Kevin Barnett, the New York City-based stand-up comedian, has died tragically. His death was first announced by The Stand comedy club on the afternoon of January 22. Fellow comedian Yannis Pappas was among the first to tweet his condolences writing, “RIP another comedian who was a great dude. Seriously a great dude. @Fatboybarnett rest easy Kevin.” While Chelsea Peretti also tweeted in reference to Barnett’s passing, “i am so sad.”
Calls to Barnett’s agent were not returned at the time of publication. Kevin Barnett’s cause of death has not been made public. Deadline reports that Barnett “died suddenly will on vacationing in Mexico.”
Here’s what you need to know about one of the most exciting comedians in the country:
1. Barnett Posted an Instagram Photo on January 19
On January 19, Barnett posted a photo to his Instagram page showing him in Mexico. Barnett wrote in his Instagram bio, “Let go and let god.” One of Barnett’s last Facebook posts, a link to a GoFundMe page for comedian Jason Saenz, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a horrific accident when he fell through a skylight on the roof of his apartment building.
Barnett posted a photo with friends from high school on his Instagram on January 6.
2. Barnett Was a Florida Native Who Graduated From FSU
According to his Facebook page, Barnett said his hometown was Miami and that he had been living in Brooklyn. Barnett was a graduate of Dreyfood School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and of Florida State University, where he was part of the class of 2009.
In a 2014 interview with Comedy Hype, Barnett said he first began in comedy while at school in Tallahassee. Barnett described FSU has being supportive of comedy and allowing students to open for more famous comedians who had been booked in to perform. During the same interview, Barnett said he attended high school with fellow comedian Eric Andre.
3. Barnett Was ‘One of the Fastest Rising Comics in New York City’
A promotional page for Barnett referred to him as “one of the fastest rising comics in NYC.” That profile also lists his credits as being MTV2’s “Guy Code,” “Adam Devine’s House Party” on Comedy Central, “Funny as Hell” on HBO as well as being the co-host of the podcast, “The Roundtable of Gentlemen.” In April 2015, Barnett told Vulture about his early days in the New York comedy scene at Brooklyn’s “The Knitting Factory,” saying, “It was just really underground. It felt like a punk scene, almost. It didn’t feel so glossy.”
4. Barnett’s Latest Script Was About to Be Turned Into a David Spade-Starring Movie
Barnett also co-created the Fox sitcom “Rel.” The show stars Lil Rel Howery as a Chicago nurse. His life is thrown into disarray when he discovers that his wife had an affair with his barber.
5. Some of Comedy’s Biggest Names Have Taken to Social Media to Pay Tribute to Barnett
As news of Barnett’s tragic passing spread, some of comedy’s biggest names have taken to social media to pay to tribute to the brilliant funnyman. Here are some of the most poignant messages: