We’ve lost stand-up comic and actor Kevin Meaney, and — as he would say — “That’s not right!” The veteran comedian and big pants person was found dead of unknown causes at age 60 in his home in Forestburgh, New York, on Friday. Meaney’s agent, Tom Ingegno, told The Comic’s Comic that an autopsy is pending, and he told Laughspin, “It is true as confirmed to me by his family. It is a tremendous loss to the comedy community as well. He was loved and will be missed.”
Meaney started standup in 1980, but it wasn’t until his first HBO special in 1986 and his incredibly memorable late night appearances — particularly his debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1987 — that the Boston comedian became a national comedy draw. He performed standup for four decades and appeared in movies (Big) and TV, particularly in animated shows including Rocko’s Modern Life, Space Ghost Coast To Coast, and Dr. Katz. He even performed on Broadway in Hairspray in 2002. And, on a personal note, he made me laugh far too hard every time he yelled, “We’re going to lose the house!” And I was psyched when he came out as gay in 2008.
Comedians and those connected to the comedy community offered an outpouring of love on Twitter overnight. Many celebrities also took to Twitter to recommend videos of their favorite Kevin Meaney bits. A standout favorite recommended by Steve Carell and Dan Soder was his “I don’t care” song, which he would sing to signal to a tough crowd that he didn’t care if they laughed or not. This song could go on for a hilariously long time, depending on the set.
Another standout favorite — among producer Phil Rosenthal and others — was his frenetic, one-man-show rendition of “We Are The World”:
Along with recommendations of his funny material, plenty of people — especially comics who also came up in the Boston comedy scene with Meaney in the ’80s — offered reminders of how kind and gregarious he was to work with: