Neal Brennan: Blocks Review – An Edgy Special That Hits The Mark

By Ricky Valero
Published: November 9, 2022 (Last updated: last month)
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Neal Brennan: Blocks Review
Neal Brennan: Blocks (Credit - Netflix)
3.5

Summary

Neal Brennan: Blocks will surely make everyone mad, but if you are like me and enjoy laughing, Brennan delivers the goods.

Neal Brennan has been working in stand-up comedy and comedy since 1992. He co-wrote the cult classic Half Baked with Dave Chappelle, with whom he co-created and co-wrote The Chappelle Show. Brennan returns for his second special with Netflix in Neal Brennan: Blocks.

The special opened with a simple little montage with him explaining the backdrop of the set and the way that it looks. We are in a medium-sized auditorium with a slightly intimate feeling. It’s a weird little opening, but as the show progressed, he used the set pieces behind him to tell his jokes, so I give him mad props for creativity. So, overall, I give it an eight out of ten.

I have spoken plenty about issues with comedians touching on political things in a way that comes off preachy. However, Brennan doesn’t get preachy and tells the jokes in a way that is equally as funny as matter-of-fact. For example, I loved how he said, “don’t go out like your boy,” when talking about transgender issues. In addition, Brennan is fearless in tackling other interesting topics, including guns. Now again, not a massive fan of THIS much political talk in specials, but this was unique in Brennan’s approach.

We are going to give you a bag of mushrooms and a copy of Ace Venture: Pet Detective.

Speaking of that approach, Brennan not shying away from things that most comedians won’t touch was something I give him all the credit for because comedy is supposed to be funny, no matter the topic. But, while not shying away, he doesn’t not share his thoughts but also tackles both sides of the spectrum that highlights how both sides can be wrong. It’s like everything I hate about stand-up anymore but done in a way that reminds me why I love stand-up.

One of the things I loved the most about this special was the crowd’s reaction to some of these jokes. I swear you think the crowd thought there was a camera on them at all times because they were hesitant to laugh at a couple of Brennan’s jokes. While we couldn’t see them, I had it made up in my mind it would go something like this. Brennan would tell his joke, someone would look left then look right, and if they were both laughing, they would too. It was pretty comical.

Overall, Neal Brennan: Blocks is quite an edgy stand-up special that won’t be for everyone because some of the lines he crosses will bother both sides of the fence. However, more jokes landed than not, making it a relatively solid special. I recommend watching it with an open mind and being reminded that comedy is the best type of comfort.

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