After a five-month battle with urethral cancer that he shared with fans and friends through daily Facebook posts and regular YouTube videos, comedian Ron Shock died today. He was 69.
Ron Shock began his comedy career relatively late at the age of 40 but did so in Houston where he was a fellow “Outlaw” with the late Bill Hicks.
In December 2011, he announced that he had been diagnosed with the rare and aggressive urethral cancer. Shock then moved to Las Vegas where he underwent chemo and other treatments. His wife, Rhonda, and others encouraged friends and supporters then to donate directly to Ron Shock’s Cancer Fund via PayPal to help with the mounting bills.
Up until the end, Shock continued to share his ups and downs via Facebook. He also uploaded a series of videos called Cancer Chronicles in which he spoke about his health and recounted various stories from his life on the road. Here, Shock described his final conversation with Bill Hicks on the day before Hicks died, and what happened the following day.
Just two weeks ago, Shock shared these words about how nice everyone was treating him at hospice.
The instant outpouring of love and tributes for Shock and his family can be seen on Shock’s Facebook page. Among the early wall postings…
“RIP Ron Shock. And fuck this last year and a half.” — Laurie Kilmartin
“RIP Ron. One of the best comedians and a gentleman in this crazy biz.” — Mark Ridley, owner of Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle
“ONLY good thing is that you are out of that horrific pain. Other than that, it sucks. RIP and remember, you have left so much brilliance behind that will be enjoyed for generations, you haven’t gone anywhere.” — Elayne Boosler
“Ron Shock was a great comic and even a better person. I have fond memories watching him at the Punchline SF many, many times when I was up and coming. A master storyteller. RIP, Ron, you always made me laugh.” — Byron Yee
“Ron and his wife lent me money to fix my car to get to a gig a couple years ago… that’s the kind of guy he was.” — Pat Godwin
“Ron Shock was one of the nicest and coolest comedians I have ever had the chance to work with. I only opened for him once, and to this day, I have never seen anybody tell a story like him. He made a two-hour set feel like ten minutes. After the show, we went to a diner and talked comedy until the sun almost came up. He told me story after story about Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, being one of the original Outlaws of Comedy and the joy comedy brings to people. We’ve lost way too many great comics in recent years, and sadly, we lost Ron. Take care, buddy. Like you always said “You’re gonna die anyways.” — Pat House
“Rest in peace, Ron Shock. The best goddamn storyteller I ever saw, and a kind, kind person.” — Tim McIntire
Funeral services are pending.