There are two things you need to know about Neal Brennan: he’s one of the funniest writers alive, and he has a new stand-up special called Women and Black Dudes, which premieres on Saturday at 12 a.m. EST on Comedy Central. After years of success as the co-creator and writer of Chappelle’s Show, Brennan is coming to his first stand-up special armed with jokes about his views on women and race relations.
While doing the usual media rounds for his special, Brennan participated in a candid interview with Buzzfeed, where he actually spoke about his relationship with Dave Chappelle following the fallout of the show's abrupt end. Here is the quote:
One of the reasons Chappelle quit the show, he says, is because he worried that sketches like the “Pixie” sketch were giving ammo to racists. And while he wasn’t referring to you, he went on Oprah and talked about a white staffer laughing too hard at that sketch. Did it take you a while after that to feel comfortable enough to return to racial comedy?
NB: Yeah, but eventually, it’s like, it’s so in me. The irony of what happened between us, though, is everyone saw it as this racial thing, but it wasn’t. What happened was post-racial. I wasn’t arguing with your black hero, I was arguing with my fucking friend of 15 years. We were arguing about racial comedy, but ultimately, I was arguing with my pain-in-the-ass friend. The way you have a television relationship with him, I have an actual relationship with him. Oprah and Dave made it into this racial thing, and I didn’t see it that way. We were arguing about racial comedy, but we were arguing about a lot of shit. And there are some people who act like you can’t disagree with a black person. It’s like, “No, I do fucking disagree with him.” I was judging him for the content of his character! I was living Dr. King’s dream!
He also revealed that he has spoken to Chappelle since their initial fallout, but it seems like the relationship between the two is still damaged.
NB: Whatever day George Carlin died, whenever that was [June 22, 2008]. I went to the Comedy Store — it has a big window where you can see who’s on stage. I parked and then went and saw that it was Dave and then got in my car and was like, “Fuck it,” and drove away and then was like, you know, “Let me just say hi to him.” We���d had one argument over the phone, after he did Oprah, and hadn’t spoken since. So I watched him and he was really funny. He got offstage and I put my hand on him. He looked like he saw a ghost. We ended up talking on Sunset Boulevard for like three hours on a Sunday night into Monday morning — until probably 3:45. The funniest part was, all these comedians that knew we weren’t talking — it was, like, relatively famous in the comedy community — and then they see these two guys, walking past, and they’re probably thinking, are you going to fight? Even now when me and Dave are together, people are watching us to see if we’re going to fight or maybe write a sketch.
Check out the whole piece to find out more about Brennan's writing process for the show, as well as stories about his early days and his thoughts on SNL's recent race controversy.
Women and Black Dudes airs tomorrow night at 12 a.m. EST on Comedy Central.