unless, is weed supposed to make
you violently paranoid for five minutes,

then you got to go to sleep? Is that weed?

'Cause in that case, bull's-eye.

I feel bad too because
we're living in the golden age of weed.

Weed is legal in so many places.
It's legal out here. Uh...

They sponsor comedy shows,

so I get bags and vapes and pipes.

I have so much weed
at my house that I cannot use,

I've become like an old lady
with a lemon tree in her backyard.

I'm like, "Take some weed."

So weed's legal.

Shrooms just got legalized
in Denver, Oakland, all of Oregon.

Yeah. Yeah.

So there's going to be shroom stores.

You ready? You'll go to a shroom store
and go, "You open?"

"I don't know, are you open?"

I'm not mad at these drugs.

MDMA, psilocybin, weed
all passed the FDA hurdles for safety.

Uh, but you know what wouldn't pass
the FDA hurdles for safety?

Alcohol. For safety?

Like, if they tested out whiskey in a lab.

100 men, 100 women,
scientists dispensing it,

marking down the results,
they go to their boss.

"Sir, we did the whiskey test."

"Uh, first one or two drinks,
people seemed warm and happy."

"Then around the third drink,
a lot of the men became belligerent."

"The women were upset,

but they said
they didn't want to talk about it."

"And then a lot of people
vomited and passed out,

and everyone who drove home
crashed their car."

"That sounds awful."
"I know, here's the crazy part."

"They all want to
come back again on Saturday."

"They're wondering if we can hire a DJ."

"And two Israeli guys want to promote it.
Does that...?"

So clearly I'm not a big drinker.

The fucked-up thing about alcohol
is it gets so much good PR.

Ever since I was a kid, I've always heard,

"When you drink,
your real self comes out."

Which is true to a point.
Maybe one or two drinks.

But I've never looked
at one of my sloshed friends

and been, "There's the real Tony."

And they're, "Ugh!"

"Fuck you guys!"

"That is his God-given essence,
right there."

The real Tony has to piss on the street.

Yeah, not a big drinker. Not a big smoker.

People don't like it.

It is good for me.
Not drinking and smoking.

I know it's good for me
because when I tell people at parties,

they say, "Good for you,"
right before they walk away.

But alcohol is hard.

It's a tough issue for me 'cause I grew up
with an alcoholic dad, right?

Uh... and, you know, people love alcohol,
and women are people.

So...

Admit it.

Um...

And so dating is tough

because I don't want to be a drink cop,

but at the same time,
it can be a little triggering.

Sometimes it's fine.
Other times it's like, "Mmm, trauma."

Um...

Yeah, but I don't know
what I can ask for within this, right?

Like, I just don't know what's...

I go, "Who am I to tell her not to drink?"

"As someone who's
trying to protect themselves?"

"From what?"

"I don't know, a negative emotional
experience? The smell of alcohol?"

"Are you not fucking over that?
How are you not fucking over that?"

So I've just got this negative tape
running in my head

about that and pretty much
most things in my life.

I have a very...
I got a bad inner monologue.

I wrote it down one time,
and as soon as I saw it,

I was like, I got to erase this.

Because if any of my friends know
that someone's talking to me like this,

they're going to be pissed.

But meanwhile,
it was an inside job, you know?

You ever look back on your life
and think the way you are is inevitable?

If you don't know much about me,
I'm the youngest of ten kids,

which is... too many.

Right?

Both my parents were born
during the Great Depression,

and they were nice enough
to bring it with them.

Yeah, so both my parents
brought that energy to their union,

and it was just a lot of chaos and alcohol

and law and order.

Like, a lot of violence. My earliest...

One of my earliest memories of life
is watching my teenage brother

fistfight my dad on the front lawn.

It's like, "Okay, so this is life."

Um...

Yeah, just so many rules.
Just constant rules.

There were so many rules that eventually
my mother wrote the important ones down

and stuck them on the wall of the kitchen,
like you'd see at a steel factory.

My friend actually put them on here.

I'll tell you about some of them.

Bunch of TV rules,
which I guess makes sense.

A lot of laundry rules.
My mother was laundry-room crazy.

Um, if you left your clothes
in the laundry room for too long,

my mother would confiscate your clothes.

Disappeared, Khmer Rouge-style.

Never to be seen again.

