Last week another comedian that I like took his own life. Brody Stevens died by suicide at age 47.
Stevens always seemed to be very upbeat, a force, when he performed. I remember the first time seeing him on TV was his Comedy Central show, "Enjoy It". This was basically a documentary style show, that showed Stevens life as a warmup comedian, and just stand up in general. This was also the first time I remember thinking that he may not be completely there mentally. He definitely showed a lot of his demons on the show. When he would talk about his career, in an open and honest way, you could see and hear the depression ringing from him. But, throughout the one season of "Enjoy It", I always left the episodes thinking, he has a great group of supportive friends, so I think he will be okay. Clearly, he wasn't.
Even after "Enjoy It", I found myself actively seeking out his stand up material. I would watch hours of his stuff on YouTube, and it was always great. I would go back and watch him in small roles in movies like "The Hangover" and "The Hangover 2". He famously would say during stand up sets, "I was in The Hangover 1 and 2, and I got cut out of "Funny People". It was a great way to take a swipe at himself, but also get a laugh from the crowd. I was also a big time fan of "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail". He did warmup for that show, and even did a phenomenal set one time. He just seemed like the stand up's stand up. Everyone seemed to love him.
After the news of Stevens death last week you couldn't go on Twitter or Facebook without any number of famous comedians or actors talking about what a great guy he was, and how greatly he will be missed. This is the ugly side of depression and mental instability. At any moment, it can turn you into a nightmare. This is clearly what happened to Stevens. As I said, he had a wide range of friends, all of which seemed more than willing to help him out. A big part of "Enjoy It" was how much Zack Galifinakis cared about him, and how much he was there for him. Sarah Silverman always seemed willing to lend a hand, or even an ear just to let him vent. The Sklar brothers were very clearly close to him, and they have just seemed shattered by the news. I mean, there is not one single comedian I have heard from that hasn't said anything but nice words about Brody Stevens, and this was even before he died. I was listening to "Doughboys" from last week, and Mike Mitchell, Nick Wiger and their engineer Emma told just wonderful stories about him. Jonah Ray keeps sharing a famous GIF of him and Stevens. Comedians from all walks have been sharing great stories about how awesome he truly was.
This is sad. This is right up there, at least for me, when Harris Wittles died over 4 years ago from a drug overdose. Why does this always seem to happen to comedians? Is the sad clown thing really this true? I just cannot imagine the pain he must have been dealing with to take his own life. Like I said, on his show he seemed like he was taking the right steps towards getting better. His stand up was always so positive and funny and riveting. He was always on when a camera was around. Go look at the pictures Steve Agee has been posting since his death. Stevens was always ready for a funny photo op.
Brody Stevens is very, very missed. This is one of the sadder things, involving someone I don't know, that has happened in awhile. I have not really been able to shake his death yet. My only regret, I once saw Stevens at the Denver Airport, about 5 years ago, and I was so star struck that I was too afraid to just go say hi and tell him I was a big fan. I'm sure he would have been totally cool and nice about it, but I was so in awe of him. He was larger than life, and just being a fan, I am really going to miss his comedy. For his friends, I feel so bad for them. This is rough. Seriously, if you are in a bad place mentally, just talk to someone, anyone. You will find at least one person that can help you out. I wish Brody Stevens had done that. He may still be around if he did. Rest in Peace you beautiful comic genius. You are missed.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.
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