Kevin Barnett, a comedian and TV writer known for his work on The Eric Andre Show and Rel, has died at the young age of 32.
On Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, New York City’s The Stand comedy club announced that funnyman Kevin Barnett had passed away, as reported by Page Six. Sharing a photo of Barnett presumably taken during a stand-up routine, the account for The Stand posted, “Rest in peace Kevin Barnett,” alongside a prayer hands emoji.
The Last Podcast Network soon released a statement regarding Barnett’s death on Instagram, as Barnett had co-hosted one of the network’s podcasts, The Roundtable of Gentlemen. “Dear Last Podcast Family,” the post began. “It’s with a heavy heart we inform you of the passing of Kevin Barnett. The joy he brought to our lives is the greatest gift we have ever received.” The Instagram message continued, “Remind your friends you love them because you never know when you’ll see them again. We love you KB.”
Barnett’s death was further confirmed by Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment, CNN reported. “Our hearts are broken, as are those of everyone at ‘Rel,’ at the news of Kevin Barnett’s passing. He was an incredibly funny, wildly talented man who had so much more to do and so many more stories to tell,” a statement from Fox Entertainment read. “We send our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time.”
At the time of this writing, details about Barnett’s passing, including his cause of death, have not yet been released to the public. Given his final Instagram post, which was shared just days before news of his death made headlines, it’s possible that he may have been in Mexico at the time of his passing. However, that information has not been confirmed.
Kevin Barnett was not only known for his stand-up comedy and his participation in The Roundtable of Gentleman. He also had a successful TV career, working behind the scenes as a writer and show creator. Barnett wrote for shows like The Eric Andre Show, Lucas Bros Moving Co, The Carmichael Show, and Broad City. He notably created the Fox comedy Rel, starring Lil Rel Howery and Sinbad, which premiered in the fall of 2018.
However, Barnett didn’t only stick to writers’ rooms. He also appeared in front of the camera in various programs, including the sketch comedy Friends of the People, which he execute produced and for which he also served as head writer. According to Deadline, Barnett was a series regular on Guy Code, which aired on MTV2, and he also appeared on Adam DeVine’s House Party and the 2014 Chris Rock comedy Top Five.
Following news of Barnett’s passing, many took to social media to mourn. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Chelsea Peretti, for instance, retweeted The Stand’s announcement of Barnett’s death, and added, “i am so sad.”
Sharing a photo of himself with Barnett on a Hawaiian vacation taken years earlier, comedian Brooks Wheelan tweeted, “He was the nicest/funniest/meanest/best friend a person could ever hope to have.”
Kenny and Keith Lucas, who are known in the comedy world as The Lucas Brothers, also took the time to grieve after learning of Barnett’s passing. Posting a picture of the three of them on Instagram, they wrote, in part, “Goodbye to our brother: The thought of never hearing another one of your brilliantly layered stories saddens us. You were a comedic savant. Being able to absorb your genius during our many wonderful experiences together fundamentally changed our perspective on life.”
Commenting on Barnett’s unexpected death, Rel star and co-creator Lil Rel Howery wrote to his fans, “I was trying to figure out what to say but I can’t I’m truly heartbroken by this and just really hurt as the hours pass… So gifted and so dope and a true friend!!!! I don’t know what else to say this is crazy to me!!!!”
In a separate Instagram post, he added, “At 32 he accomplished so much in this business and was respected by many… Rest In Peace my brother and my friend… Thank you for the last 6 years of helping make my dreams come true man.”
Our thoughts are with Kevin Barnett’s loved ones during this difficult time.
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