Although one year for Christmas,

my sister Anne
did get a keychain, a candle,

and a box of her old clothes back, so...

Merry Christmas, Anne. Why are you crying?

A lot of sandwich rules.

You guys probably
all had sandwich rules, right?

We had to make all of...
There were too many of us.

We couldn't all make sandwiches
every morning before school,

so we'd have to make them
in bulk on the weekend

and then stick them in the freezer.

And then on the way to school,
we grabbed one of our sandwiches.

You're thinking that must not have
made for very fresh sandwiches,

but you're forgetting
a more important piece of information.

Sandwiches don't always thaw
between 8:00 a.m. and lunchtime.

In those cases, we'd eat around the edges
like rats on a pirate ship.

So, pretty much the Gilmore Girls
is what I'm saying.

Yeah, so I grew up Catholic. Anybody else?

Yeah, I did all the Catholic milestones.

Baptism, First Holy Communion,

Confirmation, atheism.

Right?

I shouldn't even say I'm an atheist.

Let's say I'm agnostic
about my atheism, right?

Atheists are such
smug hypocrites, by the way.

Atheists will be like,
"You pray to a god? That's so silly."

"Can I show you
my vision board real quick?"

I know a lot of white atheists.
I don't know many Black atheists.

Not none, just not many.

I got a theory about why
there's not many Black atheists.

Here goes.

Atheism is really like
the height of white privilege.

It really is. Religion says,
"Can we interest you in an afterlife?"

And white people
are like, "No, thank you."

"How much better could it be?"

"I'll just take my supplements
and see what happens."

White privilege has had
a big couple years, huh?

Yeah.

The Cauckies, the Caucasians.

Cauckies were blindsided in 2020.

They were just caught unawares, right?

I was talking to a white lady.

She says, "I had no idea things were so
bad between Black people and the police."

I was like, "There's no way you could've,
unless you listen to any song

by a Black person, ever."

Like, what do you think
"Fuck tha Police" was about, lady?

"I didn't think it was all police.
I thought it was one precinct."

How about Bob Marley's
"I Shot the Sheriff"?

"I know, but he didn't
shoot the deputy, so..."

I like the white privilege
that's hiding in plain sight.

You know what's
a white privilege thing that's hiding?

A lot of American city names
are white privilege.

Like Chicago, Milwaukee,
those are Native American words.

West Coast is wild.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego.

Spanish names. Ever think about
why they're Spanish? Well...

'Cause we jacked
the motherfuckers from Mexico,

didn't even bother changing the names.

That is some ice-cold
white privilege shit.

That'd be like if your boy Pete
had a girlfriend for years.

"Pete's girl."

Then you steal her,
take her to a party, you're like,

"You know my girl Pete's girl, don't you?"

"You thirsty, baby?
Get Pete's girl a drink, would you?"

"I got you a necklace with
your initials on it. PG. Pete's girl."

You know what's white privilege?
Joking about race. That's white privilege.

'Cause as a white person,
it just bounces right off. Right?

I know the funniest,
meanest Black dudes in the world.

They'll be like,
"White people can't dance. No rhythm."

I'll be like, "Who needs rhythm
when you own the record label?"

Am I TikToking? Be honest. Is this TikTok?

A lot of Cauckies ask me, they go, "Neal..."

"Neal, I'm a good Cauckie. What can I do?"

"How can I combat white privilege?"
Acknowledge it as it's happening to you.

This happened to me recently.

I got pulled over doing 73 in a 35.

So it was tight.

And white cop.
I get my license and registration.

He's back running my plates,
and I'm sitting there going,

"I deserve whatever. A fine or a ticket."

"Whatever I'm going to get,
I totally deserve." He comes back.

He's like,
"I'll let you off with a warning."

I'm like, no, that's fucked up.

'Cause I know my Black or brown friends
would at least be getting a ticket.

I gotta say something. I was like,
"Don't be stupid. He's a cop."

I was like, "No, now's the time."
And I said,

"Thanks, officer.
It's been a white privilege."

He said, "The privilege is all white."
What the fuck?

Race is another one of these issues
that's a weird one for me,

'cause it's had
an oddly big effect on my life.

Not anywhere near a person of color,
but 50 times the average Cauckie.

Uh...

