His humor is sometimes dangerously candid. He can make any timid audience balk in fear. But when you enter Brody Stevens’ den, as I did the other night at the confined space known as Montreal Improv, there is no coming back.
Like a motivational speaker’s pow wow, you feel the energy in the room and somehow you are changed. While his show is more of a therapeutic catharsis involving neurotic interjections then a typical comedy show, he kept the audience chuckling, but perhaps with only light psychologically scarring from shifting between fear and trembling.
When the lights dimmed and the show began, Stevens started with workout stretches. The evening only got more peculiar when he tried to channel the energy of the crowd. But that was what this eccentric star does best; makes his audience squirm as they are put in the actor’s studio hot seat, getting inundated by tough personal questions.
And in this way, his interactions with the audience, made us feel like we were all part of the show. And as the evening progressed he fed off the energy, from time to time demanding neurotically why we didn’t laugh at his jokes.
As the night progressed he twitched and lounged with moments of hilarious agitation, he snapped every time someone kicked over a beer bottle, and the audience loved every minute the charismatic idiosyncrasies that make Brody Stevens one of the most interesting faces in comedy. There’s a reason while he will be part of the Funny or Die Odd Ball Festival, the guy epitomizes weirdo.
Known as a big sports fanatic (and lost a professional baseball player) Stevens has also warmed up crowds before tapings of The Best Damn Sports Show, The Man Show and Chelsea Lately. He also had his own HBO special Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! with Zach Galifianakis.
All night I sat in my seat, scared that he might pick on me. But then I realized there is No Way Out, this is not any regular comedy show. It’s a show where you might find yourself like poor “Tanya” featured with all the prepubescent audience members in a reenactment of Brody’s big scene in the Hangover.
If you want to see something fresh and new by way of comedy then this is a must see at the Just For Laughs., you’ll feel positive and great afterwards.
* Brody Stevens performs at Montreal Imporv until July 26th, tickets available through hahaha.com.
* photos by Chris Zacchia