Kevin James, the burly lovable comedic actor of both small and big screen abruptly left the set of his new sitcom last Thursday with a sleuth of grizzlies who attacked the CBS studio lot.
The drastic decision was made last Thursday morning at CBS Studio Center in Studio City on Soundstage B, where cast and crew were shooting the sixth episode of Kevin Can Wait—a new sitcom starring Kevin James. In the series, James plays a husband and father who after retirement just wants to spend time with his family.
The bears broke down the soundstage door during a comedic scene in which James’ character, “Kev” is attempting to relate to his children by “twerking”. Police believe the live studio audience’s uproarious laughter drowned out the bears’ roaring until it was too late. The bears tore through electrical and lighting equipment, craft services, and human limbs. The live studio audience was dead before they even had a chance to stop laughing.
The screams of terror, mixed with hearty guffaws, still haunt Eric Molson, a PA on the show, and—not counting James—the lone survivor. “It was horrible,” Molson said. “But it was the strangest thing, how the bears didn’t attack Mr. James. Instead, they sorta locked eyes with him. Then they surrounded him, sniffed him and rumpled his clothes. It was real tense and quiet. Then they all stood on their hind legs and Mr. James turned slowly around in a circle, locking eyes with each and every one of them. It was as if the bears were nodding, giving their approval of him. Then he slowly dropped down to all fours, the bears did the same, and just like that, I mean, on all fours like that, he walked out of the studio with the other bears. The last thing I saw was him at the edge of the studio, shaking off his clothes, and then he disappeared into the trees alongside the bears. He looked really peaceful.”
James’ longtime agent, Steve Winnow, agrees. “It’s unfortunate James’ decision to become a bear came in the midst of the live studio audience and cast and crew all being mauled to death by the grizzlies, but sometimes life throws us curve balls and you just gotta reach out and catch ’em, you know? I think Kevin was always meant to be a bear. I’m incredibly excited about this new direction for his career. I see it taking him places. And I don’t just mean out to the woods, where he now lives with the bears.” Winnow also believes that James’ choice to leave CBS to live with the bears has been personally fulfilling for the actor.
“I received a message from James that read, quote, ‘Happy. Finally’. That’s literally all it said.” Winnow found the message scratched into the dirt outside his Glendale home amidst many paw prints and one set of footprints. “It made me wish I could find my calling like that, you know? We don’t all get that outta life.”
Since recovering from the attack, CBS has recast the lead role in Kevin Can Wait to be played by Kevin Smith of Clerks and Mallrats fame. The network is confident that Smith will not leave the studio to join a sleuth anytime soon.
Tim Palmer is a writer living in Los Angeles. He watches too much television, not enough cartoons, and wishes everyone was reading comic books. He hopes this doesn’t sound like a dating profile, but if it does, he also enjoys short hikes and comedy shows. You can pursue him, romantically or otherwise, on twitter @.