And I'm good at writing racial jokes,
and I'm like, is it my place to tell them?

Like, if they fall into the wrong hands...

Like, that "who needs rhythm
when you own the record label" joke,

that would crush at a Klan rally.

Crush.

You can hear it.

"So I said, 'Who needs rhythm
when you own the record label?'"

"Good night. My name's Jedediah."

So it's like,
should I not tell the jokes in public?

Like, I know what
my intentions are, but, like,

who gives a shit what my intentions are
if they're... misinterpreted?

Pretty accessible comedy show, huh, folks?

I'm in a tiny theater,
moralizing about race.

Meanwhile, Kevin Hart's in an arena,

"I tell you about the time I went
to Egypt and a camel bit me in the dick?"

Something...

Something's wrong with me.

Oh, you know what?

I think this is a woman's shoe.

You might be thinking like,

"Neal, if you got married and had kids
some of your... alienation might dissipate."

Maybe. I don't know.

Never been married.
Don't have kids. 48 years old.

People don't like it.

It's worse for women
if you're over a certain age.

Not married, no kids, people pity you.

But as a guy,

people are suspicious.

I would get more trust from women
if I'd been married and murdered my wife.

They'd be like, "He's capable of love.
He gets too passionate."

"Also, he's not
going to murder two people."

Cute.

Yeah, it's not... I've...
I've been in long-term relationships.

Been in love a few times.

It just never got to marriage.

It just never got there.

These are big risks,
these relationships, 'cause... 'cause...

You're basically just doing
a daily trust fall with somebody, right?

Every day you'd be like,
"Okay. Your turn. Okay, here we go."

Aah!

"Oh my God, this is so fun. Do me."

"Okay, here we go. I got you."

Aah!

"Oh my God, I feel so connected to you.
We're so lucky."

"Do me again." Aah!

I've hurt people as the catcher,
and I've been hurt as the faller.

They both suck for different reasons.

The thing with these relationships is,

you just have to believe in each other
and assure one another, like,

"We both feel the same way."

"I feel the same about you as you do me.
We're connected, we're connected."

And then a certain point,
they look at you and go,

"Oh, I've been pretending."

"We're... we're... we're not connected."

And then you have to
parse the relationship

to try to figure out
when they started pretending.

And then eventually accept the fact that

some of the most cherished memories
of your life may have been a grift.

Shit's breathtaking.

I judge myself a lot for this.

This is where I'm like,
"Something really is wrong with you."

You know, other comedians judge me for it.
I was talking to a comedian friend.

He's like, "You'd be more popular
if you were married with kids."

I said, "Why?" And he's like,

"The audience trusts you more

if you're married with kids
'cause you're moral."

"You put other people ahead of you."

Uh, which I've legally never done.

I have a dog.

You're like, "Which one?
The one you don't love?" Fuck you guys.

I'm not telling you shit anymore.

But I get how, as an audience member,
you trust comedians more

if they're married with kids.
I do have one follow-up question.

How is Bill Cosby's marriage? Any word?

Is Louis C.K. still happily married?

He's fucking hilarious.
He must be married.

I had one more, and I need
you guys to give it to me straight.

John Mulaney?

Don't fucking "oh" me.
I went to the goddamn wedding.

Yeah.

I don't know what you spent.
I had to fly across country, rent a car.

They're like, "Wanna upgrade for $30?"

I'm like, "It's Mulaney's wedding.
Let's blow it out."

Cut to me in a PT Cruiser
going, "Was this an upgrade?"

Well, at least Woody Allen's
marriage is still flourishing, huh?

Did you see that documentary?

Allen v. Farrow?

Uh, they lay out the case
pretty conclusively

that before he married
his stepdaughter Soon-Yi,

he molested his other stepdaughter.

And I got to say, it's probably
my least favorite Woody Allen movie.

My failure in relationships
is not for lack of trying, I swear to God.

Like, I've done different approaches,

love language, attachment style.

Age, race, weight, job.

I dated a model. Thank you.

Guys, dating a model
is like owning a dune buggy.

Dating a model's like owning a dune buggy
'cause at the beach, it's great.

But everywhere else, you're like,
"I shouldn't have brought you here."

By the way, this is all
going to be heterosexual.

Like, I don't have any gay insights.
Never been gay.

I check once a year.

I do. If you're honest, check once a year.

