544. The Fine Art of Not Giving a $!#@: Learning To Laugh at Yourself

Brent Pella

June 18, 2024

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Brent Pella is a stand-up comedian and filmmaker who's taken the internet by storm. In this episode we discuss his creative process and inspirations, personal journey with plant medicines and psychedelics, and the role of humor in addressing social and cultural issues.

Brent Pella is a stand-up comedian and filmmaker, whose videos parodying spirituality, health/wellness, and American politics have gained more than 600 million views online. He was recently named a "Creator to Watch" by the New York Comedy Festival. On stage, Brent has been a cast member of MTV's Wild 'N Out since season 16, and currently tours the US performing stand-up at comedy clubs, colleges, and music festivals throughout the country. His debut comedy special is out now at brentpella.com.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Get your popcorn ready, people. Today, I sit down with one of my favorite comedians and social media creators, the incredibly talented and hilarious Brent Pella. Brent is a stand-up comedian and filmmaker who's taken the internet by storm with his hilarious and often biting parodies on spirituality, health/wellness, and American politics. 

Known for his spot-on celebrity impressions and his role in MTV's Wild 'N Out, Brent’s comedic genius offers a unique lens through which we can view and laugh at ourselves and the world around us. Brent's humor isn't just about punchlines – it's about sparking joy, thought, and conversation – by poking fun at relatable and relevant issues. 

In this episode, we crack open Brent's approach to comedy, his creative process, and how his personal biohacking habits and spiritual beliefs inspire his work. We then reveal some behind-the -scenes development of his hottest material, especially his viral impressions of figures like CA governor Gavin Newsom and Joe Rogan.

We touch on his upbringing with an open-minded, Deadhead mom, and how this influenced his perspective and comedic voice. We also explore Brent's personal journey with plant medicine and psychedelics, and how these experiences have shaped his consciousness and creativity. From microdosing psilocybin to his deep dives with ayahuasca, Brent shares candidly about the challenges and insights gained from these practices and the advice he’d offer to future voyagers.

Along the way, we tackle topics like the importance of humor for mental health, the impact of government propaganda, and the erosion of trust in mainstream media – plus, his thoughts on whether anything should be off-limits in comedy. 

Make sure to check out Brent’s comedy special on YouTube, see him live if he comes to a venue near you, and check out his podcast, Good Trip, for a good laugh and a healthy dose of self-satire.

(00:00:58) Warming Up the Mic! Cursing, Tony Robbins & Toxic Twitter

(00:17:48) Leaning Into Authenticity: How Brent’s Art Imitates Life

(00:43:28) Checks/Balances for Mainstream Media & Comedy

  • False messaging and propaganda from the government
  • How politics changed and mainstream media trust eroded in the Trump era
  • Hoaxed (IMDB)
  • Reviewing Brent’s content that has been censored 
  • Brent’s career goals for a future away from social media
  • Watch Brent’s Comedy Special: Conscious Bro
  • How he crafted his YouTube special to keep people engaged
  • Is anything off limits in comedy?

(01:18:38) How Plant Medicine Has Supported Brent’s Consciousness Evolution

(01:34:58) Life Lessons Learned in Ayahuasca Ceremony

  • Brent’s relationship with ayahuasca
  • Takeaways from ceremonies he has taken part in
  • Wrestling with challenging experiences during ceremonies
  • Soltara Healing Center
  • Brent and Luke’s advice to future users of ayahuasca
  • Podcast: Good Trip
  • The difference between intention and expectation

(01:54:04) POV: Overcoming Comedy Stage Intimidation in LA 

  • How the Beatles inspired Brent’s ability to get through awkward moments
  • Conspiracy theories Luke and Brent have heard recently
  • Is LA still a dumpster fire?
  • Where is Brent’s favorite place to perform and why?

[00:00:01] Luke: So I'm always wrestling with to swear or not to, and I would like to give us permission to just keep it real and be loose and have fun today. But to our earlier conversation, my dad, who was a freaking sailor when I was growing up--

[00:00:17] Brent: So a fucking sailor.

[00:00:18] Luke: He was a fucking sailor.

[00:00:20] Brent: Yeah.

[00:00:21] Luke: He swore all the time, and I was allowed to swear when I was a little kid, which was cool. I was the cool kid. You'd come to my house and be like, that's bullshit. And no parents would freak out. But many years ago, when my dad married his third wife, to whom he's still married, we were out in California. He was visiting on vacation.

[00:00:40] And he goes, hey, can I talk to you for a minute? And he said, I know you've heard me swear my whole life. I don't want to be hypocritical here, but it really offends my wife when you swear all the time. I was like, oh shit. Respect. It's like, it's not one of those things, oh, I got to be me, man.

[00:01:02] It's like, I care about her. I care about them. So I was like, oh, hey, no problem. And he said something even more interesting. He said, I've been swearing in business conversations my whole life, and I've heard in hindsight from different people that I was dealing with, that they were really turned off by my swearing, but they won't say anything in the moment.

[00:01:22] So he said, you might think about the fact that just because you're comfortable with the use of certain words, it doesn't mean everyone is. I don't know, for some reason that just stuck with me.

[00:01:33] Brent: But you know what everyone is comfortable with?

[00:01:35] Luke: What?

[00:01:36] Brent: Talking without swearing. No one is going to be like, ah, this guy isn't swearing enough for me. This guy hasn't dropped any n bombs, or f bombs, c bombs, or b bombs, or whatever other letters there are. Yeah, I've been trying to swear less. On stage, it's an open portal as far as vocabulary and word choices go.

[00:02:01] And a well-placed f bomb can be a hilarious punchline. And sometimes I find it hard to draw a line between how I communicate on stage and how I communicate in everyday life. And I am trying to be more mindful of swearing.

[00:02:16] Luke: It's interesting because from one perspective, I guess I'm irritated that people are so easily offended these days, and that makes me want to offend them more.

[00:02:26] Brent: Yeah, yeah. For sure.

[00:02:28] Luke: But one perspective is like, if say someone's upset about your swearing, literally all that's happening is I'm pushing air out of my body and doing certain things with my cheeks, tongue, and teeth that make a certain sound.

[00:02:45] Why does that sound bother you? Okay. There's that defense. But then also since everything is energy, man, words do have a different energy, and that's why a well-placed "fuck" gives emphasis to something for which it would be difficult to achieve the same emphasis without using that word.

[00:03:05] Brent: Right. If you're trying to deliver a very specific emotion through verbal means, then sometimes you need an energetic shifting word like a "fuck."

[00:03:16] Luke: Yeah. And also, there are some speakers for whom I have a lot of respect. One in particular, David Hawkins, who's dead now, but I've listened to thousands of hours of his lectures and used to go see him talk. He's a spiritual teacher, and I know in his personal life he swore like a banshee, but you never, in thousands of hours, will you ever hear him say one swear word on stage.

[00:03:40] I don't know. I didn't know him personally, so I don't know why, but based on the rest of his work, I think that the consciousness of the message being delivered would be diluted, if not even hindered to some degree, by throwing in that language because of the energy of those words. They're a lower energy.

[00:03:59] Brent: Well, like we were just talking about a minute ago, Tony Robbins would be the opposite of that because he has a lot of intention behind using curse words. And I remember him explaining it, oh, I might mess this up, his intention when using curse words is something along the lines of breaking your habitual thought pattern of receiving information.

[00:04:21] So if he's saying something, something, something, and we all do this, no, fuck that. He says that. The people in the audience are going to be like, oh, whoa. It's like a jolt of energy. It's awakening somebody from a habitual thought pattern that has them in autopilot mode, for lack of a better term.

[00:04:43] Luke: A pattern interrupter.

[00:04:44] Brent: Yeah, a pattern interrupter.

[00:04:45] Luke: Did you see that one documentary a few years ago on him? And he's doing his interventions.

[00:04:49] Brent: I Am Not Your Guru.

[00:04:50] Luke: Yeah, he's doing the interventions, and then he is like, what's up with those lame red shoes? Or whatever the guy--

[00:04:54] Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He's roasting people, dude.

[00:04:57] Luke: It snapped the guy out of his slumber of self-pity or whatever he was in. It's funny. I've seen him do that. The Tony Rob--have you ever been to any of his events?

[00:05:07] Brent: No, I really want to.

[00:05:08] Luke: To me, the goal because I've been to three of them, the three different length ones, I guess. And when he does the interventions, it's incredible. It's so masterful.

[00:05:19] Brent: The one-on-one, talking to somebody?

[00:05:21] Luke: Yeah, where someone that comes like, ah, I'm working on this or that.

[00:05:23] Brent: Then he'll hyperfocus and work with that one person.

[00:05:27] Luke: Yes.

[00:05:27] Brent: Wow. Did you walk on the coals?

[00:05:29] Luke: Yes.

[00:05:30] Brent: Did it hurt?

[00:05:31] Luke: No.

[00:05:32] Brent: Why? How? Explain, please.

[00:05:33] Luke: I don't know. I don't think it's anything really supernatural. Maybe it is.

[00:05:40] Brent: Are the coals just not hot on top?

[00:05:42] Luke: They are hot, but you skip across it lightly. You're like a water skier. You're not really--

[00:05:49] Brent: Whereas if you stayed standing, you'd get cooked.

[00:05:52] Luke: Yes. That's the sense I got. You're booking across there pretty fast.

[00:05:54] Brent: Did you feel heat on the underside of your feet?

[00:05:57] Luke: A little bit.

[00:05:58] Brent: Wow. But you really went away with no burn marks or anything? Huh?

[00:06:00] Luke: Um-um.

[00:06:01] Brent: Interesting. Okay.

[00:06:03] Luke: Maybe some singed--

[00:06:04] Brent: All right. I'll do it.

[00:06:04] Luke: Some singed leg hairs. Like Joe Biden in the pool with the kids.

[00:06:09] Brent: Does he have singed leg hairs?

[00:06:10] Luke: Yeah. In one video he like talks about, I just do it. You're are a comedian. You are ripe material. But yeah, he's talking about, the hairs in my legs stay blonde or turn blonde in the summer, and the kids like to come tug on them or something. It was just some crazy--

[00:06:27] Brent: I didn't know he's allowed outside during the summer.

[00:06:29] Luke: Some craziness.

[00:06:30] Brent: Shrivel up.

[00:06:31] Luke: Yeah.

[00:06:32] Brent: Even more that he is.

[00:06:33] Luke: Yes. So you guys can find the show notes at lukestorey.com/brent. And you might have gathered this by now, my friends, but this is an adult themed show. So if you have kids in the car, you probably already changed the channel, and you're not hearing this.

[00:06:49] Brent: Bookmark it for when the kids are asleep.

[00:06:52] Luke: Excited to talk to you today because you're so goddamn funny.

[00:06:56] Brent: Thank you, brother.

[00:06:57] Luke: I don't know how I came across your skits on Instagram. I'm just like, oh my God, this guy is making fun of all the shit that I do at once. It was just so good to laugh at oneself and Austin.

[00:07:10] Brent: Yeah.

[00:07:11] Luke: But I also just was looking forward to having a conversation that wasn't that heavy and serious and holding back my swear words and whatnot.

[00:07:17] Brent: That's interesting because I came here today with a lot of issues that I'd like to dive deep on. I haven't been to therapy in a couple of weeks, so I thought maybe today's episode could take that spot.

[00:07:28] Luke: I can do a Tony Robbins intervention on you.

[00:07:30] Brent: Oh, that'd be great.

[00:07:31] Luke: Why are you holding yourself back?

[00:07:33] Brent: Don't hold yourself back. I wake up every day. I have my wings, fly out. I have an eight-foot wingspan. Dude, I feel like Tony Robbins is part animal. He's got to be part bird.

[00:07:46] Luke: He's a monster, dude. The energy that guy puts out is insane.

[00:07:49] Brent: Yeah, it's a lot. It's a lot. It's really cool.

[00:07:52] Luke: He's probably, I don't know, 10 years older than I, and in those events, I was smoked. And he just goes and goes. That's wild.

[00:08:01] Brent: Yeah.

[00:08:01] Luke: Funny thing, another funny Tony Robbins story. So I don't know if you remember when he got-- it wasn't exactly me too, because it wasn't misconduct, but was accused of being intimidating, or forceful, or something, to a female attendee. Actually, this is one of the early news hoaxes. Donald Trump would do some shit and then they would cut it and make it sound--

[00:08:23] Brent: Blow it up into something else.

[00:08:25] Luke: The Covington hoax. There's a bunch of them. They just did one of the blood bath hoax.

[00:08:29] Brent: Who was that one?

[00:08:30] Luke: Oh, he gave a talk. The media, dude, they're so-- and I don't care who they're talking about. I don't like any of those politics, anyway, just for the record. He did his rally, and he was talking about, if I don't win, the automobile industry is going to be a bloodbath.

[00:08:46] That's what he said. He was talking about the auto industry and how it's in decline, and the lame stream media took the bloodbath thing and cut it and printed headlines saying, if I don't win, there's going to be a bloodbath.

[00:08:58] Brent: Oh God, dude.

[00:08:59] Luke: Yeah. These hoaxes, it's hilarious at point. But this is back in the day, and I was there. It was in San Jose at the three-day, I forget what it's called. It's the introduction thing. And I remember he was going around the crowd doing the interventions, and the woman in the crowd was asking questions, and he was calling her out and doing what he does with everyone, male or female.

[00:09:21] Brent: This is Tony. Yeah.

[00:09:23] Luke: And then they resolved the thing that they were working on. And she was super grateful and crying and just totally stoked. And then three or four months later, that woman was like, he's mansplaining and abusing me and intimidating me because he's super tall. Basically, there was a smear campaign based on that interaction, and to everyone there, we're all wiping her eyes going, what a breakthrough.

[00:09:46] Brent: Yeah.

[00:09:46] Luke: Apparently, after the fact, she was like, not a breakthrough, abuse, [Inaudible] pass. And it was just one of those times where you look at the media, especially if you're there in real time and you know the sentiment and the energy and the intentionality of a moment like that. And then it turns into trying to take that guy down. I'm like, he's a really nice guy. It can happen to him. It can happen to anyone.

[00:10:08] Brent: Dude, I wonder sometimes if the media has evolved in this way because we've made it evolve in this way. Who's more at fault for where we've gotten in regards to journalism? Because now there's a hit piece every other day about somebody that is doing-- like the Huberman article about a week or two ago.

[00:10:31] Luke: I saw that. Yeah.

[00:10:34] Brent: There were a couple of others. Joe Rogan had some things about him and--

[00:10:38] Luke: Fast-paced.

[00:10:39] Brent: Yeah. I'm probably next because I didn't call a girl back in college or something. And I just wonder sometimes if we fed into it so much that it got to this point or if journalism was headed in that direction anyways. Because that's the only way to maintain clicks and views. I don't know. It's a weird shift.

[00:11:04] Luke: I think about that sometimes, especially on Twitter. I'm just going to call it Twitter. I know people call it X.

[00:11:10] Brent: I know. I can't call it X.

[00:11:10] Luke: Well, here's the thing. If I say, oh, I read a tweet or I just tweeted something, what do I say now? I read an X, or I just Xed something?

[00:11:18] Brent: Well, you watched porn. x.com?

[00:11:22] Luke: But if you go on there, it's the most toxic of all the social media apps to me. I posted something there the other day that was like, it's so weird how so many things are fake. And I put like, dinosaur, moon landing, yada, just all this shit, which I think is fake.

[00:11:37] Brent: Mm-hmm.

[00:11:38] Luke: And a bunch of people are like, yeah, go retweet. And then there's a couple of people that will come in, and they'll just be like, you're a fucking idiot. Go die. I'm just like, where else in the world do you interact--

[00:11:48] Brent: Can you receive death threats?

[00:11:49] Luke: Yeah. And I'm just like, is it because it's more anonymous? Because on Instagram, someone might talk a little shit, but not like that where it's a full affront. And I want to get your take. Do you think people are more ballsy and just a-holes on Twitter because it's more anonymous, whereas on Instagram, someone can look at your whole life like, oh, there's your kids, and there's your job, and you went on vacation?

[00:12:12] Brent: It's exactly that because I think of Instagram as like a house party. You can see everybody that's there. There's conversations happening in the comment threads. Whereas Twitter is like a homeless camp. Everybody's insane. Half of the people are walking around at a 90-degree angle, rambling about nonsense.

[00:12:35] So it's way more easy to be aggressive, and rude, and mean, and callous on Twitter. I've seen comment threads on Instagram where people actually have long discussions where the comments become thoughtful conversation. It's still a little weird because thoughtful conversations should be had in person.

[00:13:02] And I've never seen somebody's opinion be changed or swayed because of an Instagram comment thread. But it's different on Twitter because Twitter is just so quick. You can type a response so fast and just move on to the next thing. There's a bit more of a personal energy to Instagram.

[00:13:23] I think it's funny when people insult each other on Instagram because you get to look at the other person's profile. In a comment thread, somebody was like, dah, dah, dah, dah, you don't know what you're talking about. And then the response was, oh yeah, that sounds about right from somebody who couldn't even keep their marriage intact. And I was like, what? And I went to the guy's page, and there was like a note about a breakup that he had just had a couple of months ago, and I was like, that's tough, dude. You're going in depth to try and hit this guy.

[00:14:00] Luke: You can go back in the timeline and look for those deep wounds.

[00:14:03] Brent: Yeah, yeah. It's tough, man.

[00:14:06] Luke: That's funny. Yeah. On Twitter, you're just shooting in the dark.

[00:14:08] Brent: Twitter's a shot in the dark.

[00:14:10] Luke: You what their insecurities are yet, so you're just like, I hate you. You're stupid.

[00:14:14] Brent: Yeah, yeah. It's way easier to hide behind Twitter.

[00:14:16] Luke: So you have an interesting approach to comedy that I think is really smart. Take a guy like JP, who's a mutual friend. When JP first started and he was on the show, God, probably seven years ago, he was still doing the spiritual guy, and he was making fun of new age and stuff. And then at some point, he just went full shooting guns with American flag shorts. You know what I mean?

[00:14:41] Brent: Hard right turn.

[00:14:42] Luke: Just unapologetic about it. But I think that where you are is in this sweet spot where you're an equal opportunity offender.

[00:14:53] Brent: That's the exact term that I use.

[00:14:55] Luke: Oh, okay. There you go.

[00:14:56] Brent: I think I say hater instead of offender.

[00:14:59] Luke: So how much of that is based on you just having, I don't want to say neutral, like you're impotent or anything, but having a moderate worldview, social view, political view? How much of it is that, and how much of it is, I want to appeal to a lot of these people, and I want to equally offend everyone?

[00:15:20] Brent: Yeah, so I had an evolution creatively over the past 10 years. When I first started out doing comedy and doing standup, I wanted to appease everybody. I wanted everyone to love me. I wanted everybody to be happy. I wasn't doing any political stuff. I wasn't mocking any niche group like biohacking or spirituality.

[00:15:44] And I was just doing material that I thought would appeal to the widest demographic of people. And once 2020 hit, I was forced to triple down on digital content because that's where things turned. Everything went inward.

[00:16:05] Luke: Because you're not in clubs doing standup?

[00:16:07] Brent: Yeah. I couldn't tour. I couldn't really shoot with people. I could, but we didn't very much because everybody's across town. We didn't know what the hell was going on.

[00:16:17] Luke: Wearing masks and being six feet apart.

[00:16:18] Brent: Yeah. So I did have a little tight knit crew out in LA that I shot with pretty often, and I tripled down, and I went from one video a week to three. And in doing that, I started to peel back layers of my own sensibilities and realize what I thought was funny.

[00:16:39] I came into closer contacts with material and styles of communicating comedy that I had previously. And it was from tripling down on that front. And I started getting political. I started thinking to myself like, if we're going to be fucking locked inside, if Gavin Newsom's going to lock the door and he's going to be out frolicking and we're going to be inside, I'm going to say what I feel.

[00:17:05] And I got a lot of feelings, and I got a lot of thoughts, and I decided to just not hold him back. And so in 2020, that's also when JP hit his hard right turn. And I like to say, I hit a hard 45-degree angle turn with him. And I really stepped into who I felt I was as a creator rather than stepping into who I felt other people would enjoy as a creator.

[00:17:33] So there was a difference there. And Rick Rubin talks about this a lot when he talks about you make art for yourself first and hold faith that others will gravitate toward that. And that's the exact thing that I did starting in 2020. So since then, I've seen a huge growth of engagement, of audience, been doing a lot of bigger projects, and it's been a blast connecting with people like you and other folks that now I have the pleasure of calling friends.

[00:18:07] And it's all rooted in grounding myself in what I think is funny and good first, and following that. So that was the evolution coming out of the space of trying to appeal to the masses. And so now it just flows naturally. I don't put anything out just for the sake of getting views. Sometimes the structure will be for the sake of getting views, because I do have to appeal to viewing habits.

[00:18:37] So when I say structure, I mean, okay, is this video going to be a mock doc? Is this video going to be a one-liner like montage with quick cuts? But the substance of the piece, the material that I'm talking about or engaging with, or the jokes that I'm writing, those all come from what I think is funny now.

[00:18:56] And so yeah, when I make fun of spirituality, it's because I am a pretty spiritual guy. When I make fun of politics, it's always going to be through my own lens, which is fairly moderate. I'm a big RFK fan. I love him. But I also like to poke fun at everybody. I got tons of Trump jokes. I don't hold back on that dude. Same with Biden. And so I try to just be honest to myself.

[00:19:22] Luke: I think if I was a comedian, both sides would be so rich with content. I wouldn't be able to pick.

[00:19:29] Brent: I barely have to write sometimes. All I got to do is type in what did Gavin Newsom do today? And then Google spits out a script for me because I don't even have to write. Like when he was in China, a couple of months ago and he fell on a basketball court because he was trying to play basketball.

[00:19:44] And he like fell over a kid. It was like a bummer for the kid that he had to have this monster fall on him. And then he was taking pictures all over China, and he went to talk to president Xi about everything except for the genocide that China is committing.

[00:20:04] And so I made fun of him in that video. It's just a constant reminder that I don't really have to do a lot of work when I'm making fun of politics because they're basically writing all the jokes for me.

[00:20:18] Luke: It is idiocrasy, dude. Sometimes I try to step back from everything and just-- take myself back to 2015 even and just my perception of the world, and politics, and the media, and all that. If you just zoom out a few years, it's crazy.

[00:20:38] Brent: It's nuts. It's nuts.

[00:20:39] Luke: It is literally for sure we're in a simulation. There's no way at this point, this is actual reality.

[00:20:48] Brent: No, no, no. Do you believe in simulation theory? Do you think that we're in a simulation?

[00:20:53] Luke: Smoking, DMT made that very clear on a number of occasions.

[00:20:58] Brent: Yeah.

[00:21:01] Luke: And we'll talk about psychedelics, but I think that's one of the so many weird things about psychedelics, plant medicines. But the weirdest thing perhaps for me is that your brain's not producing what you see and experience. This is what I think, at least.

[00:21:19] It's removing the governor on our perception and our senses that just enables us temporarily to see all the stuff that's already there that we just can't see in our waking state. So imagine like there's 12 ghosts in this room right now, and we're like, what? There's no ghost. And then you take some psychedelics, and you're like, oh, yeah, I see these fucking ghosts.

[00:21:41] Brent: There's a ghost.

[00:21:42] Luke: And we're both in our own bodies and minds, and we both see the same 12 ghosts. There's something to that. I think that's the weirdest thing because in those spaces, everything that we consider to be real, and verifiable, and solid, and material just disappears, yet you're still there, and you're seeing and feeling and experiencing other things that aren't possible when you're just coming from the senses of the body. It's wild.

[00:22:10] Brent: That is wild. Yeah.

[00:22:11] Luke: Okay. Back to your comedy and some of the different stuff that you cover and again, why I probably just find it so funny because I know there's no way you could know the nuances of the shit that you're putting into your bits unless you were involved in that. Like when you're doing the festival jokes and the psychedelics, and the new ages, and the people from Austin, and the biohackers, and all this stuff, I'm just like, this dude has to be fully immersed in these subcultures because there's no way he would ever know--

[00:22:38] Brent: Otherwise he's doing a lot of research.

[00:22:40] Luke: Yeah. It's like, you would never know this stuff. What do you do? I was watching one of your skits today where you-- what's the woman that you do a lot of--

[00:22:51] Brent: The Nikki Howard.

[00:22:52] Luke: Yeah, Nikki Howard. You and Nikki are doing a biohacker date at lunch and arguing about like if you finish with the ice bath or the sauna and stuff.

[00:23:01] Brent: Dude, that's a legit argument that I've had with people before. I finished hot at night, and I finished cold if it's anytime during the morning or the day, but it's fun because I'm a part of these worlds. Those are my blue light blocker glasses that I'm wearing in the video, that I wear on planes all the time.

[00:23:21] And that's her red light mask that she was wearing in the video. So we're in. I have a cold plunge. I got all the mushroom extracts, and I do peptides, but there's comedy to mine in any community where there are so many specific lifestyle choices made. And I think the same can be said for the tech industry.

[00:23:52] My buddy Austin Nassau does hilarious comedy content specifically around the tech industry, like Silicon Valley and tech bro stuff, and San Francisco tech dudes, and all that. And then I do the same thing in the spiritual space. And then I got a buddy who does a lot in the hip hop and urban world.

[00:24:12] So there's pockets of community throughout society that offer really good fodder for comedy. Because the real theory is like, nothing should be held on a pedestal as too holy to mock. That's why there was the court jester back in the day. There was always the court jester who was given the green light to make fun of anything and everything. And I love that. I love the archetype of the court jester. I think everybody should have a little bit more court jester in them. Not sexually, but just in general.

[00:24:52] Luke: Not inside them.

[00:24:54] Brent: Not inside them, but in them, metaphorically speaking. Because the court jester is the one who walks around without a tight grip on rules and structure. And he's the one that walks around with an edge of cynicism in every conversation or everything that he intakes, whether it's media, or conversation, or news, politics, whatever.

[00:25:18] And I think a lot of people lack that sense of jest. And so when I do jokes like about the music festival space or the biohacking space, first and foremost, because I think it's funny, and then after that, because I don't want people to take stuff too seriously.

