Laughter is the best medicine – something biohackers should take seriously.
The healing power of laughter is why our host Wade T. Lightheart invited comedian Brent Pella to show that comedy is a great stress release. Studies show a correlation between laughter, healing, and health. That’s why comedy is essential to Wade. When he is with friends, comedy is a big part of their relationship. And in his spare time, Wade enjoys looking up his favorite comedians on YouTube.
But Wade is troubled by what’s happening these days with Big Tech censorship. America’s 1st Amendment is under attack by both politicians and by corporations. ‘Wokeism’ dramatically influences the nation’s culture – Generation Z is learning to devalue free speech and to be easily offended. Political correctness is impacting the comedy industry in dramatic ways.
As a comedian, Brent Pella knows firsthand what the atmosphere is like out in the field. He’s found success on YouTube – Brent’s comedy videos have received over 100 million views.
However, in this episode, he shares how one of his episodes got banned by YouTube. The reason they gave him for the ban will disturb you.
Where is comedy going in all this?
Brent is the perfect guest to help us navigate the comedy scene. His resume includes features on MTV, Funny or Die, WorldStar Hip Hop, BroBible, The Chive, Unilad, 9Gag, LadBible, and more.
Trained in both the UC-Berkeley and famous Groundlings improv/sketch comedy programs in Los Angeles – Brent makes people laugh across North America at colleges and comedy clubs.
Brent was born and raised in Davis, California, and a former athlete who played basketball in college. He won’t let go of his dream to play in the NBA.
In this podcast, we cover:
- Brent’s journey becoming a comedian
- How comedians today deal with ‘cancel culture’
- How comedians workaround ‘Big Tech’ censorship
- The path to comedy superstardom in this internet age
- How Brent writes his jokes and prepares his stage act
- The comedians’ Brent admires and why
- How spiritual perspective influences comedy
What does it take to be a comedian?
Brent says there are two traits needed to become a comedian – stubbornness and stupidity.
In his own words: “It’s stubbornness. You have to be so stupid to want to be a comedian. You have to be so dumb to think, “I’m going to go out there, and all those people are going to pay me attention and be quiet while I talk. And they’re going to laugh at me and give me what I need. It’s very selfish.
“So, the courage comes from stepping onto the stage – beyond that; you have to be an idiot. I say that with a lot of love.”
“The number one fear for people in America is public speaking. To want to do that for a living and make money is something you have to have the courage for at the end of the day.”
“I think the courage and stubbornness for me came from my competitive side because I played sports my whole life, basketball in college, and I still do. So, I think it clicked for me within the first couple of years in LA, where I was like, ‘Oh, I’m back on the court.’ Know what I mean? Like everybody around me are my friends, but they’re also ‘the other team.’
“For me, it was that competitive sports side of myself that flipped a switch.”
“Removing the President from Twitter is nuts!”
Brent and Wade talk about comedy’s relationship with social media, and YouTube specifically, where Brent found an audience. While discussing the state of comedy, free speech, and censorship, of course, former President Donald Trump came up.
Here’s a portion of what Brent had to say: “Regardless of whether or not you love Trump, I’ll make fun of the guy until the day I die. All politics aside, removing the President from Twitter is nuts. So, when that happened, I was like, ‘Oh, this will never get better.’ This is either going to stay how it is, or it’s going to get worse very slowly.
“How I see it is that many people are going to start alternative social media sites, and I pray it will balance the power out. But Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are so deeply rooted in power grabs and monopoly mindsets that I predict they will do everything in their power to ensure that there is never a level playing field. Playing dirty, buying people out and then dropping the company completely, which they’ve done before.”
“I will assume that happens, but I am rooting for the good guys here. I see little sites popping up here and there that are like new types of social sites, new types of interaction places…I have high hopes that the playing field will balance out, and more people will put content on different platforms. As the whole blockchain world starts to be more incorporated, I think this will create new avenues for creators to get their content to people.”
Free speech is not only crucial to comedy – the health and wellness community needs to be able to communicate freely as well. This refreshing and amusing conversation between two people passionate about health and freedom of artistic expression will make you think and laugh. When comedy and health combine, the synergy between the two is fascinating. Laughter is medicine – enjoy some chuckles at no charge!
Read The Episode Transcript:
Wade Lightheart : Brent? Brent Pella : What's up, dude? Wade Lightheart : Welcome to the show. Brent Pella : Thank you for having me. Wade Lightheart : Hey Nancy. You know what? I'm so excited to have you here too, because we were talking about this earlier for our listeners abroad. And first we're going to talk about the importance of comedy. As you know, they say laughter's the best medicine I've been following you on the internet. And I found one of your videos with Gavin Newson imitation, the one where you go, I love it. Brent Pella : Thanks. Wade Lightheart : And concurrently. Then my team had also been working with you and we created a wonderful partnership, which has been great because we really believe that, you know, as a health company and some of that we've got to in, like everybody's all stressed out and freaked out and it's been a very tough environment for comedians. So let me get a little background on you. Tell me, how did you get started into the comedian world? How do you decide to become a comedian? Cause that's a tough game. Brent Pella : I mean, it's definitely not something I ever, I wanted to be in the NBA. I still do. I still think I could be in the NBA one day. That's a dream. That's a dream. I will never let go of. I will never let go of that dream. But I remember when I was a kid, like my mom raised me on Chris Farley and welfare along with… Wade Lightheart : Black sheep. Brent Pella : Black Sheep, yeah. Wade Lightheart : One favorite car crash. Brent Pella : Oh, it's insane. And Tommy Boy was like my favorite movie of all time. And so I remember just like kind of absorbing that and just thinking it was so funny and then like reenacting bits from those movies whenever I was around family or friends. And then in high school and college started doing comedy videos and then moved to LA and just like everybody else that moves to LA, I thought I was like, you know, hot stuff. And then I looked around and realized, Oh, I kind of suck at everything. And so that motivated me to get on stage. So then I was on stage doing improv, sketch stand-up and making videos at the same time. And it all kind of just coalesced into what I'm doing now, which all those things with less suck, I think. Wade Lightheart : Yeah. If you suck really bad, you'll go to politics. Brent Pella : Right, exactly. Wade Lightheart : I want to talk about that. You know, that journey, I think as a creative artist and so many people I think have a creative side to them, but that gets beaten out of them through the education system or shut down. How did you find the courage to kind of follow through and, you know, go through and earn your chops? Cause