I go on Pornhub, I click the "gay" button,
and I go, "Anything?"

"All right, back to women."

While I haven't been gay,
I have experienced a ton of homophobia

'cause I have a bidet.

My straight guy friends will be like,
"Can't do it, bro."

"Can't have water shooting up my ass."
Are you worried about...

Look, if the only thing keeping you
from being gay is water hitting your ass...

...you are gay.

Just be gay.

Come on over, take a ride on the pony,
start your new life.

That's how rudimentary guys'
understanding of our sexuality is.

We're like,
"I just got to protect the flag."

"And everything's the same."

Fellas, no, you don't. I'm 48.
The flag's been violated or whatever.

I've had a couple fingers in the butt.

From women. Nothing happened.

Nothing changed.
I wasn't like, "My identity!"

"Everything I thought I was!"

"Turn off Rogan, turn on Drag Race."

You know what the first thing
that always left in my relationships?

Uh, appreciation for one another. Right?
It happens in most relationships.

We stop appreciating each other.
Women start thinking,

"Men are so thoughtless and stupid."

And men think, "Women are so fussy
and high-maintenance."

And we're both right.

Women, you are fussy and high-maintenance.
You know what else?

They're sophisticated and elegant,

and can make emotional
connections including, get this,

direct eye contact.

Women's spirit is just elevating.

They can transform a room
with their presence and energy.

I'm thankful there's women here tonight.

If there were no women
here tonight, fellas,

with just all dudes
in a dark room staring at me...

...you know what the energy would be?

Proud Boys, and you know it.

Just a bunch of guys
in cut-off leather gloves

and wearing their horrible sunglasses
like this for some reason.

And women,

you think men
are thoughtless and stupid, and we are.

But you know what else we are?

Fucking hilarious.

We are. We're very funny.

Women are beautifully constructive,
and men are hilariously destructive.

Right?

If you ever go to an all-women's event,
it's just a bunch of women

making eye contact
and drinking white wine.

Eventually you're like,
"I gotta get the fuck out of here." Right?

But usually guys show up
to kind of ground the energy,

and we're there, we're trying to...
We're always trying to impress.

We're buying you shit,
we're break dancing...

...doing magic tricks, backflips.

We're telling stories with sound effects.

"Then I punched him in the stomach." Pssh!
Then he took out a machine gun." Trrrr!

I've never heard a woman
do a sound effect in my entire life.

Noises... Like birds' chirps, meows,
shit you could do.

We're always trying to make you laugh.

We got funny mean
nicknames for our friends.

"This is Mike, aka Boner Mike."

"Aka Illiterate Mike."

I never heard a woman be like,
"This is Sarah, aka Barren Sarah."

"She's so dry down there,
we call her Sahara."

I just don't have any like,
real innate skill for being a boyfriend.

Like, I'm thankful that
there's not an entrance exam

to become a boyfriend
'cause I would fail that shit miserably.

The woman would
come with the results. "All right."

"We're not going to pass you.
I think you knew that."

"Couple areas in which you didn't do well,
one of them was listening."

"Um, question was,
'If you're watching basketball on TV

and your girlfriend needed
to speak to you, how would you handle it?'

We were looking for, 'Turn the TV off,

and ask what was going on, '
but you wrote down,

'I'd turn the TV up.'

'And say, "I can't talk right now, babe.
It's the first quarter,

which is one of
the most important quarters."'

"You also did poorly
in conflict resolution."

"The question was, 'If she had
an issue with something you did,

how would you deal with it?'
And you wrote down,

'I'd think of a time
she did something similar,

and say, "See, bitch? Now we're even."'

Back to the apps for you, my friend.

Yeah, something's wrong with me, like...

The other thing I'm not dying
to get into with relationships

is the power dynamic.

'Cause I feel like men had all the power
for 400,000 years, give or take.

And about six years ago,
women were like, "May we?"

I shouldn't say men have no power.
I should be more specific.

Liberal white men
have no power in relationships.

At this period in history,
as a liberal white man,

you now have to go to protests
against myself. Understand?

I...

When the George Floyd protests
broke out, I was like,

"I'll get my sign
from the Women's March. Here."

"I am the problem!"

I went to the Women's March.
It was inspiring on the one hand,

and I also saw
the funniest thing I've ever seen, right?

