Talib Kweli And Neal Brennan Talk Chappelle’s Show, SNL & Mining Politics For Jokes

They discuss Brennan's profound Netflix special "3 Mics," writing for SNL, as well as his work on "Chappelle's Show" -- where he wrote and produced virtually every sketch in tandem with Chappelle.

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Later, Kweli, Jasmin, and Neal talk about his relationship with Dave and the aftermath of the show’s abrupt ending. The wide-ranging conversation includes stories of white friends asking Neal how to make black friends, Kweli and Neal sharing stories of their first meetings with Chappelle, Neal’s cameo in “Half Baked” becoming a meme, his friend Ellen’s much-criticized selfie with George W. Bush, as well as the “political news comedy” genre and the impact of comedians like John Oliver and Trevor Noah during the Trump era.

Later on in the show, Neal and Talib share experiences with people telling them how their work — Talib’s song “Get By” and Neal’s stand up content covering depression — has helped them overcome trying times. They also go on to speak about Kanye West’s struggles with identity, the low bar of modern-day journalism, and comedy stylings that are long overdue for retirement.

Interview Timings:

1:50 — Talib speaks on early days in his career spending all his show money on shoes and clothing while on tour in London with Yasiin Bey.

6:02 — Neal details how his white friends will ask him for coaching sessions on how to have black friends. Jasmin then asks Neal if he gets questions from his black friends about white people.

9:37 — Talib asks Neal how often he encounters instant fans, once they find out the work he’s famous for, when they’d previously never heard his name before.

11:23 — Neal talks about making friends with Dave Chappelle at NYU, in the early stages of their stand up careers. Talib shares the story of his first meeting with Dave as well.

14:48 — Talib mentions Neal’s cameo in movie “Half-Baked” and how it’s become such a meme-able scene over the years, even sampled by Beyoncé.

16:36 — Neal breaks down the unique concept of his hit Netflix special “Neal Brennan – 3 Mics.”

18:05 — The trio discusses the trouble many comedians keep running into with social media, and they debate whether or not they should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

23:18 — Neal gets asked if he thinks there are any truly funny right-wing comedians.

25:00 — Neal expands on an article where he questioned whether these liberal political comedy shows have had any effect under a Trump presidency, or are they all just preaching to the choir.

31:43 — Talib tells a story about an awkward situation he experienced when meeting the owner of the Houston Texans, while on tour with Macklemore.

34:56 — Neal brings up many Christian’s expectations of “black forgiveness” in face of America’s atrocities.

35:56 — The trio discusses the similarities of Ellen’s selfie with George W. Bush and Botham Jean’s brother’s embrace of the police officer who murdered him.

39:48 — The trio talk Saturday Night Live, all being huge fans while growing up. Neal speaks on his experiences working on the show and the great relationships that came out of his time being there.

43:51 — Neal opens up about finding new beginnings, moving back to stand-up at open mics, after the abrupt ending of Chappelle Show.

47:12 — Neal details aspects of “Chappelle’s Show” end and the falling out around it, as well as his working relationship with Dave Chappelle, then and now. Neal also expands on what it’s like to be a white comedian who does material for black audiences and how he and Dave’s roles would get stereotyped by comedians and studios due to race.

54:38 — Talib brings up a quote of Neal’s where he stated that if he was a black guy he would be talking about slavery all the time.

1:00:35 — Jasmin asks Neal to speak on what was behind some of the topics he covered on “3 Mics” regarding mental health and depression. Neal and Talib discuss their relation with people telling them how their performances have helped them overcome hard times.

1:06:51 — The trio give their opinions on Kanye West’s struggles with finding his identity as a Trumper and his constant search for affirmation.

1:14:11 — Jasmine asks Neal what comedy stylings he thinks are overdue for retirement. Talib also questions Neal what is more important in the world of comedy — candor or charisma.

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