it's not easy being like, you can be funny with your friends and tell your jokes to walk on a cold stage and be funny. Like that's a big jump. Brent Pella : Yeah. I appreciate you calling it courage. I think it's stupidity but thank you for boosting. I feel courageous, courage… Wade Lightheart : Courage and insanity. Brent Pella : Its really like a stubbornness. You have to be so stupid to want to be a comedian. You have to be so dumb to think like, yeah, I'm going to go out there and all these people are going to pay me attention and be quiet while I talk. And they're going to laugh at me and give me what I need. It's very, very selfish. So the courage comes from just stepping onto the stage beyond that you just have to be an idiot. And I say that with like a lot of love behind it because there's still a lot of it. I think that the number one biggest fear for people in America is public speaking. And so to want to do that for a living and make money doing that is something you really do have to have a little bit of courage for at the end of the day. Yeah. You gotta be hard-headed and stubborn, but you also have to have a little bit of courage. And I think the courage for me or the stubbornness, I guess, or a mixture of both came from my competitive side because I played sports my whole life basketball in college and competitive sports my whole life still do. And so I think it really clicked for me within the first couple of years of being in LA where I was like, Oh, this is I'm back on the court now like this, you know what I mean? Like everybody around me, like, yeah, I can hang out with these people. They're all my friends, but like, they're also like the other team, you know? And how am I working hard to be the best version of myself that I can be knowing everybody else is trying to do the same thing. So for me it was that like sports competitive side that kind of flipped a switch for me. Wade Lightheart : It's interesting. There's a lot of comedians who have kind of athletic histories or something and are quite competitive. In fact, I was hanging out with a friend who's connected with Joey Diaz and Joey was over and he was talking about the comedy scene here in LA. And he's like, dude, it's this murderer's role. You go down to the comedy car, he was like this and this and this, he's like, it's insane. Unfortunately, he moved out with the whole COVID thing. And of course there's all these kinds of connections, but how was it for you to kind of find mentorship or where your guidelines, like, how did you make that jump? Like, because in sports we go, Oh, I want to be like Colby. Or I want to be like LeBron or magic Johnson or, you know, whoever it happens to be. And that's usually a natural inclination is kids and there's a mentorship stuff. But how did you find that in the comedic career? Like he's like what inspired you? Brent Pella : You know, the parallels between for me, I can only speak for myself, but the parallels between the sports world and the comedy world are so significant. Because in sports, you know, you look at Kobe Bryant's game is almost move for move Michael Jordan's game because Kobe was watching Jordan religiously when he was grown up and then Colby started adding his own touch, his own flavor to it. But there's a video online that you can watch right now where it has side-by-side Colby and Jordan. And it's like minutes long and they're doing the exact same move in the exact same spot on the court ends because he absorbed that when he was young and just starting out in his career, he was watching, looking up to the goats, the grades. And so for me, it was very, very much the same, you know, I did the same thing in basketball. I looked up to Kobe and Jordan, and then when I moved out to LA and I got really involved in live performance, I was looking up to people that were just crushing on stage. A couple of guys, like I was looking up to Krista Leah when I first started Brent MorinFahim Anwar, who's now out in Austin. Those guys were like the funniest people to me. And so I started and Jim Carey back in the nineties, I was watching all his specials. Wade Lightheart : Amazing physicality. Brent Pella : Yeah. And so I started like taking on little pieces of that just subconsciously, because when you're watching something, it's like, you're studying game film. Right. And so I was watching all these guys perform nonstop. And then within my first two years, I started having people come up to me like, hey, you're really funny. Do you remind me of this guy? You remind me of this guy. And then I was like, ah, I appreciate that. I was like, ha. I was like, ah, you know, I really appreciate that, but I don't want to remind anyone of anybody. I want to be my own guy. So I actually stopped watching a lot of my favorite comedians that I felt like I had similarities to just because I wanted to start forming my own pocket of like performing abilities and style, you know? So that's where I'm at now. I'm still trying to do that. Wade Lightheart : That's really cool. Now of course, comedians are an interesting group of individuals first off, you said that they're stupid, but I've never, I don't think that's true. I think most communities are really intelligent because they're able to look at common elements. Brent Pella : You just have to be stupid to want to be. Wade Lightheart : And then they find kind of that element of truth. That's got a thread through to make something funny to expose either the self-talk or the things that you don't say, or these types of things. Is there a way that you are able to extract that out of life because there's kind of like a common element that's need, but kind of like a new juxtaposition that emerges it at, like, how do you, I'd like to know how you decode that communication to what is quote unquote funny and then what makes it maybe not funny because I'm sure you've been on stage hit a joke that you think is the best. It bombs. And you're like, you know what happened? Brent Pella : That's, you're asking about the chemistry of comedy, which is really interesting. And this is, I love talking about this because it's cool. When I watch comedians tackle a premise or a topic and I'm like, where are they going with this? And then they pull something out of it. And they say like a sentence. And the words of the sentence are so perfectly aligned and delivered that the meaning just jumps out at you and it forces you to laugh. And it's this weird alchemy of like cynicism, meeting, cleverness and wit meeting, a specific person's sense of humor. And you put all those things together and you give them a topic and they can pull from it, something that no one's ever thought of before. No one would ever think to say that sentence that this person just said for the punchline. Right. And so I, when it comes to like actually writing a joke, I personally don't sit down and try to think like, okay, wellhow can I make a joke about you know, CrossFit? What can I write about CrossFit? It's more like in the moment of being at a CrossFit class and seeing a trainer be like super hardcore and then playing like crazy dubstep music, then I like, I look around no one's laughing at this guy. So it becomes funny. And for me it's been a conscious practice of always trying to keep a third eye open, to see something that maybe other people aren't seeing in the hopes that I can take that thing that I saw, that moment, that behavior, that thing that this person just said and turn that into something funny that could be shared by a lot of people. So it's been a conscious practice of trying to keep my mind open so that those moments can come to me. And I think when folks aren't comedians, they're not constantly thinking like that because why would they take up too much brain power? And they drive themselves crazy constantly, like breaking down