Anthony DeVito: Brain Noise

Gorilla Specials: It’s A Joy To Hear Anthony DeVito’s ‘Brain Noise’

As a former writer on The Break with Michelle Wolf, and a member of one of the last Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents cohorts, Anthony DeVito knows how to shape a joke. From language to pacing, DeVito is a consummate seasoned voice working at the height of his ability. It’s a pleasure to watch him present jokes that often focus on being stuck in poorly thought out situations, and to chuckle in awe at their absurdity. From start to finish, watching DeVito’s Brain Noise is a great time.

Anthony DeVito finds himself in absurd situations and uses evocative language to turn these experiences into an embarrassment of comedy riches.

Over and over, DeVito finds himself recounting experiences where someone meant well, but the execution took an odd, awkward turn. For example, DeVito shares how his father died when he was young, and his mother didn’t want him to feel different, so she gave him father’s day cards that said “you’re your own dad,” with the punchline “which made me feel different.” He tags it with the premise that he used it as an excuse for bad grades, saying in an affected voice “You try juggling multiplication and raising a son.”

Elsewhere, DeVito discusses how his mother got into Korean dramas during the pandemic, and ended up embracing the culture to a possibly uncomfortable degree, mentioning “She has one of those cats with the wavy arm in her bedroom like a business.” When his hospital-bound grandmother tells him that at night, the doctors sneak into their rooms and have sex with them, DeVito imagines being asked what her last words were. “I remember what they weren’t. It wasn’t a malpractice conspiracy about a brothel hospital.”

DeVito marvels at the absurdity of these situations, and uses his years of comedy experience to transform them from sad or unfortunate encounters into something hilarious.

Anthony DeVito: Brain Noise.
Anthony DeVito: Brain Noise.

DeVito is great at taking stock of his experience with aging while avoiding obvious or hacky angles.

DeVito is 39, and rather than discuss things like a bad knee or bad sleep, he marvels at the weirdness of the experience. When introducing the topic, he says “In my early 20s, I’d be dumbfounded. I’d be like ‘hmm, why’d I get a boner at a funeral? My late 30s, I’m like, ‘Woah, why am I crying in Target?” Smartly, DeVito doesn’t treat this as a complaint, but as a development that is simply part of life. At one point, he manages to turn the “sex is weird now” trope into something vibrant and funny, saying that when his girlfriend uses a vibrator afterward, he views it as “FEMA showing up for disaster relief.” This leads to a bit about orgasms, and how “I have an orgasm. She conjures one from some other dimension.Wrestles it back from the Mikey Way.”

Over and over, DeVito’s affability, his willingness to find humor and be humbled, makes his comedy uniquely successful. His wording is smart, but his joy is contagious.

DeVito isn’t a political comic, but finds a way to make astute observations about the world.

After jokes about family and aging, DeVito uses the steam he’s built up with the audience to take bigger swings. In a chunk about finances, he says:


 “I just think it’s odd. The only group of people we know their exact sallaries are pro-athletes. I think we do that on purpose so we can use the large amount that they make against them to be mean to them whenever they screw up.”

Here, the joke could easily be misunderstood as supporting millionaires, but DeVito manages to swing just enough away from this that it becomes about the way money is used to control, or at least vibe check, professional athletes. He makes a similar move when discussing small towns, turning a pro-choice abortion joke into a silly riff on what happens when you have a lack of options, saying ““I think that’s why a lot of those towns aren’t pro choice. They’ve never made a choice.” “Where should I hang out? The river. Where should I buy clothes? The store. What should I do with this baby? The river.”

Throughout Brain Noise, DeVito manages a lot of complicated ideas, and succeeds every time. Even if a joke isn’t for one person, there’s always something silly and different close behind. Or, as he says in a set-up about masturbating with a fake breast in his youth, “Don’t jump ahead. Live in the moment.”

Anthony DeVito's special Brain Noise will be available to watch for free on YouTube tonight at 7 PM CT!

Stream & download the audio from the special here.

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