Many times, the most frustrating thing about a comedian can be trying to figure out when or if said comedian is joking or not. While Andy Kaufman based most of his career on challenging audiences and their expectations, irony and sarcasm can easily be lost on the public. They can be even easier to lose when you’re only reading text without any sound or image on a medium like Twitter.
Earlier, this week, staff writer for Conan, Andrés Du Bouchet got over 300 people to tweet the word “boner” for “the kids of Harlem,” which is clearly a prank, and a hilarious one at that; feeds across Twitter were covered with “boner” However, such clarity with the humor isn’t apparent over the giant micro-blogging platform. Comedian, former warm-up comic for Chelsea Lately, and fill-in host for TMZ, Brody Stevens over the last several days has literally been tweeting non-stop at his feed @AllThingsBrody. Here’s one from a little over an hour ago:
Through filling in for TMZ’s Harvey Levin, attacking Adam Carolla after being on his podcast, becoming friends with Marilyn Manson, getting into altercations at the Comedy Store and at Starbucks, getting arrested and released (see pic below), and more Brody has tweeted it all at a furious pace– almost always using the hashtag #positivity. Tweeting a tirade against anyone that has wronged him or sent him “an ounce of negative energy” his way, Brody has attacked not only Carolla, but also Jeffrey Ross, police officers by name, and even the seemingly all-powerful entertainment agency CAA.
While his feed has gone from funny to hilarious to entertaining to fascinating to even worrisome (#meds and #gun have also been common hashtags), it’s been unclear the whole time whether Brody is joking or not. First off, his tweets almost have to be decoded, as they’re not written in complete sentences and have several hashtags ranging from #magnets to #BORAS to #jew to #trust to #hammer. At other times, Brody will lash out out against other comedians that won’t support him and then immediately apologize and then say that he’s a good guy. He has thus drawn comparisons to Charlie Sheen and the aforementioned Kaufman.
As a result, comedy fans have claimed they’ve followed Brody since the beginning. And it seems the comic is getting more requests to do shows; Marc Maron has even asked Brody to be on his podcast WTF. Whatever you think Brody’s doing, it’s working. He already had a small following having performed stand-up and landing roles in movies like The Hangover and Due Date. But now, Brody is weeding out causal fans and finding his truly loyal ones, the ones that will buy albums, watch him live wherever he goes, even tune into TMZ despite harboring a deep loathing for the program. It’s been a viral marketing campaign unlike any other and Brody has been #winning.
From complaining that he gets no respect when going up late at the Comedy Store to now actively claiming he runs comedy in Hollywood, Brody, even while your reading this article continues to pull off one of the greatest stunts on Twitter never to trend. Maybe it’s a glitch, but somehow, even with a respectable 12,000+ followers, Brody has filled entire feeds of other people with his tweets and RT’s and still hasn’t gotten himself trending. I’ve talked to people who, even though they might not think he’s funny, they can’t stop following Stevens, for fear they’ll miss his next tweet.