Ian Cognito was a British stand-up comic who was compared to Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks. He died while performing his stand-up routine on stage at The Atic Bar in Bicester. Cognito felt ill before taking the stage and joked about having a stroke, after five minutes of his act, he sat silent on his stool and audience members thought it was part of his routine. Realizing it was serious, promoter Andrew Bird and others rushed to his aid. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Coginito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, had been performing since the 1980s. Bird said dying on stage was how the comic, “would have wanted to go, except he’d want more money and a bigger venue.”
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Died: Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Who else died on April 11?)
Details of death: Died at the age of 60 while performing on stage.
Fellow British comics pay tribute: “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 on Twitter
“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
Full obituary: BBC
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