Brody Stevens Stars in ‘Enjoy It!’ on Comedy Central

November 29th, 2013

Vivian Zink

The comedian Brody Stevens in a scene from “Brody Stevens: Appreciate It!” on Comedy Central.

LOS ANGELES — Like individuals apocryphal monks who expended the Center Ages quarreling more than the variety of angels per pinhead, stand-up comics endlessly obsess above the trivialities of their life.

Maybe no stand-up obsesses much more compulsively than Brody Stevens, a 43-calendar year-old un-funnyman whose canniest job move has been a nervous breakdown. Broadcast live. On Twitter.

His most powerful fixation — himself — is the matter of a new reality display, “Brody Stevens: Appreciate It!,” an expanded and up-to-date edition of an HBO web collection, that has its premiere Sunday on Comedy Central. The show’s executive producer, Mike Gibbons, phone calls it the channel’s 1st drama.

“Half of Brody’s lifestyle is a little bit, and the other fifty percent is bringing his existence into a little bit,” the comedian Jen Kirkman stated. “If viewers are not freaked out by him and feel he’s a total loon, he could grow to be a feeling.”

The unnerving again story: Two summers in the past, Mr. Stevens stopped taking his anti-stress medication and fired off a fusillade of screwy tweets, one of which included sticking a gun into his mouth. He was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric medical center. Until finally that level he was greatest acknowledged (when identified at all) as an viewers warm-up comic on “Chelsea Lately” and for eye-blink cameos in the first two “Hangover” films.

The still-unfolding front tale: Mr. Stevens is now on mood stabilizers, pulling his life with each other and, like a recovering alcoholic, producing amends with buddies and family members he offended for the duration of his quite public crackup. These reconciliations are chronicled via animation, mockumentary footage and interviews with people like potential dates and the in-home shrink at a comedy club right here.

Regardless of whether viewers will enjoy “Enjoy It!” may possibly rely on how endearing they uncover Mr. Stevens and his several peculiarities. He’s introduced as an amiable innocent with manic elations and a childlike attachment to his mother (a scene stealer).

He appears to have minor consciousness of anybody not named Brody Stevens. “I’ve got adult-onset autism,” he much more or less described in the course of an interview conducted even though viewing a school ballgame. Twitter-prepared gibberish (“Positive energy. #Yes!”) bursts forth, as if from a parrot. Is it a regimen or a reflex?

Zach Galifianakis, the actor-comedian, who served conceive the present and is Mr. Stevens’s most significant enthusiast, noticed: “Brody is an open up e-book that I really do not feel a great deal of people would check out of the library. By the way, do they publish 1-page publications?”

In the comedian cosmos, the nuts planet of Mr. Stevens is just 1 little world. Madly spinning supernovas like Jonathan Winters, Peter Sellers and Richard Pryor have milked the comedy of lunacy as nicely as the horror.

Few stand-ups have mined their mental instability more poignantly or pointedly than Maria Bamford, whose 2009 internet collection showcases a breakdown in a Los Angeles comedy club that lands her back residence in Minnesota, where she life in her parents’ attic.

“The Maria Bamford Show” was a rubber area for self-examination. In contrast, the earnest, irony-free of charge Mr. Stevens performs the comedy of excruciating awkwardness, daring club audiences to not laugh at his unfunny materials.

He’s significantly less fascinated in amusing men and women than abusing them. “With Brody, it’s never about the jokes,” Mr. Galifianakis said. “It’s about the in amongst the jokes.”

In between jokes, Mr. Stevens self-medicates by chanting non sequiturs (“Magnets. #Thrust and Feel!”) in the mesmerizing staccato of a Television sportscaster. Discomfited audiences seldom know when they are meant to laugh.

On a latest evening in a West Hollywood club, Mr. Stevens stood astride the phase. Stroking his neatly trimmed beard, he glared at the group. And glared at the group. And glared at the crowd.

Brows furrowed like twin caterpillars, arms unfold like a bird of prey demonstrating off its menacing wingspan, he unleashed a mess of primarily feeble gags. (“I was a model in Serbia” was not the worst of them.)

Following an specifically lame one particular-liner was achieved by uneasy silence, Mr. Stevens screamed, “Why … did … you … not … chuckle? On cadence by yourself, assistance me!”

Which drew tummy laughs.

And which accounts for why fellow comics marvel at Mr. Stevens’s escape artistry. “The considerably less response Brody gets, the more he confronts the crowd,” Ms. Kirkman mentioned. “He does what the relaxation of us only would like we could do.”

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