every moment that a certain person is doing or that a certain person to say but for a comedian, that's, you know, that's why a lot of them are crazy because they're so open the whole time, so everything is flowing through them. And it's a wild rollercoaster. Wade Lightheart : I'm also interested because some people there's a comedian that kind of turns and turns off. And then there's some people that kind of just that's who they are, you know, all the time. And they come into different types. I can remember one day I was walking up the street in Vancouver where I lived for many years, Canada and I was walking behind Chris rock and two of his friends and he's having a conversation with them. And I was just kind of like walking along and it sounded like he was on stage. Like, it just didn't seem to be any connection. But then you'll see maybe a Joe Rogan, which is like Joe Rogan in an interview versus, you know, Joe Rogan when he's on the UFC, like bigger, or then when he's on a Netflix special, there's like different personalities. Which do you think is easier to do having the different personalities or getting into the comedic personality? Or is it just something that cultivates with the personality? Brent Pella : Flows in and out of a combination of both of those things and then one of those things, and then the other thing, and I feel like every standup comedian is a version of themselves on stage and the great ones are 100% themselves. They, you know, like bill Burr would be talking to you like this, and then he would go on stage and he'd still be talking like this. And he'd be saying the same things that he says to you on a podcast that he would say on stage to 10,000 people. And then others, you know, play a character or whatever, but there's a, like a pretty consistent mix between being oneself and being a heightened version of oneself on stage. I feel like. And that's still something I'm trying to figure out. Like, I'm definitely, as far as like time goes, I'm still very new to this world. You know, I'm not even 10 years in to doing standup. So I'm still trying to navigate that and figure out how to be myself in certain moments on stage and then what moments where I need to actually be a completely different person on stage. So it's fun to navigate, but yeah, there's a good mix there as far as what people do on and off stage. Wade Lightheart : One of the things that I've noticed that's emerged in the course, we'll get into some of the challenges that I think are happening in the world of comedic relief, especially during this kind of highly charged cancel culture world is that when I interviewed JP Sears, he said that he was in a, I think it was in Philadelphia, he was in a comedic club and you kind of write, who was there. And he said there was a thing on the wall from Dave Chappelle, who a lot of people think is one of the greatest comics ever that said, keep telling the truth. And you know, JP who you do work with a lot, you know, you guys traveled together, you have a good relationship. And we've developed a wonderful business relationship as well because I really believe we need to support free speech. We need to satire and humor, especially in such dark times, but now we're living in this world where everything is canceled and everybody is ultra-sensitive. How do you navigate that as a comedian today, both onstage and then in this new medium, which is like YouTube and social, like Facebook and all this, which is, can you describe the difference and maybe how you navigate that? Brent Pella : Yeah, the first step I think is knowing that you can't please everybody and you never will. And that's a lesson I really had to just nail into my own brain early on, because I always want to please everybody, I always wanted to do jokes that were like green middle of the road, but you can't, it's impossible. Cause trying to please everybody will make you please no one. Right? So then it became, okay, let me just be myself and do the things that I think are funny. And then that transformed as the world changed over the past few years into this hyper sensitive, hyper politicized space that we're living in now. And so now navigating that, for me has become actually really easy because I know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. So I found this groove where I know I'm going to not be bringing people on board from time to time. I know by saying what I think is true or calling out the BS that I think is BS in the world. I know that's going to make some people mad. And I actually liked that because I'm staying true to myself and everybody that likes me for saying what I'm saying, is he gonna like me even more? And granted the stuff I'm saying, isn't that crazy, right? Like I'm not out there trying to cause a rally. I'm not bringing insurrection number two, you know what I mean? Wade Lightheart : Is it only number two or is it number three? Brent Pella : It might be a number three. Wade Lightheart : But did you have to do these in trilogies? Brent Pella : Right, It's going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh. And so navigating it now has become a process of ignoring negativity because there will always be negativity, whether you're making plenty of people on the left or the right or politics or cancel culture or whatever the hot button issue is, there will always be negativity and people trying to drag you down and then focusing on fulfilling yourself. Like for me, whatever I make first and foremost, I'm making it for myself 100%. I do it for me. Right. And after that comes my audience, family and friends and everybody else. But if I don't get this thing out of my head, I go crazy. I have to do it for me. Drake actually has a really, as cliche as that soundshe has this great line from a song where he says if I was doing this for you, I would have been done years ago. I'm doing this for me now, there's some like that. I'm ruining the line, but the lyric is like that. And I always thought about that because it's like at the end of the day, I'm reallyif what I'm making is fulfilling myself and it's making me laugh first and foremost, then I know I'm succeeding. And I know that like-minded people will gravitate towards me and I'll just hold the faith that that happened. And I think what a lot of people are doing now in their attempts to navigate the space is they're doing things to please a certain demographic. They're doing things to pander to a certain group of people, rather than speaking their truth and allowing like-minded people to come to them. And I think that creates more division. I think it creates worst content. And I think it doesn't develop dialogue enough with people. And I'm not saying, I'm not like my silly dumb comedy isn't intended to create a national dialogue. You know what I mean? But… Wade Lightheart : It isn't? Brent Pella : I mean, but like the people or the companies, or the late night shows or whatever that are creating content and pieces of media that are specifically targeted for a very specific demographic while ignoring an opportunity to like tell the truth in a funny way, they're creating more division in my mind. And you know, they're creating unity within their little demographic of people because those people just go further and further into the echo chamber. And then you look at people like my buddy Ryan Long, who's really funny guy. Some of the stuff I've made, some of the stuff JP has made, where it's very like, this guy's kind of got a point here. And I love that because Ryan Long and JP and myself have all found this way to make, to create things that speak to our own philosophies about what's going on and we're allowing people to gravitate towards us. So I think self fulfillment is really the number one way that I try to navigate everything is just staying true to myself. Wade Lightheart : One of the things I've noticed in the comedic world is there seems to be a variance between stage. And then I would call now we have this new medium of the internet, and then we have kind of like the commercial, the bill Meyer type stuff. And what I've noticed is there's a difference in those mediums, right? The stage you're getting feedback live. So there's a certain energy that comes from it. In the Facebook world or the YouTube world. You can kind of craft an edit and build out a joke. Cause you know, there's parts where you're playing two or three different characters and things like that, which is unique, which is, you're almost crafting, almost like a mini show. And then you get into kind of like the corporate world. What's interesting. I've noticed when you look at that standup comics that now are reading their traditional monologue and they have the writers in the poshy place in LA, that's really become very tired, old, negative, and predictable is that… Do you think that many of those comics who are super talented and creative and have all this ability and work their chops through that whole thing, they get to that kind of cushy tower. But so many of them, like, it seems like they they've sold their soul to the corporation. Do you think that's a risk because that corporation has got to fit everything within their corporate media sponsor, stuff does that take away from the manufacturer? I know I asked a lot of questions but I want to… Brent Pella : Well, I get it. I catch the vibe. Here's what I think about that. And… Wade Lightheart : I don't want you to screw up a big fat contract. Brent Pella : Oh yes. That's coming soon. Wade Lightheart : So that's coming soon. I know you have to totally… Brent Pella : I'm in the run for the tonight show. No, but you know, places like the tonight show, I've really thought about this a lot too. Cause the tonight show was like a dream of all dreams a couple of years ago. And now the dream of all dreams is like to do what I'm doing now, but at the highest possible level on my own. Although I would love a shot at the tonight show. Okay. If you guys want to give me a shot, I'll pitch you some ideas. But when you get to a place, I feel like in entertainment where you're under a corporate review system and a standards and practices system, that's all created because there's a constant flow of money. They have to keep their advertisers on board. And who's watching the shows, people in the Midwest, people in Idaho South Dakota, you know what I mean? And nothing against those people, but it's like people in the middle of the country, you know, that are home every single day, like and get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the tonight show. Every single day, you look at the target demographics, you'll see this. And those people gotta be entertained. It's easy to consume entertainment. It's easily digestible and it needs to exist. It really does because there are a lot of people, God, I don't want to say anything like mean I'll say what Tim Dylan said, okay. I'll quote him and instead, Tim Dylan, fantastically hilarious comedian. He says and this is not a cause a paraphrase, but he said, you know, there's a lot of simple minded, stupid people out there and they need to be entertained too. And so if that means Jimmy Fallon has to play, you know, birthday hats with Chris Evans, captain America and the late night segment. And that's what they're going to call comedy, let that happen. Okay. And then they can all go to sleep at night and wake up the next morning and be robots. That's what Tim Dylan said. I'm not saying I agree with that. But I think that speaks to your question of, you know, does it get to a certain point where the comedy is like the soul was sucked out of it? I think there's still soul there. Cause you really have to be enjoying it. You look at Jimmy Fallon who I absolutely love. And that's a style, man. He enjoys it. He's so middle of the road, like silly slapsticky, you know, no one's going to remember the games that he's playing on the tonight show 10 years from now. No one's going to remember that stuff. But in the moment it's helping a lot of people get through their dates. It's bringing a lot of joy into a lot of living rooms and a lot of places across the country. So I think it's definitely necessary. But where I get worried is where people start to turn against entertainers or comedians who don't want to do that, who don't want to be part of the corporate system who say, Oh, I don't want to, like, that looks terrible. That's so stupid. Why would I ever want to be on that show? Look at what they do. They force you to pander to this side of the political aisle. I don't want to be on that show. That's so stupid. And then that person gets shot down for being like a racist Trump supporter or something crazy. And so to… I'm not jumping all over the place but like the corporate system of comedy from my perspective is a necessary, not evil, but it's like a necessary thing because so many people enjoy it and it's a consistent flow of money. But I would hate to see that become the end all be all for what gets shared with the general public, which is why I love that people are going to things like Patrion and rockfin and all these other Odyssey and all these other places outside of the typical YouTube space where they can create content and share it with the people and find their own audience so that they don't have to rely on NBC anymore. And that's been a steady evolution of people not having to rely on places like NBC to create content and find an audience. Wade Lightheart : Well let's talk about that too is like, now we're dealing with like YouTube and Facebook and these other social media platforms. And of course you've got Patreon, which is, you know, people kind of reward financially directly. And the other one is through getting a following that you can support yourself with ads and sponsors and products and stuff that you like to associate with. Where do you see the comedy going in social media stuff with cancel stuff? Cause I have you had it canceled. Brent Pella : Oh bro. Yesterday my YouTube channel got suspended for two weeks. Wade Lightheart : Okay. Tell me about that for a second. What's that about? Brent Pella : So I posted a video a couple of days ago. Me and my buddy, we do this series of characters where we're to like bro, hey bro. What's up bro? Wade Lightheart : Yeah, you did the mushroom one. Absolutely love it. Brent Pella : And so we did, we have like a running series with these two guys that are like conspiracy bros. They're like really into like the crazy stuff. Wade Lightheart : Oh that's Awesome. Brent Pella : Yeah. And so we did this video that came out a couple of days ago, called one conspiracy bros, go to the doctor and in the video, we're at the doctor waiting to get the vaccine. And we're talking to each other like, bro, did you hear it? Like bill Gates put chips in this dude, they're trying to put chips in our bodies. Dude. He's like Pringles chips. They just try and put Pringles and Doritos potato chips. And our bodies do control. It's like little puppets dude. So they can put more fake birds into the ecosphere dude. Like that's what the line was. Right. Wade Lightheart : Which is a conversation that's happening at an ear one on any given afternoon. Yes. The lunch counter right there that's what the conversation. Brent Pella : B we said Pringles chips and you can't get more objectively silly than saying a needle is going to inject you with a snack food. So they took it down and said, we were spreading medical misinformation, which is insane, which is crazy. So then we dug deep. So then I dug deep with a buddy that I work with who has ties to YouTube and we dug and we dug and we dug and they said, you know, it just could be interpreted by somebody as being factually true. That's the exact response we got. So that means that YouTube takes it upon themselves to decide what people's interpretation could or could not be and blocks people from creating their own interpretation of a piece of content. And to me at the foundational element, yes, they're a private company that can do whatever they want and they're fully within their legal rights. But the dude, the slippery slope that begins of censoring comedy and enacting like abusing your power to either allow or not allow somebody to create their own interpretation of a work of art or a silly video, that's, it's an abuse of power. It's a breach of social responsibility. And to me it's a definite free speech issue. Even if it's a privately held company, who are they to decide what isn't isn't comedy? And so my channel got suspended for two weeks. And so now I can't post for two weeks. Wade Lightheart : Wow. And of course your economic viability is for videos. Brent Pella : I mean, that's for videos. Yeah. A couple of them with BiOptimizers ads, but I got to push to the end of April now, which is a bummer. Wade Lightheart : And of course, then it's like, now you're back to that situation of like, well, could this potentially be interpreted because lot of the best comedy is or the comedy that's going to have the biggest application or influence to a field would be something that would be very common to that. So there's a massive conversation about COVID about vaccines, about medical innovation, alternative stuff. And then it's tied into politics. It's tied into economics, it's tied into all these things. You come out talking about a funny video too, you know, Hey, I'm putting Pringle chips in people's brains. And that gets cut off because one of the things, over on that wall, I have a book called the Gulag archipelago. And the fascinating thing about it is one of the things that happened in the Soviet union and was all of a sudden comedians were not allowed to say you were not allowed to make jokes about the government. You're not allowed to say certain things. And that was also echoed inside of Not see Germany, which was, they were trying to go against the Hitler Rosa power. Cause they were trying to like, we need to move away from it cockiness. And so let's try fascism. Yeah. A hundred million people died. Right. Whoops. And then you saw the same things happening in the cultural revolution inside of the China. And then you saw this happening also spread to Venezuela. You saw it spread to Cuba. You saw this happen in Cambodia and here we are in the 2020s and it seems to be happening in America. How do you deal with that as a comedian and as someone who your whole basis of existence is foundationally founded upon free speech and the freedom to make unusual, maybe avant garde statements in a way cause anxiety in comedy are actually same neurological reactions. They're actually the same thing. Like, so if I feel kind of anxious. You know, comedians always kind of dancing on that kind of like, Oh, I said that, all right. You know, you're yeah. You're out there going. Yeah, I got it. So where do you see this all going? Do you see it? Do you see it increasing and how does that, how do you plan your career around that? Brent Pella : So it's interesting. Cause it's so hard to predict, right? No one would have predicted that we would be here five years ago. So who knows where we'll be five years from now? Will they ban anybody that makes a joke? They don't like, but what's most crazy, just taking from this specific example that I gave is that the content in question is something that you would assume YouTube would like, cause we're actually mocking the extreme anti-vaxxers right. The people who actually think there's a microchip in the backseat. Wade Lightheart : But even with that just as an example, that means that you need to be a proponent of the vaccine. They've kind of taken that position, it would appear that. Brent Pella : You would think but then why wouldn't they let that video live? If mocking the people that they're against, right. Why wouldn't they let that live? And so how it'll evolve? I don't see it letting up ever. I think as soon as the president got kicked off Twitter… Wade Lightheart : I mean, we talked about on precedent. Brent Pella : That's objectively crazy to me. I mean, regardless of whether or not you love Trump, I'll make fun of the guy until the day I die. And all politics aside removing the president from Twitter is nuts. So when that happened, I was like, Oh, this will never get better. This is it's either going to stay how it is or it's going to get worse very slowly. So how I see it is a lot of people are going to start alternative social media sites and I pray it will balance the power out, but Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are so deeply rooted in power grabs and monopoly type mindsets that I would predict that they would do everything in their power to ensure that it is never a level playing field, playing dirty, buying people out and then like dropping the company completely, which they've done before. I would assume that happens, but I really am like rooting for the good guys here. And I see little sites popping up here and there that are like new types of social sites, new types of fan to creator interaction places. So I have high hopes that the playing field will balance out and more people will be able to put content on different platforms, especially to be honest as the whole blockchain world starts to be more incorporated as blockchain technology starts to be more incorporated. I think that's going to create new avenues for creators to get their content to people. Well, like we're seeing with NFTs right now kind of, which is like a crazy fad, but so yeah, I would hope that it starts to level out, but I would not be surprised if these bigger companies continued to try to ensure that it didn't. Wade Lightheart : Yeah. I have some deep concerns as fell because you know, we're always trying to navigate the, you know, the policies and advertising and things like that to communicate with people. And there's a couple of things I know tens of thousands of conservatives leaning, reporting stuff also got wiped out in concordance with that. So I thought that was interesting as well. It wasn't just the president. There was like all these other associated people and branded as, you know, people against the state or people against the population. And I think some really unfair applications whether you like the personalities or not, there's a bigger issue at large. And the other thing I think is interesting. And speaking to that, I see, I know one of the guys that got wiped, that was the guy with the, my pillow guy. Who's kind of a funny guy. Anyway, Michael Dell, who's now starting a new, he's starting a new platform called Frank. Brent Pella : Oh really? Wade Lightheart : Yeah. I just saw it the other day. I don't know. Brent Pella : Trump is supposed to be starting a new plan. Wade Lightheart : I think it's good. I think he's probably, I mean Trump was probably the biggest source of comedy for the last five, six years. Brent Pella : Oh he's the funniest president of the time. Wade Lightheart : I mean, I was looking at the ratings of even of the regular networks and since Trump's gone, like their ratings are all going down because there's so many people that hate this guy and, you know, like who is Luke Skywalker without dark fader, right. Brent Pella : Totally. Wade Lightheart : You need a great heel. And I think he played that character and people bought into that as an idea. And he actually played the media against it, which was a kind of an interesting marketing move. But then maybe those networks kind of understood what happened. I was like, okay, we need to stop this town and maintain his Jevity. And I think in a