Comedian and satirist Barry Crimmins called in to Ron Bennington’s Bennington show on Monday and sang the praises of the late comedian Kevin Meaney, who passed away last week at the age of 60. Crimmins called in to the show to talk about his new hour special, Whatever Threatens You, which was released this past Sunday through Louis C.K.’s website. C.K. accompanied the special’s release with a newsletter to fans in which he gave glowing, heartfelt praise to both Crimmins and Meaney, who both acted as mentors and friends to C.K. throughout his comedy career. The letter came up early in the interview, and the topic turned to Meaney.
Crimmins and Meaney were very good friends, and both comics helped to build the Boston comedy scene in the 1980’s, so Meaney’s passing hit Crimmins especially hard. He and C.K. initially debated holding off on releasing the special until after the comic’s funeral, but Crimmins eventually decided to go ahead with it, saying that Meaney was thrilled with the special and that he “not only would have been fine with it, he would have assertively been saying ‘put it out!’”
“He was just one of my dearest friends. It’s getting to the point now when somebody dies, I feel like I should call up somebody and talk to them, and the first five people I think of are also dead,” Crimmins joked.
“He went way too soon. He was such a force field, he seemed like a boundless and endless and undepletable source of incredibly positive and wonderful energy, so it’s just really shocking,” he continued. And he was silly in the best way. “Courageous silly, bold silly, not silly that will fold up its tent at the first resistance, but that redoubles its strength,” Crimmins recalled.
The two spent a solid ten minutes reminiscing about Meaney and the footprint he left on the comedy world. They remembered Meaney as a one-of-a-kind “hall of fame” comic, one who could command the attention of a room, “sear himself into an audience’s heart”, have everyone, including the comics in the back, laughing in record time. “He will stand up as a glowing example of tremendous. incredibly talented, generous, kind…and just funny performer. Just one of the all time greats.”
That was Meaney, a true comedian and workhorse who just had that magic touch. He was still actively touring up until his death, no small feat for a 60 year old comic. The road can wear on even the most seasoned of veterans, Meaney included, but if you were watching him perform, you’d never know it.
“It’s tough being a 60 year old road comic, let me tell ya. Some of that would wear on him at times, but he’d take that stage and you wouldn’t have a fucking hint, not a hint,” said Crimmins.
“He hit the stage hard every time,” added Bennington.
While Meaney may be gone, his legacy most certainly is not. Meaney’s influence is felt in comedy clubs around the country; comedy truly would not be what it is today without him.
If there’s one person who would want the pity party to be cut short, it’s Kevin Meaney. So why don’t you do yourself a favor: head on over to Louis C.K.’s website, buy Crimmins’ special for $5 and laugh your ass off.