No matter who you are, you’ve probably had a rough day at the office that changed your perspective, or maybe you made an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back. This week, comedian Neal Brennan took our money-inspired personality questionnaire. (You can catch Brennan’s stand-up special “3 Mics” on Netflix).
Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.
What is the hardest part about your job that nobody knows?
It never ends. It’s never over. You’re never off. You’re always behind, like, you know, I should be writing right now instead of doing this. I should be coming up with jokes right now. The clock’s always running. You know, it’s like my peers are out-creating material. It’s stressful, it sucks. Jokes come from out of nowhere, so you don’t know when it’s going to be. You always have to have your hip waders on. You’re always in the river, is my point, always in the stream, like Dick Cheney.
What is something you bought that you now completely regret buying?
A gold tooth. I don’t completely regret it. It just got, like, burnished. It looks awful, and it didn’t look great in my mouth. I should have gotten, like, platinum, which I may still get, because I’m an idiot, and I don’t have kids or a wife or even a girlfriend. I couldn’t even put that together. But I don’t regret it. I had fun. It’s just hard to resell a gold tooth, you know, like what are the odds that’s going to fit someone else’s canine?
And then, I’ve had some bad experiences with designing my own shoes on Nike. I’m just, I don’t have any talent for it. You think you’re going to be the best, [but] the mistake the guys do, and a lot of people do, with with any sort of fashion thing, is they do too much. Most guys don’t know the Coco Chanel thing of, like, take one accessory off. When you’re designing a shoe, you don’t want to underdo it because then why not just buy it off the rack? So then you overdo it, and you go, like, “Yes, camouflage and neon should work, right?” No.
Anyone living in California near Venice and wants to get a pair of camouflage and neon green Nikes, you let me know.
What is your most prized possession?
I’m disappointingly not very materialistic. Like the only thing of value in my house is my computer, and I bought it three or four years ago, so the value is probably not what it was. I don’t have any jewels, I don’t have a chain, I don’t have any rings.
It doesn’t have to be a material object.
No, I know, but I don’t want to [be like] “My sense of fairness is my most prized possession.”
I like things that remind me of things that I’ve [done]. I have a bunch of shirts and shoes and sweatshirts from Nike. I got them for free because I direct commercials for Nike sometimes
Is this a casual ad for Nike right now?
Yeah, Nike, just do it. So, I’m proud of the fact that I direct for Nike because I think it’s cool, and I think they’re a great company, and I love the commercials. So that reminds me, like, “Yeah, you’ve done well.” It’s a bit like a letterman’s jacket that no one knows I’m wearing.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started your career?
I wish someone had told me to thoroughly investigate things and only work with people that you really, really care about and know. A lot of work situations are, like, roommate situations where you don’t know until it’s too late. You’re like, “Oh no, you leave pubes in the sink” or whatever. The work version of that.
What’s the work version of that?
It’s pubes in a shower instead of a sink. No, the work version of that is, like, “Oh, you don’t respect me,” or “You don’t really trust me,” or “We have very different sensibilities, or very different ideas about stuff.” So now I’m, like, super cautious and do almost nothing that isn’t just, like, self-generated.
How long do you think it took you to realize that?
I mean, there were a few of them, but it’s hard. You think, like, “Oh, let me just try and get out of my comfort zone.” I was talking to somebody yesterday about, like, getting out of your comfort zone is often a bad idea. Don’t get out of your comfort zone, it’s your comfort zone for a reason. It’s also, like, known as your wheelhouse. So, like, what? Get out of [my comfort zone]? Why? My job kind of requires some comfort. So, like, the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone, like, “Yeah, if you want to be bad.”
So stay in your comfort zone.
Stay in your comfort zone, yeah, that’s what I say.