Brody Stevens RIP – We Enjoyed It

Steven Brody Stevens RIP

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Brody Stevens performs at the last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch

Steven Brody Stevens killed himself. He was only 48 years old.
This is horrible and VERY SAD but not unexpected. Mental Illness is not a joke.

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Brody Stevens’ Name on the Comedy Store Marquee….. RIP

We didn’t know Brody. We weren’t friends. We never hung out. We did meet Brody when he was a special guest at our comedy show “The 5 and Dime in Studio City”. We watched his reality show when it was broadcast on cable. We knew about “the incident” on Sunset Boulevard that got him arrested. We became a real fan one night when we found his Periscope channel. We saw him perform live at The Josh and Josh Show a few times, but we watched his live performances on Periscope many times, which he shared every night for a long time, before taping his comedy special. We watched his scopes from his apartment, and his “Steps with Steve” scopes, and in his car driving (while drumming) scopes. Most of the time it was just Brody being weird and real, and it was raw, and sometimes it was hard to watch because he was so f*cked up mentally. But mostly it was entertaining and sometimes pure comedy genius. He was a unique talent, brave to broadcast his comedy direct to his fans and haters (who were there with him every night too), and he knew nobody could steal his act, his off-center jokes, and his catch phrases. “Solo scene on a yoga mat”, “Leather exterior”, “Take my mom to lunch and pay half”, “She’s an UBER driver in Coachella”, just f*ckin’ great jokes and if you knew him, you knew all the punchlines and they were still funny everytime. He was also a big presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using each platform creatively to promote himself. I’ve peppered this Blog Post with more of his comedy in tribute to a man who shouldn’t be dead.

“You’re never alone when you’re bipolar.”

EVERYONE KNEW HE WAS “SUICIDAL” and there was nothing they could do…. all of his FRIENDS loved him and his weirdness, but it wasn’t enough.

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Brody Stevens on the road at the Cabazon Dinosaurs

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Brody Stevens at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip

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Brody Stevens Backstage at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip

Everyone knew he had mental health issues, it was public knowledge. He did a TV reality show “Brody Stevens, Enjoy It” you can watch on ComedyCentral’s channel and addressed the problems he was experiencing, the drugs that he was prescribed, and his recovery after being “5150” hospitalized for a bipolar incident in 2011. He was very brave to talk about mental illness, his personal issues and his feelings. He was also very frustrated and angry, he was jealous of other people’s success, and he held a grudge hard and was not afraid to air his complaint and grievances publicly. He burned a lot of bridges. He had “run-ins” with the police and other authority figures, and it cost him jobs.

“I’m intense. I get B.O. in the shower.
I get road rage at the car wash” – Steven Brody Stevens

Brody had small speaking roles in films. He was in “The Hangover”, “The Hangover 2” and “Due Date”, but he got cut out of “Funny People”. He “created Chelsea Lately!” Brody was frequent guest on other people’s podcasts and had his own “The Festival of Friendship”.

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The Brody Stevens “Festival of Friendship” – You Got It!

He was incredibly funny, he wrote clever jokes, he loved baseball, the Chicago Cubs, and drumming. He loved his mom and her dog, Daisy. He could improvise on a dime and do weird bits that other comedians would never dream of trying, and he was a master of “crowd work” and warm up. “Arms crossed, negative” was a common line as he broke down the audiences’ defense, crashing through the fourth wall, and attacked them with his aggressive comedic persona. Angry Brody unleashing on an unresponsive audience was a sight to behold! It was “in your face” and mostly unapologetic, and designed to get a real reaction. His daily Periscope broadcasts were GENIUS! He made other comics laugh, and tried to make the world a more positive place. He will be missed.

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

NOTE: This sequence below is from a truly creative Periscope video he shared. Using the delay in broadcast time, Brody engineered a conversation with himself using his iPhone, iPad and GoPro, while still talking to his viewers. It was BRILLIANT!

“You Got It!” – Steven Brody Stevens

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Brody Periscoping from his apartment in North Hollywood

NOTE: Brody often talked about his medication and the drugs he was taking. We read that he had recently changed medication and was taking Lexapro for his depression. He talked about adjusting to it in his last broadcasts and feeling “melancholy”. We looked it up after we heard the news and found reports online from 2005 and 2011 that stated Lexapro (and other drugs like it) can intensify suicidal thoughts and behavior in some cases. Brody was bipolar and the medication may have pushed him over the edge.

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Brody’s Name on The Comedy Store Wall of Fame

Rest in Peace now Prince of Periscope.
Thank you Brody for sharing your one-of-a-kind comedic talent with us!
May the Four Winds blow him safely home.