[00:25:37] And I think we can communicate the importance of things through comedy, which is really fun. Health and wellness is, I think, communicated really well through comedy. And it also, I think, creates a cool sense of community when people can bond around content.

[00:26:01]  I've had people come up to me and talk to me about a lot of the spiritual videos that I've done, and they've said, we played this video at the opening for our festival, or one guy-- dude,  I had a video called the Couple you See at Every Transformational Music Festival.

[00:26:18] And it's me and a man bun wig, and it's my friend Nikki Howard in her dread dreadlocks wig. And we're talking about all these fake music festivals that we've been to. Like, yeah, we've been to United Consciousness Rising Alignment festival of Abundance out in Costa Rica and da, da, da, da da.

[00:26:32] And have you been to totality, totaltality,  tality, totaltality, tality, totaltality tality? That one's in Guam. And so we did that video, and it got really popular. And then I got a message from somebody who said, hey, man, me and all my friends loved your video so much, and we're planning our own mini festival in Costa Rica. Here's a photo of the ticket.

[00:26:58] And he sent me a picture of the ticket, and the name of the festival that they called the festival was like, Totality Ascension Rising Festival of United, Abundance United. And it was awesome. And so that's so cool because they get to have fun with that, and it creates more moments of joy for them, and the people that go to the festival, and the people that talk about the name.

[00:27:19] And I find a huge fulfillment just in knowing that people in that space now got little extra moments of joy in their life from a dumb video that me and Nikki made in Bakersfield three years ago. So I don't know if that was an answer to a question, but that was the rant of one.

[00:27:38] Luke: It's a good statement anyway.

[00:27:39] Brent: Yeah, it's fun to offer potential little moments of joy by mocking communities that I love.

[00:27:46] Luke: 100%. And you did answer the question. You just reminded me of your Christmas in Lancaster.

[00:27:55] Brent: Have you been to Lancaster?

[00:27:56] Luke: Yeah, man, for sure. What's the other? Palmdale in Lancaster.

[00:28:01] Brent: Palmdale, yeah.

[00:28:02] Luke: A lot of meth in strange busted down buildings out there.

[00:28:07] Brent: A lot of trash on the sidewalks.

[00:28:09] Luke: I feel like I'm so obsessed with your videos. You didn't even need to come today. I could just put my phone up to the mic, like, yeah, this guy. Listens to this one. But yeah, I think to your point, I love laughing at myself and just how ridiculous I am. To me, it's like part of my mental health regimen of just not taking myself and my life too seriously.

[00:28:35] Brent: It should be a bigger part of everybody's, I think.

[00:28:37] Luke: And I think that's why I identify when a comedian like you makes fun of elements of my lifestyle, or things we talk about on the show, or just what me and my friends are into culturally. It feels so good to just go, yeah, I am retarded. You know what I mean? It's fun.

[00:28:53] Because dude, if you follow me a day in the life of me, not that many people would be interested in that, but it would like be one of your comedy videos if I just added a little flare to it. But the amount of supplements I'd taken, injecting the peptides, the meditations, and the breathwork, and the ice baths, and the sauna. It is ridiculous.

[00:29:15] Brent: It's insane. It's wild.

[00:29:17] Luke: And I realize that.

[00:29:18] Brent: I'm not saying don't do it. That's the thing too, and I'm grateful that a lot of people seem to understand this. When I poke fun at spirituality or the biohacking space or whatever community I'm poking fun at, it's always from a place I love. Because I'm with you. I do that.

[00:29:34] My mom raised me a super spiritual little kid. She was a deadhead back in the day. So I grew up with a really deep sense of spirituality. And so when I'm crafting a joke or if I'm commenting on a certain aspect of spirituality, like intention circles or whatever, it's aha too. It's always from a place of love.

[00:30:02] Luke: Even the fingers snapping  

[00:30:02] Brent: Even the fingers snapping and all that. And if we can laugh at it, it's never from a place of trying to put stuff down. I try to punch up as often as I can, so hopefully people--

[00:30:16] Luke: Well, I think that's why, a, it's funny and why it doesn't ever come off as mean-spirited either. Especially because the things that you're making fun of are quite diverse. There's going to be someone you're going to be making fun of or offending potentially. So I think casting that wide net and just looking at, like you said, the nuances of different subcultures and stuff, like you did one on cyclists, the bile clause.

[00:30:44] Brent: Yeah, yeah.

[00:30:45] Luke: I only eat gel food and all this stuff. I was like, I actually know two dudes really into cycling. And I was like, oh yeah. I'm laughing at them with love, of course. But I would've never thought about that had someone like you hadn't said, hey, I can make art out of this. What was it like as a kid to have a deadhead mom? Did she take you to any shows back in the Jerry days?

[00:31:05] Brent: It's fun. Yeah, dude. My mom was my best friend, man. So she raised me as a single mom. She had me pretty young. I think she was 22 or 23. And I got a couple of years in before Jerry died. So I got to see a couple shows where he was there. So whatever was floating through the air at that time went into my cells.

[00:31:25] Luke: What age would you have been during this time?

[00:31:26] Brent: I was born in '90, so I had five years. He died in '95.

[00:31:31] Luke: So you were a little kid.

[00:31:32] Brent: Yeah.

[00:31:33] Luke: That's funny because in '90, I was 20, and that's when I started going to dead shows.

[00:31:36] Brent: Oh cool. Yeah, no, I was a little hippie baby running around with no pants on.

[00:31:41] Luke: I always thought that was so cool when people bring their kids. And I'm like, does anyone know that parent is probably on five its of acid? Thank God Child Protective Services doesn't monitor the parking lot or the dead show.

[00:31:53] Brent: Yeah. So she brought me to shows, and it was awesome. It was super cool. She was young. She brought me to shows. She brought me to work. I was hanging with her. We would go to basketball games when I got a little bit older. I grew up near Sacramento, so we saw the Kings play all the time.

[00:32:11] And she was raised Italian Catholic. My whole family was Italian Catholic, and she didn't raise me with any specific religion. She raised me a a bit more open to things. I remember she gave me books like, intro to the biggest five religions. And I would read that and learn the big hits of Judaism, and Buddhism, and Daoism, and Christianity.

[00:32:34] And it gave me a bit more sense of wonder, I guess, and curiosity, filled the space of what religion, I guess would've taken space of in my whole way of being as I was growing up. And I'm still very much learning new times. I'm still a student of spirituality. I love learning essences of religions that I've never really learned about before. I just did a whole deep dive on Daoism over the past couple of months.

[00:33:11] So yeah, she raised me pretty open-minded, which was rad. It was really cool. And then that transitioned into after college, I started going to a lot of transformational music festivals and started working with different medicines and mostly microdosing psilocybin over the past eight years in addition to other plant medicines and psychotic experiences that I enjoy having.

[00:33:40] Luke: Do you ever think of bits when you're in a journey?

[00:33:42] Brent: Yeah. I did a video about a year ago where I did an impression of Aaron Rogers during a football workout.

[00:33:49] Luke: I saw that in your feed today, but I didn't click on it.

[00:33:50] Brent: Okay. So I did an impression of Aaron Rogers during a football workout. Spoiler alert, if you want to go watch it, pause now and go type in Brent Pella, Aaron Rogers, then come back.

[00:34:02] I did a depression to Aaron Rogers at a football workout. Instead of drinking Gatorade, he was drinking ayahuasca sport out of a Gatorade bottle. And I was like, chugging, and it looked like barbecue sauce, and it was like a full commercial. That video came to me in ceremony, in an ayahuasca ceremony that I sat in over a year ago.

[00:34:20] And I've found that a lot of medicines, especially ayahuasca for me, is very creative. I get super creative, and I have a ton to write down when I get back to my room or the next morning. It's very creative for me. And LSDs can be extremely creative as well.

[00:34:39] Luke: Yeah, for sure. When you were a kid and your mom's dragging you around to these dead shows, I'm assuming she's giving your choice of spiritual beliefs and religion and all that. You don't strike me as a guy who went down the dark path of drugs as a kid because of that loosey goosey upbringing. Was that ever a temptation?

[00:35:00] Brent: It was the opposite actually. She scared the shit out of me about weed from a young age. And I was, my whole life, basketball come high school, played in college for years, and it was drilled-- and I'm grateful that she did, but she drilled in me the fear that the smoke from smoking weed would mess up my lungs and I wouldn't be able to go as hard in sports.

[00:35:26] And so I'd never smoked. I smoked once when I was 18, and I got a headache, and then I think I smoked again maybe once when I was like 21 in college. And then I really didn't experiment with cannabis anymore until four-ish years ago. And now it's a couple times a week in the evening when I'm winding down from a big day I'll smoke some cannabis.

[00:35:51] Luke: And you don't find that you start doing it more than you'd like to and addicted or something?

[00:35:56] Brent: I have gone through phases where I'm smoking like every day in the evening, and then I think I got to pull back. I don't want a pattern of ingesting something into my body on a daily basis. It doesn't feel aligned for me. But now I use cannabis maybe a couple times a week in the evening. Yeah.

[00:36:18] Luke: So in other words, you're a unicorn.

[00:36:21] Brent: I am. Yeah.

[00:36:22] Luke: Because I haven't smoked weed in almost 27 years.

[00:36:28] Brent: Oh, wow. Right on.

[00:36:29] Luke: And I was a major stoner from Northern California.

[00:36:32] Brent: You would just smoke throughout the day?

[00:36:35] Luke: Oh, 24/7.

[00:36:35] Brent: I can't do that.

[00:36:36] Luke: Dude, I would wake up in the middle of the night to take a leak and smoke a joint or take a couple bong rips. I had to be high 24/7. I could not stand being sober.

[00:36:47] Brent: That's wild. Yeah, I can't smoke around people at all. I refuse to. If somebody gives me a joint at a festival or a party, I'm like, no, I won't be able to talk. I smoked weed on a podcast once, and it was awful. I was so insecure and self-conscious.

[00:37:02] Luke: I've had two instances where I accidentally got high off gummies that had the TC 9 or I don't know, whatever. I just thought they were CBD, and they had some THC in there, two different occasions, and first time, I was high as shit. And it was like 10:30 in the morning.

[00:37:20] I had all this work to do. Total classic case of these edibles ain't shit. That could be a whole series of just shit that goes wrong when you miss dose. But yeah man, I was sitting on my computer, had a bunch of emails, a bunch of Zoom meetings booked, and I'm just typing away, clicking through emails, and it was maybe a half an hour after I ate the gummy, and I just started getting really weirded out by the computer.

[00:37:49] I was just like, ugh. Email? What's email? I was super grossed out. And I was like, maybe I'm a little high or something. What's going on here? It took me a while to catch on, and then I thought, I'm just going to take a break and watch some TV, which I never watch TV during the daytime. It's so depressing to me. Turn on the TV, and I was like, no.

[00:38:11] Brent: Bad vibes. Just bad vibes, dude.

[00:38:13] Luke: Yeah, bad vibe. The last attempt, I was like, I'll play a little guitar. That sounds nice.

[00:38:17] Brent: That's nice.

[00:38:18] Luke: Pick up the guitar. Ah, panic. Can't do it. So I had to go confess to my wife. I'm really sorry. I know it's Tuesday at 10:00 AM, but I'm high as fuck. I'm straight up journeying, hardcore. I just want to let you know. Then I got all paranoid that she was going to divorce me.

[00:38:38] And all I could do was go in the bedroom, put on an eye mask, and put on beautiful shamanic music. And then maybe after half an hour or 60 minutes, I calmed down and started breathing. And then I really just focused on the music and it was the best goddamn music I ever heard in my entire life.

[00:38:53] Brent: Nice.

[00:38:54] Luke: But other than that, it was like a, just totally chaotic. It was like psychedelic. And then I would start having insights and I'd be like, ooh, yeah, that's a good truth, and, poof, gone.

[00:39:04] Brent: Yeah. Dude, that's the worst. When you get a download that reverberates through your entire being and then three seconds later it's like water, like trying to hold onto water in your hands.

[00:39:15] Luke: Yeah. Anyway, I digress. But it's not a substance that I particularly have any interest in working with, but to your point of your mom warning you, hey, it's bad for your lungs. It could have a negative impact on your performance.

[00:39:28] Brent: She's not wrong. You're inhaling smoke at the end of the day. Yeah. And so just based on that too, all through high school I didn't do drugs. We drank like hell. Our high school was a party high school for sure. So we drank a lot, starting at 15. House parties on the weekends. And we were putting down Four Lokos, original.

[00:39:49] I don't know if anybody out there remembers the original Four Loko meth in a can. That's what we were drinking in high school. And so it's funny to look back and be like, oh, I was scared of weed, but I was literally sucking down poison on Saturday nights. So I don't really drink now. I might have a glass of wine at a fancy dinner or a cocktail at a cool spot or event, but just the thought of drinking now makes me grossed out the way that you were grossed out by the TV when you were high. I don't know if this is the vibe anymore.

[00:40:24] Luke: Yeah.

[00:40:25] Brent: But yeah, that's also part of the whole wellness journey too, is figuring out what your body works well with over time.

[00:40:33] Luke: Huberman says alcohol's bad.

