Bro Witness: NZ's topless lockdown superstar

by Toby Manhire / 04 October, 2013
Move over Lorde. A new young New Zealander has captured the hearts and minds of America.


According to New York magazine, he is "now New Zealand's No 1 celebrity". They're teasing. But give it time.

A 26-year-old New Zealander by the name of Matthew Jacobs became the centre of attention and a Twitter celebrity after witnessing the gunfire and car chase that led to today's Capitol Lockdown as he cycled in Washington DC. He was swiftly christened "Bro Witness".

He already has a stub of a Know Your Meme entry detailing the source.

Bro Witness is the nickname given to New Zealander Matthew Jacobs by National Journal staff writer Matt Vasilogambros at the scene of the shooting at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on October 3rd, 2013.

One Bro Witness witness added: "He apparently followed 'the car with the chick in it' on a Capitol bike and hasn't been wearing his shirt all day."

Here's Matthew - a Napier Boys' High School old boy, it seems - on Facebook:

And an audio clip of Matthew, who describes himself as from Wellington, dealing with the media swarm, and eventually attracting the attentions of (it sounds like) police:

Vanity Fair headlines its coverage like this: "Shirtless Brostander Effortlessly Diverts Debate Away From Gun Control and Government-Shutdown Safety".

And the bro-gags bregin:

Meet the Bro Witness to the Capitol Hill shooting, or as we at have been calling him within intra-office instant messaging, “The Innocent Brostander.” ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. says, “Bro Comment.” Quoth Kevin Roose of New York: “Brong place at the brong time.” The New York Times’s Michael Roston calls him a “Witness to Brostory.” Foster Kamer of Complex awards this mysteriously unclothed gentleman the title of “Broking News Brorrespondant.”

They don't mean bro in the New Zealand sense, but the American one. The baseball cap and toplessness suggest bro-ness - as explained by the Urban Dictionary, bros are "obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying."

The story even made the Bro Bible site.

New York has a cute FAQ here. Buzzfeed scoops up everything it can find here. And there's already a parody (or tribute, perhaps) Twitter account, of course.

h/t Richard Adams.
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