Brendon Small

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Brendon Small
Brendon Small in July 2010
Born (1975-02-15) February 15, 1975 (age 48)
Other namesDonald Cock (occasional stage name)
Captain Mustache (stage character)
  • Actor
  • stand-up comedian
  • musician
  • writer
  • producer
Years active1997–present
Notable workHome Movies
Galatikon 1 & 2
Comedy career
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • keyboards
  • drum programming

Brendon Small (born February 15, 1975) is an American actor, stand-up comedian, writer, director, producer, and musician who is known for co-creating the animated series Home Movies (1999–2004, with Loren Bouchard) and Metalocalypse (2006–2013, with Tommy Blacha). He also writes the music, and is the main performer for the virtual melodic death metal band Dethklok, which began as the subject of Metalocalypse but has taken on a life of its own, with four albums and an occasional live touring band, headed by Small. Small has also released two albums under his own name, in a similar musical style to Dethklok.

Early life and education[edit]

Small was born in Illinois in 1975. He moved to California as a child.[1] Small started learning guitar at the age of 14 after a kid in his neighborhood began teaching him about guitar and music.[2] At his first public performance, his hands shook so wildly that he had trouble controlling the guitar. It would be another ten years before he was comfortable performing in public.[3] He graduated from Palma High School in Salinas, California. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1997. During his music studies, he took several writing and comedy classes at Emerson College. After graduating, he felt that the rock music genre was fading in popularity, so decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy.[3]



Small was performing stand up at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square when he was spotted by Loren Bouchard, who at the time was casting for the central character for a UPN pilot produced by Tom Snyder Productions, which eventually evolved into Home Movies. Small and Bouchard co-created Home Movies, an animated series that initially aired on the UPN television network which moved to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. The series ran for four seasons from 1999 to 2004. Small was one of the show's writers, while Bouchard served as the director. In the series, he voiced the show's protagonist, eight-year-old aspiring filmmaker Brendon Small, as well as a number of other characters. Small composed the show's theme music, as well as writing and performing numerous other songs for the show's soundtrack.

Small lent his voice to a number of other animated shows. He co-starred as Chad in the BET animated sitcom, Hey Monie!, and has voiced many supporting characters in The Venture Bros., including that show's shell shocked and drug-addicted version of Jonny Quest. Small has had cameo roles in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, Reno 911! and Frisky Dingo. Small, along with Scott Adsit, appeared as lead characters of the Adult Swim pilot Let's Fish; the show's pilot premiered on May 13, 2007, but the series was not picked up.

In April 2005, the Sci Fi Channel announced an upcoming debut of a half-hour animated ensemble comedy show created by Small titled Barbarian Chronicles. The show, which has not aired, was said to be produced by Small and Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Small has said that there are no plans to air the show but that anything can happen in the future.[4]

Small posed for a pictorial that appeared in the April 2006 issue of Playgirl magazine, as part of a humor-themed issue. Small posed naked holding a medieval flail and a strategically placed metal shield that hid his genitals.

Small served as co-producer, co-writer and composer for the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse, which ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2012, along with a 2013 special, Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem. The series focused on a fictional melodic death metal band named Dethklok, and each episode features a song performed by the band. In addition to writing, directing and executive producing the series, he also provided voice talent for the characters Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles, and Nathan Explosion, three of the five members of Dethklok. Small has stated that while animation is his dream job, he does not really like watching animation that much.[3]

In 2007 and 2009, Small hosted the annual Guitar Superstar competition and in 2008 he was one of the judges.[5]

In 2010, Small directed Soundgarden's music video for "Black Rain", and The Damned Things' music video for "We've Got a Situation Here".

Small's virtual band Dethklok appeared, via video, at the 2009 Golden Gods Awards. The band received the award for Best International Band. At the 2010 Golden Gods Awards, Small attended and performed with Brian Posehn's band and introduced Fear Factory's set. At the 2011 Golden Gods Awards, Small attended and introduced DevilDriver's set.[6] Small attended the 2012 Golden Gods Awards and introduced Trivium's set. He was nominated for best guitarist at the 2013 Golden Gods Awards but did not win.[7]

In May 2014, Small wrote a column for Premier Guitar regarding his guitar techniques.[8]

Small appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast on May 15, 2015, as part of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Oregon.