[00:40:35] Brent: And also, if Huberman says it, then we must listen. All hail to Hubes.

[00:40:38] Luke: It's off the table. You reminded me of one of the deterrents. My mom was probably, you can do it when you're older. And my dad was like, only hippies and queers do that, or something to that effect.

[00:40:51] No, he wasn't that bad, but he just hated hippies and drugs. But here's the thing, dude. In the '80s, it was the just say no, Nancy Reagan, PMRC censoring Twisted Sister records and shit. It was a real weird when the right was the authoritarians, which is obviously now flipped.

[00:41:13] But they had all this propaganda, like if you went to the dentist or a doctor's office or a library, there were all these posters about how smoking marijuana makes boys grow breasts, and all these drawings and stuff, showing you that it, I don't know, increases your estrogen or whatever it was. It didn't stop me.

[00:41:33] It's probably why I have B cups to this day that I can't seem to burn off or work out off. But yeah, I remember that, and I believed it, and it was scary. And I was already smoking weed, and I was probably 14 when that happened, 1984. And you'd see all of that messaging all over. It's like, you'll grow tits. I was like, oh God.

[00:41:50] Brent: Dude, if a governing body or like a huge industry wants to get a message across, they'll get the message across, dude. It's crazy. They did it with drugs. They did it with sugar and fat. The whole messaging behind fat is bad and sugar isn't bad for you.

[00:42:16] They're doing it with seed oils and vegetable oils. Just general messaging that canola oil is fine. It's wild. And it feels like people are waking up over the past couple of years to the false messaging that we've been getting. But yeah, going all the way back to the DARE program with the frying egg and the message that said, this is your brain on drugs. And now I look at that like, yeah, it looks pretty cool. I don't want a raw brain.

[00:42:50] Luke: Over easy please.

[00:42:50] Brent: That would be bad. Yeah. Over medium for me. I have a lot of thoughts. But yeah, dude, the messaging is insanely strong when it comes from such a huge governing body or industry like that. And a majority of people just don't have the time to dig past the message. Like a majority of America, I think, doesn't have the bandwidth to discern whether a message they're being given is truth or hiding the truth. That's why I question everything, and I trust no one except for you.

[00:43:30] Luke: Yeah. Well, if you can trust anyone, it's me and this podcast, my friend. I've often thought about always looking for pros and cons at things that go on in the world. And I remember in, I guess it was 2016 or '15, whenever Donald Trump started running. I never followed politics. I didn't care.

[00:43:50] I still don't follow or care much, but I found it really entertaining that that was happening. He started going on the news and doing these rallies, and I was like, this dude, the Apprentice, You're Fired guy, I was like, what?

[00:44:03] Brent: You're Fired, guy. That's right. That's what he was.

[00:44:05] Luke: And then my curiosity got the best of me and I started watching some of his interviews, and talks, and stuff, and when he started doing that shit where he would like call out CNN right on camera to the camera guys in the back of the room, like, yeah, those guys over there are, fake news, I was like, this is pretty cool.

[00:44:24] Brent: It's badass.

[00:44:25] Luke: This is going to get interesting. So do you think he, or the movement, or what's transpired over the past few years has in a good way eroded public trust in mainstream and those narratives?

[00:44:37] Brent: Yeah, absolutely. And I think for all of Trump's faults and the things I don't agree with him on, I think his abrasiveness toward the media has been super valuable for American society as a whole. Regardless though. I'm not talking about politics. I'm not talking about his approach to different issues. Specifically his aggressiveness toward the media is a good thing, and it's something we need more of.

[00:45:07] And he's not always on point when he calls out the media. He's missed plenty of times. But the fact that there's no fear from somebody who's held as high of a public office as president, that, I think, has motivated more people to really not give away their trust as easily. Did you see a documentary Hoaxed?

[00:45:35] Luke: Yeah, yeah. Mike Cernovich?

[00:45:39] Brent: Yeah. He's really cool.

[00:45:39] Luke: He's favorite follow on Twitter.

[00:45:40] Brent: Yeah, yeah. I dig him.

[00:45:43] Luke: He's funny. He's funny. He's a sharp cat. Yeah.

[00:45:46] Brent: I think I don't like Trump's aggressiveness or abrasiveness on a whole lot of things, but when it comes to the media, I think we need more of it. And that's also why I like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., because he wants to dismantle the same type of structures that Trump would want to dismantle.

[00:46:026] And we've never really had a check and balance system for the media, and it's starting to happen now because what I see is the check and balance system for the media and for journalism is being created by independent journalism outlets and independent media outlets, like Krystal and Saagar, those guys that do Breaking Points.

[00:46:32] It's a YouTube-based news streaming show, and a couple of others. People on Substack have their own followings now, and you're seeing more and more of these independent journalists pop up so that when CNN posts an article and it has a misleading headline, boom, we're getting like five to 10 million follower plus accounts that are independent journalism outlets saying, hey, no, that's wrong. Here's what's actually happening. Here's context. Here's what you're missing.

[00:47:02] Luke: He said the automotive industry is going to have a blood bath.

[00:47:04] Brent: Right. The automotive industry. So I think the check and balance system for the media and for journalism is being created naturally by this expanding pool of independent outlets, which is awesome. And I still go to CNN. I go to Fox. I go to all the mainstream news outlets just to see what they're doing and talking about and how they're talking about it.

[00:47:31] And I go to them for entertainment and because a big portion of my content roasts the media. So I want to know what they're doing that's dumb. And when I want to ingest real news, I have like my top two or three places that I go to that I feel I can trust.

[00:47:47] Luke: A, they're, of course, great, well-meaning people of integrity working in all branches of media at all levels. So I'm going to just say that because I talk shit on the media and I'm in the media in my own little corner of the world. But the thing about it is that makes, I think the system of critiquing our communication as a whole is, if you just stop lying, we'll making fun of you and shitting on you.

[00:48:20] Brent: Just tell us what's going on.

[00:48:21] Luke: Yeah, because I've seen it's just my punching bag usually because I don't even know if I've ever watched a full CNN show. But I've seen so many clips taken out of context and so many just manipulative, dishonest, scummy stuff. That's the one I always name. But guess what? Stop lying tomorrow, and you're in the clear, and you're all good.  It's not like they can't perform their way out of their ill repute.

[00:48:46] Brent: They're not allowed to, I think is the thing. I think it goes way deeper. I don't think CNN ever will just become more truth telling because they're so in bed with higher powers.

[00:49:01] Luke: Not the God kind.

[00:49:02] Brent: Right. Yeah, no, they're not in bed with God. They ain't banging God. And I don't know the specifics of government subsidies and funding. I wouldn't even pretend to know. But the conspiracy theorist in me does believe that there are very strong connections between news organizations, people with a crap ton of money who also donate to certain political parties. And there's like a love triangle that goes on.

[00:49:32] And whenever there's a love triangle, there's going to be influence passed around between the three, between the big money pockets, the people in government that they support, and the media outlets. And that's a dangerous triangle. So I think instead of them turning into sources of truth, I don't have faith in that.

[00:49:55] What I do have faith in, and I have to have faith in this, otherwise, what's the point? Is people becoming more aware of what truth is and how to find it, and how to discern between truth and slanted truth, or "truth," which is what we get from mainstream media companies. So that's what I have to hold faith into.

[00:50:16] Luke: Have you experienced any substantial censorship when you've covered certain topics?

[00:50:21] Brent: Yeah.  Man, I had a video a couple of years ago when the vaccine was rolling out. And it was me and my buddy as two bros going to the doctor, and the doctor wants to vaccinate us, and we're super spooked because we think the vaccine has Pringles potato chips in it instead of microchips.

[00:50:45] We're like, yeah, dude, really tiny potato chips. They're confused idiots. And YouTube took it down and wouldn't let us post it back up because it said it was spreading false information about the vaccine. And we're like, okay, does that mean the vaccine actually has potato chips in it? What are we doing here?

[00:51:04] Luke: What are you trying to hide?

[00:51:05] Brent: Yeah, what are we hiding?

[00:51:06] Luke: Is there corn oil in there?

[00:51:09] Brent: Is there canola oil in the vaccine too? Yeah, there's that. I feel like I've been shadow banned quite a few times. I'll mock Biden. I've done a couple of Joe Biden impressions, a couple of Gavin Newsom impressions, and I've just noticed sometimes they just get throttled in a bad way, no views, low engagement.

[00:51:36] And I feel like over the past couple of years, social media platforms have just been getting more keen toward recognizing political leaning content and then maybe suppressing that a little bit, which is a nightmare because I'm trying to make fun of stuff, and I'm trying to be court jester, but the court is like, no, we don't want you. You're not allowed. So it's an interesting space to navigate for sure.

[00:52:05] Luke: It seems like they've calmed down a little bit. I see people on various platforms talking about things without getting fact checked or their accounts deleted, or there's little Instagram red warning signs. Do you really want to watch this? Well, now I really do.

[00:52:19] Brent: Right now I definitely do. Yeah.

[00:52:23] Luke: I was just going to skip past it, but now that you don't want me to see it, I guess I'm compelled.

[00:52:28] Brent: I think I have to. There's also a feature on Instagram now where you can choose to block any posts that are political at all.

[00:52:34] Luke: Oh, interesting.

[00:52:34] Brent: So you can choose to create a comfy little echo chamber all for yourself.

[00:52:38] Luke: Right.

[00:52:40] Brent: Which is going to be very healthy for Americas youth, for sure.

[00:52:43] Luke: Yeah. So it seems like it's led up a little bit. I think ever since the beginning of the plandemic, I've been pretty shadow banned because I used to have way fewer followers.

[00:52:51] Brent: Well, just for saying that, you're going to get lost.

[00:52:52] Luke: Yeah. I used to have--

[00:52:54] Brent: This episode's going nowhere.

[00:52:55] Luke: I used to have way fewer followers with higher engagement. And then I started seeing, I don't know. I'd look at a post that was comparable to one I'd done in the past, and it's like, this has six views. And I'm like, what? Really?

[00:53:07] Yeah. I think I learned how to ride the tiger. I know there were certain things I could say on Twitter, for example to my two followers over there. Hello. Where are my Twitter family? There was shit I could say over there that I couldn't say on Instagram. Definitely couldn't say anything of any substance on Facebook itself. So I feel like I learned how to like, hey, man.

[00:53:25] Brent: Yeah. And YouTube is super censored too.

[00:53:27] Luke: YouTube has taken down quite a few of these podcasts.

[00:53:30] Brent: There's a way though that you can, and JP does this a lot, where it's such a sarcastically delivered message. He had one back when the vaccine was rolling out, and he was wearing a life jacket.

[00:53:46] Luke: I remember that. Yeah.

[00:53:47] Brent: His two characters, and one was like, well, where's your life jacket? Well, I'm already wearing a life jacket. But if you don't wear a life jacket, my life jacket won't work. And what a brilliant piece of satire. And so that didn't get taken down. So now whenever I have a video that I think might raise a red flag to the algorithm, I have to make it malleable enough so that I can get it out there. Yeah.

[00:54:10] Luke: So viewers have to read between the lines a little bit.

[00:54:13] Brent: Yeah.

[00:54:14] Luke: Slightly. It requires you to be a bit more clever too, right?

[00:54:18] Brent: Yeah. You got to trust your audience to be smart too. And I know my audience drinks a lot of raw milk, so they got good healthy neurons.

[00:54:25] Luke: Yeah, they have good fat in their brains, bro.

[00:54:27] Brent: Good fats in brain.

[00:54:28] Luke: They're getting rid of the fluoride. Hello.

[00:54:30] Brent: Dude, can't do fluoride, bro.

[00:54:32] Luke: What was I going to ask you? Oh man.

[00:54:37] Brent: Was it about fluoride?

[00:54:37] Luke: No, no, no. With the social media, TikTok is like a thing where I see the most amount of content that would be censored elsewhere. Just crazy alien shit, flat earth, Antarctica, tartar, fucking, that whole thing. And I'm like, if this was on Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook, it would get deleted. Do you find between the different apps that you have more freedom? Is your TikTok a place where you might post videos that are a bit more subversive or triggering?

[00:55:12] Brent: It's interesting because I've actually had videos removed from TikTok more than any other platform.

[00:55:19] Luke: Interesting.

[00:55:20] Brent: Yeah. I forget which ones. Because anything that has any shred of violence, they'll remove. So I think I did a video where I have a fake prop gun at home that I use in a lot of my stuff. Whenever there's a punchline, it's a fun way to heighten a joke, is like, oh my God, the guy has a gun now.

[00:55:40] And every video that I've put out on TikTok that has a gun in it is immediately removed. It's like the algorithm can sense there's a gun. Whereas things that are a bit more conspiracy or politically oriented, those go fine on TikTok. Yeah.

[00:56:04] Luke: Like when you played a chemtrail pilot?

[00:56:06] Brent: The chemtrail pilot was great. That was so fun. Yeah. No one took that down. So I think that's the type of sarcastic approach that you got to have. But all social media is a nightmare. It's all a nightmare. It's like, I don't want to be on social media for a career. It's not where I want to be. To me, social media is a foundation and a place for building a community and launching bigger projects, which is what I'm intending to move into in the coming years.