So, inspiring, 400,000 women,

their husbands, boyfriends, sons, dads,
all together, marching for a cause.

That was incredible.

And then I also saw
the funniest shit ever, uh...

We all had signs that we made, right?

And there was another guy there,
and he had a sign that said,

"This is what a feminist looks like,"
with an arrow pointing at him.

He and I are walking along,
we make eye contact,

the guy looks up at his sign and goes...

So we'll see what happens.

Oh, my God.

Yeah, I've dated a lot of women
that were correctors.

I had two different girlfriends
in my life say in front of me,

"I trained him."

"I taught him." Yeah.

Ever hear a guy say that?
No, 'cause you don't know any pimps.

Yeah.

And you do teach us shit, women,
but it's never shit we want to know.

Shit you want us to know.

Never had a girlfriend be like,
"Let me show you how to choke a wolf."

It's always girly shit
that you want us to know,

and then we go,
"Oh yeah."

That's the sound of a guy learning shit
he does not care about in the slightest.

"Oh yeah."

"Duvet cover, yeah."

"Yeah, a blanket
should have its own pouch."

"Thank you, babe."

Happens to all guys, all over the world.
Age, race, class. Doesn't matter.

We all know what happened
with Meghan Markle and Harry Potter.

Right? Is that his name?

We know what happened.

She came home and was like,
"I know we're in England,

you're a prince, but your family sucks,

so let's go to America
and you're a fucking nobody."

And he was like...

"Oh yeah."

"Fuck a thousand years of tradition.
Thanks, babe."

So much in relationships is luck.

That's the thing
nobody talks about. It's luck.

So this is the thing I looked up.

So there's a one-in-eight chance

that you will marry somebody
you're dating.

There's a 50-50 chance
the marriage will work.

So, in essence,

there is a 6% chance that you'll be
in an everlasting loving relationship

with someone you're dating,
even if they're great and you're great.

6%. That's luck.

And I know I need
to pause the show right now

and let all the guys
that are here on dates

look at your lady and let her know
that you guys are the exception.

Whoo!

You're going all the way. I get it.

But 6%. It's luck, right?

Even if I'm wrong it's 9, but it's 6.

It's luck. We're all...

We all judge each other
for our failures at relationships.

We judge ourselves.
We should have empathy.

We're all basically just fans
at an NBA game taking a half-court shot.

When those fans miss the shot,
everyone goes, "Aww!"

They don't go, "Fuck you!"

"Think about why you missed that shot."

"Start with your relationship with
your mother and go forward from there."

And then, babies.

I'm not anti-baby.

I'm anti-fetus.

Y'all know I'm anti-fetus.

I fucking hate fetuses.
I fucking hate them.

I wish a fetus would step to me.

Yeah, so, I gotta... I've just never
looked down and been like,

"I should reproduce this."

"Run it back. Let's go."

You know what TV show
made me wary of having kids?

You guys ever see
that show, the nightly news?

Alright, climate change is a nightmare.

We're already double
what Earth's population should be.

I can't remember
this much anger or division in my life.

Having a kid right now would be like
being at a house party,

it's packed with people,
you can't move, roof's on fire,

basement's flooding, cops are coming,

you look at your friend and you're like,
"We should invite Brian."

The problem is I gotta tell women
on first dates I won't have babies.

I guess I don't have to.

It just seems nicer, right?

Because women have
weird timing with that shit.

I was on a date with a girl
and she's like, "I am 40."

"I need to start thinking about
who I'm going to have kids with."

I was like, "Start thinking?"

"Miss, we may be down to minutes."

Yeah, I got to tell women on first dates
that I don't want to have kids.

People don't like it.

Telling a woman on a first date
is like going to a job interview

and being like, "Just so you know,

I don't fuck with computers."

"How do you want to do this?"

Maybe it's luck. Maybe it's timing.

Or, you know, could be both.
Or maybe it's me.

Maybe something's wrong with me.

Maybe I'm too cranky, or wounded,
or misogynistic.

Or something I don't even know I am.

You know what I realized?

It's not you.

It's not me?

Well, good. Let's end the show.
Good night, everybody.

Women, do you see
the kind of belief I'm looking for?

Just a little?

Yeah, like, I had
the thought recently that

I don't think I can guarantee
a woman's emotional safety.