digital world, Peter teal talks about it in zero to one where there's a certain point in the way digital technology goes geometrically, that companies just kind of come these breakaway dominant forces, you know, whether it's YouTube or Netflix or Disney or PayPal or all, there's a breakaway point that happens in all of those businesses. And now we have Apple entering into this play. And then now they're starting to war with Google. It lists all these different things. So it's, I'm curious though as a consumer of comedy and I I've taken upon myself cause I can get very serious and locked into, you know, numbers and spreadsheets and roles and things like that, running a company. But when I'm hanging out with my friends, comedy is a big part of it. Cool life, I like to laugh. And it's, I think it's the best. Yeah. How do you think the best way for consumers to navigate this world to ensure that we keep the voices of comedians out there to say whatever they want to say? Because I think I'm of the opposite opinion of where everyone's like, so walking on eggshells about race and gender and sexuality and all these sorts of things that I really don't care how much melanin is on somebody's skin. And I'm not, you know, just the social economic gap has always been there from all kinds of people and people hang around, generally this, you know, the same five people are friends, but that's another thing. And then like, I don't care who someone sleeps with or wants to, or identical. It doesn't matter to me, but those in themselves can be kind of funny. Yeah. So how as a consumer, do you see consumers navigating this Murray? Because at the end of the day, if in a capitalistic system, we have to talk about that the consumer drives the market. But now we're starting to see… Brent Pella : The corporations are driving the market. Wade Lightheart : Right. So how do we navigate this as consumers? Do you have any thoughts about, or is there any of your friends in the or colleagues in the industry understand this? Brent Pella : I think it's a numbers game, right? So if you're really, really popular on Instagram or YouTube, you can tell everybody like, Hey, from now on, I'm putting all my stuff on Patrion, that's it? I'll post here to let you guys know when I post on Patrion and then people will flock to Patrion and that's where they it's going to come down to people like really investing in the creators that they love because the more and more people branch off on their own and start to do their own, make their own content away from the traditional places like YouTube and Facebook, the more they're going to really need the supportive people. Because right now it's easy to click, like on Facebook, it's easy to click subscribe. It's hard to type in a new website and go, I don't know how to recognize his website. You got to click log in, you make an account, you got to enter your card information. What is this security code? I got accused of traffic lights and it becomes like heart, you know? And so it's gonna, we need that dude. We need that. As creators, we need the people who support us to double down on their support. If we're going to be doubling down on trying to break out of this corporate system of greed and arguably censorship. So that's what it's going to come down to. I personally don't want to have a career on the internet. I can't wait to stop making videos. Wade Lightheart : Really. Why is it? Brent Pella : Yeah because I want to do bigger things. I want to make movies and shows and like a whole thing. Specials, albums. And YouTube is fun because I have a bunch of silly, fun, short sketch ideas, but I mean, you know, 10, 15 years from now, I don't want to be making YouTube sketch videos. It's a phase that I'm absolutely loving and I'm so passionate about it. And I love it so much because it's helping me develop as a person and a performer. And it's helping me develop my opinions on different things. But it's going to get to the point where I'm like, I'm still doing this. God, I just want to like keep growing, keep evolving to the next thing. Right. So, maybe that becomes creating longer form content and putting it out on a completely new platform that Springs up from all this madness. Right, but from a consumer standpoint, it's just gonna take a lot of doubling down on the people that you love. And we're seeing it cause people like Tim Dylan, Theo Vaughn, Ryan Long, all these guys have patrions and they're making bank, we're getting tons of money because their followers followed them to Patrion because they were making, we make crap money on YouTube. We'll make barely any money on YouTube. They take so much of the ad revenue. So I love seeing that. Cause it speaks to your point of what are consumers going to do buy. They gotta double down in their support and they are doing that. I think true fans and your real audience will follow you wherever you go. Wade Lightheart : That's cool. And I know I'm on the opposite side of it. One of the things that we've looked at is, you know, sponsoring up and coming and successful comedians to, you know, put in advertising and fit so we can associate good humor, good fun, you know, being able to laugh at ourselves and help advance people's careers, economic, that's how we're doing it from a corporate side. So for anybody listening that has a you know, a message in a site or reload to them, I think it's a great thing to carry on to people such as yourself in the creative arts. It is a creative arts industry. And you know, if you look back and humanity, we remember the buildings that people built. And then we learn about the culture, which are the people from the artists. So who remember the engineers and the artists and everybody else. It's kind of interesting when you look at that let's talk a little bit about maybe the difference between creating serious cause so if I look at, if you look at a guy, I think maybe one of the most successful comedians of all times a guy like Joe Rogan. Okay. So here's a guy that's fighting and doing the gear, doing the grind, handling to…. Brent Pella : Drink too for the second mention of Joe Rogan. Wade Lightheart : So, yeah, we see that and then he got to the position where he got the F U money. And what I find a little worrisome is I always listened to Joe on YouTube. It's like, I watch you on YouTube. I watch JP Sears and where there are other comics that I'm interested in. I usually catch the clips on YouTube. Cause I can get a little segment. I get a little sampling of this person. I'm like, Oh, this is funny, entertaining. He's moved over to Spotify as a talent. But now it's really hard to see Joe Rogan. Like my Spotify account doesn't work that road it's clunky. And then he smashes it every now and then does these big Netflix specials, which is like a totally different deal. So can you maybe map out how you see the career going? Cause people kind know how the career, just any career, because you know is basketball. You start out literally and you go into high school, you can go to the NCAA and then maybe you'll get drafted or you go to Europe for awhile, then you get on a team and blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's very like, you know, football or any other sport, you know, in a business career you got out of school or whenever you started, that's clear. But as an artist, do you think it's more clear now what the possibilities are? Brent Pella : It's well, I think it's more, I think it's more clear. The possibilities are more clear, but I think the possibilities are so diverse that it's impossible to plot. It's like choosing a bracket in the NCAA tournament on day one, right? It's like, Oh, you have all these roads, all these different things that could happen leading to the championship and you fell out a bracket and then you get like half of them wrong, but you end