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Brody Stevens Backstage at the Improv

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A Sketch of Brody Steven, the Prince of Periscope

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“818 ’til I die!” – Steven Brody Stevens

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“POSITIVE PUSH!”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

Read the previous Blog Post “Depression? Questions to Ask – Before Giving Up!”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/depression-questions-to-ask-before-giving-up

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BrodyIsMeFriend – Steven Brody Stevens RIP

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There will be a Benefit on March 5, 2019 at The Comedy Store
for Brody’s Mom and Sister and Mental Health Awareness:

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Tickets are only $30 at thecomedystore.com!

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Brody Stevens RIP and Kevin Short (West Hollywood Jesus) RIP

 


UPDATE: Thursday, March 7, 2019
There was a big Festival of Friendship Benefit to celebrate Brody’s life (and death) at The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood on Tuesday night March 5th.

Brody was so happy about getting his name on The Comedy Store wall, and was always concerned about getting his name on the marquee. Well, his name was on the marquee and his friends and the staff at the store had t-shirts made to honor his catch phrase “ENJOY IT!” (and if you knew him, you just read that in his voice with a special inflection)

His friends and fans gathered together, proceeds were donated to a Mental Health charity, there were flowers and photos, and many fine tributes to Brody. There were also other gatherings at other venues and most everyone had at least one Brody story to tell. There were also fan tributes, online tributes, and a lot of immediate media coverage. When the news broke, Brody was trending #1 on Twitter and Facebook. He would have loved that, too bad he was dead. Don’t try suicide. It just leaves a mess behind.

There is a lot of Brody Stevens available on Comedy Central, YouTube, and Social Media!
Brody was “The Prince of Periscope” and he also had accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. He appeared on television, the internet, numerous podcasts, and posted his own videos online. He was a tortured soul who left behind an enormous body of work for his fans to remember him by. #BrodyIsMeFriend

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Rest in Peace Brody.



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UPDATED March 10, 2019: There was a gathering at The Comedy Store to “celebrate” Brody Stevens, his friends and comedy friends assembled for this wonderful picture.
There will be another “CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC” gathering tomorrow night (Monday the 11th) at The Comedy Store for his friends.

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Get Your Brody Stevens Suicide Souvenir T-Shirt and Merch!



 

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ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

Here’s the story about Joey Villa and the time we met Perry Como and Jilly Rizzo at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – Today they imploded the Monaco Tower at the Riviera.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Today they imploded the last towers of the Riviera

Thanks to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the live video!
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Riviera Hotel & Casino

We worked on a film (you’ve probably never heard of or seen it) called “Eternity” in 1990.

We met many famous people: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Wilford Brimley, Lainie Kazan, Kaye Ballard, Steven Keats, Eileen Davidson, John P. Ryan, Charles Knapp, Eugene Roche, Robert Carricart, Frankie Valli and Joey Villa.

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“Eternity” aka “Evil Brother” feature film 1989 Pictured: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Perri Lister, Kaye Ballard, Eileen Davidson, Charles Knapp RIP and Joey Villa RIP as the Jester

We became good friends with Joey Villa and he invited us to visit him, first at his home in Beverly Hills which doubled as his booking office, and then at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on The Strip in Fabulous Las Vegas where he was performing. He was friends with Meshulim Riklis and Pia Zadora, who owned the resort at the time, and was a headliner in “Splash!” in the big showroom at the Riviera for nine years. Joey also booked acts, hosted and headlined in the comedy room at the hotel.

Joey Villa (Joseph Charles Villani) was born on March 19, 1937. He was an actor and comedian, known for “Heat” (1986 with Burt Reynolds), “Eternity” (1990) and “They Call Me Bruce?” (1982). He died at the age of 68 on December 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada from complication from a stroke.

Villa, a native of New York, appeared in just a handful of movies, but he made his mark as a stand-up comedian, performing in Las Vegas as well as clubs around the country. He also spent many years performing on cruise ships, and eventually booked acts for the ocean liners. Villa opened for many famous entertainers, including Nat King Cole, Paul Anka, the Pointer Sisters and Diana Ross and the Supremes. He was a frequent guest on talk shows, including “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” Villa was a close friend of both Frank Sinatra and of Sinatra’s “right-hand man” Jilly Rizzo. He gave one of the eulogies at Rizzo’s funeral when the celebrity restaurateur was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver in 1992 in Palm Springs, California.

Joey’s famous opening line from his stand-up comedy act for over 40 years was, “I’m going to live until I die” ……and then he would drop to the stage floor. Every audience roared with laughter as Joey stood up after falling down and began his show. He kept the audience laughing throughout his entire performance. “At the end they always applauded and cheered and left smiling, feeling they were parting as friends.”