And I'm not sure she could guarantee mine.

I wish that were not the case,
but that's just how I feel.

And people go,
"Well, don't you get lonely?"

Yeah.

But also, I've never been lonelier
than in a relationship

I didn't want to be in.

And then with kids...

You know, I say it's climate change...

It's not. Secret, it's not.

I say it's all that stuff,
but it's about the emotional connection

'cause I don't want the kid
to come out, and I don't feel it.

We all know what happened with Keith.

And more importantly, my dad had ten kids,

didn't love any of us, right?

So I don't want to... I'm half him,
so I could repeat that all over again.

And people are like,
"You'd be such a good dad."

I'd be a good Marine too.
I don't want to be a Marine.

Like, people go, "Well, try." It's not...

"Take the leap."

It's not my risk, it's their risk.

They bear all the risk, right?

'Cause if you're born
with a parent who doesn't love you,

you spend your whole life
thinking something's wrong with you.

I...

I also got to say, I really resent
the pressure we're all under to do it.

I really resent it. Right?

There's dozens of new gender
and sexual orientations.

There's still only one
relationship orientation.

Toward marriage.

"What about polyamory?"

There's no tax cuts
for polyamory. Stop it.

But people are really impressed with like,

"We got married and signed a license."

"A marriage license? How'd you do it?"

A legal yoke isn't that impressive to me.

You know what I mean?
What's more meaningful?

A bird in a cage?

Or a bird that flies away every day
and comes back

just 'cause they like
being birds with you?

Isn't that better?

People say stuff like, "Well..."

Just the dumb shit.
"If you don't marry her,

you won't be able to visit her
in the hospital after hours."

I will if I give security 40 bucks.

There you go, bird.

Also, you ever ask
married people how it is?

The answers may shock you.

By the way, it's not just men.

Ask a woman how marriage is,

women sound like a politician
ducking a hot-button issue.

"Lisa, how are things with you and Mike?"

And she's like, "Kids are great."

And you ask guys how the marriage is,

guys sound like
they're reading a hostage letter.

"Mike, how are things
with you and Lisa?" And he's like,

"Hello."

"I am happy."

"Do not worry about me."

"Worry about yourself...

...and your heathen lifestyle."

"She has taught me so much...

...and made me a better man."

And she's in the corner like ISIS like,

"Tell him about the duvet cover."

"Oh yeah."

This is fun.

It's just fun to be out, right?

Do you know what one of the upsides
of COVID might be, I hope,

is uh, empathy
for mental health stuff, right?

'Cause everybody was isolated.

And human beings
don't do well with isolation.

We've still got cave brains.

So we think if we're isolated

that the tribe is rejecting us,

and then we start
picking away at ourselves

and finding faults that aren't there and...

Basically, our mental health declines.

So I hope in the future that people
have empathy when someone says,

"I'm depressed or anxious,"
they'll go, "Yeah, I remember that."

Because for a lot of us,
we've felt isolated our whole lives.

And the other thing I'll say,
one of the things

I didn't mind about COVID was that
we could all just chill a bit with work.

We could put the sword down a little bit.

If you achieved something
during COVID, cool.

If not, also cool.

The only people who accomplished
anything during COVID to me were

Bo Burnham...

Amazon.com,

and the 1998 Chicago Bulls. Somehow.

They, like, won again, right?

But it was nice to chill out,
but as soon as the world opened up,

I was back comparing myself
to other comedians,

and seeing who was doing whose podcast,
and who did what venue,

and how many tickets they sold.

And am I too old to be on TikTok?

Can a person do lip-sync videos
and be on cholesterol medication?

Yeah, like I said, comedy is so public,

and it can be sort of...
you know, it's exposing.

And, like I said, there's a lot of ways
in which I feel like I don't

fit into the world,
and I'm not doing it especially good,

but comedy's one of these things
where I feel like

I know what I'm doing,
I'm part of something,

but there's always a reminder
like, "You don't."

Right before the start of COVID,
Netflix had a party.

By the way, this story's so name-droppy,
I apologize in advance.

This story's so name-droppy,
DiCaprio was there,

I don't even mention it.

So, uh...

Netflix has a party,
and it's at the head of Netflix's house.

A guy named Ted Sarandos.

A great man.

A great man.