up with the championship. Right? So it's clear because there are so many people doing so many different things. You got people making millions on podcasts. You have people making six figures a year on YouTube videos. You got people doing specials, doing commentary, pitching their own show, hosting a talk show on you know Hulu or whatever. And so there are all these different mediums and avenues, so it's clear, but it's impossible to predict. And I think when you start predicting is when you kind of are more likely to fail at your prediction because you're not open to any other course of action. Right? So like in my early years I was, I had a prediction. I was like, I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this. I'll be here. And then I'll get this. And that was it. I had it written down, dude. It was like a… It was a path. Yeah. 100%. None of those things have happened, not a single one but it forced me to be open. And so now I love what I'm doing. I love I'm so happy with what I'm doing. Of course I go down on myself, life is ups and downs, but with where I'm at, I'm very grateful and I love what I'm doing. And it was also clear to me that this could be a possibility. So there's just so many different avenues and they're all clear, but it's impossible to predict, you know? But yeah the traditional route for a lot of stand-ups has always been like, okay, do open mikes, get in at the clubs, become a touring headliner and then go on tour for a year, releasing an album and then go on tour for another year and hopefully get a 30 minute special on comedy central. And then that can get you known by Netflix and then get an hour long, special on Netflix and maybe like a couple of festivals in between. And so that's always been like the traditional route, but again, that is heavily reliant on the industry. And so now what we're seeing is we're seeing a lot of comedians like Sam Murrell and Mark Normand both super funny comics out of New York. They self produced their own standup specials and they released them to millions of views and they made a bunch of money that they didn't have to give a chunk of to comedy central. You know, so it's like, and they had originally, I remember reading a tweet, maybe Joe list was another guy. One of those guys was like, yeah, you know, we shot this special as a pitch because typically you'll shoot a special in like a dingy club or whatever, just to get the material on tape, pitch it to Netflix. Netflix will say, this is hilarious. We get what you're doing. Let's shoot it at a theater. Right. They pitched it to everybody, everybody passed. So we just put it out and it got millions of views and everybody loved, the audience loved it and the internet loved it. And so that's what we're seeing now is you don't have to rely on these industry people to tell you whether you're funny or not, you don't have to rely on corporations to tell you you're good enough or not. If you know, you're good enough, then go make the thing and put it out. And that's becoming a brand newwell, it's always been there, but it's becoming a much more defined possibility for a lot of people in the comedy world now, it's just doing it on your own and not waiting for someone to give you permission. Wade Lightheart : Beautifully said. I think another piece that I think people are curious about I asked JP about this too is like, how do you structure your production of comedy? Do you have a set schedule? Do you write at a certain time? Do you like, so can you break that down for people? Because I think a lot of it was like, Oh, I'm just a funny, you're just a funny guy. You just like walk down the street and just instantly come up with these things, but it's not Brent Pella : Just walking in and then it pops into my head and I'm like, ha! Wade Lightheart : And so Jackass then as soon as you say that I'm done, right? Brent Pella : You know, ideas come sporadically I'll write down an idea on my phone and then I'll bring it to the computer the next day. And I'll do some free writing for a few minutes. I have a whiteboard at home with a bunch of post-it notes on videos that are being written that need to be shot and that need to be edited. So that's kinda like my visual flow so that I can have something to look at in the real world. I don't have to keep it all locked in my head. And then writing wise, it totally varies. Seinfeld used to do this thing and he probably still does where he would just sit down and write for one hour straight and he would write pages for an hour and maybe he'd get like four lines that were good enough to bring to the stage. Maybe one of those lines would work out of an hour of writing. He'd have one sentence. Right. And so then he would bring that back and then he would write about that line. And what else can he come up with? I do that from time to time. Wade Lightheart : You write with a pen or do you write with a computer? Brent Pella : Typically a computer so that I can write faster as thoughts come to me and then sometimes I'll just walk around and improvise in my apartment alone. I'll put on a wig, I'll play a character that… Wade Lightheart : Dose that help? Brent Pella : Yeah. I can just drop into whoever it is. I can try to find the essence of that person, you know? Yeah. So, and that's fine. Cause then if I say something funny, then the real me will be like, Oh, I like that. And then I'll be able to write that down. So it's the creative process is wildly vary depending on what the bit is or what the project is, but there's always some element of improv to it. Whether it's improv writing, I'm just going, non-stop like a free flow of thought or I'm walking around and talking to myself it's heavy, heavy, heavy improv based. Wade Lightheart : So when you're on stage and say, let's say you've rehearsed your jokes and your timing and your punchline or something that does sometimes like something comes in and they get the feedback, you just start running with it and see it goes. Brent Pella : Yeah, that's so fun because yeah, I'll say something like, I'll just have a thought, even on a joke that I've done a million times, sometimes a new line will just pop into my head and I'll say it. And if it gets a good reaction, all start laughing and I'll just keep going. I'll follow that trail until it kind of sputters out. And I always record it. So then I listened to the recording after the show and I can write down the new thing that I thought about when I was on stage. So there's always, I always leave the door open to having new spur of the moment things happen on stage. Cause I think that's the biggest part of the magic to me is when things sporadically come to fruition in a moment of performance really if you watch really good improv like at UCB or Groundlings, really, really good, like the best improv to me is the highest form of comedy. There's a lot of bad improv out there though, right? There's a lot of bad improv, but the best improv, because it's so in the moment that the performers, the players are so quick, they're so smart. They're operating on the same frequency data. It's crazy to see the things that like great improvisers come up with. And so since I started in the improv world, I keep that with me. And so I try to train myself to just allow, like, if I have a thought, I don't bottle it up for fear of it not working, I'll say it out. And if it doesn't work that doesn't work, we move on. It's not the end of the world, you know? Whereas on the opposite side of that spectrum, people like Seinfeld or even Louie are very written. It's almost like a lyrical how delivering their material. It's word for word, every pause every moment. There really isn't a lot of room for improv, which is great. Neither is better than the other and there's room for both of those styles to exist but that's kinda my process when it comes to