2019 was off to a sad start with regard to death in showbiz, and now a tragedy has struck a figure in comedy and television. Stand-up comedian and television producer Kevin Barnett has died. He was 32 years old at the time of his passing.
Kevin Barnett has worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes on a variety of projects throughout his career. His latest big project was the Fox sitcom Rel, for which he was co-creator and executive producer. He died suddenly while on vacation in Mexico, and the precise cause of death has not been revealed at this time.
His passing was confirmed via a tweet from Last Podcast Network, which is the platform that hosted Kevin Barnett's weekly podcast, called Roundtable of Gentlemen. Take a look at the touching message posted on social media:
As a creator and executive producer for Rel, Kevin Barnett's brand of comedy had the potential to reach a wide audience. The show got off to a strong start when it premiered in September 2018, although the numbers dwindled (as ratings numbers often do for new series) as the weeks passed. Starring Lil Rey Howery, Rel follows a nurse in the West Side of Chicago whose life is turned upside down when he learns his wife is having an affair and divorcing him... to be with his barber.
Rel's fate is uncertain at this time, but that Kevin Barnett's hard work contributed to a comedy hitting the airwaves on a major broadcast network is a testament to his talent.
Kevin Barnett was also known for his work in front of the camera as a member of the Friends of the People cast. The American sketch comedy series aired on TruTV as the network's first sketch comedy series. Friends of the People didn't hold back from pushing boundaries, holding a TV-14 rating and occasionally hitting TV-MA. Barnett was a voice actor as well, contributing to multiple episodes of animated series Lucas Bros. Moving Co.
Our hearts are broken, as are those of everyone atRel, 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. We send our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time.
Kevin Barnett was also a standout stand-up comedian who surely would have continued to rise through the ranks of the stand-up world. He'll undoubtedly be missed by many. Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with Barnett's friends, family, and loved ones during this difficult time.