So it's at Ted Sarandos' house,
and I walk in,

and it's the biggest
comedians in the world, right?

I look over, it's Burr,

Aziz, Mulaney, Ali Wong,

Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Trevor Noah,

Borat.

And you're like, "Pretty good.
Pretty big, Neal. All right."

Dave Chappelle,

Chris Rock, Kevin Hart.

And then I look over here,

Ellen DeGeneres, Eddie Murphy.

I was like, "God damn. I've never seen
all these people together, ever." Right?

And I remember thinking,
"Buddy, I don't know what you did

to get invited to this party,
but it must've been pretty good,

and I'm proud of you."

And I'm just looking around
at all these heroes of mine, right?

Uh, all icons.

And Ted Sarandos, who is a great man...

...gives a toast, and he goes,

"It's such a thrill
for me to be in the same room

with all of my comedy heroes."

And Chris Rock yells out,

"And Neal Brennan!"

I just thought, "Man, I hope someday

Chris gets humiliated
in front of all of his peers."

And a great joke, by the way.

Like, the right joke to make.

I wish I could've been somebody else
so I could have enjoyed it more.

I was like,
"Oh fuck, I am Neal Brennan. Shit."

You know in a movie
when someone gets embarrassed

and they cut to slo-mo shots of...

"Ha, ha, ha."

My slo-mo shots were Ellen going...

"Ha, ha, ha."

And Borat was like, "My wife!"

But, yeah, it just made me, like,
second-guess myself, as usual.

'Cause all these people are such naturals.

Dave started doing comedy at 14.
He was good then.

Eddie knew he was
going to be on TV when he was five.

Ellen called being on The Tonight Show
before she did stand-up.

Like, just all these stories, right?

And meanwhile,
I did it completely backwards.

I was a writer,
then I became a comedian in my thirties,

and I had to... I'm not a natural.

I had to grind and take vocal lessons
and movement classes.

I listened to multiple audiobooks
about charisma.

Multiple.

I act like this is all past tense.

I'm doing it now. See this thing?

"It's not a watch."
You're right. It's not.

It's called a Pavlok.

This thing gives me a small electric shock

every three minutes on stage
to remind me to smile more.

It's been happening the entire show.

Yeah, when I'm around people like that,

I'm like, "Am I not
supposed to be doing this?"

By the way, what even is this?

Why can't I just do regular stand-up?

Last time I was like,

"I'm going to need three different
microphones set up equidistant."

This one is... And this one... "Ugh..."

"Ha, ha, ha, ha."

And then this show I'm like,
"Hey, everybody, I brought blocks!"

I've spent the last...

15 years of my life being a comedian.

And every comedian I met was like,
"You seem like more of a writer."

Which is comedians' way of saying,
"Give me your jokes."

Before that I was a writer,
and every writer was like,

"You seem like more of a comedian."

Which is writers' way of saying,
"You're annoying."

If just feels like comedians over here,
writers over here.

Neal, you can just stay
in this middle area,

with your little stand-up traumedy shows.

Did I mention I paid her for this?

Individually...

these things are all manageable, you know?

But it's...

In totality, that's the hard part.
That's where the depression comes.

And I've tried so much stuff.

Like, so much.

Therapy, medication.

Ketamine.

I tried transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Ooh, okay...

That was good, but it kind of wore off.

So then I went to China
to get a stronger version of TMS

which isn't legal in the States.

It may not even be legal in China,
for all I know.

And then,

I did 5-MeO-DMT.

Like Bufo alvarius.

It's like the nuclear bomb
of psychedelics.

I think I went too far... with that one.

Like, I think...

I think I hurt myself a little bit.

Yeah, but I guess it makes sense if you're

looking for a magic bullet,

occasionally you're going to get shot.

But I just kept thinking,

"Dude, how did you turn
self-help into self-harm?"

I've been saying all night

that something's wrong with me.

And something is wrong with me.

I won't show myself any kindness.

I won't give myself any grace.

Like, I just grind

and attack myself relentlessly
like it's my job.

I would love to stop.

I like to believe that my ways of being,

like my thoughts, my habits,

my emotions,

my beliefs...

I'd like to believe
that they're not defects.

I'd like to believe that
alchemy of a personality...

my spirit...

it's got to be enough.

Please.

Let that be enough.