Small has frequently performed stand-up comedy, first in Boston, before moving to the Los Angeles area, where he performs now. Small was one of the hosts (along with Ron Lynch and Craig Anton) of The Tomorrow Show, a live weekly musical and comedic variety show; in his off-time, Small still occasionally appears as a guest.[9] One of his prominent forms of stand-up is character comedy, where he acts out a character he created. Some of the characters he has played are Captain Moustache, Victor Diamond, Tiny and Bernie Fretts, all of which he has performed as in the comedy podcast Comedy Bang! Bang!.[9] In recent years,[when?] Small's time has become booked from his music and television career, but he still occasionally performs stand-up at venues such as The Steve Allen Theater, The Ice House and The Baked Potato. Small credits Monty Python, Albert Brooks, Woody Allen and the Marx Brothers as his biggest comedy influences.[10][11]

Music career[edit]

Small performing live with Dethklok

Small wrote all the music for the show Home Movies, and released all the songs he had written for the show on the Home Movies: Bonus CD. The CD was included with purchase of the Season 4 DVD box set.

He wrote all the music for Metalocalypse. In September 2007, he completed work on the first Dethklok album, The Dethalbum, on which he collaborated with Gene Hoglan to deliver an authentic melodic death metal sound while simultaneously retaining the light-hearted nature with which Small portrays the heavy metal genre.[12] The album debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest-ranked death metal album on the Billboard at the time.[13][14]

In November 2007, Small, Hoglan, Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller performed live as Dethklok at twelve US college campuses in support of The Dethalbum. The Adult Swim-sponsored "Dethtour" featured Dethklok supporting indie rock band ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.[15] The quartet reunited in 2008 to headline a longer "Dethtour", where they toured the US in June and early July with fellow metal bands Chimaira and Soilent Green. During the tour they released the ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead/Dethklok split EP for free at the concerts.

The second Dethklok album, Dethalbum II, was released on September 29, 2009. Dethalbum II reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting death metal album in history, beating the first Dethalbum. A tour in support of the new album began in late 2009, where Dethklok co-headlined with the band Mastodon.

Small in concert in 2008

Small performed guest vocals as Nathan Explosion on the Zimmers Hole song "The Vowel Song". Small contributed guitar work to the songs "Devils Teeth" from Exodus's album Exhibit B: The Human Condition, as well as "More Metal Than You" from comedian Brian Posehn's album Fart and Wiener Jokes. Small created the "Murder Mix" of the song "Liar" by Emilie Autumn from the Liar/Dead Is the New Alive EP. Small performed the solo for the song "Get It Up" (Van Halen cover) on Sylencers' debut album A Lethal Dose of Truth.[16] Small performs a guitar solo on the song "Let's Make Out" on the Sex Slaves album Call of the Wild.

In early 2011, Small introduced the Dethklok "Thunderhorse" Explorer from Gibson, a guitar made to his own specifications, and modeled after Skwisgaar's Gibson Explorer.[17][18] A limited edition Epiphone "Thunderhorse" Explorer, based on the Gibson "Thunderhorse" Explorer, was introduced in early 2013.[19] In May 2012, Small introduced the prototype for the Gibson Flying V "Snow Falcon", built to his own specifications, and modeled after Toki Wartooth's Gibson Flying V.[20] The final version of the guitar was released on December 13, 2013.[21]

In April 2012, Small released his debut solo album, Brendon Small's Galaktikon.[22] The album featured Dethklok members Beller on bass and Hoglan on drums. Small described the album as a "high-stakes, intergalactic, extreme rock album" and described it as being similar to Dethklok but with more melodic vocals and rock elements.[23] Small performed songs from Brendon Small's Galaktikon for the first time at "WesFest 8" on March 3, 2013, in West Hollywood, California.[24]

On April 29, 2012, Small started a weekly guitar lesson video series on the Adult Swim YouTube channel, entitled "Shreducation", which consisted of 12 installments.[25]

Small, Beller and Hoglan got together to work on the third Dethklok album, Dethalbum III, which was released on October 16, 2012. Small released a fourth Dethklok album, entitled The Doomstar Requiem, on October 29, 2013, which is a soundtrack album to the Metalocalypse special of the same name. The album featured Hoglan on drums, Beller performing guest bass on a track, and Mike Keneally performing guest vocals.

Small released his second album, Brendon Small's Galaktikon II, in 2017.

In 2021, Small released a new instrumental song, "Ghosthorse," to promote his new Epiphone signature model guitar, the GhostHorse Explorer.[26]

BS Records[edit]

In 2012, Small self-released his solo album, Brendon Small's Galaktikon, independently on his personal record label BS Records. He funded the album himself, and used all of the profits he received from the album to fund future projects. In 2013, as there was no demand from Cartoon Network's Williams Street Records for another Dethklok album, Small released the fourth Dethklok album, The Doomstar Requiem (the soundtrack to the TV special of the same name), on BS Records instead.[27] He stated at the time that he wanted to keep Dethklok's music going regardless of whether it would be financially beneficial to him.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Small currently resides in Los Angeles.[28] He had a dog named Ernie (a Weimaraner) that died in January 2014.[29] He has since gotten a new dog named Gilda, also a Weimaraner.[citation needed]

Small is of Lithuanian descent.[30] Small married interior designer Courtney Bates in 2014.


Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999–2004 Home Movies Brendon Small
Junior Adelberg
Ken Adelberg
Various characters
•Voice actor
•Animated series
2000 New Apartment New Tenant •Actor
•Short film
2003 Hey Monie! Chad •Voice actor
•Animated series
2004 Reno 911! Priest •Actor
•Episodes: "Raineesha X", "Not Without My Mustache"
•TV series
2004 Last Laugh '04 Red Sox fan •Actor
•TV movie
2004–2007 Perfect Hair Forever •Composed theme music
2005 Lucy, The Daughter of the Devil Classmate •Voice actor
•Episode: "He's Not the Messiah, He's a DJ"
•Composed the song "Maneater"
•Animated series
2005–2012 Squidbillies Dr. Jerry
•Voice actor (2 episodes)
•Episodes: "Family Trouble" (voice actor),
"Mephistopheles Traveled Below to a Southern State Whose Motto Is
'Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation'" (composer and voice actor)
•Animated series
•Composer (1 episode)
•Credited as Donald Cock
2006–2018 The Venture Bros. Action Johnny
Plastic Surgeon
Agent Hauser
Sgt. Hatred
Various Characters
•Voice actor (12 episodes)
•Animated series
2006–2013 Metalocalypse Nathan Explosion
Skwisgaar Skwigelf
Charles Foster Offdensen
Various characters
•Executive producer
•Voice actor
•Animated series
2006 Frisky Dingo Brent & Trent •Voice actor
•Episode: "Meet Killface"
•Animated series
•Credited as Donald Cock
2006–2010 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Dr. Wongburger
•Voice actor
•3 Episodes
•Animated series
•Credited as Donald Cock and The-Creature-from-Plaque-Lagoon
2007 Let's Fish Kevin •Actor
•Executive producer
•TV pilot
2010 Last Call with Carson Daly Himself •Air date: October 5, 2010
2011–2014 Bob's Burgers Animal Control Guy •Voice actor (2 episodes)
•Episodes: "Sacred Cow", "Dawn of the Peck"
•Animated series
2011 Jon Benjamin Has a Van Musician •Episode: "Smoking"
•Composed the song "Christ Pipe"
•Composed the theme music
•TV series
2012–2013 Motorcity •Composer
2013 Law of the Land Guy Fellow •TV series
•Actor (5 episodes)
2013 All Growz Up with Melinda Hill Himself •Web series
2013 Morgan Ågren's Conundrum:
A Percussive Misadventure
Himself •Documentary
2013 Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem[31] Nathan Explosion
Skwisgaar Skwigelf
Charles Foster Offdensen
Various characters
•Voice actor
2013 'tallica Parking Lot Nathan Explosion •Voice only
•Animated short
•Premiered at Fantastic Fest[32]
2014 WordGirl Chazz •Voice actor
•Episode: "A Questionable Pair/All That Chazz"
•Animated series
2014–2017 Black Sails Pirate •Voice only
•Featured in the opening theme
•TV series
2014 Getting Doug with High Himself •Web series
2014 Turbo FAST Clip/Clap •Voice actor (2 episodes)
•Animated series
2015 Love in Moreno Valley Pastor Mitchell •Actor
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Victor Diamond •Actor (1 episode)
2015 The Playboy Morning Show Himself •Talk show
2015 Breadwinners •Composed the song "Wolf Head Bread"
2016 Hidden America with Jonah Ray Captain Mustache •Episode: "Boston: Where Past is Present"
2016 Little Big Awesome Pointy Thing •Animated TV movie
2016 The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail Himself •Episode: "The One With The Box of Pain"
2016 Nerdland Mr. Kelly •Voice actor
•Animated film
2018 Clarence Video Store Clerk •Voice actor, character based on Brendon in Home Movies
•Episode: "Video Store"
2023 Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar Nathan Explosion
Skwisgaar Skwigelf
Charles Offdensen
Edgar Jomfru
Dick Knubbler
•Voice actor

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song Notes
2007 Dethklok "Bloodrocuted" Co-director (with Jon Schnepp)
2010 Soundgarden "Black Rain" Director
2010 The Damned Things "We've Got a Situation Here" Director
2016 Anthrax "Blood Eagle Wings" Actor
2018 Nekrogoblikon "Dressed As Goblins" Director

Pinball machines[edit]

Year Game Role Notes
2013 Metallica "Sparky" and "The Snake" [33]
2017 Aerosmith Jacky in the Box [34]
2019 Black Knight: Sword of Rage Composer & performer [35]
2023 Foo Fighters Overlord


