In Memoriam: The Year in R.I.P. in Comedy, 2015

Let us take one more look back at the comedians we still love and miss so dearly, who left us in the past year.

Jason R. Chin (died Jan. 8, 2015), 46


Taylor Negron (died Jan. 10), 57


Harris Wittels (died Feb. 19), 30

Harris Wittels, performing at Whiplash comedy show at the UCB Theatre in NYC. Photo by Mindy Tucker.

Jenna McMahon (died March 2), 89


Sam Simon (died March 8), 58


Anne Meara (died May 23), 85


Rick Ducommun (died June 12), 62


Jack Rollins (died June 18), 100


Phil Austin (died June 18), 74


Dick Van Patten (died June 23), 86


Pam Matteson (died June 23), 61


Jack Carter (died June 28), 93


Bob Seibel (died July 15), 73


George Coe (died July 18), 86


Jimmy Gunn (died in August), 50


Ruhbin Mehta (died in August)


Gary Marinoff (died in August), 56


Montgomery Wayne Seitz (died in August)


Andy Ritchie (died Nov. 26), 39


There were other colorful characters who made us laugh and smile over the years who left us in 2015.

Like Yogi Berra, America’s funniest baseball player, who lived to 90 until he didn’t in September, or the great basketball magician Meadowlark Lemon, who brought joy to generations of children and the young at heart around the world as perhaps the all-time greatest of the Harlem Globetrotters. Lemon died a few days ago at the age of 83. And if you didn’t recognize his face, you certainly knew the voice of Gary Owens (pictured at top), who was onscreen as the announcer for Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then and more recently also providing the voices for cartoon characters Roger Ramjet in the 1960s and Space Ghost in the 1990s. Owens died this February. He was 80.

As I wrote last time around, so shall I write again: I know we cannot keep comedians from dying. But can we keep it to natural causes in old age after all of our funny men and women have enjoyed lengthy careers and the chance to say a proper farewell?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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