All comedians are mad, it’s a prerequisite for the job however no act quite wears it on their sleeve like Steven Brody Stevens in the Zach Galifianakis produced Brody on HBO. A reality show with a difference Brody is an aspiring LA comedian who is loved by the great and the good of the LA comedy scene. He doesn’t really have an act, his jokes are pretty corny and as he so rightly puts it himself “I’m funnier than my material.” He is the quintessential anti comedian from a scene spearheaded in the States by the likes of Tim And Eric and Neil Hamburger where jokes and craft are jettisoned for awkwardness and failure. Unlike the others on the scene Brody is the real deal. It’s not an act. And that’s makes this show fascinating.
The show picks up a week or so before Brody has a mental breakdown that leaves him hospitalised. It focuses on his rehabilitation into work and attempts to rebuild bridges all under the guidance of friend and Producer of the show Galifianakis who has a genuine love and respect of Brody’s talent. There are so many stand out moments in the series from Brody’s unique take on the yes and principle in a long form improvisation class to him trying out routines on his adorable eighty year old mother all culminating in a heart wrenching series finale.
At first glance it seems like you are just laughing at a mentally ill person and sometimes you are but as the show progresses even though a lot of the time he may not be in on the joke Stevens is hilarious. His story is heart warming and he is a truly unique comedy voice. This is a warts and all portrait of a stand up as told through Brody who embodies a magnified essence of the genetic madness, mayhem and chaos of the true spirit of a comedian. Making this one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a while.