[00:56:37] Luke: Like what?

[00:56:38] Brent: Like TV and film. Yeah. So I came up in LA doing standup comedy, making videos at the same time. Simultaneously, I was on stage doing improv and sketch comedy. So I come from a theater background in a big way. And I've always been producing and directing all my stuff as well. So I've produced and directed a couple of TV campaigns and commercial campaigns for brands.

[00:57:02] And I am really intending on moving into a space where I can create longer form narrative projects that have lasting power and more of a cultural impact than a two-minute video, which is still fun, and I love to do it. But there's a dime a dozen for comedy videos that go viral these days, and it's a flash in the pan, all of them, and they're fun flashes in the pan.

[00:57:30] I'm grateful for all the flashes, super grateful. But I'd like to make bigger pieces that give me more creative flexibility to inject meaning and messaging than what is allowed within the span of 120 seconds.

[00:57:51] Luke: Yeah. I think that a couple of things have happened that are interesting. With the internet, we have the ability to be our own TV station or radio station. The gear, the technology has gotten so good in terms of cameras and microphones and people understand lighting. You can produce really high-value content for much less money than you ever used to be able to, and also much less expertise.

[00:58:20] It's like as the technology advances, you have to be less skilled to use it. You know what I mean? It's like my dumb ass can turn on these three cameras when Jarrod's not here, and it looks fine. Ten years ago, it would've been more difficult to do. So I love that for you. I love that for you.

[00:58:36] Brent: Thank you so much.

[00:58:38] Luke: Yeah. Because sometimes your bits that really slam, I'm like, ah, it's only a minute. It was just like, wait, did I not click it in the right place? So I can see some epic films or TV series or something.

[00:58:52] Brent: Yeah. That's the dream. That's the path, is I don't want to make YouTube videos forever. I want to make my comedy movie set at a music festival. And the plus is I know how to do all that. The con is I just need the money. So building this community and raising the following and the awareness of my content and what I do, the intention is for that to lead to funding and financing for an independent project.

[00:59:21] Luke: Tell us about your YouTube special. I just watched it maybe a week ago or so. Super funny. We'll put it in the show notes, again, you guys, at lukestorey.com/brent. One thing that was interesting about it is, I don't know if I've seen someone do a straight standup set, but then infuse all these special effects, and there was B roll where you're out of the club walking through the park or whatever.

[00:59:44] Brent: Yeah.

[00:59:46] Luke: It's like you keep walking and walking. I forget what you're even doing now. But there's a lot of B roll and different characters and stuff, and then all these wild psychedelic special effects. That was pretty cool to see.

[00:59:56] Brent: Thank you, bro. Thanks.

[00:59:57] Luke: Then it's a good start on moving in the direction that you just described.

[01:00:01] Brent: Yeah. So Conscious Bro is the title of the special. It came out in March on the YouTube channel called 800 Pound Gorilla, which is a really cool comedy distribution company. People's attention spans are changing constantly. It's like they're constantly getting shorter.

[01:00:20] And I, in the spirit of wanting to create things that I enjoy and would want to see, first and foremost, I always knew I didn't want to make a comedy special that's just straight standup because I can't watch that. Watching an hour of just standup comedy, I don't think I have the brain chemistry for it anymore. I pause it every 20 minutes to take a break.

[01:00:40] Luke: You need more peptides.

[01:00:41] Brent: You need more peptides. Yeah, probably. It's clearly not enough BPC 157. And so I wanted to do something a bit different. I knew a lot of my material was going to be psychedelic in nature, and a lot of my performance style is physical and silly.

[01:00:57] And so I crafted the special to be much more visual and visually appealing with those effects and different textures and scenes, and segments, and things. And it was fun. It came out great. It was my first thing, so I'll probably look back at it in a couple of years and be cringey and like, damn, I made that? Ugh. But that's the whole artist journey.

[01:01:24] Luke: I enjoyed it. I liked the set too. It was like grandma's crystal shop in Sedona.

[01:01:29] Brent: Yeah, totally. Didn't it look like a festival kind of. Yeah. It was a comedy club in San Diego called Mic Drop, and they have a whole Alice Wonderland theme. And so yeah, I wanted to fit the effects and everything to fit the scene, and it was really cool.

[01:01:44] Luke: Yeah, it was cool. Yeah, I was too. Like I said, I'll put it in the show notes for people to watch. Who are the protected groups when it comes to just having free license to make fun of everyone? There were established groups, religions, cultures, nationalities, of course, always.

[01:02:06] But now you have all these new designations for people in ways that people, I think, want to express themselves uniquely or have some sense of significance. I don't know. I'm always looking at the psychology of it. How much is it is coming from the nature of a person who wants to have all of these sub identities versus how much of it is propaganda that's launching the mind virus and the cultural infection?

[01:02:34] Brent: As far as who is--

[01:02:35] Luke: Yeah. Just thinking of I'm a non-binary male, this, that.

[01:02:42] Brent: Oh, they're the least protected. I'm going after that person.

[01:02:44] Luke: And I'm not even pointing to trans people. I'm just saying there's so many micro designations. Thinking back to the simplistic days when I was coming up, you were like a jock, a preppy, or a stoner. And you were a boy or a girl.

[01:03:00] Brent: Things were so much easier back then. Yeah.

[01:03:02] Luke: It was pretty simple.

[01:03:03] Brent: Mm-hmm. Now we have 87 pronouns, so pick your favorite. Mine's BPC 157. When it comes to comedy, is anything off limits? I'm a pretty firm believer that nothing is ever off limits no matter what, and I plant my flag on that hill for sure.

[01:03:26] With the caveat being that if something is to be made fun of, it's got to be with the intention of spreading laughter. Joy can't be to offend. Shock value is not included in my belief system as far as nothing is off limits. I'll give you an example. 9/11 happens.

[01:03:51] On September 12th, is that too soon to make a joke about 9/11, the day after thousands of people were killed in a terrorist accident? I'd say, what's the joke? So I want to hear the joke. This is a fucking awful tragedy. It's probably one of the worst things you could ever joke about, or cancer. But what's the joke?

[01:04:11] Because as a firm believer in nothing should be off limits, as long as the intention is to carve through the tension of whatever just happened or whatever the topic is, then I think it should be allowed because comedy is medicine, and it's going to help relieve. It literally releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better.

[01:04:37] It is a medicine. So if it is to be used, it's to be used all around. And I don't think the trans community is any safer than the Jewish community should be any safer than the white privileged community should be any safer than the music festival community should be any safer than people who have some disease, whatever.

[01:04:56] As long as the intention is not to put down and shame. And then also, I think comedians in general are pretty smart about when and where to deliver jokes about certain things. There was a comedian who had a really awful joke about Kobe Bryant in the immediate aftermath, and it was just tasteless and gross.

[01:05:23] And it was a little more personal for me because I coached at Kobe Bryant's camp when I was in college. So I was around him, and I knew who he was as a human. And that, I thought, was a bummer. But if the joke had been funny and not inherently just mean and evil, because what was said was, I forget it, but I can look it up.

[01:05:46] We'll put it in the show notes maybe. So yeah, I don't think anybody's any safer than anyone else should be. And we see with Chappelle a lot. Dave Chappelle gets attacked by people who say he's transphobic with his trans jokes. Nah, he's allowed to make trans jokes. He's allowed.

[01:06:06] Just like some foreign liberal comic is allowed to make Republican jokes and is allowed to-- comedy thrives in generalizations. It thrives in it because you can make a joke like, everybody who goes to a music festival is blank. Now you just generalized millions of people.

[01:06:30] Obviously, everybody who goes to a music festival doesn't shower in dirt and eat Palo Santo for breakfast. A couple of people do. But to generalize, everybody gets you a joke. And because comedy thrives in generalizations, you're often going to see different communities generalized for the purpose of making a joke.

[01:06:52] And those communities, when people respond as offended, I think they're missing the fact that, no, we don't think all trans people are this. We don't think all people who go to a music festival are this. That's just the way that comedy thrives. It's in a joke, is to generalize a group.

[01:07:10] If we're saying that in a serious way and making it a statement of fact, then yeah, we'd have an issue, and there should be a discussion because clearly not everybody that goes to music festivals showers in dirt and eats, Palo Santo, just my friend Nate. So yeah, I'm a pretty firm believer in nothing is off limits as long as there's tact involved.

[01:07:33] Luke: Yeah, I do know. Because thinking about going to comedy clubs over the years, it's interesting, and I don't know, you can't see the reactions of people if you're posting something online, but thinking in the context of a comedy club, most of us have probably been in a gig wherein the comic takes it too far and says something just gnarly too soon, too rough. It's out of bounds. The audience doesn't ever respond to that. It's like a collective, ooh, it's not a laugh. It's everyone going like, ah, that doesn't feel great, kind of thing.

[01:08:08] Brent: What I really like is that mixed with a laugh.

[01:08:13] Luke: Oh, okay.

[01:08:13] Brent: Because then you're in what I think is a really cool sweet spot. Because you get like a, oh, but the laughter I think is an expression of maybe realization that you can laugh about this topic. I'm trying to think of an example. The thing is too, I don't really like go super hard against people. So I don't really have a lot of edgy stuff.

[01:08:48] Okay, here's one. I have a joke. Oh, I don't know if this is good. Fuck it. All right. I have a joke where I talk about how politicians should be required to take psychedelics, right? And I talk about Biden doing mushrooms, and then I talk about Trump doing MDMA. And then the kicker at the end is I say, yeah, and California Governor Gavin Newsom should definitely do some psychedelics. There's this new one he should try. It's called fentanyl. And I just look at the crowd and everybody goes, oh, damn.

[01:09:15] And obviously, I don't think he should do fentanyl. And I know there's a terrible crisis right now, and a lot of people probably think that joke just straight up isn't funny, which is totally fair. It's not the best joke I've ever written, but it gets people right to that edge of like, that's almost too far, but it's still absurd. And in the absurdity, we can laugh while also being like, oh, shocked by the use of fentanyl in a joke, a mystic crisis. Does that make sense?

[01:09:46] Luke: Yeah, yeah. Totally, totally. Because you point to what I think is one of the most valuable aspects of humor, is it enables us to play with context. And if you can't play with context, that's not a life worth living. You know what I mean? That's how we create meaning. So if there's no context and everything's just taken face value, verbatim, and you're judged on that, a, the world is totally humorless, but it's also just not a true representation of our character and our beautiful uniqueness.

[01:10:24] I think that changing the way you look at reality is really important for mental health. And nothing does that like comedy. When you're like, ooh, should I be wincing or laughing right now, there's some neuroplasticity or some shit happening in there where you're having to wrestle with your perspective, and your moral outlook, and your values.

[01:10:45] Brent: Oh, here's one. Yeah. Trans Day of Visibility was on March 31st. I thought of a joke. It's too late now to do it because-- well, maybe I still can. I thought, shouldn't Trans Day of Visibility be the day after March 31st? That's April 1st. That's April Fool's Day. That should be the day we celebrate by being like, ah, surprise, I got a dick.

[01:11:11] That's when we should be celebrating. So something like that would maybe be deemed transphobic by a bunch of people who are wrong. But it also doesn't really punch down that. And so that's the space I like to live in, is, yeah, I'm mocking a group of people that is arguably an oppressed group of people and has faced challenging times. But you know what? They're a target just like everybody else's target. And if we want equality, then everybody's got an equal target on their back. That's my faith or my theory.

[01:11:50] Luke: I like that. If we want equality, we got to take it across the board.

[01:11:56] Brent: Yeah.

[01:11:56] Luke: Not just where it's cozy.

[01:11:57] Brent: Yeah. Can't give you a day off to make one of these people.

[01:12:02] Luke: That's funny. I love it. Tell me what it's like to go to a really shitty year at Burning Man.

[01:12:06] Brent: Nightmare, dude. How many burns have you been to?

[01:12:09] Luke: Never. Never will.

[01:12:11] Brent: Never a burn. Never will. Why not?

[01:12:12] Luke: Oh man.

[01:12:13] Brent: Why not?

[01:12:14] Luke: Well, it's funny, I was thinking about it the other day because--

[01:12:16] Brent: Your whole house says otherwise.

[01:12:18] Luke: Yeah, I know. It's a bait and switch. Really running a real conservative operation up in here. Dude, I used to go to a lot of festivals and specifically dead shows when I was younger, just take copious amounts of acid, and have shit go very wrong, and just chaos.

[01:12:36] Drama with some fun on the side. Go to shows in Vegas, getting lost. Just a lot of crazy festival concert kind of stuff. So I feel like I got it out of my system, a. B, not to out my wife. So many people here are super into Burning Man. Austin could be Burning Man when it's not that season.

[01:13:02] And we just look at posts from it, and we'll sit there and be like, God, it looks like a fucking nightmare. Loud, dusty, muddy music. Too many people. I think, to answer in a concise way, I'm just too damn old. Eight to 10 people in any crowd is my sweet spot.

[01:13:19] Brent: That's the bread and butter. Nice. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:13:21] Luke: Into the hundreds and thousands, yeah, I'm going to be hiding in my [Inaudible].

