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.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


Politicians aren’t talking to us this election year, but to Winston Peters
71902 2017-04-28 14:08:09Z Politics

Politicians aren’t talking to us this election yea…

by Jane Clifton

We don't want any David Cunliffe cod-bogan attempts to get down with the peeps, but MPs seem to be going way too far in the other direction this year.

Read more
9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welfare' is morally bankrupt
71856 2017-04-28 09:53:00Z Politics

9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welf…

by Guyon Espiner

Dame Jenny Shipley on being the first woman Prime Minister, plus coups and coalitions, welfare reform and Winston Peters.

Read more
Win a double pass to exclusive screening of McLaren
71854 2017-04-28 09:39:24Z Win

Win a double pass to exclusive screening of McLare…

by The Listener

McLaren is the definitive tale of New Zealander Bruce McLaren, who created a motor racing empire from his shed.

Read more
Win a double pass to Doc Edge Festival
71847 2017-04-28 09:30:01Z Win

Win a double pass to Doc Edge Festival

by The Listener

Doc Edge Festival is one of Australasia’s premier international documentary film festivals.

Read more
First look: Poké Poké
Health Minister dismisses chocolate fundraiser ban
71842 2017-04-28 09:07:08Z Nutrition

Health Minister dismisses chocolate fundraiser ban…

by RNZ

Should schools be selling chocolate to raise funds? The Health Minister says it's ok, but nutrition experts disagree.

Read more
Film review: Denial
71718 2017-04-28 00:00:00Z Movies

Film review: Denial

by Peter Calder

The dramatisation of a Holocaust denier’s libel suit is both engrossing and moving.

Read more
Danish dramas versus Kiwi soaps
71634 2017-04-28 00:00:00Z Television

Danish dramas versus Kiwi soaps

by Jeremy Rose

A quarter of Denmark's population regularly watch Danish TV dramas, while the highest-rating Kiwi drama attracted an audience of just over 250,000.

Read more