'Like Itchy and Scratchy on meths' | Brennan Reece picks his Perfect Playlist

'Like Itchy and Scratchy on meths'

Brennan Reece picks his Perfect Playlist

Dave Allen: Telling The Time

In my opinion, one of the best stand-ups of all time. This routine still holds up today. It is simple in its idea, but complex because he has drawn every little bit out of it. All his stuff was incredible, his documentaries about eccentric Brits, his sketch show, but his routines will always be his greatest achievement.

A childish joker with something to say. He had points, but he didn't ram it down your throat. And anyone that can sit down, with a glass of whisky, missing fingers, telling jokes has to be good!

Les Dawson: Royal Variety Performance, 1987

This is the type of comedy that I was brought up on. It makes me feel warm. It has no swearing, no message, no theme – it is just properly funny.

He is physically funny with the subtlest look. His gags are gags, set-up/punchline gags. And then when he gets on the piano, he just excels. You have to be exceptional to be able to be so confident  to muck it up on purpose… especially in front of The Queen. 

But my favourite thing about him, was his no-nonsense simplicity. You know what you are getting from his stuff, and it isn't challenging anyone, it is just funny.

Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

I didn't know much about Mike Birbiglia, until he popped up on my Netflix a couple of years back.

This has to be one of the best 'show shows' I have ever seen. I love American stand-up, because it is usually just an hour of their best stuff. Not this one. It is honest and has depth and is beautifully crafted. It is not a glitzy shiny-floored affair, as recorded comedy can be nowadays. He is engaging his audience in the venue, and us at home. It is precise, heartwarming and inviting. I feel the more I watch him, the more I know him, something which doesn't really happen in comedy so much.

Ren And Stimpy

How, what and why??? Looking back I have no clue how this ended up on Nickelodeon. It reminds me of being young...my Dad used to let me stay up and watch it. I would be ten years old watching two very nondescript cartoon animals farting, burping, crying and knocking ten shades of shit out of each other. It is like Itchy and Scratchy on meths.

Me and my Dad would howl at this, not quite knowing what was going on. One of my favourite things about the show were the insanely detailed and disgusting close ups. The bloodshot eyes, the hairy knees, the bulging pants.

This is when I started to love comedy. It made me want more, more of everything, more of anything, as long as it made me laugh. I wasn't bothered about Panini stickers or girls...I wanted comedy.

Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian

I love this documentary. It makes me think: ‘Everything is going to be OK".

I saw Jerry Seinfeld about four years ago. A friend had front-row tickets, he asked me last minute if I wanted to come. I thought: ‘Yeah, why not?’ I only knew of Seinfeld from being on in the morning before I would go to school, my Mum and Dad watched it and because they watched it and they were grown-ups, I thought it was probably something political.

When I saw him live, political it was not. One of the best stand-ups ever. And what do you do if you are one of the best stand-ups ever? Ditch all your material and start again.

That is what this documentary is about. It follows Jerry Seinfeld trying to create a brand new hour, and then juxtaposed with this is Orny Adams, who is a up-and-comer, desperate to hit the big time. The thing that I love about this is it shows how hard you have to work, how long it takes to be good, and also gives you a bit of hope. Well if Jerry Seinfeld can bomb every so often, shitting yourself at Nottingham Jongleurs isn't so bad.

My favourite point in this is when Orny Adams and Jerry Seinfeld meet, and Orny says: ‘It has to happen now, I want a house and kids and a car…’ and Seinfeld goes: ‘Eugh. Why would you want all that?’

Bottom: Hob Nob Fight

Another one of my Dad's ‘don't tell your Mum I let you watch this’ moments. What an absolute treat… if Ren And Stimpy was a gateway drug, this is the crack. It is so well put together. Daft but not childish. Wonderful physical comedy, that I think we lack now in the industry (excluding amazing people like Spencer Jones and Nick Mohammed).

It is full of naivety and joy, with such a dark background.This for me sums up my late childhood. Figuring out that adults can be naughty too. 

Brennan Reece: Everglow is at Pleasance Courtyard at 18:00

Published: 24 Aug 2016

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