Comedian Brody Stevens died yesterday, of an apparent suicide. Stevens was a singular figure in the L.A. comedy scene—a guy who rarely offered up a set of traditional material, yet inspired legions of fans with his talent for impromptu asides and a taste for high-energy crowd work that sometimes bordered on performance art. (He was fond of ironically rattling off his handful of film credits— “Hangover! Hangover 2! Cut out of Funny People!”—to any skeptics in the crowd.) What quickly becomes apparent, reading through the remembrances of him over the last 24 hours, is that pretty much anybody who met or worked with Stevens has a “Brody story,” whether it’s realizing that he was exactly the same person at a Starbucks at 10 a.m. as he was on stage, or watching him break a “bad crowd” with a meticulous understanding of where people’s funny buttons were.
We’ve put together a compilation of some of these stories, as the best sort of tribute we could come up with to Stevens’ life and career. Before we dip into any of these anecdotes, though, it’s critically important that you watch a few clips of Stevens at work; one of the miracles of his delivery was that once you hear his clipped, high-powered cadence at work, you’d never be able to read anything he said in any other voice:
Alright, now that that’s out of the way (and you have “WHOLE FOODS CAN’T CONTAIN ME” lodged in your brain for the rest of your life), here are some of the stories, broken down into a few different themes, starting with “Brody saves the show”:
Stevens frequently worked as a warmup act for TV shows, a tricky job that involves providing the bulk of the energy that an audience brings into a taping, something that he, unsurprisingly, excelled at:
And finally, we’ve got Brody Stevens, enthusiastic coffee drinker, and all-around positive guy: