Review: Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood, at The PIT

Dylan Brody looks like he could be Dana Gould’s big brother. Both in life and in comedy.

They’re both funnier and smarter than even the above-average stand-up comedian, still funny more than three decades after they started hitting the comedy club stages, and perhaps more appreciated by their peers than by the masses.

But as Brody says in his one-man show, Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood, his own resume only “looks like he’s important” if you’re not reading it from Los Angeles. Inside the belly of the beast that is Hollywood, however, highlighting your gigs writing Jay Leno’s monologues for The Tonight Show back when Leno guest-hosted for Johnny Carson, and having delivered a line on Moonlighting, doesn’t help you much 25 years after those facts.

So over the course of an hour-plus, Brody recalls to us the time he thought he might sell his latest novel to a “legacy publishing house in New York,” only to remind us and himself through a series of “nested flashbacks” how he learned at an early age to be disappointed in other people and in his own expectations, and yet running head-first up against that by trying over and over again to crack the show business nut.

That book, by the way, is for sale (SPOILER ALERT) on Amazon. His novel, “Laughs Last,” tells about a teen-aged would-be comedian and his mentoring grandfather, in whom Brody put all of the advice and counsel he wished he’d received as a 17-year-old getting passed at the original Improv in New York City. His onstage flashbacks, meanwhile, bring him back time and again to his actual father (a writer and Skidmore College professor) and the wisdom he gleaned and subsequently took advantage of his teachers and principal with, at age 7 as well as during the sixth grade. And even when Brody recalls his time as the first artist-in-residence at the Western Massachusetts prep school that he once attended but never graduated from, he’s wondering if he’s crossed the line from artist to sell out, debating whether to censor himself to earn a living or saying what’s really on his mind, leaving him to continued life as a struggling artist.

At 53, Brody says he’s made the transition from precocious child to pompous adult, but in reality, he lives somewhere between those extremes, ever still an outsider with inside knowledge about anything and everything.

So of course, he should be performing in larger theaters to larger crowds, than in the basement of an improv theater when it’s still light outside on a long summer’s night. Then again, that kinda puts in my wheelhouse here at The Comic’s Comic, doesn’t it?

If at $25, Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood seems right for seeing Brody but too steep for seeing him at The PIT, know that you can buy tickets for only $10 if you type the discount code DYLAN when you purchase tickets online.


Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood plays this weekend and next at The People’s Improv Theatre in NYC.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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