Spoilers below for certain episodes of Netflix's new comedy Brews Brothers.
It will take roughly a quarter of the series premiere's runtime to determine whether you're on board with Netflix's raunchy new comedy Brews Brothers, which comes from executive producers Greg and Jeff Schaffer, with the latter being the Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld vet who created The League. Starring Orange Is the New Black's Alan Aisenberg and Clipped vet Mike Castle, Brews Brothers centers on two siblings who try to spin success out of running a brewery that lacks etiquette and proper sanitation.
CinemaBlend spoke with Greg and Jeff Schaffer ahead of the Season 1 premiere on Netflix, and the brothers had a lot of good things to say about the streaming service and its relatively loose restrictions. But people always say good things about Netflix, so we're going to focus more on the gay Nazi biker episode, which one of the Rodman brothers' pranks was influenced from the Schaffers' past, and the wildly unpredictable way breakout star Carmen Flood won everyone over with her audition.
Brews Brothers' Nazi Gay Biker Gang
The seventh episode of Brews Brothers' first season, "Krachtbal," features a ridiculously sitcom-esque premise in which Rodman's crew and another group play a foreign sporting event where the winner gets ownership of the brewery. In this scenario, however, that other group happened to be a gang of bikers...who are revealed to be gay men...who are then revealed to be Nazis. (That comedic reveal is now the gay Nazi biker equivalent of The Twlight Zone classic "To Serve Man.") When I asked about the where that storyline came from, here's what Jeff and Greg Schaffer told me:
JEFF: It starts with Wilhelm naming beers terribly, right? And that had been going on from the very beginning, that Will can't name a beer to save his life.
GREG: Yeah, sexual names or anything. We just wanted to kind of continue that and see if we could get a story out of that. And then just following kind of the arc vision of the brewery itself becoming more successful, we were trying to think of a way we could still show the brewery getting more popular with certain beers and yet get some comedy from it, too. Then we just didn't want something to be too kind of on the nose, hopefully hiding the ball a little bit with the biker gang by making them gay. And you know, why can't a gay person be a Nazi?
Just in case anyone out there thought that the Schaffers were just putting a hat on a hat on top of another hat, the basis for the idea did indeed have an organic line of thinking behind it. Once you start coming up with double-entendre names for fake beers, it's a hard habit to break. The brothers continued:
JEFF: Yeah, so it came from a real place. We know we want to show the brewery being a success. And we knew we had this beer. Yeah, there was a lot of discussion of the meaning the beer itself and like, you know, you couldn't have it too on-the-nose and call it White Power but a little bit of German in there and suddenly, you might be able to hide the ball a little bit.
GREG: Yeah, I think the idea was what's the worst possible version of success? Oh, white supremecists like your beer? Okay.
The fact that everyone ended up playing a random giant-ball game in the middle of the street seemed like the perfect final solution for how to resolve the plot and send the prejudiced mofos on their way.
Brews Brothers' Real-Life Pee Prank
Part of Brews Brothers' charm, as it were, is the rivalrous relationship between Alan Aisenberg's fun-loving Will and Mike Castle's stickler-for-everything Adam. Over the course of eight episodes, viewers learn quite a few horrible things that Adam did to Will over the years, both when they were children and when they were old enough to know better. As it happens, one of the more disturbingly awful pranks that Adam pulled on Will was very much culled from real-life experiences. Greg Schaffer hinted at the debauchery:
If you've seen the show, yes, there are definitely little parts of the show where we sprinkle in some real-life events, or shall we say, issues I've had to deal with my whole life. For example, I really was an eight-year-old who thought he was a bed-wetter. Let's just say that. That that really did happen. My brother is that diabolical.
Now, here's Jeff Schaffer being a lot more explicit about the wet prank, and self-awarely taking credit for providing his brother with comedic influences.
JEFF: Look, here's the thing, Greg uses the show to work through a lot of issues, I think, quite effectively. And if the end result of me sneaking into his bedroom, folding back the covers, relieving myself, and putting those covers back on – if the end result was Greg having a very funny TV show, I think it was worth it. Says the guy who was doing the peeing.
GREG: I'm not sure that my eight-year-old self would agree with that, but I guess I'm fine with it now.
Many people likely wouldn't considering peeing on their enemies with the intent of gaslighting them into thinking they're bed-wetters, and neither did Jeff Schaffer. Although he did do it to his brother, which possibly makes him more devious than most. But then when you remember this is the guy who created The League's Ruxin and Rafi, it all makes sense.
Carmen Flood's Unique Audition
Though much of Brews Brothers' core cast might be unfamiliar to fans who aren't paying close attention to the indie comedy community, star Carmen Flood was virtually unknown to everyone, as she'd only been in two short films before landing the co-lead role. She didn't follow the most traditional path to landing the role, either. Greg Schaffer recalled when the show was auditioning actors, Flood submitted quite the memorable callback video.
Carmen was graduating from college, Carnegie Mellon, and her grandmother was taking her on her graduation trip. And her final audition she did on tape was in an African safari. Literally a herd of lions and birds in the background. I said, 'Oh my god.' And she still blew us away.
For anyone who has watched the entirety of Brews Brothers, the purposefully scuzzy Van Nuys setting is pretty much the antithesis of an African safari. (Although there's probably a comparison to make between wild animals and Elvis and Becky's sex life.) And naturally, Carmen Flood wasn't using any ol' random scene for her final audition. It was the scene where her character Sarah is unwittingly drawing out male genitalia, which obviously isn't the most common sight on any safari.
JEFF: She was reading the scene where she is doesn't realize that she's been drawing a penis and testicles on that board. She was doing that scene with her grandmother in Africa. That's commitment.
GREG: Yeah, her grandmother's reading the other side of that.
That grandmother definitely deserves some points for joining in on the fun of Carmen Flood's audition. Hopefully that conversation didn't have to get quite as graphic as just about everything that gets said on Brews Brothers.