Chicago Sun-Times
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The curious case of Darren Stephens, Tobias Funke and the Blue Man Group

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You may have noticed that "Arrested Development" references routinely pop up in this here blog space. Kevin Allen and I have had many conversations about how it was the smartest, most well-written show on television and share a common disbelief that it was canceled.

And, for our money, the best character of the whole lot was Tobias Funke. So we couldn't help but be amazed at just how eerie this story, which moved across the Sun-Times News Group Wire early this morning, was.

"A Blue Man Group actor and the assistant principal of Maine East High School were arrested at a park along the lakefront on the North Side and charged with public indecency Monday night, police said.

Darren Stephens, 45, of the 1400 block of West Leland Avenue and Michael Pressler, 48, of the 1700 block of North Halsted Street were arrested without incident about 5:45 p.m. in the 4500 block of North Simonds Drive, police said.

Pressler, who is the Asst. Principal at Maine East High School in northwest suburban Park Ridge, and Stephens, who is a performer with the Blue Man Group, were both charged with public indecency, a misdemeanor, after they were found allegedly engaged in a sex act on Chicago Park District property, police said.
We posted this, made a few never-nude and "The Man Inside Me" jokes and moved on.

Well, it turns out this story is just getting weirder.

Kevin, reporting in from the office, says the newsroom has been inundated with calls from those associated with the Blue Man Group saying that Darren Stephens has nothing to do with the troupe.

"Police had previously said one of the men was an actor with the Blue Man Group, but a spokesman for the group said Tuesday morning the man has never been associated with the troupe."
In addition, Blue Man Group spokesman Nick Harkin sent us this a few moments ago to reiterate this statement.

"Blue Man Group Issues Correction

Published reports today inaccurately identified a man named Darren Stephens who was arrested in Chicago as a "Blue Man Group actor."

No individual by the name of Darren Stephens has ever been employed by Blue Man Group as a performer or in any other capacity.

So again. Not part of the Blue Man Group.

Men arrested for indecency in park   [Sun-Times]

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Blue Man Group Issues Correction

Published reports today inaccurately identified a man named Darren Stephens who was arrested in Chicago as a "Blue Man Group actor."

No individual by the name of Darren Stephens has ever been employed by Blue Man Group as a performer or in any other capacity.

So in issuing this retraction, what you really meant to say was this...?

"I've made a huge mistake."

Kyle responds: I, like Gob, refuse to learn from them or accept responsibility. We merely comment on already existing news and ride our Segues home.

Let's let the story get even stranger still...

DARREN STEPHENS TALKS: I'm trying to get the word out... My name is also Darren Stephens, spelled exactly the same way, and I am also an actor in Chicago. But I'm not that guy! That guy is 45, I'm 49. That guy appeared nude in "Six Degrees of Separation" at the Briar Street theater (maybe that's why he said he was a Blue Man member?) and I didn't. I have made my living as a voiceover actor in this city for fifteen years. The advertising people I've worked with will absolutely think this (alleged!) idiot is me -- but he's not. This story is all over the place, and it's driving me crazy. Please print/post this comment, in hopes that I can let people know that it's possible for there to be two people with the same semi-famous name, and that only one of them got into trouble a few days ago.

They need a good analrapist.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on December 30, 2008 12:55 PM.

Morning links: Hanley Ramirez is sought after, Ben Gibbard and the Sound of Settling and news from the Jena 6 was the previous entry in this blog.

Danica Patrick busted for ...wait for it... speeding is the next entry in this blog.

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