[01:13:25] Brent: Yeah. Dude, last year, 2023, Burning Man, it was my first one. It was awful. Had a terrible time. I'll be completely honest. And a lot of people who went, they got a mate. They were like, yeah, the community really came together, and we toughed it out through the mud.

[01:13:44] This isn't what we wanted, but it's what we needed. And we came out the other side stronger and better. And I'm like, you know what? I didn't need any of that. I'm glad you had your fucking awakening. My shit sucked, dude. It was bad. It was not a good time. I wish I didn't go, to be honest. But I will go back. I get it. We had two good nights that were phenomenal.

[01:14:06] Luke: Like ayahuasca.

[01:14:07] Brent: Yes.

[01:14:07] Luke: You have a rough night in ayahuasca. I'm never doing this again. And next night you're like, well, yeah.

[01:14:11] Brent: I had the same exact experience about a month ago out in Costa Rica. So at Burning Man, we drove up. It was a 12-hour drive. I had sciatica on the drive up, and my back hurt real bad. And then when the rains came and the mud came, it was like five inches of thick brownie batter mud on each step.

[01:14:32] And then when you lifted your leg, you're pulling up three or four pounds of mud weight. And that just ruined my back even more. And then I got sick. And the camp that we were in, I love everybody that we camped with, but it was not a super communal camp. It didn't have a ton of structure.

[01:14:51] And we knew that going in, so there's not a hit on the camp. But what we didn't expect was a torrential downpour that hasn't happened in decades. And then the battery died in our camper van, so I had to live off of string cheese and apple sauce for three days.

[01:15:17] And my back hurt, dude. I don't know, but when your back hurts, that's all you can think about. Nothing else was good because my back hurt. So I'm very much looking forward to next year if we go again. Because it is the most creative and awe-inspiring place I've ever been. And I've really wanted to have an awesome time. And we did for a night or two, a night and a half. But man, it sucked.

[01:15:49] Luke: Was there any Stockholm Syndrome in response to certain people trying to get out early?

[01:15:58] Brent: Yeah, people tried to get out early and--

[01:16:00] Luke: People like you didn't try to stick together, and you don't want to make more mud.

[01:16:02] Brent: Dude, we didn't care. As soon as we could go, we went, like, physically go. We didn't want to drive in the rain because I knew that was dangerous. But people were like putting out messages on the Burning Man radio. They were saying. "The gates are closed. Don't go to the gates"

[01:16:18] And we were like, there's no gates. There aren't even physical gates. What do you mean the gates are closed? You drive onto the land from the road. There's no gate. So that was a lie. We knew that. And then people were really concerned with leaving big strips of tire tracks in the dirt, in the playa.

[01:16:37] And I got that, and I was like, okay, then we'll wait for it to cake up a little bit. We're not going to drive in the rain because, yeah, I don't want to create a foot long ditch and maybe get the camper van stuck. But as soon as we could go, we left. I didn't care. People could throw mud at my car all they wanted.

[01:16:52] I'm getting the hell out of there. I'm going home. We had a lot of intentions. It's funny. When you go to a music festival, you have a lot of intentions going into the festival. You're like, I'm setting my intention for this week. I'm going to play. I'm going to connect with community. It's going to be a vibrant, beautiful, positive, high joyous celebration of love.

[01:17:09] And the energy of the music festival is like, I hear your intentions, and I'm going to give you a UTI and a bad back. And that's what we got. And sure, there's lessons to learn. I get it. My friends are witches. I've had the conversations. It just wasn't a good experience, and some things just aren't.

[01:17:28] I don't hold like a burning man grudge of any kind. I think it's an awesome place. And I've also heard from a lot of people that their first burn was also a nightmare. It seems to be, at least in my friend group, a pattern. Maybe your first year is tough.

[01:17:50] Luke: It's a cosmic rite of passage.

[01:17:52] Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rite of passage. Yeah.

[01:17:54] Luke: You have to earn it. It's like if you can hang and you extracted a bit of joy out of a difficult experience, then--

[01:18:01] Brent: And we did. I'm not swearing it off. I would never say it's a terror. I encourage everybody to go. I think it's awesome. But it sucked. Yeah.

[01:18:10] Luke: Are orgy tense a real thing?

[01:18:13] Brent: Yeah, yeah. The orgy dome was real. Yeah, the orgy dome was real. So I went with my girl, and we were going to go in just to see what it was all about, but it was closed because it was raining. So maybe next time. But apparently, it's pretty well structured. There's two big rooms. In the first room, I think it's just couples. There's no touching of other couples, but it's twosomes everywhere. And then in the second room, apparently, that's where it can get pretty weird.

[01:18:47] Luke: Wow.

[01:18:47] Brent: Yeah. Depending on consent. It's all about consent, of course. There's a whole intro spiel that they give you and everything.

[01:18:55] Luke: Wow. Yeah. I've heard of the lore. I I didn't know if it was true.

[01:18:57] Brent: It's true, and it's out there.

[01:18:57] Luke: Someone else told me there's a dress code there called shirt cocking where dudes just--

[01:19:04] Brent: At the orgy dome?

[01:19:05] Luke: No, just in general. Dudes just roll around with a buttoned down shirt and no pants or something.

[01:19:11] Brent: Just Winnie the Pooh. Yeah.

[01:19:13] Luke: Yeah. And there's a name for it.

[01:19:14] Brent: I did see a lot of dick. I saw a lot of dick.

[01:19:17] Luke: Shirt cocking. Yeah. I don't know why that stuck in my head. I just thought, wow, that would be terrifying to be very confident to run around like that.

[01:19:23] Brent: Man is going to some type of business meeting, I assume.

[01:19:26] Luke: Yeah, exactly. Business on the top, party on the bottom. Tell me how psychedelics have shaped you and some of your positive and less than positive experiences.

[01:19:39] Brent: Yeah, man. So I never did psychedelics growing up, in high school, or college, or anything.

[01:19:47] Luke: You didn't want to grow breasts?

[01:19:48] Brent: Didn't want to grow breasts. Didn't want to turn gay. I heard weed turned you gay. So then after college started going to festivals. Good buddy of mine, he's a DJ. He goes by Economist. He started bringing me. He and I went together to a couple of festivals that he had never been to before, and neither had I.

[01:20:07] Lightning in a Bottle was one of the first out in California. It's where I tried LSD for the first time. And it was incredible. It was like, I didn't know that that type of thinking could exist and that type of experience and interaction with the world could be that way. So that set me down a cool path.

[01:20:33] That was about nine years ago. Set me down a path of experimenting more with evolving my consciousness. And that was my biggest intention behind starting to try psychedelics, was how can I alter my consciousness to in turn change the way I approach tasks, challenges, problems, opportunities? That's still my intention, and I think that'll always be my intention.

[01:21:03] It's such a lifelong journey. So it started with LSD. It started with microdosing psilocybin. And that helps me in a big way face-- microdosing psilocybin helped me create new approaches to navigating stress and anxiety and new ways of thinking about how to work with my stresses and anxieties.

[01:21:31] And even outside of the actual medicine experience, the preparation and the integration sides of the experience have done more for me than the actual experience. Reading literature by people like Stan Groff, or Albert Hofmann, or any of these other who's who's of the psychedelic world, learning their perspectives, their approaches.

[01:21:59]  And I'm reading a new book now called the Cosmic Serpent. I forget who the author is, but it's based on his experiences with ayahuasca and a lot of indigenous tribes in South America. Reading all of that literature has also helped me evolve my thinking toward different aspects of my life. And that's without taking the medicine.

[01:22:23] So psychedelics have a daily impact on me without taking psychedelics. I've connected to community through psychedelics. I work with some amazing organizations now, like VETS, V-E-T-S. They send veterans with PTSD overseas for ibogaine, and ayahuasca, and 5-MeO-DMT therapies. Yeah, they're great.

[01:22:43] Luke: Oh, epic. We'll put that in the show notes. Say that again.

[01:22:44] Brent: VETS, Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions.

[01:22:47] Luke: Cool. We'll put that in the notes.

[01:22:48] Brent: vetsolutions.org. Yeah, they're awesome. Had Rick Doblin on my podcast about a year or two ago. So psychedelics have been arguably the biggest catalyst for my personal and creative evolution as a human. And when I say that, I don't just mean the actual substances themselves. I mean the experiences and the people I've gotten to meet, the experiences I've gotten to have, and the community that I've been able to build.

[01:23:20] And today, I use different medicines, and I experiment with different substances with different intentions behind it. So with LSD, maybe I'll microdose LSD a couple of times a year, and I feel very creative, super microdose, like a 10th of a tab or something, very, very small. With psilocybin, it's much more with an intention of approaching stress and anxiety and maybe also creativity and just trying to feel a bit more grounded in my body during periods of unrest.

[01:23:54] And all of this that I'm saying too is such a learning process. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I'm really trying to just experience these things and bring intentions into these experiences while keeping an open mind with no big expectations for what the end result will be.

[01:24:15] So it's a fun journey, man, and I'm still learning every step of the way. There's a whole lot I haven't done. I'm very much less experienced than a whole lot of people I know that I look up to. But it's been very beneficial for me, and I feel super fulfilled with a lot of the takeaways that I've gotten from that whole part of my life.

[01:24:37] Luke: Me too. I share that experience.

[01:24:38] Brent: Yeah.

[01:24:38] Luke: Have you had instances in which spiritual or esoteric literature that you've been consuming doesn't land all the way in the moment in which you're reading it, but later on in a journey, you totally understand what you had read before?

[01:25:00] Brent: Yeah.

[01:25:01] Luke: You have that happen?

[01:25:02] Brent: Yeah. There's a book called The Tao of Pooh. Do you know what that is? Have you ever heard of it?

[01:25:06] Luke: Is it about Winnie the Pooh?

[01:25:07] Brent: It's about how Winnie the Pooh is the perfect emblem or the perfect conveyor of Lao Tzu's whole ideology and Daoism in general. I read it when I was down in Costa Rica about a month ago on a seven day ayahuasca retreat, and I read it throughout my stay there, and it came to me during ceremony and post ceremony, and I was just like, oh, man. Yes. Tigger was right about this thing. Piglet. The archetype of piglet.

[01:25:38] Luke: That's epic.

[01:25:39] Brent: Luke, it was a fantastic book.

[01:25:41] Luke: That's epic. Yeah. I've had that experience where I'll study a book even for years, and it's like, I don't know, a book on non-duality, for example. And I'll try just get the concept, even though I can't experience it, or books about enlightenment or higher states of consciousness, and so on.

[01:26:00] They're describing samadhi, and nirvana, and all these different states of enlightened beings and go, yeah, that's where I want to go, is in that direction. But it's still conceptual. But then in some of those experiences, I've been quite certain that some of those states, and traits, and things like that, that I've read about is actually what's happening.

[01:26:19] And now there's a name for what it is. You know what I mean? It's like, oh shit, I'm in the void. I've been reading about the void for 25 years. Ketamine takes you there. The void means there's literally nothing, not even you there. I've found that always interesting, just how things will come to my awareness. That it's something I've studied and maybe had a intellectual understanding of, but not so much a subjective knowing. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

[01:26:50] Brent: Yeah.

[01:26:51] Luke: Do you remember your first ayahuasca ceremony?

[01:26:54] Brent: Yeah.

[01:26:55] Luke: What happened?

[01:26:56] Brent: It was a two-day ceremony, so two ceremonies over the course of a weekend with this group that facilitates, just outside of LA, and it's a mix of modern and traditional Shipibo. Two guys that carry the Shipibo lineage after studying with them, and sitting with them, and dieting with them for over a decade.

[01:27:20] It was beautiful. It was amazing. I had an incredible time. They played music. They sang the icaros and the traditional chants, and they played music with all these organic instruments and woodwinds and everything. And it was the most intense experience I had ever had. And then this past month when I went down to Costa Rica, that topped it.

[01:27:46] And now this became the most intense experience I've ever had. But it was beautiful. It's incredible. Every time I reflect on it, I just get overwhelmed by how incredible it is that humans found this ability to tap into something so much greater than what our day-to-day 3D Reality is. It's nuts. It's so crazy. It's so crazy.

[01:28:15] It's fucking absurd, dude. And I walked out of both ceremonies. I did the same thing when I was in Costa Rica, and I would just talk to people around me, and I'd be like, yo, this is fucking nuts. And they'd be like, yeah, it is. And they'd laugh because nobody really was good, but I'm an unfiltered comedian, so I have to just express, and it's fucking insane.

[01:28:35] It's crazy. It's crazy how you can communicate with the plant, and the visions that just come to you, they just come. You don't create them. It's beyond words that I have to use to express.

[01:28:55] Luke: It's the wildest shit.

[01:28:56] Brent: It's wild, and it can be so scary, and so dark, and so intense, and it's not a fun little rollercoaster ride. It's intense as fuck, and it's not something to approach lightly at all. But when you do it right, I think there can be some immense positive change that comes.

[01:29:22] Luke: What I find so challenging about ayahuasca is its unpredictability.

[01:29:29] Brent: Mm-hmm.

[01:29:30] Luke: It's been a huge teacher for me because if I had one good sit, good, that I'm determined. Just one of those just love and light and all, and really deep in it. After having a few of those, I noticed I've become attached to, it's got to look like that, and I want to have those same feelings and visions and experiences. It's like I want to control it

[01:29:53] Brent: Yeah.

