Richard Bain has left a hole in the Los Angeles comedy scene by leaving us all over the weekend. Bain died at 37.
Bain, born July 20, 1982, began his career in North Carolina but only began making a name for himself in comedy after moving to Portland, Ore., in 2005. He later moved to Los Angeles, and as he cracked in an Instagram post this New Year’s Day: “2014 is gonna be my year.”
2014 was the year Bain got New Faces at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival. Here’s what I wrote about seeing him perform for the first time: “Bain is from Oregon, making a go of it in Los Angeles, and would have you know that it’s not easy when your day job is being the only white guy in a Latino auto body shop. Bain raised a pertinent question regarding the homeless: Why would you smoke something that makes you hungrier? Bain also lived with his grandmother, or he joked about it. Same difference, right? Then a non-sequitur to get everyone onboard. “Do any guys in here wash their legs?” He also drew appreciative chuckles, when in a meta moment, he observed: “You shouldn’t be sweating this much for a six-minute set!” This isn’t any regular six-minute set, though. Objection sustained!”
He made an even bigger impression on the comedians around him.
Ron Lynch wrote: “I loved Richard. Those that knew him and/or saw him perform know about the Bain magic that would happen. Sadly, those that haven’t will never see that thing that he could do. What a loss. I would try to describe some of the things I saw him do to entertain everybody watching, but that was his gift to the audience and I don’t want to adulterate it. He will be missed. RIP, my friend.”
Even his best friends in comedy called him problematic, or worse, but still loved him as a comedian and a friend, anyhow.
Here’s footage of him performing in 2016:
And from 2019:
Bain also starred in a 13-minute short film, Tamerlane Death Cycle: 001, that’s available on Amazon Prime.
Some of LA’s comedy people held a vigil for Bain on Monday night outside of Akbar.
Hope you’re at peace now, Richard.