Welcome to “Humor of the Beast,” a recurring series where we interview the funniest people about their favorite band, as well as the impact heavy music has had on their lives and in comedy. In this article, we talk with Brittany Brave.
Years ago, Brittany Brave and I worked together as publicists in a music marketing agency. It never surprised me that she went on to find success as a comedian – having been featured on TBS, MTV and Sirius XM, plus being named a Best New Talent by the NY Comedy Festival in 2019. More surprising to me, though, was finding out that she’s a massive Ozzy Osbourne fan.
Read highlights from our conversation with Brittany below – where she recalls bonding with her father while blasting Ozzy’s classic albums, plus how she finds inspiration from the Prince of Darkness’ eccentricity.
When did you first discover Ozzy Osbourne? Do you recall where you were when you first heard him?
My Dad was a huge fan of Ozzy’s. I remembered hearing Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, and other albums around the home. My parents say I would headbang and jump to it, even if I wasn’t fully aware of who was behind the album. Years later, I put two-and-two together when MTV released The Osbournes and did a deep dive into Ozzy’s catalog.
How would you say listening to Ozzy possibly brought you closer to your Dad?
My Dad is a huge music and comedy buff, so he’s where I get a lot of my interests and passions from. He often says I’m “the best son he’s ever had”, which gives me mixed feelings, but we can unpack that later. We’d listen to records together and swap recommendations all the time. He’s a cool guy with a ton of knowledge about a wide range of topics, so I always come out of our conversations enlightened and feeling a little stupid just how I like it and how he wants it, I think.
My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s interesting because I technically watched Ozzy’s experience with the condition in the media before, and I think that helped me cope and make sense of the condition when my father got his diagnosis. Another way my dad and I could build an understanding, and another excuse to bond with him over something familiar that we both know and love.
What was it about Ozzy that first caught your attention? What is it about him that continues to resonate with you the most?
His eccentricity. He’s also a naturally funny person and performer, too. Musically speaking, I also don’t listen to a ton of hard rock/metal, but Ozzy’s style always felt more melodic. Plus, he has one of the best rock voices of all-time. In a lot of ways, he was a gateway artist that introduced me to a whole new genre.
What Ozzy song brings back a specific memory or the strongest feelings when you listen to it?
“Crazy Train” and “Let Me Hear You Scream.” Both songs make me feel like I have a surplus of adrenaline or just popped an adderall, which I need to be careful with because I, myself, function like adderall. I morph into Hurricane Brittany and it’s that level of horsepower that gets me out of my head and ready to write and perform with clarity and power.
“Time After Time” is a good one for reflection. “See You On The Other Side” is an anthemic one that makes me feel like a champion. Works well on a run, or to celebrate something like winning the lottery (not that I have. Still waiting.)
How has Ozzy impacted the way you write or perform as a comedian?
Ozzy creates and performs with impunity. He acts on instinct. He also has a quirk that I gravitate towards. From the early years of his career to today, he has a firm grasp on who he is and there’s a ton of ownership of everything he does on stage. His reinvention never strays too far from what he’s done, even now in 2020, with collaborations with Post Malone and Travis Scott. That’s not an easy line to toe – authenticity and evolution – and it takes a true artist to nail it down.
Imagine a scenario where you’re about to fight a heckler – which Ozzy song would you want playing during the fight?
“Straight to Hell.” No better way to send a message.
What do you see is the connection between metal and comedy?
You have to play both in a big way. You have to create out loud. Not a lot of room for fear or holding back in either of these paths. There’s always a big risk, big reward associated with any kind of art that you produce and taking those risks has never seemed to intimidate Ozzy. He welcomes the reaction and stands by his creative choices no matter what.
As a comedian, that mentality is necessary for growth. If you’re making something too commercial, too popular and too safe, you’re not really saying anything. Sometimes you have to shock and shake people to get them to pay attention. As long as you’re honest with yourself in the pursuit of that, you’ll have success.
Headshot of Brittany Brave courtesy of Cortney Armitage
Editor’s Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.