We’ve talked before about depression’s tango with comedy — the idea that the line between extreme, hopeless sadness and belly-quaking laughter is often so razor-thin. How dangerous that is. We know. We’ve seen the effects too many times.
Known for a rapid-fire delivery of jokes that alternated between slow-burn genius and stream-of-consciousness goofs, Stevens was a fixture in the Los Angeles stand-up scene and an accomplished film and TV performer. He was also a regular at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival, where up-and-comers mingle with the brightest stars in a two-week laugh-a-palooza held every summer. This week’s feature is from a set he did at JFL in 2013.
While the internet is rife with snippets of Stevens doing his thing, this nine-minute set is special because it captures his dimension. His edge shines through, in all its peaks and valleys, and so does his vulnerability. It’s that vulnerability, that unobstructed connection with his audience, that made Brody so transcendent on stage. We honor him if we honor that same openness, that fearlessness. We honor him if we say exactly what’s on our minds.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.