People Thought Sterling Spencer’s Brain Injury Was A Joke - Stab Mag

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From the filming of Are You Serious? Frame Grab: Dave Malcolm

People Thought Sterling Spencer’s Brain Injury Was A Joke

Watch the trailer of Are You Serious? Full documentary coming March 2.

news // Feb 23, 2023
Words by Taylor Paul
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“I understand homeless people, now,” Sterling Spencer told me during the conversation that sparked Are You Serious?, a documentary to be released March 2 on Stab Premium. “It hurt to shower, I stunk. I laid on a piece of foam in the park and the only people that hung out with me were homeless people. This one gypsy lady would always bring me an orange…”

That was last spring.

How did I not hear about this? How did this happen?

Turns out, in November 2019, the fin of Sterling’s surfboard hit him in the head while surfing near his home in Pensacola, FL. He had a gash, it healed, and he didn’t think much more of it. He went surfing again, lived his life, raised his son, etc. 

Then — in both his body and mind — things started to unravel. Sterling lost his ability to walk. He was fatigued to the point of being bedridden. Loud noises and bright lights were enough to buckle him. 

Wait, are you trolling Jack Johnson, or are you serious?

The worst part was that nobody could tell him what was wrong. Doctors called it depression and prescribed him benzos. 

Actually, that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that, because of his history with comedy, many people thought it was a joke, or that he was exaggerating his symptoms. What was happening to him was literally unbelievable.

Jack Johnson and Sterling Spencer, during funnier times.

At least, until Sterling found Dr. Doug. 

Are You Serious? isn’t a life story, but there’s a lot of life in it. The film’s director, Dave Malcolm, (who was Sterling’s running mate for, does a masterful job at weaving serious topics with humor and fun along the way. Having Sterling as the subject didn’t hurt. 

Watch Are You Serious? On March 2 on Stab Premium. 

It’ll make you laugh and cry, buy a helmet and call a friend. 


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