Brody Stevens, real name Steven Brody, has died at the age of 48. The news of Stevens’ tragic passing emerged on Twitter on the afternoon of February 22 when comedian Esther Povitsky said on Twitter that she had spoken to Stevens’ manager who had confirmed the sad news.
A report from the Blast indicates that the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating his death as a suicide by hanging. The article says that Stevens was found dead at around 1 p.m. local time in Los Angeles.
If you, or anyone you know, is having suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number on 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Day Before His Death, Stevens Said He Wanted to Go Back to Playing Comedy Festivals
The day before his death, Stevens tweeted, “I’m ready to get back on the festival circuit.” TMZ reports that two days before his death Stevens had been present at the Festival of Friendship, a comedy festival in Burbank. That same night, Stevens performed a set at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip.
2. Stevens’ Suffered Through a Public Meltdown in 2011
In 2011, Stevens had a publicized mental health issue when he stopped taking his anti-anxiety medication. Stevens documented his problems at the time on Twitter, in one message he said he had put a gun in his mouth. It resulted in Stevens being committed for a time to the psychiatric ward of UCLA’s hospital. Stevens bemoaned how other comedians did not tackle suicide in a December 2018 tweet saying, “I’d like to see more comedian types post about increased suicide rates and the Paris Riots. It’s in the news… #crickets.”
Two years later, Stevens told the New York Times in an interview that he had “adult-onset autism.” In the same feature, Zach Galifianakis said of Stevens, “Brody is an open book that I don’t think a lot of people would check out of the library. By the way, do they publish one-page books?”
3. Stevens Turned His Battle With Anxiety into a Show that Was Dubbed ‘Comedy Central’s First Drama’
Galifianakis was a producer on Stevens’ show “Brody Stevens: Enjoy it!” Esquire referred to the 2013 show as “Comedy Central’s first ever drama.” Stevens told the magazine about the show saying, “We’ve called it a sketchality, but I really just think of it as a hybrid of reality. It will have some sketch elements, some standalone comedy pieces, and there are moments when the fourth wall is broken down. But the reality is reality, even if my view of reality is different. I want it to be organic, show my growth, and make sure we were hitting all the important checkpoints in the process. But I like docudramedy.”
4. Comedians Have Been Rushing to Social Media to Pay Tribute Stevens’ Genius
In paying tribute to Stevens, comedian Jake Weisman wrote on Twitter, “Brody Stevens was unbelievable. So funny, unique, special, inspiring.” While Paymen Benz tweeted, “I loved Brody Stevens so much. He was always so kind to me and was one of the first people I saw perform. He’d get on stage at the Improv and comics would line up against the wall to watch him. He was criminally underrated. A truly special comedian. I hope his soul finds peace.”
5. In Addition to His Comedy Gifts, Stevens Was a Division 1 College Pitcher
Stevens, a native of the San Fernando Valley, was the starting pitcher for Reseda High School before attending Arizona State University on a scholarship. During his time at the school, Stevens pitched 28 innings and recorded 3 saves. He would go on to graduate from the school with a 2.52 grade point average. Stevens spoke at length about his baseball career on a 2015 episode of his podcast. Stevens tweeted in a 2011 message, “My first Arizona State baseball action was against what school? I pitched three innings in this blowout. #TuesdayTrivia.”