“Joey was loved by everyone, from Sinatra on down,” Larry Manetti said.

Villa had no children and died at a local hospice. Survivors include three sisters. Joey and his former wife divorced in 1982 and remained close friends. “He was a gentle man, a much kinder man than most people knew,” she said. “He was born to make people laugh — and he made thousands laugh and applaud, and for a very short time they would forget their problems.”

Nelson Sardelli, a close friend of Villa, said the comedian will be cremated and his ashes cast into the sea. “He requested that there not be any services…He was a gentle person…Sometimes he looked like he was looking for approval…A little accolade, that’s want he wanted.” One friend described him as “happy on the outside, but sad on the inside. He was sort of a lonely person, but at the same time loved to be around people and make them laugh. But I think that is the way most comedians are.”

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Vegas in the 1980’s before the Mirage opened in 1989 was a wild place! The last Casino holdouts of “Old Vegas” (before they tried to turn it into a “family friendly” destination and eventually turned it into Disneyland for Adults when the big corporations took over) were the main attractions. It was all about GAMBLING (not gaming) in the 80’s and they “comped” players to rooms, meals, shows and more without a plastic card. It really was “Sin City”! You could drive The Strip from Tropicana to Sahara without traffic and there were still undeveloped empty lots on The Strip!

There wasn’t a Fremont Street Experience, there was Fremont Street and Downtown Vegas, uncovered and dirty. Strip Clubs, showgirls, 99 cent buffets, free drinks, cigarette girls, $2 Blackjack…. even then we preferred The Strip.

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Back in the day, we stayed and played at many of the classic hotels and casinos.

We saw “Seigfried and Roy” at the Mirage when it was the new joint on the strip.

Circus Circus, Thunderbird Hotel, El Rancho, The Landmark, Dunes, Desert Inn, Stardust, Barbary Coast, Wild Bill’s, Sahara, Aladdin, El Morocco, La Concha, Imperial Palace, Riviera, Las Vegas Hilton, Monte Carlo

Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Tropicana, Bellagio, Palms, Hard Rock Hotel, The Rio, Treasure Island, Mirage, MGM Grand, Venetian, Palazzo, The Cromwell

Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912-May 12, 2001) was an Italian American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943.

Ermenigildo “Jilly” Rizzo  (May 6, 1917-May 6, 1992) – On his 75th birthday, Rizzo was killed when his car was hit by a drunk driver in Rancho Mirage, California

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Farewell to the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas!
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“Crazy Girls” at the Riviera Hotel

National Donut Day! And a tribute to Mitch Hedberg!

National Donut Day is Friday June 5th, 2015!

The first Friday of June each year is National Donut Day! Originally created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I, you can get a FREE DONUT most places that serve donuts on Friday!National-Donut-Day

There are three other important doughnut celebrations: International Jelly-Filled Donut Day on June 8 (occasionally on June 9), “National Cream-Filled Donut Day” on September 14 and “Buy A Donut Day” on October 30.

National Donut Day! Time to eat the donuts!

National Donut Day! Time to eat the donuts!

National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! Cinnamon Roll!

A tribute to Mitch Hedberg:

Receipt for the donut...

Receipt for the donuts…

“I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you money and you give me the doughnut. End of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would need to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend? ‘Don’t even act like I didn’t buy a doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here. Oh wait, it’s back home in the file… under ‘D’, for ‘doughnut’…” ― Mitch Hedberg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWx6uA5aCrE

National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! Chocolate covered custard filled donut!

National Donut Day (previous Blog): http://wp.me/p3dhVM-18v

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Mmmm....Donuts.

Mmmm….Donuts.

What's your favorite kind of donut?

What’s your favorite kind of donut?

More Donuts!

More Donuts!

"Say HELLO to my little friends!" National Donut Day!

“Say HELLO to my little friends!”

Donuts from

Inflatable Donuts from “The Simpsons Take The Hollywood Bowl”

“MMMMMMM….Donuts.” ~ Homer Simpson

 

UPDATE: Saturday, June 6th, 2015

I SCORED! Two chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and nuts from Yum Yum Donuts and three old fashioned, a plain cake, a glazed and a chocolate covered from Winchell’s. They were warm and fresh and smelled so good…

Warm Fresh Donuts!

Warm Fresh Donuts!

National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! – Yum Yum Donuts

National Donut Day

National Donut Day! – Winchell’s Donut House

National Donut Day

National Donut Day – NO MORE DONUTS! 

The End.