CONTENT WARNING: Story includes vulgarity. Story may be offensive to some readers. External content might not be suitable for work — including hyperlinks, embedded videos and social media posts. This story contains discussions about sexual misconduct and assault, the (mostly redacted) use of slurs, comedy performances intended for mature viewers and substance use.
Brad Williams told a story during a live broadcast wherein he seemingly admitted to committing rape-by-fraud, alongside Carlos Mencia, but they never faced any legal or professional repercussions. The story avoided the limelight through a series of otherwise unrelated events, resembling a Rube Goldberg machine of podcast cover-ups. Williams has carried on his successful career since, most recently starring in his second season of Netflix’s comedy series, “The Degenerates.”
WHO IS BRAD WILLIAMS?
Williams, 35, is a comedian from Orange County, California. He was born with a condition called achondroplasia, which results in dwarfism. Much of his stand-up act is about this condition.
Williams’ career began when he was discovered at one of Mencia’s shows as an audience member. According to Williams, Mencia called him on stage from the crowd. He suggested Williams try stand-up comedy and later hired him as his opening act.
Mencia was a rising star in comedy at this time, shortly before the creation of his wildly popular show, “Mind of Mencia.” A controversial figure in comedy, Mencia has been unpredictable and accused of plagarism in the past.
The story detailing the assault was told on the video podcast “Getting Doug With High,” which originally aired July 16, 2014, and was episode number #41 of the series. It was available for public view on YouTube until approximately Dec. 18, 2014, when it was removed from official playlists.
GETTING WHAT WITH WHAT NOW?
“Getting Doug with High” is hosted by comedian Doug Benson. Benson is best known for his humorist documentary “Super High Me” and popular film-related podcast “Doug Loves Movies.”
Williams was a guest on “Getting Doug with High” along with fellow comedian Eddie Ifft. The show is a celebrity roundtable where guests smoke medical-grade cannabis, answer questions and tell stories.
“Getting Doug with High” is typically streamed live on Benson’s YouTube channel, where the whole archive of older episodes can also be found. Episodes are also uploaded to iTunes in audio format.
Williams told the story in response to a question from a viewer. Twitter user @PhilVox tweeted the show asking Williams, “What’s the weirdest Carlos Mencia story you got?”
Bizarrely, Williams began telling a story wherein Mencia allegedly told him to commit a sex crime against an unsuspecting fan. According to this story, the supposed act occurred about 12 years ago on Mencia’s tour bus.
WAIT…WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?
As told by Williams, the incident occurred when a female fan entered Mencia’s tour bus. She had allegedly already engaged in oral sex with the bus driver to gain entry to the bus interior.
Williams stated that the female fan strongly desired a sexual encounter with Mencia. Williams cited Mencia’s marriage as the reason he did not want to engage with the fan.
According to Williams, Mencia orchestrated a bait-and-switch. The woman was in the back of the bus when Mencia turned out all the lights. Though the woman was expecting Mencia to join her in bed, he dispatched Williams to have sex with her in his place.
In his nonchalant recounting of the event, Williams laughed and explained how he assaulted the unidentified victim without her knowledge for “least 15 minutes before she noticed.”
Williams appeared oblivious to the implication of his “crazy story.”
On the broadcast, after the story, Ifft told Williams, “I think that was a rape story.”
“Not in the technical sense,” Williams said.
“I think technically it is,” Ifft said.
Specifically, Williams’ story detailed a type of sexual assault in violation of California penal code § 266c, which forbids having sex with someone “when his or her consent is procured by false or fraudulent representation.” This is called rape-by-fraud. Rape-by-fraud, in various forms, has been illegal in America since 1872. It is sometimes called rape-by-trickery or rape-by-deception.
“Well, I hope this was over seven years ago,” Ifft said.
Williams affirmed that the statute-of-limitations would be lapsed by now. If Williams’ response affirms the story is over seven years old, the assault occurred at least 12 years ago. It should be noted that California’s statute-of-limitations for rape is six years, and rape-by-fraud has a mere three-year window in which the victim can press charges, according to information from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Ifft then mimed getting up from his seat and leaving. He said, “It was good being here. Nice knowing you, Brad!”
Benson and Williams questioned Ifft about his nervous response. Benson asked Ifft, “You think you could get in trouble, somehow, for what he did?”
“Yeah,” Ifft said. His matter-of-fact delivery elicited laughter from the others.
Williams asked Ifft, “Does, like, rape pass through osmosis, or something?”
Ifft was outnumbered, while being recorded, became flustered and stumbled over his words. He blamed his visible discomfort on cannabis-related paranoia and then insisted that he was fine.
Later that week on his podcast, “Talkin’s Hit with Eddie Ifft,” Ifft confessed that he was having a panic attack. He said he almost left the set of the show. He then indicated that Williams’ presence, his dwarfism and the story he told were all contributing factors to his distress.
PEOPLE SAW THIS, RIGHT?
Penny Montgomery, one of the contributors to this piece, is a “Getting Doug with High” fan and watched the episode live with her boyfriend.
“[We] watched together and we both had a jaw-drop reaction,” Montgomery said, “I remember, later that night, we wondered aloud about why [Benson] didn’t just end the show?”
“I talked to other people about it right away, too,” she said. Knowing the show only had a small following, with guests that rarely grace the tabloids, she felt helpless to do much else. She had no way to save the live broadcast, nor did she predict the video would disappear from the archives. She didn’t realize access to the information would wane and Williams’ popularity would rise. Various specials, podcast appearances and finally Netflix stardom would be a constant, nagging reminder of the missing episode for a half-decade.
Naturally, others also saw it live. Even more had the chance during the three months it was available on YouTube. Some of these viewers did speak up on social media, but the response has always been negligible.
WHERE DID THE VIDEO GO?
“Red Bar Radio” podcast, hosted by Mike David, dedicated a segment of their show on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, to react to Williams’ story. This reaction occurred just days before the video was taken down. David believes, with reason, that his decision to react to the episode lead to its removal.
“Red Bar Radio” brands itself as a comedy podcast, for entertainment purposes only. They have a small, but very dedicated, viewership. David’s on-air persona resembles a 1990s “shock jock’” a la Howard Stern. The podcast has a history of pursuing controversial material and being intentionally offensive.
In the 2014 episode of “Red Bar Radio,” the footage of Williams’ story played on a television behind David as he provided commentary.
“Um, okay, they’re all laughing. This [redacted] just admitted he raped a chick. I heard that right, right? I didn’t miss anything?” David said on his podcast.
David’s reaction to the video was broadcast live exclusively to his audience. David agreed with Ifft, this was an admission of rape. After discussing it at length, he encouraged his audience to contact Williams on social media en masse. This is a harassment technique known as “brigading.”
After the broadcast, the “Red Bar Radio” episode was split into two videos, both of which were unlisted on YouTube. Access to the videos were placed behind a paywall. This means the contents of the broadcast could only be seen by actively paying subscribers to the “Red Bar Radio” premium membership service (dubbed “Scars Club”).
Luckily, those videos briefly appeared on a public playlist which led to their discovery on Aug. 26, 2019.
OTHER MISSING EPISODES?
How does “Getting Doug with High” generally handle episode deletions? Without direct knowledge from Benson, or his staff, it’s hard to know if there is a policy in place. At least two other episodes of “Getting Doug with High” have been removed from public view in the past. Though this is the smallest possible sample size, a pattern of sorts can be observed.
Comedian and actor Matt Walsh expressed concern for the reputations of his school-aged children and asked that his episode be removed. The show complied with his request.
“I asked Doug to take it down and he was very cool about it,” Walsh said in a replacement video. When the show removed the episode from YouTube it was replaced with a short placeholder video, shot by Walsh on his phone. The audio-only version of the episode remained on iTunes.
In a benign case of public relations, it appears the removed episode was granted a placeholder video and the audio version remained on iTunes.
Another episode, with comedians Cameron Esposito and Ngaio Bealum as guests, was removed for unstated reasons. Speculation among fans indicates the quantity of cannabis Bealum brought on-set may have violated California regulations.
When asked for comment, Bealum didn’t shed any more light on the subject. “I don’t have any comment. Episodes get canceled for a variety of reasons. ‘Getting Doug with High’ is an awesome show and it is always a pleasure to be a part of such a fun production,” he said via email.
Esposito and Bealum’s episode was removed from YouTube, without a placeholder, and the audio was removed from iTunes.
In a case of possible legal infractions (as speculated by viewers), the episode was unceremoniously removed for unstated reasons, received no placeholder and the iTunes audio was removed.
So, how was Williams’ episode treated in comparison?
Shortly after the “Red Bar Radio” criticism aired, the Williams episode of “Getting Doug with High” was removed from YouTube.
The audio was also removed, date unknown, from iTunes.
The episode was then edited to remove Williams’ story. This redacted version was then uploaded, out of sequence, between episodes #62 and #63, on Dec. 16, 2014. No placeholder video was created.
It was at this point that all copies of the confession were made unavailable to the public. Eventually, even the edited version of the episode disappeared from Benson’s YouTube channel. Neither version of the file can be found via file-sharing networks.
For roughly five years there was little evidence this episode ever existed. Except, of course, the eye-witnesses in Benson’s and David’s audiences.
IN THE AGE OF #METOO
In the time since 2014, the entertainment world has been rocked with accusations of sexual misconduct. Public discourse on sex crime has shifted in the context of the #MeToo movement. Several beloved comics have been accused of terrible violations, most visibly Bill Cosby being found guilty of multiple counts of rape.
The accusations are as varied as the cast of potential offenders. Louis C.K. admitted to masturbating in front of female coworkers. Chris Hardwick allegedly abused an ex. Accounts of Andy Dick’s supposed groping are numerous. T.J. Miller has multiple accusers of multiple violations.
Though some networks and filmmakers have chosen to opt-out of working with the accused, not a “canceled” career appears among them. Even Woody Allen still has some of Hollywood’s top actors defending his right and ability to continue making movies. This is important since Allen was accused in 1992 of molesting one adopted daughter, the details of which played out in family court. He then married a different adopted step-daughter, 35 years his junior, in 1997.
As much as ‘cancel culture’ may come up as a topic among comics, the only clear evidence of a career being canceled would be that of a spiteful and unrepentant retiree with decades of victims testifying against him.
Cosby’s arrest has been a comedy boon for Williams’ Twitter account.
ANTI-SOCIAL, ANTI-JUSTICE, ANTI-WARRIORS?
Twice per month, “comedian best friends Tom Segura and Bert Kreischer get together in the bear cave at YMH Studios,” according to the iTunes description for the podcast “2 Bears 1 Cave.” The fourth episode, which aired Aug. 18, 2019, starts with the hosts exchanging sex stories they find humorous.
Kreischer is most famous for his outlandish storytelling comedy, generally delivered shirtless, especially his tale of accidentally assisting a Russian gang in robbing a train.
A few minutes in, Segura tells an old sex story about not wanting to use a condom while his partner insisted. Kreisher appears delighted by this story, and in the spirit, he quickly follows it up with another. His excitement is obvious in his voice’s register, high-pitched with laughter.
“I heard a comedian, one time, tell a story about raping a girl,” Kreischer said. “On a podcast! On a podcast! On a fucking podcast!”
Both hosts laughed.
“He didn’t know it was rape,” Kreischer said as he gestured a cuckoo sign. “He just started telling the fucking story and someone goes, ‘Hey bro, I think you raped her.’”
Both hosts, again, erupted in laughter.
“I want to tell you who it is, in your ear,” Kreischer said. He then stood, caught his breath, and leaned over to whisper the name in Segura’s ear.
“Really?” Segura said, appearing stunned after hearing the name.
“I swear to God,” Kreischer said. His laughter amped up again, and he coughed as he struggled to catch his breath.
However unlikely, Kreisher could have said another name. YouTube automatically generated captions for this video, but the Kreischer’s story was not captioned — meaning the captions were removed, or didn’t populate for whatever reason. Analyzing the video, in editing software, shows the audio track is completely muted when Kreischer whispers the name. Lastly, Kreischer cupped his mouth to cover his speech.
Though the events mentioned happened elsewhere “on a podcast,” which is ostensibly a matter of public record, all efforts were made to hide the identity of whomever Kreisher named.
The YMH Studios podcast network, Segura’s network, has three podcasts under its umbrella. Williams has been a guest on all three. Segura, however, has not overtly acted against Williams (e.g., removing these episodes).
YMH Studios has also hosted other comics embroiled in misconduct allegations, like Dick and Hardwick, via “Dr. Drew After Dark.”
On his podcast, “Your Mom’s House”, Segura and his wife Christina Pazsitzky (who also appears in “The Degenerates”) have discussed the climate of criticism in regards to C.K. and Hardwick at length.
“The ultra-liberals are out of their fucking minds! The far-left is crazy as shit! They’re completely without any reason, and they don’t care!” Segura said on his podcast. “And the far-right, alt-right, they coined the term ‘snowflake’ you know, like, they’re the biggest snowflakes. The most sensitive, easily offended. They’ll just lash out at you.”
While they concede that rape is bad, ultimately Segura and Pazsitzky commit more time and energy to discuss the value of a man’s life and career versus any other concerns.
THE CHASE FOR PROOF CONTINUES
Oct. 10, 2019, a long-established Google Alert for “Brad+Williams+Rape” finally populated a new result. A post on Reddit, “Comedian Brad Williams admits to raping a women [sic] and spends years trying to hide it,” appeared in the r/StandUpComedy subreddit.