[01:29:54] Luke: And it is not one that you will ever control.

[01:29:56] Brent: No, no, no.

[01:29:58] Luke: The last time I sat was a week ago or something.

[01:30:01] Brent: Oh, wow. You're fresh.

[01:30:02] Luke: Yeah. And it was, I don't know. Every time you have a hard one, you think it was the hardest, but this might've been the hardest, the one night. And what made it difficult, aside from just feeling really ill and beat down physically was there was nothing really perceivable happening. It's like what they call in some traditions on a nada, nothing.

[01:30:25] But it's not that nothing's happening, it's just it's being done behind the scenes, and you're not even aware of how it's healing you and how it's helping you. So it doesn't come in and like, ooh, I just figured out all my life's problems, and now I know what God really is, and all that kind of stuff.

[01:30:41] It's like no realizations, no visions, just feeling like I might have to have someone call the ambulance because I might be dying. I'm so sweaty and hot and just out of my freaking--

[01:30:51] Brent: That's what I just had last month.

[01:30:53] Luke: You did?

[01:30:54] Brent: Yeah, man. And I'm still trying to figure out what happened.

[01:30:55] Luke: Yeah. And at one point I'm just like, okay, it's doing something to my body, mind, and spirit that I don't understand, that's very uncomfortable. But I know based on how I felt afterward and the changes for the positive that I've experienced since that. It was, yeah, a week, two weeks ago, something like that.

[01:31:14] I know that it worked now because there have been shifts. I feel different. I'm doing certain things differently as a result of some of those lessons, but it's difficult for me when the lessons aren't overt.

[01:31:26] Brent: Yeah, yeah.

[01:31:27] Luke: And there's not a lot of bells and whistles. It's like, really? I just was sweaty and nauseous for four hours? You're telling me something happened positive for my life? I don't know. Something did, dude. It did.

[01:31:40] Brent: You just have to trust.

[01:31:40] Luke: Yeah. But that one, ayahuasca is difficult for me in that way versus even something like 5-MeO-DMT, or mushrooms, or Wachuma, some other beautiful medicines. And each situation is going to be unique, but it's not going to be as different as sitting five nights with ayahuasca. And every five nights is just a wild card. You do mushrooms five nights in a row, you are going to be tripping on mushrooms every night.

[01:32:06] Brent: You're going to get some similarities.

[01:32:08] Luke: Yeah. There's going to be a through line there that there's some similarity, familiarity and stuff. So that's really my greatest teacher in ayahuasca, is really trusting it and knowing that I can't control it. And that a certain subjective experience is of no higher value than a different experience that you had on a different night. Or the person next to you just like laughing their ass off and rolling around and doing yoga.

[01:32:31] Brent: Yeah. You're over here dying.

[01:32:35] Luke: And you're like, in my brain right now we're fighting.

[01:32:38] Brent: Yeah, man. It was a death experience that I had for sure. I still having trouble putting words to it, and communicating it even doesn't really feel like it fully expresses it, but it was so intense, dude. It was night three of four.

[01:32:59] I laid back and flashes of light and-- it was almost like I was traveling through a tunnel, like what you would see if you just did a YouTube search for DMT tunnel. But it was way more than that. It was whoosh. It was like I was in the tunnel and I blacked out, and then I came to, and I was feeling my mat, and it was sopping wet.

[01:33:31] And my first thought was, oh my God, I just shit and piss myself. Oh my God. I just shit and piss myself. And you shouldn't piss yourself when you die. That's what happens when you die. Because all your muscles release and relax.

[01:33:47] Because your body isn't subconsciously holding your butt tight anymore, it just releases, and it releases everything. So in the moment, I was like, oh my God, I just died. And I had that energy. And obviously, I didn't. It turns out later that it was just sweat. But the energy and the feeling in my body was that I just died. And I believed it. That's what I thought had just happened.

[01:34:16] And so energetically I had just died, whatever, however, an energy healer would define that. And it was so fucking intense. And I was terrified. I was so scared because I legit thought I just died. I was like, what the fuck? Nobody came over with Narcan? They just let me die while this guy's chanting 10 feet away? It's crazy. They're spraying me with flower water?

[01:34:39] Luke: The shaman are wheeling in a body bag as you sit up.

[01:34:42] Brent: Yeah. They're going to spray me with flower water instead of bring me back to life? And I ended up being pissed. I was mad the whole night. I was mad. And then the next day I was mad too. And I was talking to the facilitators, and I was at Soltara in Costa Rica. Love Soltara.

[01:34:58] If anybody is even curious about sitting with ayahuasca, look up Soltara. They're so amazing there. And through conversations with a couple of the facilitators, I came to a much more clear realization because part of the whole experience is immediately post experience in that integration.

[01:35:22] I was already integrating, and it was so fresh. It's like getting into a traumatic car crash and then immediately getting out of the car and trying to talk to people about the car crash that just happened. It's intense, and it takes time to integrate that. And that's what I try to meditate on and breathe through over the past couple of weeks.

[01:35:42] And I've come to some pretty cool conclusions now about what went down that night through the help of some friends who know what they're talking about. And funny enough, one of my intentions going into that week was to cultivate a stronger relationship with the medicine because I do see this as a tool that I can come back to for the rest of my life, whether it's once a year, once every seven years. Who knows?

[01:36:12] And sure as shit, I have a bigger capacity with the medicine now after that, which is something a friend of mine said. He said, now when you go back to that space, your capacity is going to be expanded. So if and when you choose to drink that much or go that deep, or be open enough to have that type of experience again, you'll know that your body is going to keep you alive while your spirit receives something different. Or while your soul is having a certain experience, you know that you're-- because you've been through it.

[01:36:50] You've been through death. You just survived death. And you know that your body stayed alive when you blacked out for those little moments. And as intense as that is, he's right. He's right. And I'm curious enough to maybe want to go back to that space again at some point.

[01:37:05] Luke: Yeah. That's a good way to put it though. That's good. It's like exposure therapy in a way.

[01:37:12] Brent: Mm-hmm.

[01:37:13] Luke: It's like if you're afraid of heights and you could jump off a big ass cliff, then you, ah, it's not that hard. Done it before, and then you could do a taller one next time.

[01:37:20] Brent: Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You widen your capacity a little bit. And that's been a huge takeaway in working with psychedelics, is the capacity that I now have for managing stress or anxiety. Even my creative capacity has been expanded because of different approaches toward those things with medicine.

[01:37:46] Luke: This last sit that I did at the end of the night, I told my wife this, but I just was saying it to myself over and over again. I said, I am never, never, never, ever drinking ayahuasca ever again. I'm done.

[01:38:05] Brent: What night was that you said that?

[01:38:06] Luke: This is night one. Day 2 was a Wachuma ceremony, which saved my ass. Oh my God, I'm so glad. A bunch of people had to come rally me. After the first night, I was like, I'm out. I'm going to go sit in my room. I'm done. I'm never doing this ever again. I got my ass kicked. And they had to come in succession every couple of hours, like, you really should come drink the Wachuma.

[01:38:29] You'll feel a lot better. And I was like, what? That is the worst idea where I am. And eventually, they wore me down, and they were so right. And then I was back to normal. But the funny thing is, because it was such a difficult night and the lessons were so ambiguous, and I swore I'm never ever doing it again, by the end of the second day, I was like, when's the next one?

[01:38:51] Brent: Yeah.

[01:38:52] Luke: I was like, wait, no, no. Luke, no.

[01:38:54] Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:38:55] Luke: I'm not in any hurry, but now sitting here, in the context of this conversation, it's very likely when the appropriate opportunity presents itself to work with ayahuasca, I'm sure I will, no matter how convinced I was that night.

[01:39:11] Because I was telling myself stuff like, I think the medicine's telling me we're done. I was like, no, what message did you get? I'm like, yeah, it said we're done. We don't need to work together anymore, or whatever. How people talk about their relationships with these plant teachers.

[01:39:28] I was like, yeah, she's done with me. We broke up. And then I'm just like, no, it's just the part of me that doesn't want to suffer, which is a big part. What would you give people as a warning or disclaimer? You mentioned a little bit like, hey, it's not for everyone. Or be careful or something. I always like to just let people know some of the potential downsides and risks involved out of a sense of responsibility because I can be pretty promotional in the psychedelic space because my experience is overwhelmingly positive.

[01:39:58] Brent: Yeah. I try to stay mindful of that, to be honest. I try to stay mindful of not being promotional. I have a podcast called Good Trip. It's a 10-part series that releases once a year, and I have a lot of conversations.

[01:40:11] Luke: I want to get on that schedule.

[01:40:14] Brent: Oh, yeah, yeah. It's very easy. Yeah. It's 10 episodes a year. I've done two seasons. I'll probably do a third and then be done, but I talk a lot with people in the psychedelic space, and I hear all kinds of stories. I try to stay mindful of my messaging because I don't want to be just telling people to do stuff. I never want to come off that way.

[01:40:43] And talking about my experiences so much, I try to stay conscious of the line between talking about my experiences and does it sound like I'm telling people they should go do this? I don't think anybody should or shouldn't do anything. I think everybody should learn about what's out there. There's benefits and risks to everything you put in your body when it comes to psychedelics and medicines.

[01:41:10] Luke: And water.

[01:41:11] Brent: And water. Yeah. If you're drinking tap water, you're already losing. If you're drinking tap--

[01:41:13] Luke: If you drinking enough of it, you can actually die from drinking water.

[01:41:17] Brent: Yeah, you can. So for those with a clean pineal gland-- no, I think, there's physical risk factors for anybody that has hypertension or mental disorders or history of mental disorders.

[01:41:37] There's things, and soltara.co, they have a whole list of the things that they check before allowing people into their space to do this type of work. And they do a lot of checking, a lot. Certain medicines you can't be on, like pharmaceuticals, and prescriptions, and things like that. But really, I think the main things in a general sense is if somebody's interested, then I think, in my opinion, what's necessary is an open mind. As cliche as that sounds, it's true. You got to be open to what can come from an experience like that.

[01:42:21] An example is I sat in a ceremony once with this woman who was a bit older, and she had never done anything. She never smoked weed. She never drank alcohol. She came from a super conservative background, and her first thing ever was going to be ayahuasca. That's nuts. Good for her. Talking about facing a fear and jumping off a high dive before you've ever even touched water.

[01:42:43] So she clearly was open, and she had done her research. And then I think another thing that's super important is to not have expectations. You can't have expectations because you're probably going to be disappointed. And intentions are very different than expectations. And that's a life lesson, I think. That's a lesson I got from psychedelics that I think can be integrated into daily life.

[01:43:10] If you have expectations on an outcome or a result coming to you, then when that doesn't happen, you're going to be down. You're going to be put down. You're going to be negative, in this negative emotional state. Whereas if you have intention going into an activity, or an opportunity, or an experience, then that intention can be your compass. It can guide you.

[01:43:31] So if you're going in with the intention of connecting with a deeper sense of purpose. And if you're going into a ceremony or anything like that, it's almost like having a mantra. To me, this is all totally subjective in my opinion. It's like having a mantra. You can return to it during moments of crazy visions and everything.

[01:43:53] You can return to purpose, purpose, purpose, purpose, and see where that leads. Because now, in thinking of purpose, that might guide you down a thought pattern, a lane of thought that can be really creative and more purposeful. And you think about who you are in life and your place in the universe, and now all of a sudden, you're connecting to that intention.

[01:44:14] But if your expectation is to be like, when I come out of this, I'm going to know how to have the number one podcast in the world, you're probably not going to know that. You're not going to get secrets from the universe telling you how to have the number one podcast in the world. But you might come out of that with a more affirmed and stronger vision for how you can be the best podcaster you want to be.

[01:44:39] So those would be my two things, is open-mindedness. Don't let stigma weigh on you too much, and intentions over expectations, really.

[01:44:54] Luke: That's really good. Yeah. Expectations are a disappointment just waiting to happen.

[01:45:00] Brent: Yeah. And everything too. In the creative space and entertainment, I get told no so many times, dude. I've been told no a million times. I'm going to be told no a billion more. So I don't go in with the expectation of being told yes, whether it's for a gig, or an acting job, or a directing thing, or a producer, whatever.

[01:45:22] But I do go in with the intention of being the best, having the best offer I can give, having the best plan. My intention is to express myself in the most creative and beneficial way that I can without holding an expectation that I'm going to be told yes or be given the green light on a certain thing. And that's helps me balance a lot of stress and anxiety too. Because then I'm not expecting a yes and getting a no and walking into the ocean.

[01:45:54] Luke: Right. What about when you were coming up doing standup? How did you desensitize yourself against awkward silences, or rejections, or hecklers, or people leaving the room? Because you're on at the 1:00 AM slot, and bars closing, and they're, yeah. There's always these sad moments in comedy clubs where I'm like, ooh, sucks to be him right now.

[01:46:22] Brent: Yeah.

[01:46:22] Luke: How do they do it? Yeah. I would crumble.

