Comedian Dies On Stage, Audience Thinks it's Part of The Performance
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
April 13, 2019
British comedian Ian Cognito, a veteran of the stand-up scene, died on stage during a performance in Bicester, England on Thursday, it was reported.
Cognito, 60, was performing his stand-up set on stage when he sat down on a stool, breathing heavily. The audience at the Lonely Wolf Comedy Club, unaware that this was not part of his act, watched the comedian for at least five minutes, believing it was all part of the show, Compere Andrew Bird, the owner of the bar, told the BBC.
Bird told the outlet that Cognito wasn't feeling well before the set, but that the comedian decided to go on and perform anyway.
"He was like his old self, his voice was loud. I was thinking 'he's having such a good gig'," Bird said.
Cognito even joked about dying in front of the audience just moments before his death. So when he collapsed in front of the crowd, everyone in the crowd believed Cognito was joking.
Bird eventually went on stage to check on the comedian when it became clear the comedian was not performing. An off-duty police officer and two nurses who happened to be at the club began performing CPR on the comedian while an ambulance was called.
The comedian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dozens of comedians, including the legendary Jimmy Carr, eulogized Cognito on Twitter.
Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage - literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was.— Jimmy Carr (@jimmycarr) April 12, 2019
Oh bless that Ian Cognito, who expired in his natural home last night, on stage. He was a difficult awkward hilarious troubled brilliant sort; a proper comic.— Mark Steel (@mrmarksteel) April 12, 2019
Such a sad shock. Ian Cognito has died. One of the people who made this job brilliant from the very beginning has gone. I got so excited to be on bills with him and watch him work and have a beer after. And those eyes! Those beautiful eyes. Much love to all friends and family xx— Shappi Khorsandi (@ShappiKhorsandi) April 12, 2019