it. Wade Lightheart : Who would you say was maybe your favorite or best ever improved person? Brent Pella : Key and Peele are, they started an improv in Chicago? I believe the, my favorite improvisers that I've seen ever. No one's going to know the names unless you're super into the LA comedy scene, but there's this girl, Mary Holland, who is super funny. She's in a bunch of commercials now. I think she's done a couple of TV shows insanely funny improviser couple of other people at Groundlings that I worked with, but you're not going to be famous as an improviser. You're going to work on a cruise ship every summer. You know what I mean? Like that's how you make money. Wade Lightheart : Would you classify Robin Williams as an improviser? Brent Pella : So yeah, so he would also write, but he would go off on just do insane improv stuff. So when it comes to that style of like standup improv Robin is at the top of the list for sure. Yeah. Wade Lightheart : And then how would you classify another guy that I really like is George Carlin. Brent Pella : Genius. I'm fairly certain everything he had material wise was pre-written of course! Wade Lightheart : The Seinfeld kind of evolved with that commentary. Right. Brent Pella : But even when you're writing, you're improvising. Cause you're thinking of things as they come up. So you're improvising, I'm improvising right now. Right? Like this is all our life is just one big improv dance but his stuff was so he's such a genius dude. He was saying the stuff people are saying today 20 years ago, it's amazing. Like the things people are just now realizing he was saying it 20 years ago. So he was a, I mean a God, he's on the Mount Rushmore comedy for me, for sure. Wade Lightheart : So I want to be mindful of your time and everything. Let's just segue a little bit. So when you're deriving content, you come from your own life. And some of the stuff that you do is based on fitness and biohacking and full politics and stuff is how did you get into some of the biohacking stuff or like the comedies about like, you know, that one video guys did on the mushrooms and the cleansing and stuff is so… Brent Pella : Oh yeah, yeah. Wade Lightheart : What was the title of that? Brent Pella : Was that the presidents on mushrooms or was it a spiritual people? Wade Lightheart : Who were like drinking juices? Like I think it's clear. Brent Pella : Oh, the juice, the juice bros. Yeah. That was fun. I mean, it's all, I love drinking juice. I take a lot of supplements. I do CrossFit style workouts. I'm taking CrossFit classes. All my friends are like bros that love lifting. So it all is derived from like my own personal life. It's all a bit, it all has an air of self-deprecation to it. Cause I'm poking fun at my own life. And it's just and it's such a funny, cause you can take it to such extremes with all that stuff. You know what I mean? Wade Lightheart : Biohacking is… Brent Pella: Hilarious. I went to lunch with a buddy the other day and we were sitting down, we hadn't even ordered yet. And he reaches into his pocket and he pulls out a handful of pills, all different shapes and sizes and colors. It looked like he had Omega some liver stuff in there. One was black, one was yellow, a bunch of white powder. He had at least 20 pills just in his pocket. And I was like, what are those news? Like, dude, I don't even know. I just take them. I just didn't at this point, I don't know what they all are, but I just, I can't go a day without taking them. And I was like, wow dude. So like that's an extreme, right? So that's like, I'm already making a video about that. Like the people who just love supplements and like only eat supplements. Right, that is fun. It's funny. It's just like, you can take it so far. You know? Wade Lightheart : Well, like a lot of my friends would probably categorize, they're taken out, you know, a 120, 150 pills a day. They're hooked up on electrical machines and it's the biohacking world is in that world. Brent Pella : I mean, I'd love to live forever. That'd be pretty cool. If f I had the option to kill myself at any point, I would live forever. Wade Lightheart : Yeah. So talk about that. So your role kind of connected with you, the human connected to Kind of spiritual, your spiritual perspective, all that stuff. How does that influence your comedy? Brent Pella : Huge. Yeah, cause that it has a such a big impact on being open-minded you know, anybody that meditates will always have this air about them, where they're a little more accepting of what comes and they don't fight too much against the flow of their life. You know what I mean? They pop a tire. They're not going to cry about it on the side of the freeway, they're going to fix it and move on with their life. Right. So I try to meditate a lot and the belief system that I've developed over the years when it comes to spirituality or religion or whatever really helps with just staying open-minded and accepting of whatever comes my way. And I think that's allowed me to create a space in my brain to allowlike what I said before that third eye metaphor that I made. I think that's really had a big impact, the meditation and just staying like spiritually within the belief system that I've got, that I've developed. It's allowed me to have that third eye open to allow me to like see certain absurdities in the world that I can then break down digest for myself and re create for an audience. Does that make sense? Wade Lightheart : A hundred percent. I mean, I'm a digestive health guy, so I totally, not only do we digest food, we digest ideas and it's been great. Can you share with people maybe where people can reach you, find out more about your phone volume on patrion? Obviously YouTube is in the hopefully… Brent Pella : It's Brent Pella, everywhere. Facebook/Brent Pella comedy, Instagram Brent Pella, YouTube Brent Pella. And I have a podcast that's like decent. So if you listen to a podcast it's called the Brent Pella show. Wade Lightheart : It is original. Brent Pella : Thank you so much, but yeah, dude, it's fun. And I love working with you guys too. It's great. I have a whole box of supplements. That's what I take now. I think I'm up to like six or seven a day. Wade Lightheart : We'll get you up to 200. Brent Pella : You get me up to two to three digits. This is what I really needed. Wade Lightheart : And it's sad, you know, but of course I'm on world domination. You might have to get two boxes. Brent Pella : That's wild, man. Yeah. The biohacking stuff is pretty cool. And I do find that it works too. A lot of people feel like a lot of people say it's a placebo effect when they take supplements and things like that. Wade Lightheart : A great supporting data now, and I think that has changed. We now have supporting data that can explain to people what, you know, Hocus Pocus. Brent Pella : Yeah. What's Wu-Wu and what's happening in the body. Wade Lightheart : What's legit. And it's a great world. And now we're just really happy to be working with you and wish you the best of success. And can't wait to have you back and talk more about world domination, digestion, andkeeping your third eye open. Brent Pella : Always! Wade Lightheart : There you go folks we have Brent Pella who has a comedy for all of us to listen to. I hope you enjoyed this episode. You can smash it like it. Brent Pella : Smash it. It's practice smash it. Wade Lightheart : We like it when you hate it too. So do whatever you want. But more importantly, make sure that you take the time to support your free speech. And don't be so sensitive. We need comics. It's laughter's the best medicine. Brent Pella : Just relax. Just be nicer. Yeah. Just be nice to people, you know, and drink more water, more water. Love you, bro. Wade Lightheart : Boom. Brent Pella : Nice dude. Wade Lightheart : Take care! Brent Pella : Cool.