The comedic polymath

Wired: The Humor Code: Neal Brennan on ‘Comedic Polymaths’ and the Future of Funny.

Wired: How will comedy be different five years from now? Who, or what, is the future of comedy?

Brennan: I don’t know where it will be in five years, though I’m pleased with where it is now. I think the future belongs to the comedic polymath. It belongs to the person who can generate the most good material in the biggest variety of ways, whether it’s sketches or stand-up or songs or tweets or television or films. The audience is a baby. The future belongs to whoever can provide the most material to feed that baby.

Wired: What, for you, is the toughest kind of audience to make laugh?

Brennan: Black audiences are probably the toughest for me to make laugh. I’ve gotten pretty good at performing for them, but it’s still a challenge. The level of performance has to be higher. “Dry” doesn’t really work for them. They demand energy. I do racial material, so it needs to be nuanced and smart and true. And they will eat you up if they smell that you’re nervous.

More from this series at Wired.

Related: Bill Burr talks about why he loves doing black rooms (and hates alt rooms) on a recent YMIW episode. Good stuff.


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