Chi Tai, a beloved Vietnamese comedian, musician and actor, died suddenly on December 9, 2020, as confirmed by his manager Knanh Hoang to Tuoi Tre newspaper, according to VN Explorer. He was 62.
The Whose Line Is It Anyway: Vietnam star was found unconscious on the 7th-floor staircase inside his apartment building in the Phu Nhuan District of Ho Chi Minh City. While the comedian was rushed to the hospital, his manager said that he died around 3:20 p.m. local time on Wednesday. His cause of death stemmed from cardiac arrest, according to Times 24H.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam on August 15, 1958, but moved to the United States in 1981 where he started his career as a musician. Tai was the guitarist, vocalist, and sometimes drummer for the Chi Tai Brothers. The popular band included Chi Thien on the keyboard, Quang My on bass, Kieu Linh on trumpet, Phuong Loan as a vocalist, and Trinh Nam Son on saxophone and keyboard.
After 10 years as a musician and composer, Tai switched up his career to focus more on comedy. He teamed up with fellow artist Hoai Linh in 1997, and the duo became a widely popular comedy act in Vietnam.
Chi Tai Appeared in 10 Films Over the Course of His Career & Looked Forward to Continuing His Comedy Tour in July
Tai’s comedic chops earned him roles in numerous films throughout his career. His most recent role was in 2019’s The Perfect Wedding which was directed by Le Thien Vien. In 2017, he starred Ong Nam in Quant Dung Nguyen’s Hello, Vietnam. A few of his other film credits include appearances in Jackpot, The Talent, Five Fairies in the House, and Hung Ali.
As for TV, he appeared as himself in 7 episodes in the Vietnamese version of the improv comedy series, Whose Line Is It Anyway, in 2015.
On November 26, Tai shared a poster on his official Facebook page to promote his upcoming comedy shows. As translated by Facebook, the official announcement read, “I’m throwing up my heart to see you again and laugh with the beloved audience of Chi Tai on the next 26th/12 of July in Hanoi. See you all that day!”
Tributes Filled Social Media From All Over the World Following Chi Tai’s Death
Danh hai Chi Tai’s official Facebook page was followed by over 1.1 million people, and news of his death brought tributes from fans and fellow comedians on social media.
One fan tweeted, “2020 really sucks!! We lost one of the greatest Vietnamese comedian of all time, Chí Tài! He was like the idol when I grew up watching his hilarious comedy videos, especially his appearances on Paris By Night since the childhood days. See you later man! God Bless! #RIPChiTai.”
Because Tai’s comedic career spanned over two decades, many fans tweeted about they felt like they grew up with him. One fan tweeted, “I grew up watching Chi Tai and Huai Linh and it’s pretty much the only part of my Vietnamese childhood I still remembered and kept up to date after all these years in the US..his passing was truly too sudden. Rest In Peace and thank you for all the laughs you gave us.”