Schmuck of the Week

Zero Kazama, Ex-MTV Star, Allegedly Freaks Out on Manitou Springs Tourists

Being named a Schmuck of the Week is sometimes as close to fame as some of the folks featured in this space ever get.

But that's not the case for this week's honoree, Zero Kazama, a onetime MTV star who was reportedly busted after freaking out on tourists in Manitou Springs.

But his arrest wasn't for apparently terrifying crazy talk. Instead, he was fitted with cuffs because of a car crash thought to have been fueled by intoxicants.

Kazama's background is sketched out on a page of Grassroot Diplomat, an organization whose website describes it as "a nonprofit diplomatic consultancy with a mission to build trust and strengthen relationships between governments and civil society."

Here's an except from the site's bio for Kazama, who was named a member of the Grassroot Diplomat advisory counsel in late 2014:
Zero is a Hawaii-raised Japanese-American actor, producer and stuntman most recognised for his role as the host of MTV’s hit show Silent Library and Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior. He has performed stunts on prominent films including Olympus Has Fallen, The Hangover Part III, After Earth and Star Trek: Into Darkness, and has made over 50 short films since 2010.

In addition to acting, Zero is trained in various martial arts, and is a keen observer of human psychology and spiritual behaviour respected widely among his international fan base. 
Plenty of high-profile stunt-work credits have accumulated on Kazama's IMDB page since the bio's publication. He's contributed to Jurassic World, The Divergent Series: Allegiant and the CW's productions of The Originals and Vampire Diaries, and he is expecting to appear as a character named Nakadai in the movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, expected to be released this year.

Still, he remains best known for his stint as host of MTV's Silent Library,  a game show in which contestants who gathered on a library-like set had to try and remain as quiet as possible as they completed silly tasks. And Kazama greeted failure with stern disapproval.

Take a celebrity episode featuring Tonight show host Jimmy Fallon and several members of the Roots that's on view below. When drummer Questlove all but gagged after being ordered to play a harmonica wedged into a large fish's mouth, Kazama scolded him with the line, "Your execution was flawed!"

If a recent account shared by TMZ is accurate, such invective should be directed at him.

Last month, law enforcement sources told the site, Kazama went off on tourists visiting Manitou Springs' famous cliff dwellings, telling them "they were on sacred ground and would be killed if they didn't leave."

In response, the area was locked down and cops were called — but by the time they arrived, Kazama had split.

He turned up again later that night, after an alert had been issued in his name. TMZ points out that officers in a nearby jurisdiction found him "at the scene of a car wreck" — and he was subsequently booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, reckless driving and assault.

Presumably, he understood that he had the right to remain silent. Here's the aforementioned Silent Library episode featuring Fallon and the Roots.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts