RIP: Angelo Bowers
I didn't know Angelo Bowers, but many comedians working in Los Angeles today did.
They reported sadly last night that Bowers died after being struck by a drunk driver. Another comedian, Josh Adam Meyers, was in the car with Bowers and was in a nearby hospital in critical condition as of last night.
Bowers didn't have any sort of Facebook or Twitter presence, but that didn't mean he didn't leave an imprint on the comedy community. Friends are reposting his jokes on Twitter via @AngelosJokes.
Among those offering words...
Nick Thune: "RIP a very kind and funny comedian, Angelo Bowers, who was killed by a drunk driver on Monday."
J. Chris Newberg: ""Your ratings are so bad, I hear Leno might take over." - AngeloBowers"
Theo Von: "Didnt know Angelo Bowers well, but was always intimidated and amazed by his talent. Headline Heaven boss."
Stephen J. Glickman: "Sad to say one of my best friends and brilliant comedian AngeloBowers was killed today by a drunk driver. I'm so sad to lose my friend."
Nikki Glaser: "Angelo Bowers, a kind man and brilliant joke writer, died on Monday. Read his jokes:
@AngelosJokes. He will be missed. Stop driving drunk."
Dane Cook: "RIP Angelo Bowers & prayers for Josh Adam Meyers. It's horrible to hear this news."
Kyle Kinane: "Nothing I write sums up anything correctly. RIP Angelo Bowers. I'm lucky to have known you and sad you're gone. Be good wherever you are."
Sarah Tiana: "This might be one of the worst days of my life. RIP Angelo Bowers."
Aparna Nancherla: "Too funny. Too soon. RIP Angelo Bowers"
Ryan Stout: "Angelo Bowers was a young comedian I always loved to watch. So funny; his callbacks would double me over. I will miss him immensely."
Fahim Anwar: "Never really comment on deaths but none has affected me quite like the passing of Angelo Bowers. I'm truly sad. Brilliant comic gone 2 soon."
This is one of the only videos even captured of Bowers onstage. Too little. Too soon. Please don't drink and drive. If you do drink, find someone to drive you home. This is so unnecessary.
A friend of his, Eli Olsberg, wrote this via his Tumblr:
Last September, The Pleasure Chest celebrated their 40thAnniversary by making all shows that month free, which included Performance Anxiety. The final show that month had Sarah Silverman as a guest drop-in. T.J. Miller and I agreed to stack the line-up with an even split of established, heavy-hitting comedians, and some faces people aren’t as familiar with unless you’re a comedy nerd. One of these faces was a comedian named Angelo Bowers. In the age of available information and people going out of their way to get their stuff seen on the web, Angelo’s stuff was hard to find. He wasn’t on Facebook or Twitter, and his one YouTube clip was taken by a patron of the Ha Ha Café who simply wanted someone to identify him because of how funny he was.
Sarah Silverman asked to go up first, but was running late to the show, so I asked Angelo to go up first. Without hesitating, he was ready to go. As he went on stage, Sarah arrived and watched Angelo’s set, commenting on how funny he is. Three weeks later, catching up with a non-comedy friend who works on an animated show that Sarah does voiceover work for, she mentioned that she got to meet Sarah they day after Performance Anxiety. One of the first things Sarah said to my friend Karen was (and I’m paraphrasing here) “That first comedian who went up was so funny!” This is Angelo at the show:
Angelo would’ve done the same set whether he was in front of a full crowd in a sex shop, a full house at a comedy club, or a bar show with an audience of three. And he would’ve killed at all of them. He was one of the best joke writers with a unique stage presence. He was also one of the most positive comedians, constantly smiling and having fun on and off stage. Last night, Angelo was killed in a drunk driving accident. Another funny, amazing comedian, Josh Adam Meyers was in the car with him (pictured below) and he is in critical condition, currently recovering.
Yesterday, Jake Weisman and I invited Angelo to come do a last minute episode of The Morning After… Podcast we put together for later that day. He couldn’t make it, but we caught up with him at the Red Rock open mic on Sunset a few hours later. He mentioned he was heading back up to Northern California to finish some medical treatment. I offered him a guest drop-in spot at next Tuesday’s Performance Anxiety and it was to be his last set before he left Los Angeles for a little while. A few hours later, Josh and Angelo were driving and they were struck by a drunk driver. Josh is in the hospital and Angelo is no longer with us. To anyone out there, comics and friends, please don’t drink and drive! We hear about this in PSAs and always make jokes about how last night we shouldn’t have driven home cause we had that extra shot, a few too many beers, and laugh it off because we’re sitting around joking about it the next day. I don’t know if there was anything Josh and Angelo could’ve done to avoid the asshole that did this, but none of us have to be the person in the other car. The only thing worse than being killed by a drunk driver is taking a life because you are the drunk driver.
I’m not just asking you to think of Angelo when you’re at a bar. If anything, you should think of him when you’re at a show or a mic and remember a person who was happy to do a spot any place that had a mic, an amp, and a list for him to sign his name and take to that stage to make people laugh. This really was a guy who gave a 110% anywhere he went up.
RIP Angelo Bowers. That spot is still there for you!