Something strange has been going on with comedian Brody Stevens these past few days: he appears to be live-tweeting a mental breakdown that has become so intense as to warrant police intervention. If you don’t know who Brody Stevens is, he’s a talented comedian who has appeared in both Hangover films as well as Sarah Silverman’s Jesus Is Magic. Last week, he received some attention when he took over hosting duties for the show TMZ on TV, and yesterday he was handcuffed and nearly arrested after an altercation at a Los Angeles Starbucks
From what I can tell from Brody’s Twitter timeline, which is rather confusing, this is the gist of the arrest situation:
Brody took a trip to a Starbucks in the San Fernando Valley, where, according to his Twitter, he was “looking for mean people.” Brody evidently tried to approach a man who was wearing similar shoes as him and was blown off, so he began to berate the guy. This led to the man reporting Brody to a female Starbucks employee. At this point, Brody starting talking about his TMZ work, then left to sit outside. The manager of the Starbucks was brought out to speak to him and, again, Brody brought up TMZ. Then he went back inside and began yelling at the man again. A woman inside the store asked him to calm down and he began yelling at her, once again, invoking his work with TMZ. This woman’s boyfriend intervened and more screaming occurred. Following this, Brody went outside and had yet another altercation with a man named Jose (who may be the aforementioned boyfriend), which led to him spilling his coffee. At this point, the police arrived and handcuffed Brody, although he was never arrested.
There’s been some speculation that this is some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque comedy performance art. Ostensibly, this could be a criticism of the way people become famous now – via TMZ coverage of their lives and obsessive tweeting. A parody of Kim Kardashian meets Charlie Sheen, if you will. If it is, in fact, some absurdist performance, it’s certainly crossing a line. Brody’s a large man, and berating a woman could certainly be construed as posing a physical threat to her. Additionally, many of his tweets have contained racist content. For example, explaining the final altercation, Brody said, “Because his NEGATIVE FUCKING LATINO SLOPPY ATTITUDE I spilled my coffee. He wouldn’t get me one. Disrespected me…”
If this is a genuine breakdown, I sincerely hope that Brody gets the help he needs, and soon. As I said earlier, he’s a talented comedian, and by all accounts I’ve ever heard, is usually a very nice guy.
UPDATE as of 8/11 : It appears that Brody did, in fact, suffer a genuine manic episode and has been checked into the hospital where he’s hopefully receiving the treatment he needs.