[01:46:25] Brent: It's tough. You do crumble. Everybody crumbles at some point when you're coming up in that world. I tried to take on the sense of not giving a fuck as early as I possibly could, and that gave me way more creative freedom. I also read a story about how the Beatles, when they were first starting, they worked a pub in Germany and they were given some shit schedule in some shit corner of some shit bar.

[01:46:53] And they did everything they possibly could to keep people entertained so that they could have an audience to play for. So they did crazy shit. They wrote weird songs. They had different guitar rifts that no one had ever heard before. They went out into the crowd and sang to people right there, and they would sing in the windows at people walking by.

[01:47:10] And I remember this story when I was early in into doing standup, and I took a lot of inspiration in that. And so I started being weird as shit, and I went out into the crowd and started talking to people and doing jokes in someone's face and being psychedelic in a way, breaking that barrier between performer and audience member, or breaking through the typical structure of show and viewer of show so that I could get people's attention in a different way.

[01:47:48] And it didn't work a lot. A lot of people didn't like what I did in the open mic world because I was a high energy, happy guy, and I didn't have a ton of standup comedian friends. Because when you're coming up in comedy, I don't know how it is now coming up in the open mic scene, but when I was coming up, it was very cliquey, and people wouldn't always laugh at you even if you're being funny because they didn't want to give it up for somebody that they don't really know, or like, or whatever.

[01:48:13] And so I just decided to not give a shit about that. And I decided I wanted to be performing for an audience. And I would perform for anybody who liked-- if I had one person laughing, that's a fucking success. I could build on that one person. So I really tried to have that not-give-a-fuck mentality and to just be silly and just not care if somebody didn't like it.

[01:48:37] And just hold on to this blind faith that one day an audience would. And I still am holding onto that faith now. But yeah, I think there's a sense of not giving a fuck in a lot of endeavors. You have to get past that insecurity of do they like me or not? Whether you're podcasting, whether you're public speaking, whether you're painting, whether you're lecturing on something, not giving a fuck if somebody likes you.

[01:49:10] It's like expectations and intentions. You're not expecting them to like you, but you're coming in with the intention of just being as loose as you can be.

[01:49:19] Luke: Which ironically usually has a more magnetizing effect in people. I think so many of us have our insecurities, and we go through life trying to appease people and fit in, and it's like the things we're hiding a lot of the times are the very things that draw people nearer, and you start letting your freak flag fly, and all of a sudden you go, wow, I have plenty of friends. You know what I mean?

[01:49:42] It's like, don't need that many. But yeah, I still, man. Honestly, I could not do what you do. I do a lot of public speaking and stuff. It's funny. I was thinking about this because I wanted to ask you that question because it's just something I observe in comedians, just so mystified by that.

[01:49:58] But there have been times where I've been doing a public talk and I might've been in a really relaxed mood and had the crowd rolling the whole time, like doing standup. But I'm not. It's just spontaneous. I just had a few on nights like that out of hundreds. For some reason, I'm just in a feisty mood, but I'm only able to make them laugh because I'm not out there trying to do that.

[01:50:22] Brent: Right.

[01:50:23] Luke: It would be terrifying to go out there if the audience, speaking of expectations, had the expectations that this Luke, I was going to make them laugh, I wouldn't even go on stage. I'd be too terrified. I don't know what they're there for, but they weren't there for that, and maybe that's why I'm having so much fun being funny, because it's just--

[01:50:40] Brent: Because you get to be loose.

[01:50:41] Luke: It wasn't what we're supposed to be doing, but man, you guys go out and sit in front of a crowd that are expecting that. Oh man.

[01:50:49] Brent: It's fun, man. It's a drug. There's no better drug than the sound of hundreds of people laughing at the same time. It's pretty incredible. It's super healthy.

[01:51:00] Luke: It's super healthy. Yeah. Have you ever seen the Andrew Dice Clay video? I think it's called the Day the Comedy Died or something.

[01:51:10] Brent: I don't think so.

[01:51:10] Luke: I just saw a piece of this because I think someone was talking about it on a podcast, so I looked up a couple of clips from it, and he basically created this bit where, the whole set rather was him just bombing on purpose and then just shitting on people that are walking out of the club and getting in all these altercations with people.

[01:51:34] And it's either the highest art I've ever seen or the biggest train wreck, and I think it's high art. I think he masterminded this whole concept of just bombing so painfully than having altercations with the people being bombed on. Yeah. And it's just these awkward silences, just calling each other names. He's just chasing people out the door.

[01:52:03] Brent: Oh my God. It's insane.

[01:52:03] Luke: Yeah. It's the most brutal thing. But I'm still going to say, I think it was intentional.

[01:52:10] Brent: Probably.

[01:52:10] Luke: It's like some serious performance art.

[01:52:13] Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:52:13] Luke: That's the word I'm looking for. And I don't know how the album did or whatever, but yeah, someone was talking about it. I said, man, I got to check this out. And it was like, so uncomfortable.

[01:52:21] Brent: Yeah. I will say Andy Kaufman.

[01:52:23] Luke: Yeah.

[01:52:23] Brent: He does a lot of that too. He did this weird meta avant garde anti comedy, but his intention wasn't really to make you laugh. It was to make you feel some certain type--

[01:52:37] Luke: Right. So everyone, go check Conscious Bro.

[01:52:42] Brent: Conscious Bro on YouTube.

[01:52:44] Luke: Streaming on YouTube. Highly recommend.

[01:52:45] Brent: Thanks, man.

[01:52:46] Luke: And your podcast, are you in uptick right now? You have new seasons coming out?

[01:52:51] Brent: Good Trip Podcast with Brent Pella. It's on Spotify. It's got its own YouTube channel too. There's about 20 episodes out with some cool people, Rick Doblin and Dr. Bronner, David Bronner of Dr. Bronner's soaps.

[01:53:04] Luke: Oh, interesting.

[01:53:05] Brent: He's a cool guy, man. Yeah.

[01:53:07] Luke: Did you see the grandson?

[01:53:08] Brent: The grandson. Yeah. But he's also the little elf that you see in DMT journeys.

[01:53:16] Luke: Really?

[01:53:16] Brent: Yeah. That is him in human form. I love David Bronner. Every time I see him, he's wearing some trippy suit with a top hat, and he's got this cool goatee, and he is just always happy and good energy. He is like a DMT elf.

[01:53:32] Luke: Epic.

[01:53:32] Brent: He's a great guy. I love him.

[01:53:34] Luke: Did you see this recent conspiracy that alleges that Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry bought Bronners or part of it and, are partnered with Bill Gates to put wacky chemicals in it or something? Did you see this whole conspiracy?

[01:53:54] Brent: No, but I know there's lot with Braggs organic.

[01:53:56] Luke: Oh no, I'm sorry. That's what it was. Not Bronner's. My apologies to the Bronner's family. It was the Patricia Bragg's--

[01:54:04] Brent: Olive oil with apple cider vinegar.

[01:54:06] Luke: And they make the apple cider. That's what it Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry team up with Bill Gates put the appeal stuff on the apple with which they make the cider and the vinegar [Inaudible].

[01:54:15] Brent: Yes. And I didn't know that because I post a lot of cooking stuff on my Instagram, @brentpella, and I have posted a video of me making a steak, and I got 10 DMs from people immediately that were like, bro, Bill Gates owns that. You can't be eating Bill Gates's, olive oil, dude. So, I love my audience. Thank you for keeping me on point. But yeah, that's nuts with Bill Gates and everything.

[01:54:38] Luke: That's funny. Yeah. That's what it was. I'm so glad you pointed that out because I saw something about Bronners, and I was like, oh, they're buddies now. See, that's how we can be so influenced even by alternative media that we consider to be made for truthers. You still get these thought memes, and they spread in the telephone game, and next thing you know, people are blowing up your DMs, complaining about Katy Perry and her paralyzed face or whatever. Did you see that conspiracy?

[01:55:05] Brent: Yeah, yeah.

[01:55:07] Luke: Oh man. Hollywood is so trippy. By the way, this is last thing I'll ask, how is Los Angeles? Man, I've been back there a couple of times, and it's changed so much since the heyday that I lived there.

[01:55:18] Brent: Yeah. I think that California, and particularly Los Angeles, the hate for LA is just too much. Yeah, there's a lot wrong with the place, and I don't agree with the politics, and there's a terrible DA and all these things, but it's not a dumpster fire. It's just not. I don't know where the homeless camps went, but they're not really in Venice anymore. I drive down Venice Boulevard. I go from my place, which is right near Venice High, about a mile and a half toward the beach. I haven't seen a single tent in a couple of months.

[01:55:57] Luke: Interesting.

[01:55:59] Brent: I don't know where they all went. Maybe they're on the beach now. I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure they cleaned up the beach too. There's plenty of dumb things to mock and make fun of for sure. But it's not like somebody's taking a crap outside of my apartment building every day, which I think is an over exaggeration by a lot of people who rightfully don't like California or LA. But the reality is it's not a dumpster fire.

[01:56:31] It certainly was. In 2020, it was a nightmare. 2021, bad. 2022, also bad. But in the past year, it hasn't been terrible. There people who don't wear masks anymore. The people who do are looked at weird from time to time. It's certainly not somewhere that I would like to be forever. I don't really want to raise kids there.

[01:56:56] I don't have kids right now, luckily. And also just the taxes of California are a nightmare. I think of it in terms of audience, comedy audience. Sometimes people will ask like, where's your favorite place to play? And my answer is always Texas and Florida.

[01:57:16] Those are my two favorite states to do comedy in because they're just down to party, and they're down to be made fun of. California and LA or San Francisco, I'll do a joke that has a punchline about pronouns, or I'll do a joke that mocks Biden, or Hunter Biden, or something. And in the same set, I'm doing jokes about Trump and American loving freedom fighters. Because I take aim at everybody.

[01:57:43] But I'll notice that those jokes that target leftish things will get a lot of tension, and that's what I don't like, is the hesitation and the tension of West Coast culture. It has been received though.

[01:58:07] Luke: I'm glad to hear that.

[01:58:08] Brent: People have been loosening up a little bit.

[01:58:09] Luke: I'm glad to hear that.

[01:58:10] Brent: If you're in Texas or Florida, I'm down to party. For sure, I'd party with you.

[01:58:15] Luke: Yeah. I've been out to comedy a couple times here. I've had a really good time. Yeah. I went and saw Ryan Long.

[01:58:19] Brent: I love Ryan. That's my boy. Yeah.

[01:58:21] Luke: Are you buddies with them?

[01:58:22] Brent: Yeah. He's great.

[01:58:22] Luke: Oh man. I love his stuff, dude. He is so goddamn funny.

[01:58:27] Brent: He is fantastic. Yeah.

[01:58:29] Luke: Epic. And another one, guy that I listen to on his podcast a lot, Dean Del Ray.

[01:58:35] Brent: Oh yeah. Dean's, cool too. Yeah.

[01:58:36] Luke: He's got a great mostly music related podcast called Let There Be Talk. And yeah, so I listened to his podcast, went and saw his set. It was really good too. Yeah, it's fun. But I don't have a gauge because I haven't been to a comedy club in Hollywood in a long time.

[01:58:50] Brent: Yeah, it's just different.

[01:58:51] Luke: But people here do Wild n Out.

[01:58:53] Brent: Yeah.

[01:58:53] Luke: It's no [Inaudible].

[01:58:54] Brent: They seem to be just a little bit looser out here than LA crowds and San Francisco crowds, which makes sense. It's the demographic of where you're at.

[01:59:02] Luke: Yeah. But to your point of people talking shit on California, because I do too now just because of some negative experiences I had there in 2020, the thing is I moved there in 89 when I was 19. The whole time I lived there, anyone from New York, anyone from a small town somewhere is like, LA sucks.

[01:59:23] It's all Lamborghinis and boob jobs, and everyone wants to be famous. San Francisco people hated LA. When I moved there, that's where I was from. LA to NorCal people was like, it's so cheesy. It was viewed as yeah, just really materialistic and phony, and all those things. And I freaking loved LA. I had a great time there. It was really good to me for 32 years.

[01:59:45] Brent: I'm having a fine time. The day I have adult house money, I'll probably come out here.

[01:59:50] Luke: Yeah.

[01:59:51] Brent: But for now, I'm not waking up every day hating that I live there and looking outside like, ugh. It's fine.

[01:59:59] Luke: Not getting your ass kicked by Antifa, bear sprayed?

[02:00:02] Brent: But I am looking forward to the fall. I think that's when the conversation will be. That's when all the tents are going to come back in early October.

[02:00:11] Luke: It's going to be a wild fall.

[02:00:12] Brent: It's going to be a fun ride, dude.

[02:00:14] Luke: Yeah, man. I don't know what we're going to see on the other side of this thing. Well, thanks for making the time to come by. I'm so glad to have you.

[02:00:20] Brent: Thanks for having me, brother. I appreciate you, man.

[02:00:21] Luke: I'm so glad to have you. Talked to you in Texas when we were both at the Bobby Kennedy event. I saw you, and you were talking to people. Then I'd be talking to people and was like, I want to get the guy on my podcast.

[02:00:30] Brent: Yeah.

[02:00:31] Luke: I'm glad we made it happen.

[02:00:32] Brent: You rock, bro. I appreciate all the good you put out into the world, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

[02:00:36] Luke: Awesome, man. Thank you.


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