The post contained a YouTube video from a very familiar face. “Red Bar Radio” posted a 22-minute reaction video publicly to YouTube titled, “The Story Brad Williams Wishes He Never Told! Deleted Video from ‘Getting Doug with High’ Uncovered!”
In this new coverage, David starts off the video by playing 40 seconds from Williams’ special “Fun Size.” The short clip was almost entirely audience applause as the announcer called Williams to the stage.
David went over his history with the topic briefly before presenting screenshots from an exchange on Instagram. The images were posted to a “Red Bar Radio” Facebook group from a viewer. David explained in the video that these images are why he has again broached the subject.
The first screenshot relates to comedian and actor Andrew “Cheeto” Santino’s promotional post on Instagram made when Williams was a guest on his podcast, “Whiskey Ginger.”
“Didn’t [Williams] get caught admitting he raped a girl?” Jason Buck, a “Red Bar Radio” listener, said in a reply to the post. “Seems like a cool guy.”
Buck noticed his reply was removed moments later. He then received a message from Williams.
“I asked [Santino] to delete your your comment,” Williams said via direct message. He then said he wanted to explain “the story” to Buck.
“I made a HORRIBLE joke in my 20’s [sic] and I’ve been paying for it ever since by a select few who heard it. While I’m no angel but I absolutely have never done anything that horrible,” Williams said via direct message.
“Please refrain from saying things like that in the future because that’s how awful rumors get started that have the potential to ruin careers in this time where people believe the headline and not the facts behind the story,” he said.
After discussing these Instagram messages, David then went over the “Getting Doug with High” segment twice while providing commentary. He explained that the footage being shown was salvaged from his 2014 video. Artifacts from the original iteration (e.g., David’s pointing hand, clouds from his vaporizer) could be seen in the video as it played.
This new “Red Bar Radio” coverage was the first time in five years in which Williams’ story was publicly visible.
Within 24 hours of being posted, this new “Red Bar Radio” video had been taken down via copyright strike. Five years after ringing a bell, it seems Williams continues to attempt to silence its song.
The 40-second clip from “Fun Size” was the justification for the claim by LOLFLIX. “Red Bar Radio” then uploaded a slightly shorter version of the same video, amending the title with “RE-UPLOAD.”
Around this time, the 2014 “Red Bar Radio” episode, originally covering this story, was made private — effectively removing it from the internet, even for those that paid to access it.
A two-minute segment of “Getting Doug with High,” containing only Williams’ story, appeared online a week later. There were multiple copies, all identical in length and quality, uploaded by accounts that appeared to be viewers — not content creators.
This video was different from what “Red Bar Radio” had, no residual clouds or hands appeared on-screen, but the content was the same. This new clip was also posted in various comedy-related subreddits by different users. The identity of the person(s) distributing this copy of the video is currently unknown.
THE SECRET VILLAGE
Wading through hours of podcasts, in researching this piece, one observed pattern was Williams’ multiple references to the morally gray and multifaceted nature of people. A notable example appeared on the podcast, “The Church of What’s Happening Now” episode #385, aired June 1, 2016. The podcast is hosted by Joey “Coco” Diaz (who also appears in “The Degenerates”).
“People are trying so hard to categorize people as heroes or villains. There’s a lot of gray area,” Williams said. “Don’t forget, two years ago, Bill Cosby was a hero. A hero! Just a perfect, wonderful human being. A genius of a comedian … Now all this shit comes out. Now everyone’s like, ‘Well he’s a villain!’ It’s like, well, he’s both. He’s a horrible, horrible human and a comedic genius.”
Ponderously, Diaz discusses the connection between the erratic behavior of impressionable child stars and how being a well-paying boss can buy the silence of subordinates.
“What happens to your mind when you don’t have the right people around you, watching you?” Diaz said.
“You know, Cosby was not Cosby without help from a village. It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to rape a woman, dawg. There’s a lot of secrets involved there,” Diaz said.
“You made a good point, at one point Cosby was a ‘good guy’ but let me tell you something — these reports are coming back from 1968. 1968 he was raping fucking women already!” Diaz said.
“You’re right, because people talked about how, when the news came out, they’re like, ‘Well there’s been rumors for years,’” Williams said. “I’m like ‘Well, see, now we’re all part of it.’ If there’s rumors for years that means people knew.”
Notice: Brad Williams, Carlos Mencia, Doug Benson, Eddie Ifft, Gabe Dylan, Cameron Esposito, Matt Walsh, Joey Diaz, Bert Kreischer, Tom Segura, Todd Glass, Ron Funches and Mike David did not respond to requests for comment.
Rights to the celeb portraits belong to their respective artists and are used under Fair Use for journalistic purposes. Dark Alley #2 by Franck Michel (edited) in background of header image.