Year Podcast Role Notes
2009–2019 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself
Captain Moustache
Bernie Fretts
Victor Diamond
Willard "Willy" Mapleton
•Comedy podcast
•Episodes: #32, #256, #260, #294, #301, #320, #326, #343,
#357, #373, #418, #434, #451, #463, #498, #517, #599.5
2013 Rafflecast Himself •Episode: #26
2014 Sklarboro Country Himself •Episodes: #227
2014 Truth & Iliza Himself •Episode: #16
2015 TV Guidance Counselor Podcast Himself
2015 With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus Adalwolf Ditmar •Episodes: #30
2015 Nerd Poker Himself •Episodes: #145, #147, #148
2015 Pointless Himself •Episodes: #97, #132
2015 The Bone Zone Himself •Episodes: #194
2017 Fitzdog Radio Himself •Episodes: #614





Video games[edit]

Guest work[edit]

Collaborations and other appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Brendon Small interview Sick Drummer magazine. March 21, 2009.
  2. ^ "Interview with Brendon Small (Metalocalypse, Dethklok, and Galaktikon". May 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast, #48". February 18, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Brendon Small (Metalocalypse) interview // Interviews // Features // Lambgoat". Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Brendon Small To Host Guitar Player's Guitar Hero 2007 Competition". Ultimate Guitar. Archived from the original on March 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "REVOLVER GOLDEN GODS AWARDS 2011: The Winners & Full Show Recap | Latest News". Metal Injection. April 23, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "AND THE WINNERS OF THE REVOLVER GOLDEN GODS AWARDS 2013 ARE..." May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Brendon Small (May 31, 2014). "Shredmental: The Dancer and the Drummer". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Earwolf Bio – Brendon Small". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Roberts, Michael (June 12, 2008). "Q&A with Metalocalypse and Dethklok Creator Brendon Small". Westword. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  11. ^ Mike Bent (July 18, 2009). The Everything Guide to Comedy Writing: From stand-up to sketch - all you need to succeed in the world of comedy. Adams Media. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-4405-0174-6.
  12. ^ "Review of the Dethalbum in Stylus magazine". October 15, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  13. ^ "Katie Hasty, "Rascal Flatts Races To No. 1 in Debut-Heavy Week",". October 3, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Review of the Dethalbum in Stylus magazine". Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  15. ^ "Adult Swim Presents Trail of Dead and Dethklok National College Tour". October 18, 2007.
  16. ^ "Sylencer: the Unknown Chicago Musician Who Got An All-Star Lineup of Musicians to Play on His Debut Album". NoiseCreep. July 17, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  17. ^ "Dethklok Thunderhorse Explorer webpage". June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  18. ^ "Gibson Dethklok Explorer Electric Guitar: Musical Instruments". Amazon. September 9, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  19. ^ "Brendon Small Introduces The Epiphone Thunderhorse To Dealers at NAMM". March 3, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  20. ^ "Brendon Small Interview Part 3". YouTube. May 1, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  21. ^ "Brendon Small Snow Falcon Flying V". Gibson. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Q&A: "METALOCALYPSE's" Brendon Small on "GALAKTIKON" and more". May 3, 2011. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  23. ^ "DETHKLOK Creator Brendon Small Talks Solo Project Due This Summer". July 15, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  24. ^ "Wesfest 8". Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  25. ^ "Weekly Shred-ucation with Brendon Small: Lesson Twelve: Badass Tappy Thing". July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Trapp, Philip (April 23, 2021). "Dethklok's Brendon Small Drops New Galaktikon Track 'Ghosthorse'". Loudwire. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
  27. ^ a b "Dunlop on the Record: Brendon Small / Dethklok". October 30, 2013. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  28. ^ "Q&A with Brendon Small". April 16, 2009. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  29. ^ "Goodbye to my beautiful best friend on earth. RIP Ernie. I love you". Instagram. January 16, 2014. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  30. ^ "Brendon Small of Dethklok: The HBIH Interview". November 13, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  31. ^ Adams, Gregory (May 10, 2013). "'Metalocalypse' to Premiere New Rock Opera This Fall". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  32. ^ Katie Hasty (September 26, 2013). "New Metallica music featured in narrative and concert cuts of 'Through the Never'". Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  33. ^ "Metallica Detail Their Three Upcoming Pinball Tables". April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  34. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Stern 'Aerosmith (Pro)' Images". Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  35. ^ "Black Knight: Sword of Rage". March 26, 2019.
  36. ^ "Songs Brendon's not allowed to name -". Archived from the original on April 13, 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  37. ^ "Bear McCreary's 'Knights of Badassdom' to be Released". February 6, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  38. ^ "A lethal dose of truth". Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  39. ^ Brendon Small (September 22, 2014). "@Brendon_Small". Twitter. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  40. ^ "Comedian Brian Posehn announces guest-heavy Grandpa Metal album, covers A-ha's "Take on Me"". Consequence of Sound. December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.

External links[edit]